Highway 12 Scenic Byway

Yesterday we took the Highway 12 Scenic Byway, from Torrey to Escalante. We’ve driven it before, but this time we went really slow. The birch leaves were turning and everything glowed yellow, orange, green. We stopped a often, took lots of pictures, no arguments to be seen. Except maybe over what was the prettiest sight -- around every curve was a new and stunning view.

We had a nice late breakfast at the Kiva Koffeehouse, which is a little place out all on it’s own that has healthy food and coffee and you can take in this view.

We had a hike planned, to see the upper falls at Calf Creek. We’ve hiked to the lower falls at Calf Creek  four times before, which is always a great hike (you might see turkeys and for sure will see a waterfall and if you look closely you’ll see some petroglyphs). Now it seemed like time to find the upper falls, which are more hidden. We asked the woman at the Kiva about the trail. She looked at us, dubious about whether us old folk could handle the hike, then gave us directions for the faded trail we might be able to find.

We started our hike, but this storm was blowing in. The birch leaves were shimmying and making a fine sound. We went back and waited in the car and watched the storm come in. It arrived with a good downpour. The sound of the rain was soothing and the pressure of the clouds made me dozy. Just when I dropped to sleep, a bolt of lightning hit, right next to the car, along with a sound that was crazy loud. The ground shook. Really. And Bill and I weren’t messing around.  We got out after the storm passed. There was no burnt ground or smell of smoke, but there was a charged up feeling in me and I could see it on Bill’s face too. It’s something to be to be that close.

Then we went for our hike. We lost the trail but the sky was blue and no clouds were coming, so we just kept looking back the way we'd come to be sure we could return. We scrambled over slick rock and finally found the upper falls. There are two of them side by side. This is one. They’re pretty. And loud. Who doesn’t like a waterfall in the desert? Is this what they mean by an oasis? Yes.

Then we found the actual trail and our car and came back here, to the Torrey Schoolhouse B&B. It’s nice here.

Jackie Shannon Hollis