Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 8 - Escalante Then Home

It's 1:15a and it's been a very active day so I'll be keeping this post short so that I can hit the road early tomorrow and cover some freeway. The morning ride started with rain and temperatures in the 50s, so needless to say, it was a bit chilly. My goal was to ride to Escalante, Utah and take the Lower Calf Creek Falls hike. The trail head to the falls was about 7 hrs. from Ogden, not so much because of the distance, but primarily because the last 40 miles to Escalante was full of twisties that reduced my average pace over that stretch to about 30mph. The trail followed the Calf Creek, a small tributary that meandered through a valley surrounded by tall rock structures, equally impressive as those in other parks in Utah.
The path to the falls was 5.5 miles in length. And of course, the falls was touted as the highlight of the trail. I would have to agree that the falls was very impressive and nice to photograph, however, to me the falls was only one of
many highlights that this trail had to offer.
Calf Creek Falls Trail was a peaceful place where wildlife and vegetation were abundant. After hiking about 2 miles in, I couldn't help but stop and listen to the many birds singing all around me. I've captured a few shots of these birds in the following shots at the end of this post.

Another beautiful aspect of the park was the wonderful blooming cactus and other flowers. If you stood still long enough you would see the hummingbirds drink nectar from the cactus flowers. It was a really cool site.
After the half day hike, I was back on the road and headed for home. The route out of Southern Utah that I took was 12 North to 24 East. This took me through the remainder of Escalante, where the road was a winding two lane road with a 3 foot of shoulder on each side, and a thousand foot drop either direction. Exhilarating to say the least. Next I weaved in and out of the Dixie Forest where deer lined the road as if they were watching a parade. Finally I entered a park called The Capitol Reef. This was a impressive area of large rock structures of most every color. Once again, the road twisted in and out of the canyons and made for one of the most scenic and challenging rides that I've ever been on. I definitely put this on my must ride list if scenery and twisties are your thing.
After leaving the park area, it was a 40 mile straight shot back to I -70. While taking this final road to 70, I noticed that the star were filling the sky so I couldn't resist but to pull over and turn off the lights for a few minutes. What a humbling experience, total darkness around me and a sky full of stars. I kept thinking that this is where the UFO would come in, however, no UFO but I did see a shooting star.
Other than running out of gas on my way back to Grand Junction, it was a great day. Even that experience wasn't all bad as a very nice gentleman saw that I was stranded and took me to the gas station.
Now I'm beat so I'd better catch some shut-eye.
See you tomorrow!


  1. Jerry - I can't tell you how jealous I am. The trip looks like great fun and thank you for posting this blog. Enjoy the rest of your ride.


  2. Awesome photos, Jerry. Thanks for keeping us updated. -Paul

  3. If you like these I have a few thousand others that I haven't shown you.

    Thanks all!