From Bridges to Goblins
Ultimate Utah, Day 6: Blanding, UT to Torrey, UT
Our first stop was Natural Bridges National Monument, just 40 miles away. The park sits high atop Cedar Mesa at 6,500 ft above sea level. Over many millennia, intermittent streams have cut two deep canyons in sandstone formed from the shore of an ancient sea. The erosive action of the water also created three natural bridges. With a full agenda and more than 200 miles to go today, we opted against hiking to any of the bridges and only viewed them from the overlooks. In the interest of full disclosure, temps in the low 40s, bone-chilling wind and drizzling rain might have also played a part in that decision.
|Bears Ears Buttes|
|The left Bears Ear|
|The road to Bears Ears|
|Ken in the gnome home|
Not to belabor a point, but the scenery along UT-24 on the way to the park was even more dramatically majestic than what we had already seen today. We can't wait until tomorrow when we'll have better light and can see more of the Capitol Reef area.
THURSDAY, 27 APRIL 2017
• Ended in: Torrey, UT
• Miles driven: 277 (total 2,702)
• Weather: 42° to 56°, clear to partly cloudy
• Letterboxes: Found 4, Planted 1 (total: F14, P5)
• Walked: 3.11 (total 23.92)
• Gas: 12.3 gal @ $2.689 (total 26.4 gal @$2.559 average price)
• Oohs: 127
• Ahs: 241
• Wows: 879
• Look at that!: 536
Loved: We've come to enjoy naming rock formations based on their shapes—turtle head, mushroom, lion, boneyard, dragon, castle, temple, etc. When we see a sign designating a landform with the same name we gave it, it's just a bonus.
Lacking: Again we were disappointed with the lack of pullouts for scenic overviews. But realistically there are so many breathtaking vistas along the route, the only way to accommodate sightseers would be an extra lane in both directions just for rubberneckers.
Learned: Having heard the terms 'arch' and 'natural bridge' used for stone features which looked the same, we thought the terms were interchangeable. Until we visited Natural Bridges National Monument today. There we learned that natural bridges are formed by the erosive action of moving water. Arches are created by other erosional forces, mainly frost action and seeping water.