The road to restroom heaven
As Route 128 winds its way through America's stunning red rock country near Moab, Utah, a small turning off at Castle Valley takes you down to the Rocky Rapid Recreation Area. Suddenly there it is, standing proud at a bend in the Colorado River, its ventilation pipe mirroring the magnificent Castleton Tower in the distance. Route 128 has been designated a Scenic Byway in recognition of its beautiful surroundings. Clearly, this extends to its roadside facilities…
Said to be a launching point for canoes, the Rocky Rapid Recreation Area is between Route 128 and the Colorado River, opposite Castleton Tower, which is marked on the map. The toilet itself wasn't listed on Google Maps - OUTRAGEOUS!
After some Google Earth detective work, this is thought to be a more accurate location - close to the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa:
Left to right, the red rocks of Castle Valley are known as: The Convent; Sister Superior; The Rectory; Castleton Tower and Parriott Mesa [which is missing in this photograph]. They have featured in a number of films, including John Ford's 1950 western Rio Grande, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Jon Bon Jovi famously filmed the video for his 1990 hit Blaze of Glory on top of The Rectory, while Chevrolet literally placed a car on top of Castleton Tower in a 1964 TV commercial.
Also see amazing arches
The Colorado River, and with it Route 128, form the south-eastern boundary of Arches National Park. Located just a few miles from Castle Valley/the toilet, it contains over 2000 naturally occurring stone arches and is justly described as a 'red rock wonderland' by the US National Parks Service. The most famous arch in the park is the Delicate Arch (pictured above), which features on Utah's car license plates.
The Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is also close by. It’s one of the best places in the world to view sunrise:
Music With a View
Big news! As well as visiting roadside toilets, you can also listen to live concert music as you take in the outstanding beauty of Moab. This is the story of the people who created a music festival - in the desert: