Thursday, August 14, 2014

Telluride Plein Air ~ Homeward through Silverton & Bryce Canyon

Starting homeward day, a bitter sweet air floats in the breeze today. We start on our trip home, leaving my beloved T-ride. Yet our travels in the westerly direction hold adventures too. So, off we go.

Because I'd left my favorite and best gortex coat in the classroom in Ouray ... we were leaving via Ouray. But as you can see from the sketch, going over the Red Mountain Pass is thrilling! Not only the colors of mineralized landscape, waterfalls and
mining remnants, but the views too as we head to Silverton. Touring the streets there provided smiles at the charming ole' town and the bustle of the summer months. After lunching in Durango, we start into desert landscape. Long stretches of emptiness, broken with Indian Reservations, unusual rock formations and a sand-pelting
wind. Our attempt to stop at the Four Corners ($8 per person entry fee) was discouraged by that wind, 100 degree temperatures and a very long line to just stand in the four different states at once. We overnight-ed in the eerie town of Page.

Next day we reach Bryce Canyon mid-day. Rock shapes become magical and color drenched! We locate and check into our KOA Campground 20 minutes from Bryce, where we'd reserved a tiny cabin. Charming and very, very small, the cabin also had no AC nor cross ventilation. Cody was suffering and, I have to admit, we were too in the 100 degree, sun-drenched temps. So we launch off to find a nearby (well, we got lost so it wasn't so near) reservoir for a dunk! As the sun began to set we head back to the Bryce Canyon Park for the sunset. Absolutely magnificent! ABSOLUTELY!!! Even Roland said it brought tears to his eyes - the unimaginable beauty! We are impressed!!! We dinner-ed at a restaurant where the waiter was the chef and old, found relics were all over the wall - - a taste of local color for sure!!

Next day we are up early for the magnificent Bryce Canyon sunrise (wow! again) and return to our lil' cabin. As the heat rises, we find we are so uncomfortable we make a decision to leave and seek a cooler climate. I'd researched the Highway 12, headed north and a tad east and we found it fascinating. Such diverse country - - first we travel across colorful, solid rock undulations that roll together like "silly puddy" (remember Silly Puddy?), then after lovely, green-stretching agriculture fields we begin to climb. I'm in heaven - - high country with groves of my Aspen friends and free range cattle!! Gradually we curve down into a wide valley of horses and lush fields - - the quiet town of Torrey. We find an air-conditioned hotel with this bucolic view out our back window and picturesque sandstone ridges around us. We'd "arrived" - - so much for us ever being desert rats!!

The double page spread exemplifies one of my very favorite journaling exercises: linking together two images across the center, spiral binding of the journal. And this illustration gives you a sneak preview into our last rubbing shoulders with the monumental red rock formations of Utah, Capitol Reef. Another mesmerizing spot amongst Mother Nature's gifts.

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