Journal and photos of our travels in the West.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Torrey, Utah

This is my favorite town in Utah. Just west of Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey is at a much higher altitude than the east end of the park, and is surrounded by mountains and red cliffs. The higher altitude gives Torrey a much milder climate in the summer, and is blessed with higher rainfall than the lower altitudes, which are desert. (Note the stone cabin, in the Caineville badlands, east of the park.
The streets are lined with trees, many in bloom right now. An acequia runs along the main road, then angles up toward Boulder Mountain, right through the property of the robber's Roost coffee gallery and bookstore. Presided over by Judi, an ex-New Yorker, the shop is a pleasant place to sip an espresso and look at the artwork. Judi liked my picture of Black Mesa so much that she asked to hang it in the gallery...for sale, of course.

I have been to this area countless times since Nancy and I came here on our honeymoon in 1998, and all of it, from Hite crossing to Hanksville to Torrey to Boulder to Escalante will never lose its appeal or enchantment for me.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bluff, Utah
Nancy is driving her car to San Francisco, hell-bent to see our new place. She will be there tonight.
I am taking the scenic route, through southern Utah and Nevada. this morning I am in Bluff, Utah, in the southeastern corner. Many years ago, Brigham Young, fearing that the Gentiles might get a foothold in this part of Zion, sent his people to settle the area. There were of course no roads then, and the Mormon pioneers had to ford the Colorado and make dugways down cliff faces so that they could get their wagons through. They settled in a protected valley next to the San Juan river, and named their town Bluff, for an obvious reason.

Looks like the gentiles are making their move, however. The small town now sports a second espresso place; what's more, the coffee is good. River rafting has been big industry for a number of years here, and increasingly, 4-wheelers and their kind are exploring the back roads, rediscovering the multitude of ruins in the nearby Comb Ridge. I call this phenomenon "Moabification"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Adios, Ortiz Mountains

Having lived for four years in Santa Fe, it is time to search once again for gainful employment, which is hard to find in Santa Fe. So, we pack up and head to the Bay Area, and our new lives there. These mountains, one of 7 mountain ranges visible from our home, have been a theatre of form and light. We will miss the high desert, but not the winters. This last one was brutal!