The Pioneer Loop. Day 9: Utah Rocks.

28 September 2018.

(Location: Jacob Lake, Arizona to Torrey, Utah)

Got up a little bit earlier today, as we have to pack up and because we will lose an hour travelling back into Utah. Breakfast was taken, as usual by now, in the restaurant (‘Fry Two’ and ‘Bacon and Two’) and then I returned to the room to pack while Andrew cleaned the car windows properly with the Rainex cleaner. I also had some time to sit on the patio and admire the trees, as well as a little Canyon Jay that popped over to say hi. No photo, of course… It seems (and is) peaceful, but it is so quiet that you realise that there is a constant white noise of wind in the trees, which ebbs and flows in volume depending on where the movement is.

Too soon it was time to load up the car and move on. We have gained a hold-all, a grocery box and two rucksacks, by virtue of ‘load spreading’ since we landed! We headed north up US-89A, through Kanab and towards Mt Carmel Junction. It has been a long time since we drove north on this road (we usually head south). If anything, I think the scenery is even better in this direction.

After a brief stop for coffee at Mr Carmel Junction, we continued up to Panguitch where we got fuel. It has an old west look to the town which I like.

From Panguitch we continued north and then followed the Sevier River until we turned east towards Capitol Reef. We stopped in Koosharem at the Koosharem Cafe for a late lunch and signed their guest book. They have had visitors from across North America, Europe, from Singapore, India and even Alice Springs – just in the last month!

The drive was increasingly scenic as we approach Torrey and the Park.

We stopped at the visitor centre and then did the scenic drive, stopping at every possible stopping point to take lots of photos, and taking ‘drive-by’ shots in between.

We had been going to go to Panorama Point after that, but cloud had gathered and so the sun was no longer illuminating the cliffs, so instead we proceeded to our hotel to check in. A nice room with a view, this time upstairs, so hopefully we won’t be hearing elephants overhead tonight. We had passed quite a few classic cars on route, and there was even one at our hotel. (Editor’s note: regular readers may recall that we saw a lot of them in Hanksville a few years ago, which is only just down the road, so maybe this is an annual thing?).

We went for Mexican food at the adjacent restaurant, La Cueva, which we thought would make a change from burgers/grilled sandwiches/fries that have made up food for the last few days. Plus it was just a short walk and anything else would involve driving again. Good food, although a bit slow due to a staff shortage, but very friendly.

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