After the trading post of “Gap”, I had another choice – between US-89 and US-89A. My 1952 map only shows US-89, which is now 89A. The current alignment of 89 was built when Glen Canyon Dam was constructed in the early 60s. So I decided to stay true to the map, and took what is now 89A. I crossed the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, and then wound across the desert and up onto the Kiabab Plateau. The higher elevation, cool air, and scent of the pine trees was heaven to me.
I called up to the “Color Country Motel” and found out they had a vacancy, and they had wireless Internet too! So I told her I’d be there in a couple of hours and headed out up the highway. I think this was my favorite part of the ride today. The temperature was just right, and the sun was starting to go down, which makes the colors so vibrant and vivid. The rocks were red, the trees green, and the sky a cloudless blue. There was no one on the road except me, as I roared through the small towns between Kanab and Panguitch – each with a small Mormon chapel, and no more than a few houses. This was the main road for years between Mormon settlements in this valley and down into Arizona, and it doesn’t look or feel like it’s changed in the 20 years since I last drove it.