This week, Ann-Christine is hosting Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #214 and the topic she has chosen is Favorite Finds. Since I’m not big on antique shopping and there are no museums nearby, I will focus my favorite finds on a few of the challenging yet fun roads I’ve driven on.
Forest Road 114
I was going to focus this post on my favorite places but midway through writing this post, I realized there’s a theme here – challenging yet fun roads I’ve driven on. Even though I’m still recovering (psychologically) from my recent accident, I still find driving freeing and a relaxing activity at times, especially when I’m alone, and I can never resist a challenge.
I first discovered Forest Road (FR) 114 in 2016 when I was guiding my mom’s friends through the narrow scenic byway 92 in the Uintah forest of northeastern Utah. There was no GPS nor did I have a smart phone. My first smart phone was still 3 years away.
At a fork, we turned onto FR 114 and headed for Cascade Springs. I didn’t know what it was but the word, “springs” had my attention. Cascade Springs turned out to this beautiful spot full of waterfalls – ranging from teeny tiny to a torrent. I fell in love at once.
After the visit in 2016, I’ve been wanting to go back as the day of my first visit was crowded and I felt like I didn’t see enough of the place.
6 years later, August 2022, instead of the taking Highway 92, I found an accessible backroad (FR 114) and I decided to give it a try. It turned out the backroad was very fun to drive, challenging but fun, which was a surprising find since I couldn’t see the way the road snaked through the canyon on Google Maps. Driving on that road was my favorite part of the trip and I’m glad I found such road.
Another challenging yet fun road to drive on – narrow, curvy, and steep at times – and there’s no way I can leave this out. I discovered Highway 12 through a quick search on Google – places to go in Utah. Highway 12 is a state highway, not an U.S. highway and it’s about 120 miles in distance, spanning from Capitol Reef National Park to just passed Bryce Canyon National Park in Red Canyon.
When I told my co-workers where I was going, they all said they’ve driven on this highway and told me to be careful driving through Hell’s backbone, which I didn’t realize until I long passed it.
The scenery along the road was breathtaking and there were times I found I wanted to stop at every single turnout and take a dozen pictures before hopping into the car, except I couldn’t do that since my aunts and uncle were in the car and my uncle’s not particularly fond of stopping every few minutes.
My favorite places to stop along Highway 12 were definitely Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. My favorite part in Capitol Reef are the fruit orchard and the drive along the 10-mile scenic tour which ends in Capitol Gorge unless one is willing to drive on an unpaved road. I would’ve if I was alone. One of these days, I will drive on that unpaved road to Capitol Wash.
Last but not least, who can resist a drive through Bryce Canyon National Park? My mom always advised not to drive the entire auto tour in Bryce Canyon. “Once you go passed the amphitheater, there’s not much more to see.”
I have to disagree. There’s plenty to see and always something new to see at nature parks.