An Encore in Utah

After a mini blip into San Francisco (long story…), we officially turned around and headed back east. It was weird to be on our way home in a sense. Of course, we had a while left on the road and plenty to see! We spent the night at a cheap hotel in Reno ($29 on Hotwire!!!) and hit the road early the next day to drive back in to our favorite state – Utah.

There is so much to see in Utah and the landscape is diverse. Soon after crossing the Nevada/Utah border, we entered into the Great Salt Lake Desert. We took a pit stop at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats for a photo op.




This time around in the Beehive State, we would spend a few days in the Salt Lake area. We arrived late and Clint was anxious to be missing the NBA game seven finals, but I was stoked at the possibility of a remote campground up a legitimate “hollar”, as we say down south. We drove about five miles up a winding dirt road, climbing in elevation and dropping in temperature the whole time. When we reached the FSA campground, this view rewarded us. Wow!

This campsite also brought on another first for the trip- sleeping in the car. After three weeks on the road, I wanted to go easy and cheap. There wasn’t a great spot for our hammocks (where we had planned to sleep), so we improvised. Sleeping under the stars…. in a Chevy Malibu. Oh, to be young!

The next day, we set off to find a new campsite on Antelope Island. This was truly one of the most picturesque destinations of our trip, and it wasn’t even planned. I think that sometimes things just work out that way. It was also a steal at only $13 for admission and camping. The island is located about 30 minutes north of Salt Lake City and can only be accessed by a state park causeway across the lake. There are hundreds of bison roaming the island- we actually spotted more here than at Yellowstone later on!

The bison did roam just a bit too close for comfort sometimes. Eeeek! Count that as the second night sleeping in my car, as I wasn’t about to be trampled by a wild bison.

After catching a gorgeous sunset, we snuggled into our respective sleeping bags in the car and looked out at the supermoon. Perfect timing for this astrological event, as the skies on the island were free of any city lights.

20130702-135727.jpgWhile in Salt Lake, we ventured downtown to explore the city. I have heard great things about SLC, and it didn’t disappoint. We had a great lunch at The Lion House Pantry, which is located in Brigham Young’s historic homestead. Salt Lake is a uniquely green city, with flower beds, trees, and bushes everywhere downtown. I loved the clean and fresh feeling of the city.



Next, we head to the mother park – Yellowstone!


Arches and Canyons and Rocks – Oh My!


We made it to Moab, Utah in the late afternoon, with intentions of finding a cheap motel room for the one night stay. No such luck, as all of the hotels were booked up. We set out a winding two lane road in search of a campsite and had similar luck. We ended up finding a BLM campsite that was literally on the banks of the Colorado just before sunset. Even though it was primitive (no water, toilet, etc.), the views were overwhelming. The bubbling and rushing of the river lulled us to sleep in this beautiful canyon. These were also some of the darkest night skies I’ve ever seen. Truly majestic!


The day heated up quickly and we set off for Arches National Park. This was one of the best National Parks that I’ve visited. There were easily accessible trails for every traveler (including the lazy variety like myself). The Arches and narrows were mind-blowingly huge. My breath was taken away after every turn! If you plan to ride through the park by car and do most of the shorter trails (less than one mile), I would give yourself around 5 or 6 hours. My favorite parts of the day were just resting under the giant arches and taking it all in. Be prepared for picture overload!



















Arches NP exceeded my expectations on every front… We have been talking about it since we left there three days ago! More Utah next 🙂

A Little Aloft in Utah


I’m laying here with my dirty feet swinging in my hammock. Utah has bewitched me! Pine forests abound, mountains rise high above the landscape, and canyons dig deep into the rocky earth. It is magical and I’m not sure I want to leave just yet. I haven’t felt this good in quite some time, and I’m drinking it all in…