Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Headed West

Finally getting around to posting about our road trip through a small portion of the US (of course I have to do this using my cell phone as a wifi hotspot as we still don't have internet and don't seem to be getting any closer to having it).

Anyway, our road trip was incredible.  We had a fantastic time and saw more amazing things that I can possibly write about.  Honestly I don't even know where to start.  The weather was incredible and I think we got really lucky in that respect.  Sun every day, no rain, not too hot during the day, though a bit nippy some of the nights we spent camping in the desert.  The two nights we were camping at the Grand Canyon actually got down to below zero, which was not in the forecast, and being the extremely cheap people that we are, we didn't invest in any good camping gear for this trip, so we ended up spending those two nights sleeping in the car.  But other than that it was great, and it turns out the Ford Fiesta is actually quite comfortable to sleep in and I almost regret having spent the money on a cheap tent and air mattress for our three nights of camping in Utah.

Everywhere we went was incredible and I have a hard time picking favorites in general, but I guess if I had to have a preference it would either be for Canyonlands National Park or Petrified Forest National Park, though I highly recommend every place we went.  The only real downside was, when planning this trip, I don't know what we were thinking.  We went to a lot of places with high elevations and cliffs (Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon where you are essentially exploring giant holes in the ground, Mesa Verde which is primarily for visiting cliff dwellings, etc) and Lionel has an extreme case of acrophobia mixed with vertigo.  This of course meant that in the end he spent a few days freaking out, for example when we were supposed to do our 11 mile hike in Canyonlands and only got to do 6 miles of it because one section had you walk along a ledge, hugging a wall with a huge drop off right next to you and his fear of heights caused him to freak out and have a near panic attack.  As a result, he didn't really visit any of Mesa Verde and I had to go on all the visits of the cliff dwellings alone.  He only really got to see the parts on top of the mesa.  And the hike I had planned on the South Kaibab trail at the Grand Canyon, to go part of the way down the canyon, yeah, well I got to do that alone too because he couldn't even handle getting closer than 3 meters from the edge of the canyon, let alone going over the edge.

But other than that slight misstep in planning, we were amazed with everything we saw, we had a great time on the trip and we are definitely hoping to go back out west on one of our next trips to the US.  And now for the pictures:

Lionel and I hiking a small canyon in Arches National Park

exploring the Windows Arches in Arches National Park

view from a hike up a slick rock in Arches National Park

Delicate Arch

Lionel and I in Canyonlands National Park

view over Canyonlands National Park

hike out to Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands

more hiking in Canyonlands

visiting Canyonlands

the beginning of the fateful 11-mile hike in Canyonlands

hiking in Canyonlands

our first view of the Grand Canyon

the Grand Canyon

at the Grand Canyon, the closest picture I could get Lionel to take

Lionel staying far from the edge of the Grand Canyon

me and the Grand Canyon

hiking into the Grand Canyon alone

part of the South Kaibab Trail into the Grand Canyon

Mesa Verde National Park

The Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde

visiting a cliff dwelling

The Cliff Palace cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

visiting Monument Valley, a picture of us taken by a nice French family we met there

me with some huge petrified logs in Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park and part of the Painted Desert

Petrified Forest National Park

The Blue Mesa, part of the Blue Badlands section of Petrified Forest National Park

the Painted Desert

where historic Route 66 used to cross Petrified Forest National Park, if you look
closely on the left side of the photo you can see the old electric poles that used to follow Route 66 

the Painted Desert

the cathedral in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe

a shop in Santa Fe

meeting up with Karin of An Alien Parisienne and Do-Overs in Denver

following the route of the historic Route 66

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