Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grosvener Arch

Sunday we drove to Grosvener Arch, about 12 miles south of Kodachrome on an unimproved dirt road. The Cottonwood Road was built in the 1960s when power lines were run from the Glen Canyon Dam north to this part of Utah. It is impassable when wet and a real washboard when dry. Many tourists see the road on maps and think it is a quick way to reach Page, AZ, and the Grand Canyon. It may be the short route, but the maximum possible speed is 20 mph, meaning it takes at least two hours to drive the 40 miles.

Grosvener Arch is quite impressive. We were surprised at the number of cars that drove up to view the arch as we ate our picnic lunch. We enjoyed sharing our meal with a friendly Scrub Jay.

For years we have enjoyed the desert southwest, making numerous visits to Taos and Santa Fe, Canon City, Mesa Verde and Utah over the years. This year we are able to spend eight to 10 weeks in this environment and really get to know its beauty. There is sage brush everywhere, as well as Rabbit Bush, Utah Juniper and Pinon Pine. Most of the stone outcroppings here are tan and white, with a sprinkling of pale red. In other areas, there is more dark red and purple colored rock. The country doesn't have the rich greens of eastern forests, or the towering pines of mountain areas. But it is beautiful with its muted colors.

We saw miles of sage and stone landscape as we drove up and down Cottonwood Road. The longer we drove, the more we appreciated the beauty of the landscape. After we left Kodachrome, we only saw one building—an outhouse at the picnic area by Grosvener Arch. It is truly remote country. What a pleasure to be able to get to know it a little in our time here.

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