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I’m continuing with the saga of my 2006 road trip, now arriving in Capitol Reef.  I mentioned that there were three days of massive rain storms while I was in Salt Lake City.  These storms affected the next week of my trip, for better and for worse.

One of the better affects was that there was water in places it normally isn’t.  And one of the worse affects was that there was water in places it normally isn’t.

In the “better” column was the fact that the water brought out wildlife not normally seen in the desert, like this frog.

In the “worse” column was what it did to the roads.  I mentioned in a previous post how much I love driving the back roads, and especially dirt back roads, because of the unique photo ops to be found there.  Note this road sign:

“4 Wheel Drive” was an understatement.  The sign should’ve read “Amphibious Vehicle Required.”

I had dutifully gotten up at zero-dark-thirty and taken off in search of early morning photo ops in the backcountry when I stopped here.  It’s hard to tell from this image, but I’m standing in the middle of the road, and the road continues on the other side of the…river?  Who put this river in the middle of my road?  I’ve got places to go, things to see, stuff to shoot…well, I guess this IS the photo-op for the day.

This image shows how high the river crested at maximum flood stage.  The water had actually receded quite a bit during the last day or two.  Can you make out the tire tracks where the road continues on the far bank?

These images prove that one needs to be both cautious and flexible when driving off the beaten track.  While I do have a high-clearance, 4WD SUV, I did not feel comfortable fording this river with the huge rocks on both banks and who-knows-what under the water.

Well, there are worse places to get “stuck” during beautiful morning light, so I decided to take advantage of the scenery.  Tomorrow:  “Plan B.”

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