At the Tourist Office in Moab the host told us that if she had an afternoon free (which we did), she would go on a scenic drive down Highway 128 all the way to the end.
On the way back she would stop at the Red Cliffs Lodge, where there was a Movie Museum, a small winery, and a restaurant perfect for watching the sunset. We took her advice, following Hwy 128 into the arid land of old cowboy movies.
There was a lot of dried-out (but scenic) red earth…
…and the occasional patch of green.
The yellow flowers of a Rabbit Brush brighten up a scene that was already colourful to start with.
I was amazed by the rock textures and ‘desert varnish’, a black shiny coating found on many of the red sandstone cliffs that line the highway.
This butte was our first of many fascinating red rock structures on this road trip through the American Southwest.
The butte above is seen from a different angle as part of the backdrop behind John Wayne (and Al, his new best friend). This was at the Red Cliffs Lodge Movie Museum. It might be worth watching a few cowboy ‘dusters’ before travelling in this region.
Over 120 movies have been filmed in the area and this museum has fascinating memorabilia relating to movies that date back to 1925. Admission is free. We also had fun tasting some surprisingly good wines at their tiny Castle Creek Winery (also well worth it).
It was too early for dinner so we’re saving their ‘Cowboy Grill’ and ‘Wild Horse Bar’ for our next trip down as we will definitely be back! (http://www.redcliffslodge.com)