Grand Junction to Kanab
August 11, 2016
Miles Driven: 494
Parks Visited: 2
So is the entire state of Utah a National Park or Monument?! If not, why not? Having just driven from the northeast to the southwest regions of the state, I don’t think I was without spectacular scenery for more than a couple minutes at a time. Route 89, the National Park Highway, I totally get being scenic. But I-70 too?! Really? I think my senses are so overwhelmed as to be numb to anything shy of the Grand Canyon. And thus, I think tomorrow I may change it up and go to the Grand Canyon.
Here’s my problem: Who organized this trip?
Oh yeah... me.
If you are following along, I’m a bit off the planned route. If you are paying serious attention to the map, you’ll see why. Somehow today I was supposed to go to Colorado, Arches, Navajo, and Pipe Spring, with a kitschy fun stopover in Four Corners, and end up in Kanab. There are not enough hours in the day to do all of that. So, here I am in Kanab and I’ll definitely be going to Pipe Spring tomorrow (only 20 miles away). I can do Cedar Breaks on Saturday morning, before heading over to Bishop. Which leaves me with what to do tomorrow between Pipe Spring and Cedar City. Zion is tempting since a boulder the size of a house fell onto a major road and it might be cool to see. Yet, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with its famous lodge. Really, I’m likely to change my mind again. I’ll just have to surprise you from the road! Feel free to chime in with suggestions though...
Back to my trip today… Colorado was spectacular. I seem to still be learning a few things about travel. The primary one being that just because a site is small’ish, doesn’t mean it’ll take you less time. That happened in both Colorado (18ish miles of road) and Arches (30ish miles of road). I was disciplined. I didn’t pull out at every turn to take pictures. I did, however, linger when I happened upon a geological talk. I spoke with Ranger Paula for 20-30 minutes. It was great. After all, as she said, that’s what they are there for. A big thank you to her! Be sure whenever you are in a park to take time to attend any one of the interpretive talks, even if it’s one for kids. They help frame your visit, if not provide you with some fun memories that are just your own. That is to say, they cannot be contained by a picture that thousands have taken before.
I can’t believe I almost didn’t go to Arches today – part of my ongoing dilemma when I seriously evaluated my itinerary this morning. But I did go and I was practically alone in the park (read: serious sarcasm here). I mean I bet there were only like 10 people for every arch in the park. Did I mention Arches boasts 2,000 arches? Yeah, you do the math. That’s enough tourists to line them up along all the paved roads. Ok, so I wasn’t exactly alone. Honestly, that helped me not to stop and linger. There is nothing worse than your moment with mother nature being ruined by a bus load of gibbering tourists. Also, it was nearly 100 degrees. Even with all of that said and done, it was one incredible park. Just jaw dropping, Yosemite-worthy, Grand Canyon-worthy scenery.
Until tomorrow from Cedar City….
Board Location: Colorado
Happiness: Content (5)
Energy: Animated (3)
The long day was made even longer when Whiskers got car sick and coughed up a hairball, slowing us down. But I rallied us all forth and we crammed two more parks into today's schedule. Even though both parks provided us we a lot of enjoyment - the scenery is just spectacular - all that driving in the car and the few short hikes we went on, left us exhausted. I can tell the family is getting restless to get back home! The trick is going to be to make sure everyone is happy when we get there!