...Later, the road winds its way through cattle country, past buff-colored mesas. Mighty thoughtful of the State of Utah to put their turnaround spots near scenic views.
Soon I noticed that the wind was really picking up, too. Despite this, I passed several cyclists on the road (they must have been enjoying the tailwind). That day I figured I was simply going to drive from Bryce to my next destination.
I stopped at a backpackers' shop/cafe in Escalante for lunch; the town seemed to be a popular outdoor recreation destination. (I love the sound of that name. Escalante....) Then about ten miles east of Escalante there's a winding downhill grade, and when you get around the bend there's a scenic overlook...
...of this dramatic vista, where you can see for miles across a white slickrock canyon. It was very windy at this overlook and I thought it too bad the sky was overcast, because this reduced the sense of depth in the scene.
(At about this point, I realized that my camera battery was getting low, its memory card was almost full and the computer battery was low as well. I hoped to get to the next town to see if they had a coffee shop [which often have tables near power outlets]. Almost as if a genie were there to grant my wish, just around the bend in the most unlikely spot was the Kiva Koffeehouse, complete with an outlet next to every table.)
Well, I didn't get very far that day; I decided that this area had photographic potential as well, if only the sky weren't overcast. ...So, I got a room at an inexpensive old motel back in Escalante, in hopes that the sun would be out the next morning. The lady at the motel told me that Highway 12 was one of the ten most scenic drives in the country. (Of course I didn't plan it that way; on the map it just looked like the most logical route to and from the destinations I'd picked...)