We went and took our pictures and had a nice visit with a local squirrel that came scampering down the cliff. I expected him to beg for a handout but he was quite wary as he gathered seeds by the boardwalk.
It seemed like a good time to go check into the Best Western so we headed back toward Torrey. We pulled into the BW and there was an entire busload of people checking in. Perhaps we’ll come back later. We drove into Torrey and checked out some of the side streets and residences.
It is an odd blend of old and very old buildings in various states of repair. Some are quite lovely and there’s newer construction on the outskirts.
Returning to Rt. 24, we dropped into the gift shop across from Austin’s. The tiny Post Office is on the property and they also rent cabins for $29 a night. As we browsed, we chatted with the proprietor. He seemed well traveled and had interesting stories to tell about the Native Americans who still sometimes show up out of the blue with craftwork to sell. He liked that stuff the best of all. I picked up a business card and noticed that his name was Rob Torrey. I asked if he was related to the town. Indeed, a great, great uncle who had been one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders had lived there and somehow the town ended up getting named for him. We bought a small, flat red stone with a petroglyph etched into the surface as a memento and bid Rob farewell as some other tourists came in.
Next, we stopped at the Capitol Reef Inn and bought another petroglyph-style etched stone. We had stayed here our first trip to Torrey – our old, but clean room was only $48/night, although the hot tub was dysfunctional and the rooms and plumbing were very outdated. Looking around the place we decided that, if we ever won the lottery, it would be fun to buy this place and fix it up. It has a lot of character but has seen better days. We were awed by the interesting stonework and this giant clump of crystals near the entrance.
Back to the Best Western, we had a lower room in back facing the cliffs.
We suited up and headed over to soak in the hot tub. We were alone and the tub was huge. You could practically swim laps! We soaked up the warmth and the beautiful scenery until we were overheated, then it was off to the pool for a cooling swim before heading back to the room for showers. The room was modern and clean and the shower and beds top notch. We very rarely stay in chain motels when we travel, but the BW in Torrey was great.
After a leisurely clean up, we wandered across the road to the Rim Rock Restaurant. There were several parties seated, but we still managed a table by the large windows looking east.
We ordered some margaritas and enjoyed the ripening glow of the sunset as it lit the thunderheads to the east. To get a taste of local treats, I ordered the mixed grill; left to right trout, a quail and duck filet, each prepared with its own sauce.
Sharon was tempted by the chicken with homemade mole that, we were told, has more than 50 ingredients. Both dishes were excellent with samples getting passed back and forth between us. We had to agree that it was equal to Café Diablo. For a vegetarian, either place would present very limited options. For us though, it was an excellent dinner. Once again, it was early to bed although Sharon was up for some comedy and watched an hour of the republican presidential debate.
Thurs. Sept. 6
Up early perking strong coffee out on the patio. This is a nice feature, having the little burner for the percolator. We packed the car and headed back to Torrey to fill the tank and wash the windows for our drive down the Notom Rd. to Bullfrog on Lake Powell. After a last stop at Austin’s for ice, sandwiches, and beverages, we finally departed Torrey for the last time and headed back through Capitol Reef. We stopped at the VC to confirm that the Notom Road and Burr Trail were open since they’d been flooded the day before. Yup, open all the way. Good to know.