There is no easy way to describe this trip. There are many adjectives in the English language, but none of them really describe the west. We did too much to tell it all, made too many memories and gathered too many stories. I am just going to post the pictures here in the hopes that some of them may have captured the look of the west, but they did not capture the spirit of the west. It has to be experienced.
Albuquerque to Monument Valley
Pictograph National Monument, Albuquerque NM
Monument Valley, AZ/UT
Campground, Monument Valley
Day 7-Monument Valley to Grand Canyon North Rim, AZ
Monument Valley Morning
Northern Arizona Desert-Vermilion Cliffs, Colorado River, etc.
Colorado River, Many miles upstream of Grand Canyon.
Navajo Visitors Center
Looking back towards the road from the Kaibab National Forest
Kaibab NF approach to Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
The Campground was full, so we went back out into the forest.
We camped in a forest of Ponderosa Pines. At 8,000 ft it was cool and pleasant. Probably one of my favorite places.
Our trusty steed
These trees are called Aspens, and appear to quake in the wind.
Day 8- Grand Canyon to Zion National Park, Utah
The Grand Canyon from Kaibab NF
On the way back to civilization, we stopped at this fire tower.
There was a fire lookout inside who we talked to for a long while. He knew a lot about the area, and was very nice.
The Utah Desert towards Zion National Park
The Land Cruiser's other natural habitat
Zion National Park
There were a lot of people in Zion. It was very pretty, but very crowded. We fled from there, camping in a private campground outside the north gate. We went northeast from there towards Grand Staircase National Monument.
Day 9-Zion to Dixie National Forest
Dixie National Forest
Powell's Point, the top step in the Grand Staircase
We decided to go hike to Peakaboo Slot Canyon, which was 65 miles of dirt road away.
We stopped at Devil's Garden, which is an interesting geological area where a number of hoodoos were formed.
Dust storm & hot desert sun selfie
More dusty desert driving
The slot canyon was very cool.
As the sun set, we went uphill from there into the cool mountains to camp.
Day 10- Dixie National Forest back to Albuquerque (Via Scenic route 95)
We camped at 10,000 feet again.
It was strange to be in a forest, but able to look out and see the desert below. It was cool, and the air was thin. The stars that night were incredible. These were some of my favorite views of the trip.
We drove southeast from there, passing Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks.
We drove a brief ways across a desert that looked like the Moon.
The desert got flatter, dryer, hotter, and emptier after that.
They are not exaggerating when they talk about the dryness. We averaged a gallon and a half of water a day per person, and I think we were still all a little dehydrated.
After over 100 miles of not seeing any sign of civilization other than the road we were on, we made it back to New Mexico.
We stayed in a hotel that night, to drop Dad back off at the airport.