POSTCARDS FROM UTAH
September is a near-perfect month for travel in the west. The weather leans to the dry side, the heat can be made comfortable in shade, and campsites are usually available. In the high country aspens spread golden swatches across hillsides, and, later in the month, first dusting of snows can provide stunning color contrasts.
This year we planned to spend our summer at home in the mountains: Judy hiked weekly with other mountain ladies and Hughes biked often; we enjoyed neighborhood potlucks and Judy competed in several local races; Hughes made music and we both volunteered at the town movies and carousel. We found lots of time for reading and playing bridge. We had visits with friends from our winter retreat in Tucson. It was as nice a summer as we’ve had in years. We did not travel, but instead relaxed with our neighbors and enjoyed the beauty of the mountains without the fuss and stresses of traveling.
All this was prelude to our anticipated month-long road trip through Utah in September. Our primary destinations were southwestern Utah where Judy ran in the Red Rock Relay, and for us both to return to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab to volunteer with the animals. We would go other places, but not on any schedule. We had the whole month. On September 4, we packed the RV with dogs, food, and summer clothes, stowed the bikes on the back of the little red toad and hitched it to the back of the RV, and set out for what turned out to be a terrific month in Utah.
We drove I-70 west to I-15 with overnight stops at Highline State Park in Loma (Colorado) and Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe (near Richfield) to Cedar City, near the beginning of the Red Rock Relay. We camped overnight at the race start at Brian Head Ski Resort and while Judy and her team, “Osteo-Ferocious,” were running for 32 hours in the desert heat, Hughes and the dogs kept cool in the shade of the Willowind RV Park in Hurricane, not far from the race finish in Springdale. From the end of the race we drove through Zion National Park to Kanab, home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, where we spent the next nine days.
From Kanab, we drove to Page (Arizona) for two days; north to Valley of the Gods near Bluff; further north to Moab and Arches National Park; we returned to Colorado for a night at Highline State Park and then south to Delta; further south to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and north to Carbondale before returning home at the end of the month.
In over three weeks we passed from blistering summer heat through the balmy days of early autumn with snow in the high country dusting the ground above timberline. Arriving home at 8500’, the aspens were at their glorious peak, splashing the hillsides with gold and rust amid the evergreens. It’s been a beautiful fall, one of the best in our memories.
There was so much to see—so much we want to remember—that we packed more photos into this letter, and less reading. We hope you enjoy these postcards from Utah.