Road To Heaven

FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (16mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO320)

After the storm we woke up to a beautiful morning and left Bryce Canyon for the Arches NP. One of the most beautiful parks in the USA.

If we think of the South West of the USA we mostly think about California. California is great and we love the coast but Utah is breathtaking. There are five national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyon Land. They all boast very different and spectacular landscapes. So it is no surprise that the trip from Bryce Canyon to Arches NP  was one on the most beautiful rides I ever had in my life. We had to clean the windscreen before we continued.

FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (16mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO1250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (35.3mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (22mm, f/9, 1/320 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (34.2mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (24.9mm, f/9, 1/420 sec, ISO160)

For us a vacation in the USA is a road trip. That means we spend a substantial part of our time driving. Usually you drive to get from A to B but if you are in a really beautiful place you drive because you enjoy the ride and the scenery. In the US you usually have two options: the efficient ride on an interstate or the scenic route. The scenic route of course takes much longer but usually it’s rewarding. This is especially true for this road: the scenic byway 12, an amazing piece of road in breathtaking landscapes.

There is one section where the windy road runs straight on a ridge with massive drops on both sides. There are even some warnings but this is the USA. The roads are really wide and as long as you stay on the road you’ll be fine. It is not as scary as some reports make you think it is. Unfortunately it is very hard to take a good picture because there is not too much room beside the road and I didn’t want to stop my massive rental car on the road to get out and take a picture. The image below is the best I managed. You can find great drone videos on youtube.

FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (55mm, f/9, 1/300 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (22mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (18.7mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (20mm, f/9, 1/250 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (55mm, f/9, 1/300 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (26.6mm, f/9, 1/340 sec, ISO160)

This road is just amazing but it’s also a lonely road. Don’t expect too many option regarding your lunch. In such rural areas there is not even a Mc Donalds and they are usually everywhere. The place above with the beautiful coaches is a motel/hotel but their restaurant that I found on my iPhone is not open for lunch.

So wie went on but in Torrey we finally decided to stop for lunch because after Torrey the next option would be Green River another 100 miles away. The only restaurant was Capitol Burger which offered handmade burgers with fries and large pickles. We really tried very hard to avoid to eat burgers every day. In larger cities there are plenty of alternatives we ate in Vietnamese, Thai or Japanese restaurants but “out in the wild” a burger is the only option most of the time. I bought some fridge magnets in the General Store and a cool t-shirt that shows a tent underneath the stars in the wilderness with the title “I sleep around”. I think it’s funny and it should be safe to wear where I live.

FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (51.6mm, f/10, 1/250 sec, ISO400)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (16mm, f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO160)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (55mm, f/8, 1/450 sec, ISO160)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (5.1mm, f/1.6, 1/3000 sec, ISO32)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (37.6mm, f/8, 1/280 sec, ISO160)

This road or better the landscape that passes by is spectacular. This is one of those roads where I wish that I had a small videocamera on my windscreen or on the roof to record the whole ride. Sometimes I see people doing that. A GoPro mounted on the roof of their rental. Maybe I could use my iPhone for that. I would prefer the perspective from the cockpit. Maybe I will get a mount for my phone before the next trip.

We stopped for some rock carvings. If you zoom in on the images above you should see them right in the middle of the frame.

FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (16mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (55mm, f/8, 1/450 sec, ISO160)

For a couple of miles we rode on the interstate 70 that starts in Utah and goes all the way to Maryland. That’s 3.500 km or from Vienna to the North Cap! Just to give you an idea about the dimensions. This is a very big country.

From Green River it’s still a couple of more miles to our final destination of the day: Moab – home of my favourite national park.

FUJIFILM X-Pro3 (55mm, f/8, 1/450 sec, ISO160)