Well, the trip was getting decidedly interesting, but there was much more in store. We reached a pull-over with a vista and several monuments and took the opportunity to stop, get out and stretch our legs. Of course, I had the camera around my neck, so pictures happened here too.

The spot to stop was chosen because we wanted to look at some roadside flowers we had been seeing and they were here in abundance. We didn’t know them, but a picture is the first step to identification:

unknown wild plant

Do you recognize this plant? We don’t and we would like to know more about it.

So far, no amount of web search has turned up any information. I shall have to put off further search to another time.

When we managed to look around at what else was there, we found it to be very interesting, historically. The site of the viewing area was dedicated to the coal industry in Utah. Several of the monuments were tributes to the lives lost in various mine disasters which brought back memories of all the same issues in Kentucky when I lived there. At the lowest point in the surrounding area is a coal-fired power plant, barely showing, and trying to make its environmentally awful smoke plume (behind the outside end of the mega road cut in the next picture) look innocuous.

coal-fired plant

95% of the power in Utah is generated by coal. A very dirty business indeed.

The trucks coming through the road cut below show you the hole the Utah Dept. of Transportation had to make in that mountain to accommodate our route. The smoke from the power plant is barely visible over it on the extreme left. In front, the pile of totaled road barrels lying in the sun like an elephant graveyard, made me wonder, until we had completed the Utah leg of our journey and passed the thousands more of them marking the lanes of the massive resurfacing job that was going on. If these few are all that have perished, they are doing very well indeed.

ruined highway marker barrels

Where old highway work marker barrels go when they die – plus another fantastic road cut.

Meanwhile, back to the trip – a short way further and we had to stop to marvel at this rest area that had its amenities powered by solar energy:

solar collectors for rest area

I would have thought no power lines would be needed to mar the view

As we move on down the road, I’m aware that it is only just past noon and it seems that we have seen the wonders of the world already. What more can there be?

Well…

rock layers exposed

dramatic exposure of hard and soft layers that look as if someone was sculpting an ante-bellum skirt

and…

red rock outcrops

It’s hard to believe wind and rain did this instead of some inspired terracotta artist.

There was much more, too, before we got to Price, but even the Internet has limits! More on special request – or maybe I should put the lot into my Flickr account. If I do y’all will be the first to know.

Onward…

Finally, we make it to Price, UT, halfway between Orem and our crossing into a corner of Colorado on the way to our bed-for-the-night in Albuquerque. I look at my watch and am astounded that it’s only 2:30 p.m. on our third day! But the wonders had not ceased, yet. On the outskirts of Price, I spotted this mountain (how could I not!) and saw that it was a visual definition of what the “tree line” is.

mountain exhibiting the concept of tree line

Such a clear example of the concept of tree line – too cold, dry and steep up there, even for trees!

But, then I looked up and behold!

dramatic cloud over the mountain

Here was the real drama – a decorator cloud!

 

Stay tuned for “the rest of the story” to see what we saw before we got to Albuquerque.

 

 

Print Friendly