Well, it’s been several days (six, to be exact) since my last encounter with WiFi and right around that same number of days since my last honest-to-goodness “real” shower. All that changes tonight! I’m currently sitting in the lobby of an inn in Pagosa Springs, CO, doing laundry and downloading three days’ worth of digital images off of three cameras.
To recap the Great Amber Adventure so far: on August 8 Mom and Dad picked me up in Salt Lake City and we headed to Bryce Canyon for two days. We rode the bikes on over to Kodachrome Basin State Park, and drove through Escalante on our way to Capital Reef National Park where we hiked to Hickman Bridge. We spent about a day and a half in Arches National Park, and rode the bikes the ~50 miles or so over to Canyonlands National Park (the top part) and then back to Arches and our camp site.
We’ve seen Hopi chipmunks, desert cottontails (rabbits), antelope, mule deer, hummingbirds and a rock squirrel, as well as many birds and lizards (including a long-nosed leopard lizard). One morning Dad even saw a bobcat’s rear end as he was chasing a rabbit behind my tent!
Yesterday Mom, Dad and I decided that we had seen enough red rock to warrant skipping the extra parts of Canyonlands (it’s huge and broken up into three sections, but we were told that much of it is similar to parts in Arches), and we decided to head down to Four Corners so I could sit in four states at once (Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico). We entered Navajo Nation around lunchtime today, paid $3 per person to get into Four Corners, and then broke out the Colorado map and decided to make our way to Pagosa Springs.
Tomorrow, we’re going to head to Mueller State Park for some high elevation, forest camping (a drastic difference from the sandy, rocky and sparse terrain we’ve been camping on in Utah). Maybe we’ll even see an elk! This trip will take us halfway to Fort Collins, where we are planning to spend Sunday with Max and Jenn before they take Mom and I to the airport on Monday. (Dad will drive on to Holly, CO, for his annual prairie dog hunting trip, and then he’ll come home when he’s ready or when he’s broke, since he’s retired and can be so fancy-free.)
It’s been a GREAT trip so far. Mom and Dad are easy traveling companions, and we split up our talents well. If I’m using my new MacBook Pro’s iPhoto correctly, the three of us have taken 1,734 photos — and only a few of them were taken out the window of a traveling vehicle (or off the back of Dad’s bike). To go along with the theme of this post, here are a few (unedited) photos to tide you over until I can get home and make sense out of what we’ve seen. Here is photographic proof that Utah, well… rocks:
(From top to bottom, left to right: Sunrise at Bryce Canyon; Hickman Bridge in Capital Reef State Park; the view from Dead Horse State Park; Sand Dune Arch; Double Arches; Delicate Arch; cairns stacked up by visitors around Balanced Rock; Balanced Rock; Pine Tree Arch; Landscape Arch; Tunnel Arch; Canyonlands National Park)