Our long day of driving between parks continued, until we paused at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center. This place was marvelous. Awesome exhibits and neat interpretation on the biology of the region, including a ton about cryptobiotic crusts. Way cool.
Also this guy was out front, so that’s awesome.
The views on our drive through the National Monument were fantastic as well. So much land stretched out before us, and so much open sky.
At Capitol Reef we decided to take the Hickman Bridge trail, about two miles roundtrip. Hiking in the full sun over slickrock was very hot, but the arch was really neat, and the scenery equally fabulous. We saw some cryptobiotic crust, some lizards, and some lovely wildflowers to round out the afternoon.
On our way out of the park we stopped at the site of some petroglyphs. The boardwalk to the viewpoint was under some cottonwood trees, and was completely covered in cute fuzzy caterpillars. Watch your step!
My photos didn’t turn out great, but the petroglyphs were incredible. So important to remember the people here before and the stories they carry with them.
That evening, we (Clare) drove and drove and drove and finally made it to Moab, where we blessedly found a restaurant, Miguel’s Baja Grill, still willing to serve us despite it being so close to closing time. Highly recommend their friendly staff, and the delicious enchiladas and guacamole.
On to Arches!