Utah … where I’ll be camping at various southeast locations in the state this coming week. NOTE: If you can avoid Interstate 15 between Salt Lake City and Spanish Fork, do it! The traffic was unbelievable the evening I arrived in Salt Lake City and crazy busy the next morning when leaving the Lehi area.
I wanted to complete my daily eBird checklist so I headed to an area near the Provo Airport, except the road was closed due to construction. So much townhome and road construction. This area of Utah is growing very fast and seemingly with little concern about water. The Great Salt Lake is currently having issues, as are Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
Get away from the cities …
I drove US 6 East; it is a beautiful drive with colorful deciduous tree leaves off in the distance. The railroad carrying coal cars parallels the road much of the way and windmills are within mountain passes. There are oncoming cars so I appreciated the passing lane sections so I could leapfrog various slow campers. Finally at a rest area I saw 2 common ravens and they were entered for my daily bird checklist!
The mountainous colorful area I enjoyed was till Helper, Utah. Then the landscape changed dramatically! On the east side, flat, brown, sagebrush lands with no vegetation on the rolling land. If you take the right-hand turn off US 6 East, as I did, it sends everyone toward Arches and Canyonlands National Parks where the landscape changes to red rock. I was listening to an audiobook, Downriver, by Heather Hansman as she spoke about her 700 mile rafting trip on the Green River. Soon I found myself driving over the Green River, then the Colorado River, and thinking about water issues in the southwest.
I stopped at a Nature Conservancy property: Scott and Norma Matheson Wetlands Preserve in northwest Moab. The preserve road was closed. It looks like a nice area bordering the Colorado River. I drove further down the road to check out campsites along the river. Within the canyon walls the air temperature increased at least 4 degrees from 86 to 90 degrees. The Kings Canyon campground was full. The Moab Rim Trail looked like a challenge for the OHV’s.
My stop in Moab was to buy groceries, ice and gas. No other large towns in the area this week, so I am prepared to enjoy my time in the national forests and at the national monuments. Just over an hour’s drive further south, I arrive at my campsite, cook dinner, walk the campground, view the rising moon and look forward to visiting Bears Ears National Monument.
The moon is bright and full. We are enjoying our 4th successive supermoon of 2023!