Sunday, September 23, 2012

On the Road: Moab, Utah, to Beaver, Utah

Sunday, September 23, 2012.

Our destination today is Las Vegas, but it is too far to go in a single day, at least for me. So, we are going halfway today.

Our 236 mile route

We left the Moab RV park where we have stayed for the past week around 7:30 this morning. We headed north on US 191 from Moab, passing the entrance to Arches National Park and the cutoff to Canyonlands National Park. After 30 miles, we intersected with Interstate 70 and headed west along a fairly level plateau. Although we had not gone far, we stopped in Green River for gas. After Green River, there are no other services for over 100 miles, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of gas.

Green River gets its name from the river that runs through it. This is the same river that runs through Canyonlands National Park, carving those deep and colorful canyons in that park. The town is not attractive, but it has plenty of lodging options and eateries for long distance travelers passing through. After all, there aren't many places to stop on this lonely stretch of road.

Just west of Green River, the scenery changes at a place called San Rafael Reef, a 30-mile long sandstone wall. At this point, the interstate begins winding through narrow canyons, up and down hills.

The interstate cuts through a narrow cut in the San Rafael Reef

The San Rafael Reef, looking south
Black Dragon Canyon, just west of the San Rafael Reef

As we neared Salina, the land became very mountainous with long up and down grades. At its summit, the road reached a height of nearly 7900 feet. The trees in upper elevations and along the creeks were showing good color.

I snapped this picture while driving, but was able to pick up some of the color in the high country. The picture does not do justice to the color we saw along the roads.

At Salina, we entered a productive farm valley running north to south. We followed this through Richfield, where we stopped for more gasoline. Richfield is a very attractive town with neat city streets and a variety of businesses and lodging and eating for travelers.

Just south of Richfield, the road turned west through another mountain range before merging with Interstate 15 and our final stretch of 20 miles leading to Beaver.

Although we really didn't travel far today, it was a long drive. On many of the long up grades, I was able to go only 40 mph or so, and there were several sections of construction along the route. It was good to finally reach our destination for the night.

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