The drive from New Mexico to Wyoming, Part 2: From the campground to my friends house.
On the morning of July 26th, I headed north from Monticello, Utah on Highway 191. Though I had gotten a taste of the beauty of Utah at Mountain View and during a couple of trips when I was younger, I was not prepared for how strongly this area would move me. I feel like it was my maturity and, actually, that I was driving alone, with the ability to stop and admire the view and was not distracted by other people. I have always been one to feel closer to God when I am out in nature, and the wild nature of the West definitely feels like the garden for our Creator. The vast amount of space, the large mountains, the unending sky felt like Heaven for those hours as I drove. Going through the photos and deciding which ones to share brought all that back. I hope that I can share that feeling with all of you.
My first stop on this part of the trip was the Kane Springs Rest Area, where I promptly missed the signs saying no dogs in the main area and walked my dogs around before discovering the pet area. Oops!
Fortunately, neither of the dogs needed to use the restroom since we were still early in the trip, but the area with picnic tables and walkways and trees was a great place to walk with them to get the stiffness out after being in the car.
There was also some information on how important Kane Springs was for the Spanish Trail.
Behind the park area was a large rock hill. Not several rocks built up into a hill, but a single rock sticking out of the ground like a small Stone Mountain. And there were people that were climbing it. I considered climbing it for a moment, then I remembered that I was fifty years old and had two dogs with me. I really did not need to add a trip to the emergency room as part of my trip.
I did not get any pictures of the building or the pet area, but I did get a shot of a wonderful fossil. Tell me how long it has been since you have seen one of these in person?
As I headed up Highway 191 towards Moab, I saw so many more wonderful geological structures. I stopped a few times and got photos and here are a few of them.
Then I came across Wilson's Arch, so I had to stop and rest and take photos. I think the pictures will speak for themselves.
After leaving there, I drove north through the Moab area. When I drove through downtown Moab, I noticed how much of a tourist area it was. There was a lot of charm to it, but my focus was often on trying to avoid the hoards of pedestrians. I have no pictures from this area on my way up to Wyoming, but on my way back, we actually stayed in a campsite just outside of Moab, so I will share that with you later. Past Moab, I had to stop again, so we stopped at the Tie Fork Rest Area. Unfortunately, the interesting part of that rest stop was under construction, so I did not get to see the train engine or other information posted. We did visit the cute little dog park and I did get some photos of a thistle type flower. I will also share some photos of the visitors center, which was made to look like a train station.
By this point we had merged onto Highway 6 and were now headed to my friends place near Prove, Utah, just south of Salt Lake City. I stopped a few times to take photos of the scenery, but not too many times since I was excited to see my friend! I was fascinated, though, by the river and railroad tracks that ran along the highway. The railroad tunnel entrances looked like those from model railroads, so I had to get photos of one of them.
I finally reached my friends house, tired from lack of sleep and hours in the car. We actually spent a quiet evening together, just catching up on old times. I met this friend, Ryan, because she lived in the adjacent duplex to mine. She had her two children who were five and two at the time. She moved out before I adopted my boys, but our friendship continued and our children also got along well. Ryan is an amazing, strong, beautiful woman who I admire greatly. We may go months without talking, but once we are back together, it's like no time has passed at all. That evening, we walked around her apartment complex and I took some photos of the sunset and the mountains in the distance. I really do hope to visit her again sometime to spend longer with her and also to meet her precious grand daughter.