US Road Trip 2018 Days 10&11 – Utah Rocks!

Day 10
Another driving day – 6 hours along the scenic roads of Arizona and Utah. Left the Grand Canyon, with its vegetation, decent temperatures and occasional shower and returned to the deserts, with thorny bushes, red rocks and a high of 105 degrees F according to our car. Didn’t visit much, just stayed in the relative comfort of the car’s AC.

Took the Monument Valley road. We drove past (visited the park 5 years ago), but we still had some nice views along the way.

We saw a lot of Navajo Native Americans in the area. Went to a Navajo restaurant in Tuba City, but can’t say I noticed anything interesting in their cuisine. Maybe the Navajo bread? A sort of doughnut, more like the Romanian langos.

Day 11
Didn’t have a lot of expectations from today’s morning run. Just went where Strava’s heatmap showed people were running. Ended up behind the local Utah State University branch, with some nice trails in the very beautiful high desert landscape. Very beautiful if you’re not living here, I must add.

Today’s basecamp was the city of Moab – as we passed through it 3 times. Great place if you’re planning anything adventure or outdoor related in the desert. We should definitely return here and spend a few days in the area.

Our first park of the day was Canyonlands. I guess the name says it all. Canyons upon canyons upon canyons. The place where even canyons have their own canyons. Stopped at several viewpoints and did a short (<1 km) hike to one arch with a killer view. Would have done more, but the ~100 degree F weather was not very appealing.

Just across the road from Canyonlands we found Arches National Park. Didn’t know exactly what to expect, besides a few arches obviously. And then we were just “Wow! Utah rocks!”. It’s incredible what nature was able to create. All around us – the weirdest looking rocks we’ve ever seen. And so many arches. Big or small, massive or delicate (yes, there’s a “Delicate Arch”), even a double one.

Camped in a basic campground. No lights or sources of electricity. No signal. A few faucets of water. A couple basic toilets (the kind with a septic tank). A dozen camp sites, just 3-4 occupied. It’s in a beautiful aspen forest – weird to find such a place so close (20 minute drive) to the barren desert. The night sky is visible between the tree tops. The temperature is cool and crisp.

While writing this on my laptop at night, sitting at the picnic table next to the tent, with the screen being the only light source around, I feel something on my leg. I turn the headlamp on and see a medium size spider making its way up. Cute. I give it a flick and return to my writing.

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