US Road Trip Week 8: Salt Lake City, Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce & Zion

I began my final week of the road trip feeling especially soothed and transcendent thanks to all of last week’s spiritual beauty. So imagine the jarring experience of then driving into Salt Lake City and encountering a massive collection of intensely Mormonistic sculpture art.  At least that’s what Atlas Obscura recommended. Obscura indeed. IMG_20190603_161542322_HDR.jpgDefinitely not as transcendent, or at least not in the same way. Though you could argue perhaps still spiritual.IMG_20190603_162206881_HDR.jpg

I’d planned to stay in Salt Lake City overnight, but the sight of all the heavy handed Latter-Day Saints influence made it hard to get excited about seeing the rest of the city. But I decided this was my trip and I could do what I liked with it. So I just hopped back on the highway and continued down to Moab one night early.IMG_20190604_201204992_HDR.jpg

Plus it was quite nice to wake an easy two miles from the Arches park entrance the next day. Such a magnificent national park full of stunning contradictions. A motionless monotonous Park Avenue in the desert. IMG_20190604_110521645_HDR.jpgBalanced Rock somehow resting just off-center. IMG_20190604_112739363_HDRAll the pane-free Window Arches looking into each other.IMG_20190604_115131224_HDR.jpg(Though I did have fun climbing on their sills.) IMG_20190604_120150949_HDR.jpgThat hike up to Delicate Arch that was anything but delicate. IMG_20190604_133244173_HDR.jpgIMG_20190604_135359911_HDR.jpgThe Garden of Eden which actually looked quite barren and menacing. IMG_20190604_113250775.jpgAnd the Devils Garden which was rather more verdant and heavenly.IMG_20190604_154117912_HDR.jpg

The next day’s plan was Canyonlands, the land of canyons. I only visited the biggest one, the Island in the Sky, but it was a beaut (or should I say, butte?). Drove down every scenic route to get the full spectrum of beautiful views: Mesa Arch, IMG_20190605_102716864_HDR.jpgCandlestick Tower, IMG_20190605_104843516_HDR-1Orange Cliffs, IMG_20190605_105926982.jpgUpheaval Dome, IMG_20190605_121031690.jpgGreen River, IMG_20190605_113730734and (last but not least) the Grand View Point. And ain’t it just grand?IMG_20190606_220552_605

Even then, I finished Canyonlands faster than expected and still had half the day left. So I decided to be ambitious and try to squeeze in Bryce that same day. It was tight but I did it. Managed to drive up and down the whole Rainbow Point drive and all its breathtaking lookouts, IMG_20190605_192805677_HDR.jpgthen take in the iconic views at Bryce Point, IMG_20190605_195134832_HDR.jpgthe inspiration at the aptly named Inspiration Point, IMG_20190605_200409296_HDR.jpgand reach the final Sunset Point in time to witness its stunning view of the sunset at the end the day. (All while eating my Mountain House meal for dinner straight out of the bag. Multitasking.) IMG_20190605_204326843_HDR.jpgI did actually skip one, Sunrise Point. But at that point in the day, what would have been the point?

And last but certainly not least, I’d saved perhaps the very best for the very end of the whole cross-country road trip: Zion! IMG_20190606_154408872.jpgBut unfortunately the visit did not do it sufficient justice. I crammed in as many small hikes as I could do: The Grotto, IMG_20190606_142706863_HDR.jpgWeeping Rock, IMG_20190606_142549690_HDR.jpgand Riverside Walk.IMG_20190606_133011738_HDR.jpgBut sadly The Narrows were too flooded to see (I waded in as far as I could go), IMG_20190606_135116409_HDRand I didn’t have the time or means to hike Angels Landing.IMG_20190606_141639054_HDR.jpg

Must be better prepared next time. And there will be a next time, coz it looks awesome!

But for now, it’s time to bring this epic road trip to an exhausting but successful end. I’m completely wiped out, mentally and physically drained, decently sleep deprived, and just generally spent. It’s gonna take another decompression vacation to fully recover from this one. So I’m likely gonna need to pause on the blogging for a bit to focus on that, and will resume when I’ve reached a solid enough state of mind and comprehension to write about all of this in more depth and deliberation.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 10 Life Lessons From My Solo Road Trip Across America | The Writes of Passage

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