US Trip 2018 – Day 11 – The scenic route

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The route this day took us from Blanding to Bryce Canyon, via Capitol Reef and Scenic Byway 12. Another day on roads with very few caches, but with beautiful scenery.

Approximate time on road/out caching:  13 hours, 45 minutes
Total miles driven: 298.4 mi / 480,2 km
Total cahes found: 12
Total DNF: 1
States visited: Utah
Famous places visited: Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park
Most memorable cache: GC7E4C The Hoodoo that you do so well
Biggest surprise: The depth of the mud we drove onto outside Capitol Reef
Weather: Sunny, overcast, rain
Highest temperature: 22,8°C / 73°F
Lowest temperature: 16,1°C / 61°F

He was still there

Yesterday, we had to take a cache with us due to a drunk muggle that decided to spend the night right next to the cache (he arrived while we signed it). After breakfast and check out, we went back to replace it. He was still there! But luckily for us, he didn’t see us, so we managed to replace the cache without him noticing.

We started the day with a DNF on GC32ZVK After School Special #1, which usually mean that we will end up with a lot of DNF the rest of the day. But somehow we didn’t. This was the only one.

Cliff dwellings

We had much better luck with the next cache, GC1848Q Utah GeoTour-San Juan-Butler Ruins, and the earthcache at the overlook for the ruins.

GCHHXC Mule Canyon brought us to another type of ruins. Lots of history in this region!

Getting stuck, almost

When we got closer to Capitol Reef, we decided to take advantage of the nice car we had, and find the cache GC55VCW On The Way to Mars. The car got a bit dirty, but that was about it. It was when we tried to find another cache nearby that things didn’t go exactly as we intended…

We learned later in the day that the area had received almost the yearly average rainfall during the last day alone. That explains this… (Yes, this was a road, look at the sign)

A fruitful stop

We stopped for one more cache, before it was time to drive through Capitol Reef. We stopped for some fruit, as we always do when driving through here. Apples this time.

The scenic route to Bryce

We took Scenic Byway 12 from Torrey to Bryce, a road we’ve driven many times before. We did stop at a couple caches, but it was mostly just driving. But we had to stop at our regular stop, Kiva Koffeehouse.

Quick cleanup

The car was full of mud, so we did a quick detour when we arrived in Bryce.

Toughest hike ever

We’ve found most of the caches in Bryce, but there’s one we’ve skipped every time we’ve been here. So today we decided that it was finally time to do GC7E4C The Hoodoo that you do so well.

The descent was rather steep, and it was hard not to think about the return trip back up… Going down might be easy, up, probably not… The positive side was that we were all alone on the Fairyland trail. Not a single muggle anywhere!

We made it down to the cache, and discovered that we had to continue even further down to find anything that could give us the answer we needed.

Then it started, the long way back up. We did not bring any flashlights, because we didn’t plan to spend very long time here (that was incredibly stupid of us). But at least we had water (we weren’t that stupid).

It might be the very long day yesterday, the long drive we had today before we got here, lack of energy (we hadn’t eaten dinner yet), the elevation or the fact that we’re just not that fit 😛 Anyway, the hike up was hard. Very hard. But we made it, with plenty of daylight left. And we got to enjoy the change of colors as the sun set. It was kinda magical.

Was it worth it? I certainly wouldn’t agree then, but now I have to say it was. It always is, in the end.

The restaurant that doesn’t like tourists

After the hike, we were kinda hungry. Hadn’t eaten since forever. So we went to the only place that was open, that didn’t require a reservation. We arrived in good time before closing time, but were met with a grumpy face in the door. Nope, no access there. This was the first, and only, time on this trip that we felt really unwelcome. It’s perfectly okay to not like tourists. But this place exists purely for tourists! So if you don’t like them, you should really find another place to work…

But we know how to make backup plans fast, so we got some microwave food from Ruby’s General Store instead. That wasn’t bad at all 😀 (that could be the hunger speaking)


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