Our route tracked increasingly southerly - Arizona bound. Donna wondrously navigated us away from the interminable bunker like highway construction of Salt Lake City. Good - I didn't have the stamina for 1 more billboard advertising survival food storage while stranded in traffic.
We ascended a 10k mountain range through Manti-La Sal National Forest. Descending we passed 3 reservoirs that were enticing, but elected to see what was up ahead. What we saw along the Huntington Canyon Scenic Byway was incredible.
Was. Some of the most beautiful forest plunging vertically into the canyon - burnt to a crisp. Huntington Creek, once a glistening trout stream was choked with debris from flash floods. Runoff from rain after the fire smothered the creek. Downed trees, boulders, ash and sludge gushed into the stream bed until it clogged.
Our camper is powered by an auxiliary battery that's revved up by a solar panel and highway miles on the truck's battery. We obviously couldn't stay at Huntington Creek, so we effectively charged our battery for another 113+ miles. We stayed on Joesph's Peak in Fishlake National Forest technically, but we affectionately called our camp "cow patty".
Cow patty had some things going for it...view of a grand cowboy sky, novel cell service, personal adaptability.
More info on bark beetles can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/science/18trees.html?pagewanted=all&_moc.semityn.www
© Marian Tallon, September, 2012
maps.google. Accessed 9/22/2012, available online at http://goo.gl/maps/L2Eko