Cross-Country Trip, Day Four: From Tropic, UT to Blanding, UT

More driving through the vast landscapes of southern Utah...

En route to Capital Reef National Park, we drove along/through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; it was
pretty impressive, and would probably make a bigger impact if not for the fact that it is surrounded by some of the most
amazing creations on the continent.

A view down at a switchback we would be driving down just a few minutes after this photo was taken...

Just below this view there was a single solitary house...what a crazy place to live.  Nothing but crazy rock formations
for miles in every direction.

Capital Reef National Park

The beginning of the vast Capital Reef, a park we only managed to scratch the surface of. 

A goosenecking river, running low in the winter but surely flush with water during the spring melt...

A close-up of interesting formations on the rock surfaces caused by the wind. 

Capital Reef had one of the clearest deliniations between the different rock strata of any of the parks I've ever been to.

Look closely - petroglyphs!!!

I think this was the first house built in the area, just a one-room, dirt-floor shack.   If this were in the Bay Area it would
probably sell for $750K as a "fixer-upper". 

Driving along the lonely highways of a very desolate landscape. 

A gas station literally built into the side of a rock mountain.  I even went inside to use the bathroom and the walls were all
chiseled out rock. 

During the two plus hour drive between Capital Reef and Natural Bridges National Park, we probably didn't pass more
than a half-dozen cars.  I've never experienced desolation like that in my life. 

Natural Bridges National Monument

Look closely, you'll see the natural bridge.  There were three in the park, and it was pretty neat, but overall this park was
a little underwhelming.  Probably a combination of having some other very impressive sights the last few days, and being
so far from the actual natural bridges without undertaking a decent hike. 

The second bridge.  Since it was the late afternoon the light wasn't being particularly cooperative with producing
decent photos of the formations.

Not a natural bridge. 

The third bridge, and the most easily accesible one. 

We hiked down close to it - the photo really distorts the actual scale of this bridge...this thing in actuality was probably
at least a 100 feet high or thereabouts.  Since we could easily get close to it, obviously this was the most impressive
of the bunch.