Friday, May 25, 2007

Went camping but ended up in Vegas...

Is that a bear wading through a river?


K and I just spent over one week in beautiful Utah national parks and meeting up with friends and family in Colorado. Our first stop was at Zion, where we hiked/waded through the Virgin River to the Narrows. This was by far our favorite hike - four hours in ankle to hip-deep water, where I slipped on river rocks twice, resulting in two big, ugly bruises on my right knee. Really, we had a great time. It was amazingly beautiful - photos cannot do it justice.


We also hiked up to Hidden Canyon - I almost pee'd in my pants when I saw this narrow climb. We clung onto the metal chain and tried not to look down the sheer cliffs...


We even had some time to play nine holes at a golf course in Hurricane, UT, before meeting up with friends in Glenwood Springs, CO (where we played more golf and biked along the Colorado River - beautiful! I wished So Cal had trails like that one!) and with family in Denver.

Then back to Utah, where we (inadvertently) took a long route to Arches via Scenic Byway UT-128, but we're glad we did because we had the chance to experience some wonderful scenery. We camped by the Colorado River and drove into Arches (where it was VERY windy.)
The initial drive into Arches was incredible...we felt like we were transported to a different planet.

The famous Delicate Arch (we thought we were going to be blown off the cliff!)

...and the Landscape Arch (a big chunk of this fell in the early 90s, resulting in a razor thin arch)

We then dropped by Capitol Reef and did a quick hike through some orchards that Mormon pioneers had planted (or so we were told by an REI employee in San Diego.) Beautiful shades of green painted the white stone landscape. Then onto Bryce Canyon via Scenic Byway UT-12, where as I was passing through a small town, I was pulled over by a cop for speeding. I had made a conscious effort in slowing down. He told me that he wasn't going to cite me, but I still needed to submit payment for a $100+ fine (ugh!) Thereafter, it took me a while to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the UT-12...


One of the most breathtaking views of the entire trip was at Bryce. The cylindrical formations are called "hoodoos" but K decided that "hookahs" was more appropriate. This shot was taken on the evening before the snowstorm...


Yup, lo and behold, it snowed the morning that we were supposed to backpack into the high country. Snow was not in the forecast. We had no winter apparel, so we packed all our stuff, and with Dis' help (thanks again!) we drove to Vegas. Although we stayed at the Stratosphere, we drove to old downtown and played blackjack amongst a bunch of gambling Hawaiian retirees at the California. K lost $150, I lost $55 (but I played for about 2.5 hours at the same table...the dealers were so fun to talk to!) We then spent more money the next day at the outlet stores in Primm. It was definitely a whirlwind trip...I can't believe all the things we did and saw in less than 10 days!

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Bryce Canyon is one of the lovliest places I've ever been. It looks like you had a great trip!

Disentangled said...

Those photos bring back memories of one of my family's only vacations we took as a kid. Such beautiful country! I'm so glad you guys had such a great trip. We really do live in a beautiful country when we just stop for a little while and enjoy it!

Nonnahs said...

I LOVE the vacation recap! I can't believe it snowed on you guys! Glad you got to see 1/2 of my home state at the Cal in Vegas- ha! Thanks for sharing the pics- makes me want to go hiking!

Theresa said...

Some of the most beautiful places, aren't they?