After leaving Capitol Reef NP, we stopped by a local restaurant at the intersection of two main highways that claimed to have some of the “best food” around. It was just aiite (I guess their nice personalities and great effort makes up for it). Outside on the patio, we ate our sandwiches and talked to two guys that had been on a similar national parks road trip for a few months. We were so jealous! They went to the Grand Canyon too (my dad kept texting me fire updates and weather reports about Arizona, saying it was like 124 and 126, so we avoided that whole state in general). AND they actually saw bighorn sheep! One of the guys was like, “Yeah, he was a daddy sheep, looking at us all mean-like because he had a baby sheep behind him”. Sounded more like a protective bighorn sheep mama.
As we drove on we continued to see more signs saying “America’s Scenic Highways”. And, ooohhhhmygod, it was true – the land looked sofuckingAMAZING!! Tall, brick-red and dark-colored rock formations surrounded the land around the road. Unfckingreal.
The only problem was that we had been going in the wrong direction for quite some time now (and we were almost out of gas, with no stations around for miles!). We actually drove to the border of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (also near Natural Bridges) instead of going north towards Moab. We were so SAD to have to turn around (I’ve seen tons of photos of Glen Canyon in Backpacker magazine, and I have to say that it’s definitely a top priority on my next road trip. It looks stunning out there!)
It was so pretty, however, that we just had to get out of the car and take a shitload of photos:
Dark stripes of water stains on red and tan rock
Looking out towards Glen Canyon
Luckily the Highlander just barely made it to the next gas station about 26 miles out. We headed northeast this time – on our way to MOAB!
It was evening when we arrived in the city. So gorgeous.
Instead of staying in town, however, we stayed true to our camping roots and found an awesome little BLM campsite on the edge of town. It ran alongside the Colorado river right next to the highway, but it looked really nice. We soon found out however that all the campsites had been taken up for the night. One campsite that was vacant, however, were the incredibly humongous group campsites at the end of the grounds. We asked the camp host if we could just pay and stay there for a night, and were elated when he said that we could. IT WAS HUGE!!!
Hot, sweaty, and lacking shower facilities for the past few days, I went over to one of the eight picnic tables on our campsite and began to take a shower. I didn’t care that it was a dry campground (no running water) and that I had to use our own water reserves; I was disgusting and something had to be done about it. However, I have to say that there’s nothing more peaceful or liberating than taking a butt-nekkid makeshift sponge-bath/shower on a pitch black night during the middle of a Utah summer. It was like 75 degrees at the time. So relaxing.
We soon found out however, that boats would go up and down the Colorado river at night. A large truck would drive slowly back and forth down the highway, shining its bright stadium lights on the tall rock mountains bordering the river. It was pretty bizarre (The next day we found out that a certain Colorado tour company conducts nighttime river tours. I think it actually has a religious theme to it. Oh, Utah…).
When we woke up in the morning and looked around….OH MAN. We couldn’t have picked a more amazingly gorgeous campground to stay at!!!!
Those same tall rock walls in the morning
My little REI Campdome tent against a stunning backdrop