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Utah & Arizona

With Denver now in the rear view mirror, we committed ourselves for the long haul to Utah. Our first stop was Arches National Park; a region famous for its natural arched rock formations commonly featured in movies and internet clips


The surroundings were baron, quite rocky but most certainly beautiful. As sunset was nearing, we set off on a hike up to the Delicate Arch. Having ignored the “Keep Hydrated” signs; we climbed with no water.
Unfit and sporting some extra kg’s, we slowly struggled up the ascent making it just in time for the sun to set. We’ll be sure to bring water next time we hike.


At the peak, Adrian managed to drop his microphone cover from his backpack, which then plummeted to the bottom of a gorge. In doing this, a German traveller sprung to his feet and tried to save the cover before it hit the ground. Grateful for such gesture, it stemmed a conversation with him and a Canadian friend who we later joined for dinner and camped alongside for the night. You just never know when you can come across new friends when travelling 

Saying goodbye to our new friends, we set off early the next day to visit Monument Valley.


Adrian ‘John Wayne’ Eppel really wanted to check this region out after watching countless Western films throughout the years. Thankful of such a decision, we were able to check out these huge rock formations, capture some travel footage and fool around in the desert dunes.


Our next stop is Glen Canyon, another desert region that is known for the Colorado River and Lake Powell running through the middle of it.
Unable to get a nearby town as a reference to enter into the navigator, we set off on what we thought was the correct part of Glen Canyon. Having travelled an hour into our journey, we came across this long winding road that weaved up the side of a cliff. The breathtaking views made up for the often nauseous feeling we would get driving up the road.


All revved up after the hill climb, we continued the 2 hour drive to Glen Canyon, only to find a series of abandoned campsites and a big storm taking place. Hungry and in need of sleep, we set up our tent beside a covered visitor centre and cooked ourselves an ethnic pasta dish before retiring for the night.


Morning revealed that we were in the wrong part of Glen Canyon and that we needed to back track 2 hours to the correct location. Fun fun! 
This back track meant that we would once again travel down the scenic, cliff face route. A trusty stop at the mid-point meant that we could let off some fireworks and shoot the BB gun at unsuspecting road workers below. Fair to say the road workers were not too impressed when we drove past. We liked to think it was the fact that they were working on a cliff that made them feel that way.

Several stops and five or six packets of Jerky later, we fast tracked our journey to the beautiful Zion National Park. The National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches. All formed over millions of years by the North Fork of the Virgin River.
We began by hiking to the Emerald Pools were we headed off the beaten track to a nice vantage point, where Adrian took a time-lapse of the region as the sun was setting.



With darkness fast approaching, we headed back to the car, got some Americanalized Thai food and returned back to our campsite.
To our surprise, we quickly observed the importance of using tent pegs. Our trusty pop up tent got it's world turned upside down in our absence.


We started Day 2 in the right direction, making our way to 'Angels Landing', a difficult rated hike that gives the hiker a magnificent view over Zion National Park.
It was fair to say that we were a little ambitious and brave taking this hike, a constant incline along winding cliff and elephant spine ridges really tested out our liking for heights! After a good 2.5 hour hike, we reached the summit and took in the views.
Well worth the climb, near heart attacks and spine tingling moments.


Bryce Canyon was our next destination. We arrived shortly before sunset at Ruby's Inn, the most accommodating campsite we have stayed at so far. After setting up in a great location we made our way to the massive amphitheatre for yet another one of Adrian's timelapses. After a good set of music (Bryce is an Amphitheatre after all) we headed back to camp for a sleepless cold night.



Annoyed that our tent was not double layered, we left Bryce the next day very early for our final National Park destination. The mecca, that is the Grand Canyon. But first we had a couple of stops. We journeyed back towards Lake Powell to a rare sight that is not well known in tourism, we are basing this on the fact that is was free entry. Horse Shoe Bend is a beautiful outlook that overlooks the mighty Colorado River as it cuts it's way around one of the numerous Canyons in the area. It also demonstrates the true power of nature and a persistent little river that has been cutting it's way through these rocks for millions of years.


As we returned to the Car, we noticed the temperature had reached triple digits (in fahrenheit), so we decided a swim was in order before we made our way to the Grand Canyon. Stopping at a nearby inlet, the contrast of blue/green against the red rocks was certainly the weirdest place we had ever swam in. However it truly was an Oasis in the desert, pardon the pun.


It started to get late so in true Camen & Eppel fashion we made a few stops after dark to light some more fireworks before we reached our campsite near the Grand Canyon National Park. We choose the North Rim as we were told it was just as good as the south, minus the tourists. We set up camp, to our surprise the temperature had dropped substantially, well below the limit our sleeping bags could handle. So we decided to triple clothe ourselves and put a big tarp over our tent in the hope we'd be warmer overnight. It didn't work. We were up again very early the next day after another sleepless night and made our way into one of the world's natural wonders.



The Grand Canyon, it can seen from space, it is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 meters). Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. This vast open space is incredible. Valleys as far as the eye can see, canyons that could fit cities bigger then Manhattan. There is a reason it is part of the magnificent seven. As our final destination in our 'National Parks' tour of the US we leave the Grand Canyon with our thoughts pondering. How these persistent little rivers are able to move through and erode such monsters of monuments over such a long period of time. It is just another example of how powerful mother nature can be and how small man truly is in the grand scheme of things. A nice cozy bed and lot's of gambling awaits us in beautiful Las Vegas.


Posted by camenbrothers 22:19 Archived in USA Tagged arizona utah moab lake_powell delicate_arch monument_valley page arches_national_park glen_canyon Comments (0)

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