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The world, through the bug-splatterd windshield of an RV.
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DO YOU KNOW the state of being overwhelmed? Overjoyed?
Well I have a new one for you.
It’s the perfect description for the emotion I feel as we’ve made our way west and are now making our way through the four corner states of the beautiful US Southwest. A hundred times a day I find myself in the midst of another remarkable landscape, gaping at endless, unimaginable vistas, marveling at some detail—tiny or magnificent—and saying to my sweet, patient husband:
It’s glorious, and overwhelming, and exhausting, in a most exhilarating manner. I mean you finish one national park and with hardly time to reflect you are on to the next, magnificent in its own surprising and significant way.
I’m loving Every Single Second and only regret that the lack of WIFI and internet access is limiting my ability to real-time share every detail with you.
(I am posting lots of photos on Facebook and Instagram, in my stories. This seems to be accessible some of the time. In fact, I think it’s particularly fun to click on the RV Trip Story Highlights which you’ll find just below my profile photo on my Instagram profile page. You can start with RV Adventure! then go to RV Part 2 for the full story, in photos, to date.)
BUT I DIGRESS. As for this particular moment, we are in our RV in Tropic, Utah, where we visited Bryce Canyon—perhaps my most anticipated of the trip—only to discover it was neither RV nor pet-friendly (please let me be clear we completely understand and support this position) and still we had the most amazing drive through! That complication (and a tip from my friend and fellow travel-lover, Cheryl Cooper) led us to consider a state park, in this case Kodachrome Canyon, which allowed the three of us to not only enjoy the vistas but to hike, touch, and wonder right there among the red rocks, the cliffs, the hoodoos.
It was one of our favorite experiences.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO TELL.
Since my last post we’ve explored Santa Fe (I AM IN LOVE); White Sands National Park; Saguaro National Park, where we drove the six-mile Bajada Loop Drive and hiked to Signal Hill; the Goldfield Ghost Town; Sedona (how can I not write an entire post on magical Sedona? I’ll just say we hiked Munds Wagon Trail where we stared at—and felt the energy of—the most famous Red Rock formations, crossed stony creeks, and reached the John Wayne grotto ); traveled through Oak Creek Canyon and up to that incredible vista and high altitude forest; drove down through the indescribable Painted Desert; then OMG our favorite day ever with the many surprises of Glen Canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs, Balanced Rock, (how did we miss Horseshoe Bend?); crossed the Colorado River and met a young man who tracks the highly endangered California Condors. We saw nine of the 367 currently in the wild! Then we drove on to Page, Arizona.
(I’m having a hard time writing this, I’m so overawed just reconsidering it all.)
Page, Arizona: where we visited Monument Valley—I will never, ever forget that hike, the Wildcat Trail around West Mitten Butte—then on to the indescribable Antelope Slot Canyon.
Since we were in “the city,” we restocked our groceries, libations, and gas. (I also bought more watercolor paper. Thank heavens for that stop!) Then we left Page and stopped almost immediately at Wahweap Overlook for a spectacular view of Wahweap Bay and Lake Powell. Then on to Zion, where in overload, we stopped early and parked for the night at our RV camp. We seriously just needed a breath.
The Next Morning.
Up and out early, we drove to Zion National Park. The first five miles we ogled at miles and miles of the Slick Rock High Plateau, layers of rock that curve and shift and rise. I mean. Just look.
(NOTE: If you don’t see a video above, or can’t get it to load, apologies. I’m happy to send it to you if you are interested! Just drop me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Once in the park, we had to get a special pass to drive our 12-foot high RV right down the center line of the 1.1 mile, 13.6-foot tunnel. Then we parked and walked the Pa’rus Trail along the Virgin River (dog-friendly!).
Next day? The Red Canyon Red Rock area, and Bryce.
FUN STATS, to date:
20 days gone, 10 to go
3453 miles traveled, 2800 (we estimate) to go
6 National Parks visited, 6 to go (we missed two—road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon was closed; Vallez Calderra we skipped due to limited time)
1 (unplanned) State Park visited, who knows how many to go
1 Ghost Town, 0 to go
1 Slot Canyon, 0 to go
Capital Reef; Moab (including Arches and Canyonlands—woo hoo!); Colorado National Monument, Mesa Verde and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Oh, and there’s a 80-mile diversion to get to the official four corners, where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet.
I’ll do my best to update you more frequently via The Daily Grace, should WIFI allow! Until then, sending you so much love and a big fat wish that your spring is filled with beauty and awe and glory, however that may manifest.
Until next time—