Burnzz Blog

a running commentary

Southeastern Utah Tour

Tuesday night – the first one after Labor Day. Went to work today, sporting a custom t-shirt, compliments of a Navajo shopkeeper at the Four Corners. We traveled miles and miles, saw some amazing country, and played the part of tourists willingly.

We saw plenty of foreign tourists, heard Japenese, German, all types of Eastern European languages, and the occasional Navajo and Spanish. Our trip took us from Salt Lake to Moab,  Mexican Hat to Torrey. We celebrated our anniversary Friday at Buck’s Grill House, in Moab. A patio dinner, preceded by top shelf margaritas. T-bone steaks, a little Beaujolais, a nice late summer night. We hit the road fairly early, armed with a Utah road map that neither of us could read. We purposely left the itinerary open, and agreed the only thing we needed to do was make it to the next hotel.

South on 191, we turned off and took the road out to the Needles Overlook.

Needles

Needles

If, at anytime you find yourself anywhere near Moab, i will recommend making this excursion. Soon i’ll have more pictures posted to the gallery, but i will say; of all the places we went, National Parks,  Monuments, this place was the most unexpected. i had an idea of what we might see at Monument Valley, of Capitol Reef, but the vista from this lone lookout completely surprised me.

We spent Saturday night at a gorgeous little hotel in Mexican Hat. The room sucked, but the setting was awesome. It was perched right on the San Juan river, about 40 miles north of Monument Valley.

road to Monument Valley

road to Monument Valley

We got a nice start after putting on miles the day before. The area is dramatic, i can understand why they filmed here years ago. Today the Navajo are putting in a visitors center, and they graded a road through the valley itself to make it more accessible. While we were stopped at that center, we had asked a guy to take our picture. Turns out he had visited the same spot twenty years before, and had shared with us some watercolors he had painted then.

We trekked through northern Arizona and came back into southern Utah. Our destination that night was Torrey, miles away from the border. We saw Natural Bridges National Monument, after driving up the face of a cliff. From there we caught the corner of Lake Powell, making Tania more boat hungry than she already was. Capitol Reef National Park is due east of Torrey, and we drove through it on our way to the hotel. We decided to return in the morning, and finish a hike we started four years before.

Hickman Natural Bridge

Hickman Natural Bridge

The last time we came through here, we wanted to make the hike to the bridge. We had gotten a ½ mile into it when it down poured. Caught unawares, we retreated. Soaked to the bone. So we took up the challenge again and made the trip. We were rewarded with the picture you see above, and the company of old and young (very young, flip-flop wearing, crying) people passing us along the trail.

We almost made it home without incident. Right before Highway 6 intersects Highway 15, some idiot left their boat on the road. We were at a dead stop for 45 minutes.

This was one of the most rewarding road trips i have ever taken. Tania and i realized that we could go on a vacation, and the only thing we needed to do was sight see. If that makes me sound old, well then, i can live with that. And the fact that i now have a weeks worth of picture to go through . . .

Posted in Vacations.

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