Wednesday, August 24, 2011

THE Trip, Driving the La Sal Mountain Loop, Manti-La Sal National Forest

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

After lunch, Man and I climbed back into Big Butt and headed up the mountain, driving into the Manti-La Sal National Forest.  This is one of the first signs we see, followed by signs that also said, "Slide Area", "Steep Grades", you know, normal stuff when you are driving around mountain sides.  In about 2 minutes of drive time we climbed over 250 in elevation.  Yep, we were surely going UP!  This next photo was taken at 7,356 feet.  You might recognize some of the formations from yesterday's post.  But, we were closer to them yesterday!  LOL

Not far up the road, we made a turn, and everything changes, the red is gone, green and grays are in.

And, this lovely stand of trees, so close to the road, elevation 8,332, the outdoor temperature was now 48 degrees.  This was about as high as we would get on today's ride.

Every time we round a corner the views change, finally had to stop and try to capture it all with a panoramic,

Below:  Stunning, even with the clouds behind all that snow on the mountain.

Our descent was filled with wondrous views as well, but the sun was blinding and Sony and I could not capture the beauty real well.  Got some good glare tho!  LOL

The descent was very steep in places, and quite curvy, Man took it nice and slow so I could hold on to Sony and not be totally white knuckled.   (You know that it was ole Carol that was on the outside looking over the long drop offs with just a foot or two from the side of the road to the D*R*O*P*O*F*F! )  This photo only partially captures how steep the roadway was.

Below:  As you can see from this photo, there was some haze going on.  This is looking down at southern Moab, we are still up a ways in the mountains.

It was somewhere along in here that I missed a photo op of the only wild cat we saw the entire 8.5 months of THE Trip.  It ran from the left side of the road to the right side and up a hill so fast you barely caught sight of him, or her.  It was a large cat, maybe a cougar.  Not real sure, about all I saw was a flash of movement, size, as in LARGE, buff color, and the tail disappearing behind the rocks.  Ahhh, for the missed opportunities, one of the few regrets of THE Trip.

And, it is still a LONG way back to Moab, but, I keep taking photos, 'cause it is sooooo beautiful.  And, way, way, way off in the distance, another snow covered mountain, sorry, I cannot tell you the name.

Another panoramic of the La Sal Mountains:

Any number of these hair pin turns to "entertain" us.  Steep too!

If you look close in the following photo, you can just see a body of water, doesn't that blue look wonderful?

Said it before, will say it again and again for weeks to come, the contrasts, textures, colors, size, shapes, leave me stuttering, WOW, again and again.



Barbara Poole said...

Love your last photo, and I can hear you reliving it as you go down the hills.

~Tracie~ said...

Did you get a chance to take the Skyline drive in the Manti La Sals? It too is a beautiful drive :) I'm Blessed to live in a beautiful Mountain Valley just outside of Manti and I never tire of the beauty that surrounds me here. I'm enjoying reading your journey and look forward to your next post.