Friday we got the rain we had been anticipating.
Friday evening / Saturday morning there was supposed a be a new meteor shower from the dust of the tail of a comet we have not passed through before. All the predictions said that there should be a lot of meteors. The peak time was supposed to be around 1 am our time. Luckily the skies cleared up enough that I had a pretty good view. Unluckily the predictions were wrong and there were almost no meteors. I saw one that came from the right direction. I stayed up until about 2 am hoping to see something but finally gave up.
Saturday was kind of grey when we finally got up (very late). There were dark clouds all around us most of the day but it never did rain here. We stayed in anyway for another rest day.
Today I wanted to drive the rest of Scenic Highway 12 starting at this end and meeting up with the spot that we had driven down to from Capital Reef National Park.
It was a mix of sun and cloud today. Some very puffy white clouds and some dark ominous ones that sprinkled rain on us a few times. The clouds do make for a more dramatic sky though.
We stopped at the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument visitor’s centers in Cannonville and Escalante to get some brochures and ask questions.
We also stopped at all the viewpoints. The first was called Powell Point for the point that is the top stair in the Grand Staircase.
We went through some more wide open sagebrush country.
And followed this wall for a while.
The next viewpoint was called the Upper Valley Granaries that had some storage containers constructed by the Ancient Puebloans.
They are in the alcove over Jennie’s head.
The skies are still sunny.
I had read about a place called Devil’s Garden that had a large collection of strangely shaped rocks and pillars. It is 10 miles off the highway on a dirt road called Hole in the Rock Road.
Off we go. The clouds are getting darker.
The road was very washboardy. The CR got a good shake. It was also very dusty when car went by. It was a long 10 miles.
Some views on the way in.
One of the busy trailheads
I was a bit worried that Devil’s Garden would be a let down. I had not read about it in any blogs and any info I got just showed a few pictures and said it was a good picnic spot. It turned out to be great with so many wild shapes that once again we have a huge number of pictures.
We first had lunch. When we got there, there were two other cars having lunch. They soon left and we had the place to ourselves for almost an hour. Then more and more people came. By the time we left there were about 7 cars in the parking lot.
Some ominous clouds were coming our way. We got a few drops over the time of our visit but never enough to get wet.
Here is our path amongst the rocks. We did a lot of wandering. From the scale you can see that it is a fairy small area.
Here comes the onslaught of pictures.
This one looked like it had a bunch of people holding it up.
We climbed up on top of some of them and the view was completely different.
We had some company.
I can’t stop. So many interesting shapes.
We followed a path that did a wide loop out to the riverbed and back.
Then of course we went back in for another look.
We finally tore ourselves away and headed the bouncy way back to the highway.
The next viewpoint was called Head of the Rocks.
You could see the highway snake down the ridge.
And head off to the horizon.
The next viewpoint was called Boynton Overlook. The view is down into the Escalante River Canyon and a trailhead.
We headed back up the Hog’s Back section that we had travelled when we came from the north.
When we were here last time we did the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. This time we did the hike to Upper Calf Creek Falls. The turnoff is unmarked but if you know to ask you can get a sheet with instructions at the visitor’s center.
The hike is only 4 km out and back but it is a 600 foot elevation change and it is very steep. By now it was 3:30 pm so we had second thoughts about going, especially after looking down at the steepness of the trail. But we were here so we decided to give it a go.
You can see you it goes almost straight down the elevation contour lines. The GPS said that the max slope was 33%.
On the topo map you can see that the trail forks. One goes to the top of the falls and the other to the bottom.
Down we go. Most of it was down a rock face which was steep but not too slippery.
We came from the top of the ridge straight over Jennie’s head.
We did the section to the top of the falls first.
The view over the lip.
You can see two people at the bottom.
The pool beside Jennie was probably 10 feet deep and I guess is used as a swimming hole in the summer.
Heading down to the bottom.
The first good view is near this overhang. I found out later, from the people at the bottom, that all the greenery here is poison ivy.
I am pretty sure I didn’t touch any.
Down as close as you can get.
Heading back. The top of the ridge looked a long way away.
We took lots of breaks.
Finally, flat ground.
Over the Hog’s Back again.
We got hit with a bit of hard rain as we drove the 60 miles back to the RV. Once we got back close to Bryce we had bright sunshine.
It was after 7 pm when we finally made it back. Another long but great day.