Friday, October 28, 2011

From Rifle Falls, Colorado to Hanksville, Utah

I've been trying to decide how much to share with you about our recent trip out West. Having just completed a rather lengthy account of our 2007 Alaska trip, I didn't want to bore you to death with another travelogue. But, of course, you know I can't resist sharing at least some of the highlights.

I've already written about Rifle Falls, Colorado here. That was our first place to do any sightseeing. Our next destination was Hanksville, Utah. Here are a few of the scenery highlights between Rifle and Hanksville.

Taken through the windshield between Rifle and Grand Junction, Colorado

Near Palisade, Colorado

The following pictures represent some of the scenery along Utah Highway 24, southbound from Interstate 70, en route to Hanksville.



This scenic pullout had these vertical posts, topped by small hollow horizontal pipes. Most of the posts had small signs on them with the names of some of the distant buttes. Not being the sharpest knives in the drawer, it took us awhile to figure out that, if we looked through the small hollow pipes, our eye was guided to a specific point on the horizon; and the sign on the post gave us the name of the butte that we were seeing. Pretty nifty, huh? Of course, some of those posts were a little too tall for us. The clever person who came up with the idea should have included a rock for vertically challenged people like us to stand on.

Whispering Sands Motel in Hanksville

Hanksville was a bit of a disappointment. We had booked a room at the Whispering Sands Motel for four days, planning to take our time in touring the area. But we found this tiny town all but abandoned. Our motel, pictured above, appeared to be the only motel in town still in operation. Our room was on the upper floor of the two-story building. The room itself was okay, but the town was depressing. We had seen a number of abandoned cars at the edge of town, and there were lots of abandoned and rotting buildings in the town itself. For restaurants, there were two burger joints and one sit-down restaurant that was operated in conjunction with an RV park.

As we sat in our room that first night, looking at our options and reworking our schedule, we decided that we could do a loop drive the next day that would include a visit to Canyonlands. Then, on the following day, we could visit Capitol Reef and stay that night in Torrey, Utah. Thus, we would be able to get by with only two nights in Hanksville. Our spirits lifted at that thought.


  1. Making a base is always what I like to do, the day trips can be fun. When I went overseas last I based out of Germany and had my friend drop me at the train station every day.I saw 8 countries in 3 months. It does look a bit desolate. The hills change color with the sun moving which is fun, it did that when I stay at the Badlands. I like that Pallisades shot best.I do like to take a electric fry pan with me just to make a few meals, in case the eateries aren't so good.

  2. I like 'vertically challenged' lol
    I think I might qualify for that description too! The photo's are just wonderful, they look like film sets :o)

  3. Beautiful scenery for sure but that motel does indeed look depressing. They weren't kidding about the sands part.

  4. Isn't it amazing what nature can sculpt using only air and water? Some of those vistas must be jaw-droppers. Looking forward to reading about and seeing more of the trip.

  5. Steve - The southern half of Utah is pretty barren, but it's absolutely gorgeous. What you said about the rocks changing color is so true. Even an electric skillet wouldn't have helped us in Hanksville. The only market didn't have much in the way of groceries.

    Deborah - That termm didn't originate with me, but I'm glad you liked it. I believe many a western movie was filmed in Utah, so it's no wonder you thought the scenes looked like film sets.

    Hilary - The motel really wasn't too bad, but the area was depressing. I should have known you'd pick up on the "sands" reference. :)

    Frank - We did see some jaw-dropping views on this trip. There is such a diversity of scenery in North America, and all of it beautiful in its own way.

  6. Such a beautiful part of the country. Sorry that town and hotel was a bust. I hope you do post more. I want to hear how the Colorado River was! :)

  7. Minha querida,muito obrigado pelo conforto e pelas palavras carinhosas.Adorei tua visita ao meu blog.Até mais e um grande abraço.

  8. Elizabeth - I'll definitely be posting more, including the river float trip. :)

    Suzane - Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Communication may be difficult, even with the Google Translator, but it will be fun trying. :)

    For anyone else reading these comments, here is how Google Translator translated Suzane's comment: "My dear, thanks for the comfort and the words carinhosas. Adorei your visit to my blog. Até more and a big hug."

    As you can see, it's not a perfect solution, but it does help.


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