Canyonlands National Park

After having a nice, relaxing night on Moab on Thursday night, I headed out Friday morning to go to Canyonlands National Park! I ended up getting into the park at 8:15, which was a bit later than I had wanted but it was hard to roll out of bed in the morning!

My first stop was the Mesa Arch, which is probably the most famous “attraction” in Canyonlands. Thankfully, I got there early enough that it was still fairly empty, and with how the sun was rising, the light was coming in at such a great angle on the arch! Unfortunately, a group of 4 guys stood right in front of the arch the entire time- never moving so I could snap a shot of the whole thing (thanks guys).

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I drove on to do a short hike to see the salt canyons (I doubt that’s what they’re called). I had been pretty enthralled with all the green sand I had been seeing everywhere and finally figured out that it’s salt! Who’da thunk it?

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Canyonlands probably offers really great hikes and they have a 4WD trail that looks awesome (my Honda Civic is not 4WD). I bet camping is great there too! Since my time was really limited, I did the Island in the Sky route and just made stops along various viewpoints.

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I headed out around 11:15 and then started making my way to Salt Lake City.

Along the way, I had another case of amazement. I actually think my favorite stretch of the drive may have been between Price, UT and Salt Lake City. I was surrounded by mountains and the leaves were still on the trees so they were red, yellow, and orange and just breathtaking! Unfortunately, getting a good shot was hard since I was on the wrong side of the road (the leaves were only changed on one side- must be the weather patterns) but I did my best!

I also came along a park right near Spanish Forks, UT and loved it! Great views! I spent a good 40 minutes there and enjoyed their bathrooms (seriously the cleanest bathrooms I’ve had the entire trip) since I had just finished my cup of coffee for the day!

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I got into Salt Lake City and ate a quick meal at Whole Foods before heading on to Boise! I managed to get a speeding ticket on my way to Boise for going 86mph in an 80mph zone. I was annoyed too because I had just checked my speedometer and was going 82, but had just come over a hill and was still accelerating (my car did really poorly going up the hills!) when he clocked me. I was already slowing down when I saw him and he really must have gotten me in that split second where I was going faster. Not that I don’t speed- cause I do, but I had actually barely been speeding for the last 50 miles or so because it had gotten dark!

I think the cop thought I was nuts too cause I wouldn’t roll my window down more than 2 inches. I told him I watch too many forensic shows and there are so many episodes where “cops” murder girls along the highway. I think he gave me a citation to prove that he was a “real” cop. Either way, he was really nice and we chatted some through my barely cracked window. He did ask if I had meth or paraphernalia in my car, or perhaps some marijuana. I wonder if anybody actually says, “Oh yeah, here you go!” Oddly enough, Jon and I had just talked a few days earlier about what I would do if I got pulled over at night. I was trying to convince him how safe I actually am and said I wouldn’t roll my window down if I got pulled over. Sticking to my guns.

I checked into a Hampton Inn at 9:50pm! I had been hoping to get a workout in, but I was absolutely starving and Bonefish had room service till 10pm, so I got on that instead! Had a relaxing night and then headed to bed! I did manage to wake up early for a workout in the hotel gym but my hip was hurting quite a bit so all I could do was upper body and even that caused some pain in my hip! I also ate a huge breakfast with real fruit (I hate melons, so when berries are part of my breakfast, I’m super happy!) at Big City Coffee in Boise! Go there if you ever have a chance!

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I headed out and got to Washington (I’m staying over the state line) by about 4pm after lots of rain (welcome to the west coast!) and tons of wind along the Columbia River!

Arches National Park

Thursday morning I headed out of my aunt’s house at 5:30am! Bright and early (kidding, it was dark, but it was early…)! I knew I had to get to Arches National Park and to Salt Lake City in order to get to Portland the next night! I made it through Denver and as I got into the mountains, I was totally in awe! They were gorgeous!

I stopped in Dillon to get gas and was just completely amazed. Speechless. I decided to head up to a lake that I saw on my Google Maps and ended up spending over an hour in Dillon/Frisco. (I haven’t gone through these- so you all get my Instagram versions.)

dillon colorado

dillon colorado

As I kept driving, I think I just became even more amazed than I had been. Colorado is such a beautiful state and I never could have pictured the adorable little towns! As I got into Vail, the trees really started to have some color (the leaves had fallen off a lot of the other places)! I found a great turn off spot and got a few pictures!

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I really thought I was never going to make it to Utah, but then the news came on saying they were expecting a wintery mix in the afternoon for elevations greater than 10,000 feet and flash floods for areas 7,000-10,000 feet! No thanks! It started raining on me too!

LONG drive to Utah! But beautiful!

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I got to Arches National Park around 1pm and ended up spending over 4 hours there! I think I could have stayed forever! I didn’t see a lot of the arches there since I had limited time and a lot of the arches called for longer hikes. It was also really crowded there and I hate crowds of people! They ruin all my photos!

arches national park

arches national park

After feeling rushed through Arches, I realized that it was Thursday and that I had two FULL days left of my road trip! I have no idea how I thought it was Friday all day, especially since Jon and I talked throughout the day about his classes and we talked about how he got up early to take out the trash (Thursday is trash day). This opened up some doors of opportunity! I had a whole free day that I wasn’t expecting!

After Arches, I was feeling pretty drained. I had been doing tons of driving (over 2,000 miles at that point!) and was starving and spent all day walking around in the heat! I decided to stay in Moab for the night, get dinner, relax, and then head to Canyonlands National Park the next day!

Moab was a super cute (super small) town! They had so many healthy options for eating and everything was walkable! My room was even pretty decent for being in a little motel! I was expecting a much more disgusting town but was pleasantly surprised!

I ended up staying up to upload photos. I’ve already filled all my memory on my Mac that I just got in May! I need to stop and buy a terabyte tomorrow since I can’t even upload all my pictures from today!