Our amazing drive along Utah's Scenic Byways on September 22 ended with a breathtaking ride along the Mt. Carmel Highway - the winding road that starts at the East Entrance to Zion National Park. We enjoyed views of massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky as the sun set before us.
As Richard packed up the car on the morning of September 21, Nancy found a quiet bench outside our hotel to have a coaching call. As she wrapped it up she noticed a middle-aged couple packing their copper Harley Davidson touring bike - talk about traveling light. “Would it be weird to say that’s the most beautiful motorcycle I’ve ever seen?” Nancy asked the wife. “Not at all! That’s why I bought it for his last birthday!” A lively conversation - safely distanced - followed and, before it was over, our planned route from Arches to Zion would avoid the interstate and instead follow Utah’s State Routes 24 and 12 - arguably two of the most picturesque roads in the country.
Still on a high from our unplanned tour of Mesa Verde National Park, we got back on the road on the afternoon of September 21, 2020, and headed for our planned destination - Arches National Park in Utah. The Mesa Verde visit set us up for a perfect arrival time at Arches - it was just after 5:00 pm and the sun was bathing the amazing rock formations in striking afternoon shadows. We set a strategy to drive through the park, stop at just about every lookout, snap some photos, and stand in awe of the unique and sometimes whimsical terrain that typifies this place.
On September 21, 2020, we headed out of Santa Fe bound for Arches National Park in Utah. The sun, shrouded in wispy clouds, rose from behind the mountains as we headed north on US 84. Every 10 or 20 miles we encountered a different landscape: scrub desert replaced with verdant rolling pastures, the mountains in the distance a beautiful constant. A couple of hours into the drive we were almost to the Colorado border and there was little sign of civilization, cell service was spotty, and it was getting well past breakfast time. We took a chance at the tiny roadside "Fina's Diner" in Chama NM, and we were rewarded with hearty biscuit breakfast sandwiches to go.
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Nancy McCabe &