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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Hanksville Loop

Having decided to cut short our stay in Hanksville, Utah during our recent trip West, we had laid out a pretty agressive agenda for ourselves during our one full day in the area. That agenda called for us to drive a 400-mile loop drive, which took us through some amazing scenery and included visits to various national lands.

It was an absolutely gorgeous drive.

IMG_3268_Along_Utah_Hwy_95_SE_of_Hanksville
This is the sort of scenery that we drove through as we headed south on Utah Highway 95.

IMG_3279_Glen_Canyon_National_Recreation_Area
Our route took us through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, pictured above.

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is just amazingly beautiful, with Lake Powell and the gorgeous red rock walls of the canyon. We met a couple from Austria there, who were touring Utah in a rented motorhome. They were shy about speaking English, but they both did very well. They told us that what they found most remarkable was the vastness of the countryside. They described the size of Austria, then held out their arms to indicate the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where we were standing, and said "Our whole COUNTRY could fit here."

IMG_3280_Glen_Canyon_National_Recreation_Area
More of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

IMG_3290_Lake_Powell_Glen_Canyon_National_Recreation_Area
Part of Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Natural Bridges National Monument was also on this loop drive. Following are some pictures from that area.

IMG_3296_Sipapu_Bridge_at_Natural_Bridges_National_Monument
Above is a picture of the Sipapu Bridge. Natural bridges can sometimes be hard to see. This one is almost smack in the center of the photograph.

As a side note, the choice of terms, between "bridge" and "arch," appears to be somewhat arbitrary. The Natural Arch and Bridge Society identifies a bridge as a subtype of arch that is primarily water-formed and flat on top. Using that definition, we've seen some "bridges" that probably should be called "arches" and vice versa. In the Natural Bridges National Monument, all of them are called "bridges."

IMG_3302_Kachina_Bridge_at_Natural_Bridges_National_Monument
Kachina Bridge

IMG_3301_At_Kachina_Bridge_at_Natural_Bridges_National_Monument
There are no bridges in the above photo, so don't strain your eyes looking for one. This was taken at the overlook for the Kachina Bridge, and the bridge itself is out of the picture, to the right. This was just such a pretty scene I couldn't leave it out.

IMG_3303_Owachomo_Bridge_at_Natural_Bridges_National_Monument
Owachomo Bridge (slightly above center in the photo)

Remember, this was a 400-mile loop drive, and there was a lot to see. Rather than wear you out by trying to show you too much in one post, I'll continue the story on another day.

6 comments:

  1. Stunning scenery Linda. Such a beautiful area.

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  2. That's a long trip for one day, a very beautiful area

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  3. Elizabeth - I had to laugh at your comment, wondering whether you were referring to my travelogue or to Lake Powell. :)

    Thanks, Keith. It IS a beautiful area. You and your camera would love it. :)

    Steve - We failed to notice how many miles we would have to cover in one day when we planned that loop drive. It truly is a beautiful area, and we had to eliminate some planned activities in order to complete the loop in the time we had allotted for it.

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  4. Unbelievably beautiful scenery, Linda. How could you pull yourselves away from any one spot?

    I'm chuckling over your reply to Elizabeth. Your travelogues are wonderful.. you need not worry. :)

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  5. Hilary - It is so beautiful out there, everywhere you look. But we had to keep moving because we wanted to see as much as we could while we were in that part of the country. Thanks for the kind words about my travelogues. :)

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