Monday, April 19, 2021

Roadtrip 2021 - Utah - 3 - Canyonland & scenic exit

Spring Break Road Trip 2021: Nebraska -> Colorado Springs -> Utah (Dead Horse) -> Utah (Arches) -> Utah (Canyonlands)

Saved the last day for a much relaxed sightseeing day. We entered the Canyonland from the farther end to cover the Arches we didn't cover the previous day.

Newspaper Rock

Wooden shoe Arch



Green River Overlook


Fun to see the Cow warning boards. Thats the first I saw. We are more used to seeing Deer warning board in MN.

Messa Arch - Sunset

We have like 100 photos & videos of this sunset. Quite an adventure story of hunting for the right spot to watch the sunset, as time was running out. Every member of the car had different opinion, so we moved 20 different spots in this half hour. It was worth it.

Exiting Moab:

 was via SR-128 East going towardsI-70 East. Such a scenic route. Straight vertical rocks for climbing on the right. Colorado river on the left. Noticeable ranches for future cabin stay: Red cliff lodge & Sorrel River Ranch.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Roadtrip 2021 - Utah - 2 - Arches

Spring Break Road Trip 2021: Nebraska -> Colorado Springs -> Utah (Dead Horse) -> Utah (Arches) -> Utah (Canyonlands)

 Now the Arches. This National Park is quite literally just a bunch of Arches. I couldn't reduce this incredible experience any further. 

  1. Get in the entrance for Arches National Park before 8:30 am. Cause there is huge rush in and they close the gates after n number of cars are in. Really. That's how we lost the first day and made it in on the 2nd day.
  2. Pack lunch and get. No way to get out of here before dark just cause you are short of food.
  3. Shoes - get the best ones. We clocked 30k steps on this day alone.

The rock mountains right after entrance are enthralling enough. But I wonder why we wasted time here instead of Arches.



North & South Arches

Double Arches

Broken Arch

This one involved first a halt the Sand Dune. This narrow caveous sight.

Then a small hike to Broken Arch.

Devils Garden Trail

This is a hike place and shows quite a few arches in the range of 2 to 9 miles.

We checked out the Landscape Arch. tunnel arch view was not so great.

Delicate Arches

We saved the Delicate Arches for the grand finale. And it was totally worth it.

Messa Arch

Then there is Messa Arch. We visited this next day to check out the sunset.

I have proof we clocked more than 30K steps that day !

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Roadtrip 2021 - Utah - 1 - Dead Horse

Spring Break Road Trip 2021: Nebraska -> Colorado Springs -> Utah (Dead Horse) -> Utah (Arches) -> Utah (Canyonlands)

  After 2 days in Colorado Springs, we drove to Moab, Utah. I was asleep when we entered the town & went straight for check-in and sleep. Next morning, the mountain rocks we visible from the hotel window itself, even being on first floor.

The 4 days stay was full of walking. There were orange rocks of all shapes everywhere. I was even dreaming of them at night.

National Park pass is useful when visiting more than 1 park. But there are state parks too and they won't accept the Natl Park pass. So budget for it.

  1. Dead Horse Point State Park
  2. Drive across the Canyons
  3. Arches National Park
  4. Canyonlands National Park

These parks are vast. Which means once in, you can't drive out for something simple but crucial like lunch. So pack & carry it with you. You don't want to stumble out of these vast, arid deserts, clamoring for food & water, while there is entire half day left to explore the parks.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Drive across the Canyons - Potash Road

Now the drive down the cliff is one of those extreme-dangerous-road-drive videos. My kid did get the whole thing on video. Including all our voices. First we thought we would mute the video. But nope - the voice commentary (of everyone's nervous chatter) is a gem of a companion to the cliff-visuals.

At the end of the road, in the bottom of the cliffs, park people have built what we thought we would need - a bathroom. Like really.

This is the Potash field which the reason for this road name. 

Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park next up.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Roadtrip 2021 - Colorado

Spring break roadtrip continued towards Colorado Springs after the night halt in North Platte, NE. In Colorado we visited:
  • Mesa Verde National Park, 
  • Royal gorge Bridge & Park Canon City,
  • Pikes Peak Colorado Springs &
  • Denver 


Our first halt was to sight-see Capitol and surroundings. One marked thing visible are the Dispensaries and clinics unique to this state and their users roaming all the streets & settled in there.

Next up, Denver Art Museum. Lovely place to relax and take pics with its numerous installations.

Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs

First thing on entering Colorado, is the never-ending chain of mountains on all sides. That's a sight to see. This was a sight of the peak, from behind our Hotel.

Pikes Peak is a 16 mile drive with many overlooks for lovely sights. 
Finally at the peak on 16th-mile, is the place to park the car and climb/walk/crawl uphill. There were large stones and snow all over. Such a lovely view to see snow after so long - it had melted in MN in March itself. The climb uphill to the top looked treacherous, maybe was, but I didn't see any of the crowds get injured. So I did it too. Its a sight to behold. No amount of picture could capture the vastness of it all.

Royal gorge Bridge & Park, Canon City

As soon as we entered the park, it was a Disneyland feeling. There was Zipline, Gandola ride, Swing on the top-most point and a Bridge across the Gorge. And again, no amount of pictures could capture the stomach-churning depth of this gorge.

There are different state flags, and when we neared Minnesota, there was another MN family. Lot of yelling to show the homie feeling.

Gandola rides & Zip Line and Swigs basically stopped after 3pm. There were long waits in lines. Later for some or the other excuse, they closed after 4pm. 

Mesa Verde National Park

This hidden gem was revealed to us by another fellow hotel stayer.

There are these unbelievable Cave houses, villages, squares etc built on the cliffs.

Every village we stopped at, the poster explained the whole history. Yet there was always a wonder, why did they build on the cliffs ? Why not the plain lands slightly (miles) away and why on these slippery cliffs to climb everyday ? Who came here first & settled those 60-80 families eventually ? Phew.

The drive across the park stops at many overlooks to show the different cave villages and one final grand view across the whole thing. Its so hard to believe these were built in 1200-1270 AD and not some tourist-fraud thing.

Next hop to Moab, Utah.

The drive was via winding ghat roads. With river gorge on one side and yawning mountains looking like rock-slide on the other, totally reminded of Hindi-movies Kashmir.