Our First Visitor To Canyon Country

Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, May 25, 2009

Finally!  We had our first visitor since moving to Monticello!!  Over Memorial Day weekend Madeline (a girl who I met while I was teaching English in Japan- she was also doing the JET program and lived in a town near me) decided to make the LONG drive over from Reno to visit. 
  She got here Friday evening and was pretty tired from the drive (I think it was 13-14 hours) so we pretty much just decided where we were going to go the next day, and then headed to bed.  The next morning we all slept in a little then, when we were all ready, headed to Canyonlands for a hike.  We decided to hike to Chesler Park- I think it was a 6-7 mile hike. 
  Oh yeah, the weather.  The weather had been SO nice for SO long...until about 2 days before Madeline got here, then it started raining at least a little bit every day and there was thunder and lightning and stuff.  On the day we went to Canyonlands I think there was a 60% chance of rain, but we decided to take our chances and go anyway- you kind of have to when you have someone visiting who only has a few days to see as much as possible.  The weather ended up cooperating as much as we could have hoped- it sprinkled a few times, but it never really rained on us.  I think it was raining when we were in the car on the way there and on the way home, but not too bad when we were hiking.  Madeline and I were totally obsessed with taking pictures of cactus flowers, and Silas was a very good sport about it.  I couldn't even tell you how many pictures of flowers I ended up with! 
  That evening we barbequed- pesto burgers for Silas and I, and Boca burgers for Madeline.  And I have to add something about the Boca burgers here... I am always teasing Silas about his aversion to foods that are advertised as being, 'healthy, vegetarian, and organic'.  I can understand why he feels the way he does- I guess his dad was vegetarian when he was a kid and I think he had a lot of bad experiences with vegetarian food, but I really think it's probably come a long way in 20 years!  After Madeline left I was eating one of the Boca burgers and I kept telling Silas how good it was and that I didn't even think he would be able to tell that it wasn't meat.  I think it was when I said that it tasted like a fast food burger that he finally broke down and tried it...and he liked it!!  He was really surprised!  He said that veggie burgers have definitely improved in the 10+ years since he had one.  So lately when we've barbequed I've been having a Boca burger and Silas has been having Hot dogs AND Boca burgers.  Ha!  I knew he'd like it!!  So now, along with the organic coffee that he LOVES, he's eating veggie burgers!  But this DOES NOT mean that either of us is giving up meat- that will never happen!!
  Okay, back to Memorial weekend.... The next day we headed to Arches- we knew it was going to be really crowded there since it was a holiday weekend, so our plan was to do the Delicate Arch hike, stop at a couple of near-the-road sights, then get out before the crowds made us crazy!  The parking lot at Delicate Arch was already packed when we got there, but somehow we lucked out and a car was pulling out right as we pulled in to the parking lot.  One funny thing that we saw at the trailhead was a sign that said, 'Don't be an arch hog!'  Apparently there's a name for the people who had pissed us off so much on our last visit to Arches- the people who we saw sitting in the arches eating their lunches and changing their baby's diapers and completely ruining everyone's shot.  I was happy to see that at least the Park Service is TRYING to make people aware of the fact that they should be courteous of everyone else, but I'm sad to say that it doesn't seem to be working.  There were still A LOT of arch hogs!
  Our hikes were good, and it ended up being a pretty hot day, so by the time we left and headed to Moab for dinner, we were all feeling kind of drained.  Madeline treated us to dinner at Eddie McStiff's- a brewery in Moab.  And, I should also mention that she had brought two 6-packs of out of state beer (regular beer!) for us!! 
  The last day of her visit we headed to Cedar Mesa to do one of the Mule Canyon hikes.  We decided that we were going to take it easy that day and just do part of the hike.  We had been telling her how much she'd appreciate this place after spending the day before with the crowds in Arches, but when we got to the trailhead there were about 8-9 cars there!!  If that had been in a park it wouldn't have been bad, but I was only expecting there to be MAYBE 3-4 cars, tops.  I guess it's crowded everywhere during Memorial weekend.
  It was a nice hike...we only got rained on a little and made it back to the car just in time before it started pouring!  We decided to go to Bluff for dinner and there was about a 2 mile stretch before we got there that it was POURING- I have never been in rain like that- even during typhoons in Japan.  I was driving and I could not see a thing- I didn't want to pull over though, because I was thinking that the car behind me was probably just following my tail lights and I could see them not realizing that I was trying to pull over and rear-ending me.  But it passed pretty quickly.  Wow- what a storm!!
   We had dinner at the Twin Rocks Cafe in Bluff- veggie Navajo taco for Madeline, regular Navajo taco for Silas, and veggie Navajo pizza for me- my absolute favorite!  Yum!
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syamamoto on

I want a Navajo pizza! I've never even heard of such a thing...just Navajo tacos. Love your pictures :)

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