Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Arches, Canyonlands, Four Corners, & Natural Bridges

Road Trip: The End (kind-of)

I loved Utah and my last stops in this great state were Arches, the Southern part of Canyonlands, Natural Bridges, and the Four Corners. 

I arrived in the Canyonlands/Arches area on a Holiday weekend and was planning on staying in one of the campgrounds in those parks. Unfortunately for me Canyonlands has a pretty small campground and Arches was full.  After exploring Canyonlands during the day I camped outside the park and woke up early the next morning to explore Arches. 

The only hike I really had any desire to do was “Delicate Arch.”  I believe it was three miles and the first half of it was all up hill and I felt like I could possibly die… it was real encouraging to see two different set of parents caring their kids on this hike.
Seriously how are you in the much of better shape then me… at this point all I have been doing for weeks is hiking.

Over all Arches was pretty cool and I can now tell you the difference between an Arch and a Natural Bridge… but it wasn’t a two day park.
So I left and headed off to the Southern entrance of Canyonlands.

Canyonlands (again):
Since I only had a partial day I drove around and saw the sites and went on a small hike, which involved lot of climbing on rocks. 
I might be in love with climbing on rocks.  You don’t have to worry about staying on a specific trail because there is no vegetation to ruin (just don’t get lost).

I camped outside of the park at this place that had unestablished campsite you could stay at for free or established campsites you could stay at for $5.00.  I went with the established campsite bc I didn’t trust my car driving any farther down the dirt road.
It was probably my favorite campsite. 

Natural Bridges:
When I was back in cell phone range I knew one thing: I wasn’t ready to leave Utah.  And I was told the Natural Bridges was the best place to view the stars in the country! So I had to go.

the three natural bridges. (I didn't walk down to see the last one)

I decided at the last minute to do a loop hike (Sipapu/Kachina) to see two of the three natural bridges.  It was  6.5 miles and it felt like the longest hike I have ever done and I have no desire to ever do it again.  This story would require its own blogpost and maybe someday I’ll feel up to writing it.
Some scenes from the hike. Those Cairns saved my life and this area was in desperate need for some water.... and did I mention I had to walk up and down lots of ladders.

When I got back to camp I came up with a clever way to wash my clothes and hang them dry using the pointless strings on my tent. 
I was pretty proud that I came up with that.

And let me tell you the stars were amazing. 

Four Corners:
no real description needed.  I had to go and I was a little shocked that it cost money to get into... but I believe it was like $3.00 so not the end of the world. 

Mesa Verde (Colorado):
the last "real stop" on my journey. 
It was amazing to see places in America that are this old and even crazier when you try to figure out how hundreds of individuals lived in these little towns. 
When I got back to camp and I was sitting by my campfire trying to figure out how to make a S'more when I had no sticks and it was against the rules to pick up sticks, I decided that I was done.  
I was ready to get back into the real world... well as real of a world you can get back to when you don't have a job and you were still a 2000+ miles drive home.  
but I was ready for showers and clean clothes again. 
And I knew I had only seen the start of what this country had to offer and know that I'll be back to explore the rest someday.

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