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Old 07-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #91
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Day 12

Monday, June 11th
Mileage: ?

Moab is more or less nestled between Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.



For no particular reason, we decided to go to Arches first.

http://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm










So through the gate...



...and onto the Visitors Center we went - to do our normal routine; watch the movie and get the passport stamped.

Some wildlife sculptures outside the Visitor's Center:




Arches is a mix of road-visible attractions and sights that needed to be hiked to. ....and it was getting hot very early in the day. So we had to do a little picking and choosing.

When you take the main road in, you climb a little, then are treated to some magnificent rock formations:






My favorite: the Three Gossips








More "windows" and "arches"












"Balanced Rock"



One of the more famous arches, that is portrayed on a lot of official Utah signs, is "Delicate Arch". To get a really good view of it, you have to hike quite a distance. We weenied out and took photos from a distance. (like I said, it was HOT)



Freeze Gopher! (I know, it's not a "gopher" - but it's hard to pass up a Caddyshack reference)



Gratuitous daughter shot



We thought this was odd looking. Couldn't really make up our minds what we thought it looked like...


It looked like a cross between a butt and and mushroom. A "buttroom"?








"Fiery Furnace"



We had been at Arches for a couple of hours and were conserving our energy for a longer hike: to see "Landscape Arch". Apparently a large portion of it had fallen away from it a few years back, and the experts say its days are numbered.

The trail...




while not long,




...and not full of elevation changes,

(HA, can you tell Christina is getting a little annoyed by 2 weeks of parental overload?)


was a little tough - as it turned to sand



But in time we got to Landscape Arch








The hike got us over-heated. So, after hiking back to the Support Vehicle, and enjoying a few more views along the way...










...we drove the short distance back to the hotel, (Where I had scored a primo covered parking spot outside the front door) ...




...had a bite to eat, and cooled off for a while.

Up next: Canyonlands

guitarhack screwed with this post 07-10-2012 at 06:02 AM
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:43 AM   #92
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Good morning Brad ,

Totally diggin' the last several installments. There's so much to see in Utah. As I was viewing your photos of places I'd been before, I sat here shaking my head at all the things you saw that I've never seen. Just awesome. Looking forward to Canyonlands. The road leading in and out is just as epic as the vistas, dontcha think? Keep up the good work .

Hey Dave.

Yep, Utah was just amazing. It is hard to NOT have a great view. I think you could give a blind man a camera and the results would be successful. There is just too much to see to capture it all.

I know what you mean regarding sights that aren't in the parks. The views outside most parks are just as good as inside. I guess Mother Nature didn't draw any strict boundaries. For example; the road just south or Arches (that you turned me onto in one of your RRs) was totally awesome. We will get to that in a couple of days.

Another thing that occurred to me: The National Park System has been around for 100+ years. It would be easy to conclude that after such a long period of time, most of the Uber-Cool places would already be included in the system. They aren't. Many of the cool sights aren't even near any of the current parks. MOST of southern Utah, from a scenery standpoint, could qualify as National Park material in my book. ...it's just a wonderful area of the country.

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Old 07-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #93
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If you two are done playing kissy face..... I for one love this, and Dave's reports.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #94
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Day 12, part 2

After cooling off for a while, Canyonlands was next. Christina needed a break (from parental overload), so she opted to stay back at the hotel.




We had no idea what to expect from Canyonlands. Note: the next time I do a trip like this, it might make sense to do a little research before we go. We probably could have planned our day excursions a little more intelligently. None the less, it worked out.

Canyonlands is split in three distinct sections, and crossing between sections is difficult, as rivers dissect it. The Colorado and Green rivers both join in the middle of the park, creating a Y. ...thus the three sections.




On this day, we visited the "Island In The Sky" section. The "Needles" and "Maze" sections will have to wait for another trip.




We stopped at the Visitor's Center, got the passport stamped, and then walked across the street to see the first view. The Islands in the Sky portion of Canyonlands, as mentioned above, is between the Green and Colorado rivers - in between the two top halves of Y. As such, it is bordered by canyons (and overlooks).




Probably our favorite stop was "Mesa Arch".




After a short hike...





...you approach Mesa Arch.






The below pics give a good representation of what we experienced as we neared the arch.















I hadn't taken pictures with the forethought of stitching them together, but it worked out anyway.



A funny story...
To those in the know, Mesa Arch must be a classic landmark. We had no clue. (Imagine that ). My Sunday morning routine consists of letting the dogs out, grabbing a cup of coffee or diet soda, then plopping down in an arm-chair with the laptop - while the local news plays on the TV. This morning, as the laptop fired up, the desktop background triggered something in my brain. Damn, that looks familiar. I pulled up my photos from this trip and my suspicions were confirmed. My background (that rotates via a program that came with the computer ) was Mesa Arch. As I type this, the desk top pic has rotated to another scene, and I can't figure out how to plug it into this RR... so you'll just have to take my word for it. ...I just thought that was too cool. What are the odds?

Edit: in the interest of credibility, The desk- top background photo I was referring to cycled back around, and I "print screened" it.




Anyway, after enjoying Mesa Arch we hit other overlooks










Go figure, The Green river actually did look green.






















The road below looked like the kind of thing a lot of you guys would enjoy riding.









Me ride this? ...No way Too much the pansy.





Compared to Arches, Canyonlands is very quiet. Very few people where there - which was nice.

As it turned out, Canyonlands was the last National Park we visited on the trip. But it ended up being a nice finale.


After going back to the hotel and cleaning up, we enjoyed a fun dinner at The Moab Brewery...

For some reason I got a kick out of one of their signature beers; it's called "Dead Horse Ale" I liked the Xs on the upside-down horses eyes.

After dinner we walked around town. ...and forgot to take any more pics for the day.

Tomorrow we start the homeward phase of the vacation.

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:21 AM   #95
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Great report that brings back a lot of memories of a trip my wife & I took a couple of years ago. We flew into Vegas, rented a car & took off for 2 weeks and 3,000 miles. One of the best stretches of road no matter what you are in or on, is from Hurricane, NV to Torrey. Rt. 9 to 89 to 12 into Torrey. Just an amazing stretch of road with light traffic and jaw dropping scenery everywhere. Drove the wife crazy stopping to take pictures

Need to go back. Thanks for taking the time to take us along.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #96
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Great report that brings back a lot of memories of a trip my wife & I took a couple of years ago. We flew into Vegas, rented a car & took off for 2 weeks and 3,000 miles. One of the best stretches of road no matter what you are in or on, is from Hurricane, NV to Torrey. Rt. 9 to 89 to 12 into Torrey. Just an amazing stretch of road with light traffic and jaw dropping scenery everywhere. Drove the wife crazy stopping to take pictures

Need to go back. Thanks for taking the time to take us along.
Agreed. I am bummed that I didn't ride more of Rt. 9, but 89 , and especially 12 were amazing! ...not to mention 24 in the area of Capitol Reef and 128 east of Moab.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #97
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Totally awesome job with the report Brad....

Full of amazing pic's

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Old 07-10-2012, 09:06 AM   #98
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Totally awesome job with the report Brad....

Full of amazing pic's

Hey Todd

We liked that pic too - but it's hard to take too much credit. The credit is due mother nature. I'm just the dufus with hand-me-down camera - that walked around taking hundreds of pics everyday - hoping one or two would be presentable.

By the way, are you going to the "Nottarally" in October?

Brad
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:54 AM   #99
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Great RR and thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:13 PM   #100
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Day 13

Tuesday, June 12th
Mileage: ~ 250

While we had "turned the corner" so to speak at Cedar City, Utah, today we really started in the direction of home. So the focus was on making miles. It just so happened, most of the miles were scenic.

Luckily, we really didn't have that far to go, so the day wasn't that grueling.




One of my favorite roads on the trip was Hwy 128, East of Moab. It travels along the Colorado River (as did most of the roads today) and was a real gem.


We were stuck for a while behind these two slow-pokes, ...but not for too long









Talk about a view!








So we are riding along, just enamored by the scenery when we hit another gravitational shift. This time it was an entire 180 degree shift. I nearly flipped!

(I know, that joke is stupid, immature, and old... but so am I )



Anyway, more of Hwy 128...









I mean really.... Look at that road



Still hugging the Colorado







Had enough of these pics of 128 yet?




The view just kept coming...



I won't continue to beat this dead horse...

But if you are in the area, ride 128





Eventually, we met up with I-70. It started out to be about what you would expect from a major interstate...




...but even its views got better and better as we went along



Still traveling along the Colorado







Then, the interstate did something cool. The east and westbound lanes split and became sort of terraced...

I am going east towards Vail and Denver






Nearing a tunnel






I have no idea why the colors are so different in these next 2 shots









All things considered...



...for an interstate...



...I-70 east of Grand Junction ain't too shabby



In short order we made it to Vail. After a short wild-goose-chase at the hands of Gail Garmin, we made it to our hotel and used our last gift card. . By the way, hotels in Vail, off season, are a steal.

Our "room" had a fireplace, full kitchen, seperate dining area with living room with a sofa bed, separate king bedroom, two full baths, and a nice porch.

...for about $100 a night!

After enjoying a few beers and the view from the porch...





We got there early enough to do laundry (in the nice FREE laundry room), and then got lost trying to find a place to eat. We ended up at a so-so pizza place, then called it a night. It was our last night together on the trip - as the Support Crew had to head for the Denver Airport in the morning.

...but I still had several days riding before I made it home to Georgia. So stay tuned...
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:31 PM   #101
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Highway 128 is indeed quite nice. I had been to Moab several times wiht my jeep club but when my wife, son, her sister, and myself were driving cross country in winter 2009 we spent New Years eve at the Red Cliffs Lodge on 128 about ten minutes outside Moab. The highway off of 70 was not plowed, it was a snow packed highway; we hit it at night. The girls were nervous but I knew everything was under control.. Another nice point is Arches NP under snow, oh man it's great, photos here.


Now slightly more on topic... The family liked Moab so much they're on board to spend a week there in October 2013 (the date of my Jeep club's annual event). I get an automatic green light ot spend a week in Moab *and* I'll be dragging the KLR too. (on an offroad motorcycle hauler so I can still do the I-70 frontage road).

Sorry for hte diversion.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #102
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Highway 128 is indeed quite nice. I had been to Moab several times wiht my jeep club but when my wife, son, her sister, and myself were driving cross country in winter 2009 we spent New Years eve at the Red Cliffs Lodge on 128 about ten minutes outside Moab. The highway off of 70 was not plowed, it was a snow packed highway; we hit it at night. The girls were nervous but I knew everything was under control.. Another nice point is Arches NP under snow, oh man it's great, photos here.


Now slightly more on topic... The family liked Moab so much they're on board to spend a week there in October 2013 (the date of my Jeep club's annual event). I get an automatic green light ot spend a week in Moab *and* I'll be dragging the KLR too. (on an offroad motorcycle hauler so I can still do the I-70 frontage road).

Sorry for hte diversion.
Man! You will have a blast with your KLR there.

How will the weather be there in October?
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:41 PM   #103
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Man! You will have a blast with your KLR there.

How will the weather be there in October?
Pleasant days, cool evenings (by California standards). If staying a week you're pretty much guaranteed to see some rain with snow possible north of 7000.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #104
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:08 PM   #105
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enjoyed reading along, I rode much of the same area a couple years ago and then took my dad there a few weeks later by van. as a survey tech, I found this interesting tidbit about the four corners monument.

In an April 20 story about the location of the Four Corners marker, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the monument is 2.5 miles west of where it should be. Instead, according to Dave Doyle of the National Geodetic Survey, the monument marking the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 1,807 feet east of where it should have been placed in 1875. Doyle says the monument's location has been legally adopted by all the states as the official corner.
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