Tag Archives: Natural Bridges

Topless it is!

We’re going topless! Why? Because it’s more fun!

Raeski found this seat removal kit for Minis online and ordered it. Wow, what a difference it makes. After installing it the choice was simple. There’s an amazing amount of room in that little car once the back seats are gone.

Tomorrow we take off for a three week adventure. The first day will be a long one as we will be driving over 500 miles. I’m looking forward to it because we are escaping the heat. Today it reached 109F or for those living in most of the world, 43C.

Our first side trip tomorrow will be a side trip to Goosenecks State Park to catch an outstanding view of the San Juan River a few miles upstream before it flows into the Colorado River. It’s 10 miles of dirt road that’s going to really mess up a clean car. I’m curious to see if we get much dirt in the car while driving with the top down. My guess is we might end up having to put the top up. In the past when on dirt roads the back of the car got quite dusty.

After the Goosenecks we head to the Moki Dugway which has a couple of great viewpoints overlooking the Valley of the Gods. From what I have seen and read the valley is like a miniature Monument Valley. After that we head to Blanding to check into our hotel.

But we’re not done yet. Tomorrow night we are going to Natural Bridges National Monument. Why at night? Because they have some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 and Wooly wants to try to photograph the Milky Way.

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The Utah Trip

In my last post I wrote that we are planning three trips this summer in order to see as much of the West as possible. The possibility of moving to South America by the end of this year or early next year has created a sense of urgency to see as much of North America as possible.

Our trip to Utah will be in the southern part of the state because that’s where most of the National Parks are. So far our itinerary includes the Natural Bridges, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Cedar Breaks National Monuments. The National Parks include Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Other points of interest will include the slot canyons, Paria Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs in both Utah and Arizona.

We are planning this trip in June because it is the driest time of year which is important when you are in a slot canyon. These slots rapidly fill up with water when it rains and you don’t want to be in one when it happens. Sadly there are people who haven’t heeded this precaution and have paid the ultimate price for the oversight. I don’t want to become a statistic and neither does Raeski.

We plan on hiking at every destination. There will be none of just driving through and saying we saw that. Experience has taught us that sometimes the best “wows” are found away from the road. All it takes to see a wow is a willingness to walk or hike a little bit. Our easiest hikes will be at the beginning of our trip as we acclimate to the higher altitudes. By the time we get to Cedar Breaks we should be ready for 10,000 foot elevation. We both have been at 14,000 feet, and yes, Wooly lugged his camera gear in his backpack at that elevation.

It’s a full itinerary with a lot to see but with a month to do it we should be able to see a lot. Our next step is to discover what each destination has to offer and how long it will take to see it. Raeski and I like to “wing it” so I checked the cost of RV rentals which would give us the ability to linger. However the cost is quite a bit more than a hotel room. Further analysis is needed but I think in the end we are going sacrifice flexibility for the lower costs of hotel rooms. And no, we don’t care for tent camping. It’s an age thing…

We’re open to suggestions so if anyone has recommendations of things to see at any of our destinations we would like to hear them.