Day 1 & 2: Canyon Country Utah

June 9, 2010

So for those of you who actually read this, please bare with me as I learn how to “blog” and thanks! I’m going to play “catch-up” seeing that I didn’t finish my self adventure stories from my recent trip.

[Day 1]
Where to start…OKAY! So, the first day I drove all the way from Lincoln, NE to Rifle, CO. There was a wicked blizzard as I was driving through the Rockies. I stopped just outside of Denver to get some coffee. I got out of my car in my summer attire while snow blew up my shorts. Two woman sitting in the drive-thru looked at me such as a typical tourist would be gawked at if they showed deviance. I didn’t care, I probably looked ridiculous, but didn’t feel it.

Driving through a crazy blizzard, took me back to winter driving conditions back in January when we got pounded with snow. When I got on the other side of the mountains, it was as calm as a clear summer’s night. In an instant it stopped snowing and everything was green. I could see a baseball diamond all lit up as a little league game was going on. It was one of my weirdest experiences to date.

With my bag of bagels and coffee, I kept pushing forward. I ended up in Rifle, CO right around midnight. That night I slept in my car at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Luckily, my mom let me drive her Honda Fit. With the back seat down, I could conveniently lay out in my sleeping bag just as long as I had my legs propped up on my water jug.  I found that half way through the night I get very cold and the tip of my nose is freezing cold, so I make a cocoon with my sleeping bag.

[Day 2]

I woke up around 7am about to pee my pants because I was too scared to get up in the middle of the night and walk across a Wal-Mart parking lot, so I held it in for as long as I could.  I hurried up and fumbled around in the little space I had to put my contacts in, search for some warm clothes in my bag, and maybe even put my hair up to look half way decent….ahhh screw it! My bladder was over full and what the hell, who would I need to impress. So, I threw on a hat, drove to the closest parking spot available, ran in and did my business. Close call.

After that good morning fiasco, it didn’t take me long to find another Starbucks. Man, Colorado likes their Starbucks. Next stop Moab, Utah! Canyons, desert, mountains. Utah was gorgeous with its red rock and unique rock formations. My goal was to see Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

I took the scenic route to Moab, where I made a handful of stops to take pictures of the red rock. At Arches National Park I went to the visitor’s center and that is when I had the urge to buy postcards and send them out to people. This trip made me a postcard junkie, now I love writing them. I know you should keep the message short and sweet, but I was so excited, I crammed as much as I could into what space for writing I had.

Moab was the small outdoorsy, tourist destination I dreamed it would be. I took a stroll through the town, knowing I had only so much time before I needed to leave for Canyonlands. I remember buying my dad a T-shirt and more postcards–all the sweet outdoor gear and equipment the stores of Moab had to offer would have to wait.

It took longer than I had estimated to get to Canyonlands National Park. I had planned to do some backpacking overnight and part of the next morning, but little did I know their areas would be full. That’s what I get for not planning ahead. No big deal. It took me awhile to decide what I should do now. I had about 4 hours of sunlight. I decided to do a light hike and explore a bit of the Canyonlands, where each new vista I came upon took my breath away. I was parked at a distance from the Needles where I watched a storm come my way. A huge lightning bolt came down, and the thunder was so uproarious that it seemed as if the rocks had rattled on the ground. Drops started to fall in my area and I knew I should get out before I got stuck on the dirt roads. Driving out of the park was such a surreal experience. Sun light peaked through the scattered storm clouds, the gray slashed lines of rain falling upon valleys of canyons, and the view of mountains at a distance with snow on the peaks, I thought to myself–this is awesome! There was one very distinct field of vision I would  compare this to and that is the scene in The Land Before Time, yes the dinosaur animated movie. The scene where Little Foot and his friends find the Great Valley and the sun comes out through the clouds majestically exposing that gorgeous valley. That’s probably the best way I can describe my experience in this sense.

My next destination was the Grand Canyons. I decided I would drive as far as I could, then sleep in my car once again. I had less than a couple of hours of daylight. My farewell to Utah, consisted of 2 hours of driving with the windows down and jamming out to Mr. Ben Folds, Temper Trap, Rogue Wave, and Ray Lamontagne. The sun would set quickly behind the canyons in southern Utah. Just before entering Arizona I caught a glimpse of great Monument Valley. The sky was purple and the rock was this glowing orange red color that only a sunset could arrange.

It was late and I was getting sleepy so I pulled off on the side of the road in the middle of the Arizona desert.  I had made it just past a tiny town called Cameron. I crawled in the back of the car, made my cocoon, and went to sleep for rest of the night  hoping I didn’t need to use the restroom.

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One Response to “Day 1 & 2: Canyon Country Utah”

  1. Lydia Carbaugh Says:

    Wow, Venny! That is just awesome. You have so many gifts and talents and writting is one of them. I could see it all in my head. Can’t wait for the next one!


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