By my reckoning, I have seven or eight more spring break roadtrip photo blog posts coming up after this one. They’ll all be staggered a bit, though, over the next six or seven days.
This post is a bit longer than some of the others. And this is only the middle part of Day 4. I’ve already posted some photos from the morning of Day 4, but there are still evening photos yet to be posted.
Get more excited!
- DAY 4 (Thursday, March 26) — cont’d.
As you can probably figure from the subject of this blog post, Utah is simply stunning. The terrain changes are frequent, at least as far as we saw along our drive on I-70 from Panguitch (where we began our day) toward Arches National Park (our final destination for the day).
After we ate lunch in Richfield, we continued east. Between Salina and Green River is an 108-mile stretch of I-70 with no service stations whatsoever. Which means that you better fill up your gas tank at whichever endpoint you start at and that you can expect absolutely gorgeous scenery on either side of the interstate.
We went from snowy mountains…
…to vaguely snowy mesa-like things…
…to desert-like canyonlands.
Again. Utah is incredible.
While we were still driving within the 108-mile stretch of no service stations, I spotted something completely unexpected on the south side of the interstate.
“GUYS,” I said. “There’s a canyon on the side of the road!”
So we pulled over into a scenic overpass area and took a photo break.
The canyon? Devils Canyon.
As dry and sunny and hot as the land may seem in these photos, it was actually about 35 degrees F, cold and windy. We were excited about getting to take a photo break, but equally excited to get back into the warm car and continue driving east.
Then Utah threw us a curveball.
It’s called the San Rafael Swell, and it was something none of us expected. I’m no geologist, so the best way I can describe it is this: it’s a massive formation of rock that was impassable to travelers until I-70 was carved through it. And it’s gorgeous. If we’d had time, I wish we could have stopped and explored the area.
But we had no time, and the road was spectacularly dangerous, with a 6 percent downhill grade and near-hairpin curves. So we drove on, and I took photos from out of the car window (all photos in this post — except those taken in Devils Canyon — were from the car window while driving).
After that, the terrain evened out into the desert once again. Which is fortunate, because I don’t think I could have handled having my mind blown again in rapid succession.
That said, my mind was blown later that day when we arrived at Arches. But that’s for another blog post and another tribute to the amazingness that is Utah.
- COMING NEXT: An evening in Arches National Park