Leaving Utah and Entering Colorado

One of the rules of this trip was “no eating at chain restaurants”. I have heard that rules were made to be broken. So, after a hearty breakfast Grand Slam at Denny’s we backtracked north of Moab to Canyonlands National Park.

Unlike the other parks, the main road here is rather dull.  When you get out of your car, that all changes.  From those viewpoints, there are amazing canyons as far as they eye can see. You would never know it as you are driving in on the main road.

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The road shown below was used by ranchers to herd their cattle to the bottom of the canyon

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After checking out all the viewpoints, we exited the park and headed south again toward Moab.  

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After filling up the gas tank at a station that had these awesome tee-pees we continued on toward Arches National Park. 

The two parks are practically across the street from each other. We checked in at the visitors center to get a standard passport cancellation stamp, and much to my surprise, a bonus stamp as this is part of the Spanish Heritage Trail.

We watched the excellent presentation in the auditorium, which was literally a television episode from the Discovery Channel about the two parks in Moab. One of the rangers gave me some great advice when I mentioned we were pressed for time.  First stop was Balanced Rock.  It’s only a matter of time before this comes crashing down.

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At the Windows area, I dodged all the tour bus groups and took several pictures.  The double arch below is about a half mile away. 

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The man in the picture below is standing inside one of the double arches that is shown above on the left hand side.

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In an effort to save time, we decided to skip the rest of the park.  We had a long way to go to make our final destination. I will definitely be back.  It would be great to explore the hiking trails and to see Landscape Arch.  It’s the largest arch in the world, as long as a football field. It’s not expected to be around much longer, as a huge chunk fell from it not too long ago and it’s very thin.

We left the park looking for bighorn sheep, to no avail.  We drove through Moab and broke our no-eating-at-chains rule by stopping at McDonalds.   The verdict is still out on Moab. I was expecting something different, but the main drag seemed like Route 302 in Windam, Maine. (The Walmart part of 302). The stretch through here was the first eyesore since we left Las Vegas 5 days ago.  There were a lot of mountain biking and outdoor adventure shops, but it seemed more like folks were into Cabela’s and 4 wheeling. 

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Aside from passing  “The Hole n” The Rock”, we ended up in Monticello 60 uneventful minutes later.  At that point we decided to head east to Cortez, Colorado.  Almost at the state line, the fields were much greener. 

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 We had a steak dinner at a place called Shiloh’s, recommended by the associate at the desk at the hotel.

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Shiloh’s Steakhouse was a great recommendation and the food was delicious.  The furnishings and decor were quaint and make you feel really comfy.  I wondered how long it took Granny Shiloh to finish off these bottles of wine to create this clever wreath.  

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(Debbie, if you are reading this, I can only imagine what you are thinking about today’s meals: McDonalds, Steak and DENNY’s?)

More info can be found by clicking the links below:

Canyonlands National Park

Welcome to Arches National Park

Moab Utah

Tomorrow is going to be a great day, as we explore the Pueblo ruins at Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez, Colorado.  Click here to read all about it.

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Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 5:20 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wonderful Journey you guy’s are having.Beauty all around you.When you come home you will say “How Dull” Maine is Beautiful also.Can’t wait to see the Mesa Verde pic’s They will be outstanding.Enjoying this trip with you guy’s

  2. Wow……Looks like you found treasures that will last forever in your memories.
    What a great place you have found to tour in. The food looked yummy..Make sure you look for the worms.Or whatever….
    Thanks for the call Paul. So much to show us when you get home. Which one of you will be writing the book ?


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