Day 4: Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Tourist-Trip Segment

After returning to the truck, we drove the sections of the trip we were unable to cycle, and took pictures of the scenerey.  This web-page documents this final portion of the trip. 

As we drove the route (in the reverse order we would have done on bicicles), we noted the difficulty, at least how difficult it appeared. 

Going from Panguitch up Red Canyon would have presented no particular difficulties.  However, when we started down the other side, heading for Tropic, we noted very steep grades (8%), which would have been difficult, but not impossible.  The heat would have been a greater problem.  The 8% grades were nearer the summit.  The rest of the climb was a reasonable steepness. 

There was an RV park in Cannonville, so we would have been able to camp there, as planned.  Heading farther east toward Escalante, it again got very steep - especially near the summit. 

Approaching the summit, going east toward Escalante

The vast wilderness west of Escalante

On reaching Escalante, there were campgrounds, and motels (I think).  We continued on to the east.  It is relatively level, but soon the bottom drops away into the deep gorge of the Escalante River.  The roads here were extremely steep - 12% grades!  Such slopes would have been walk-up hills, and they were long.  We also noted that the road shoulders were almost non-existent. 

Looking down on the Escalante River Gorge

More of the Escalante River gorge, with the highway visible

After driving through the gorge, we came to Calf Creek Recreation Area, which has a wonderful hike to Calf Creek Falls.  Having done that before (and being short on time), we continued on.  The campground here was where we planned to stay a night, had we been able to do the planned bicycle trip. 

After Calf Creek Recreation area, the road climbs out of the gorge, with very steep (12 %) grades again.  As the road climbs, it becomes very narrow, dropping away in cliffs on both sides of the road.  There is a view area here, and we stopped to get some pictures. 

Above Calf Creek, looking south

Above Calf Creek, looking southwest

Above Calf Creek, looking west

Above Calf Creek, looking northwest

Above Calf Creek, looking northeast.  The valley where Boulder lies is in the distance.

Above Calf Creek, looking southeast

A few miles up the road, we arrived at the town of Boulder, where my former boss at Unisys lives, having purchased property there right next to the national monument, built a house there, and has retired. 

Entering Boulder

We had arranged beforehand to meet with Sergio and his wife.  We telephoned him, and he came to guide us to his house.  We had a great visit, and much admired their home, and especially the beauty of nature surrounding it. 

Aere, with her former boss, Sergio, and his wife (center)

Aere & Malcolm on Sergio's back porch

Malcolm, with Sergio & his wife, looking west

Looking northwest - their cat wanted to come with us.

After visiting, we said our goodbyes, and continued on north of boulder, climbing the flanks of Boulder Mountain.  This part of the trip (had we been able to do the bicycle trip we planned) would have been easy because it would have been downhill.  But getting up the other side was the clincher that made us turn back.  There was far too much vertical, and again, there were very steep grades - 8% and 10% for some of the climb. 

Looking south from an overlook north of Boulder

Looking east from the road on Boulder Mountain

Another viewpoint looking east

While driving in this area, we passed a bicyclist climbing the hill, doing the bicycle trip we had given up on.  We stopped and talked to him.  He seemed to be from Europe (France?), and appeared to have legs of steel.  He was towing a small trailer with his supplies.  He was actually touring the country by bicycle. 

He asked how far it was to the summit, and we pointed it out to him on the hillside (miles away).  We showed him the printed profiles of the trip, which was information he appreciated.  He asked if there were campgrounds farther on where he could get water, and having just passed one a few miles down the road (and assuming you could get water there), said there were (noting we didn't know about the water). 

We continued on, eating in Torrey (where we would have stayed the next night, had we not turned back).  Then we continued our drive back home, noting several up-and-down sections where you glide down, then re-climb to the same elevation.  We saw the town of Koosharem from 1,500 feet above, but it was too dark for a picture (and no place to stop). 

We fortunately were alert enough (and going slowly enough) to avoid hitting some deer on the road a bit farther on. 

We continued home uneventfully after that, arriving at about midnight. 

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