Drive-By Tourism

Trip Start Oct 16, 2009
Trip End Feb 25, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, December 7, 2009

The forecast for today was lousy. In fact winter storm warnings were in place for today and tomorrow meaning that I could have been hotel bound and also struggling to get Kayenta tomorrow which is my next port of call.

As it was, when I woke up at eight and peered out onto US191 – aka Moab's main street there was no sign of snow.  There was no sign of sun either but it was dry.  I checked the online forecast and the snow that was due to start at 6am had been put back to around noon so I decided to make a dash to the fifth and final NP in Utah on my list – Canyonlands.  The drive up was uneventful but I did make a mental note of the series of hairpin bends on the road in – could be tricky if the snow did kick off in style.

At the visitor centre I was guided by on how best I could do some drive by tourism (you know – like the people at Bryce – in, out and don’t even turn the engine off) so that I could at least see some of Canyonlands before the snow got bad.  Even as the ranger was explaining my options the snow started to come down so I figured I had to get a wiggle on.  The thing is – even if the weather had been great I probably would not have spent more than a half day in Canyonlands as the trails are mostly moderate to strenuous and re definitely geared at the fitter (rather than fatter) end of the hiker scale.  It’s a place where I think I beaten up old land rover would be ideal to do some back country exploration.

So I stopped at a few of the overlooks and stared down into the canyons and also did the short loop (now in quite heavy snow) round to the Mesa Arch – a small example compared to what I had seen yesterday but the 1500ft drop the other side of it’s unguarded edge was worth edging up to – well almost up to, you know about my acrophobia.

That was Canyonlands done – I headed back to Moab, found a decent grocery store and bought salad, fresh fruit and fruit smoothies (I think I needed to fibre!) and settled into the hotel to get my chores done.

Tomorrow Arizona.


Miles walked: 94

Miles driven: 5450

Miles travelled: 25500ish

Arches bagged: Nine (Landscape, Navajo, Separation, Double O, Private, North and South Windows, Turret Arch, Mesa Arch

Photos taken: 3196

Days away: 52

Days of rain/Snow: 7

Days lost to rain: 0

Hotels stayed in: 20

Hotels displeased with: none so far

Max temp: 35c on the Hume highway

Min temp: -14c on US89 on the way to Bryce - brrrrr

What I listened to.  I thought I would try a different tack today – listening to my top ten albums in turn.  It started well enough – my favourite album of all time is Revolver by the Beatles so I span up both the mono and stereo remasters.  And then I hit a snag – what are my next favourite albums?  Disintegration by the Cure, The Bends by Radiohead, Signal Hill by Dakota Suite, Give Up by the Postal Service and several others would be in the running.  I think I have found something to while away any more snowbound days – watch this space.
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