Millennium Mom

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Welcome th the playland called Utah!!!!

Wow, it has been a wonderful three days, but I will try to take them one by one.
So Mesa Verde was just great, great hikes, great weather, great guides, great sights.
But we knew what was coming was even better.
Three years ago we pulled the kids out of school for a week in October and came to S. Utah.  We flew into Vegas (baby!...always feel like they go together), stayed there a weekend to see some shows and then headed to Zion.  We rented a very nice log home outside the East side of Zion and hit Zion, Bryce, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, N. rim of grand canyon and some little towns for the week.  It was great.  So as we entered Utah again we had high expectations.

Arnie had been to the Moab area back in 1987 (yes he is old, that was right before he graduated from college) and loved it, so he was excited.  He had two things we HAD to do, an offroad jeepish tour and a hike to the Fiery Furnace in Arches.  Before headed to Utah we detoured about an hour or so to go to the four corners monument.  This is where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico come together.  It is officially on Navajo territory, so there were great shops there and we bough some jewelry (mom and Claire the shop-a-holics), Arrows (Ben and my tomb-boy Sarah), and a Christmas ornament for me.  Here are some pics of the monument.

From Four Corners we headed through Arizona to Utah, sort of like we drive through Kentucky to get to Anderson from downtown...similar right? :)

The drive is beautiful as you would imagine, particularly as you get about and hour into Utah and it goes from flat ground to the canyons.  Canyonlands national park is VERY big and only has two entry points.  We only went into the south area on the way to Moab, it is the Needles area.  I wanted to do both, but my "12 hours" away from the trip to go to Los Angeles cost me that opportunity, as it is about an hour drive just to get into the park, nothing is easy out here driving wise.  Here are some pics of the trip up to Canyonlands area (this is the part of the blog were you realized, not quite like driving through Kentucky to get to Ohio).

We were quite nervous going into the Needles area of Canyonlands.  We were 50 miles from Moab, it was 2:30 and the car rental place closed at 5pm.  And I had to have a car to drive to Grand Junction the next morning to catch a plane.  The drive in to the park was 34 miles (but remember, we are driving an RV and these are not straight and wide roads).  We decided to go for it...yes, we are nuts, but we are on a 6 week RV trip so that is a given.  It was so worth it.  When we got into the park and were looking at the canyons Ben said to Arnie and I "mom, I feel like I am lightning McQueen in Cars".  For those who have seen the movie, I think the animators came to Canyonlands to capture images for the two scenes where a) Lightning and Sally go for their drive together and race a bit; and 2) Clint Eastwood's character (the Sheriff) Doc is out racing the canyons and Lightning watches him.  Here are some pics of the Needles area, we didn't get all the way out to the viewpoint of the Colorado river as I was too nervous on time, but in hindsight we had plenty, so bummed about that (got to car rental place at 4:40).

I hope you like the pics, of course they can only capture so much, and scale is always hard but hopefully you are getting the picture a bit.  On the way out was a national Historic site called Newspaper Rock.  It is some Indian Hieroglyphics (sp?) on one of the canyons rock edges.  We have learned how the black forms, but it is confusing and debated, but needless to say the Indians were smart and used it to communicate through images. 

So off to Moab we were after our first glimpse at the Canyons in the area.  We made it to Canyonlands jeep rental on time, and the good news is they are owned by Moab Action Center which is a great place were you can book any type of tour under the sun, literally - Jeep, Hummer, Rafting, ATV, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Hot Air Balloon...
So while I filled out all my papers, Arnie booked our tours - Hummer safari on Monday, Rafting on Tuesday. The only question was would mommy (that's me) make it back on time for the 6:15 departure on Tuesday night.  For those who check facebook updates, you know I did, but you will get the whole story tomorrow.

Off to the RV park we went.  We stayed at Canyonlands RV park in downtown Moab.  Walking distance to everything which was great.  And it had a pool. I haven't mentioned this but Pools are a very important part of this trip.  First to give the kids something to look forward to at the end of our very long days.  Second to cool off.  The temperature in Moab while we have been here has ranged from high of 96 to high of we need to cool off.

Until tomorrow's update (which will be for Monday June 10) good bye.


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