We had a friend ask if we ever planned to leave Utah. Funny she should ask, yes, we are leaving Utah tomorrow, but we discovered there was a lot to see in Utah and we have loved playing in their dirt…
Capital Reef National Park
This park was a pass through for pioneers making their way west. Many stayed in Capital Reef hoping to farm the land and call it their own. These same pioneers planted orchards of apples, pears, and peaches during their stay. These same orchards are still there today and visitors to the park are welcome to stop and pick a sample. Also, the parklands served as a hideout for Butch Cassidy’s and his gang the Wild Bunch.
Canyonlands National Park, Moab Utah
Just a few hours away from Capital Reef is Canyonlands National Park and Newspaper Rock. I was most excited about Newspaper Rock, a state historic monument that displays petroglyphs – rock carvings of ancient cultures. It is one of the largest collections of petroglyphs at one site. The wall contained over 650 different carvings. The art carvings span 2,000 years, left by people of the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures. It was humbling to know we stood in the exact spot as those before us thousands of years ago. I didn’t want to leave. It was so fascinating…but other parks were calling.
Arches National Park, Moab UT
The terrain at Arches National Park is compared to the surface of Mars. Talk about your red rock, it is a banner of red rock as far as the eye can see with towering precarious rock formations that look like they could tumble and fall at any moment. The park offers trails for everyone at every level. We took three trails through the park the led us to arches, rock fins, and petrified sand dunes. There are few actual trails signs so cairns ( stacked rocks used as a marker) are used to mark paths. The hike revealed the desert as something to be appreciated and respected. The desert flora and fauna is colorful and hardy and withstand severe conditions. We didn’t see much wildlife stirring during the day, as most desert dwellers are nocturnal. Arches claims to be one of the darkest places on earth and is open 24 hrs a day.
With temps well into the 90’s we finished the day with an orange infused chocolate hazelnut gelato at the Moab Brewery. First time for us and geloto…and we liked it.
We’ve seen the writing on the wall!
Eric and Lori
Worth mentioning again. . Burr Trail Grill. Boulder, Utah
This place really rocks.
Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase, Utah
Bryce Canyon, Tropic Utah
We hiked the 2-mile canyon rim trail which varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet in elevation. We had an extraordinary view of the vast network or red and orange rocks that resembled something from mythology. The canyon is made up of geological structures called hoodoos, formed by weathering and erosion. They remind me of little red statues of gargoyles. The hoodoos are creepy, as the wind passes through them it sounds like distant screams. There were numerous view points in the park, and all had something new and magnificent to see.
Grand Staircase National Monument-Escalate, Utah
Driving scenic Route 12 takes you through the heart of the monument. The Grand Staircase refers to an immense sequence of colorful sedimentary rock layers that stretch south from Bryce Canyon National Park through Zion National Park and into the Grand Canyon. From a distance you can see the conceptual staircase. Like a ‘stairway to heaven’.
Burr Trail Grill (BTG)-Boulder, Utah
We discovered remote deliciousness at the Burr Trail Grill located in a tiny town in Boulder, Utah. The food was a culinary delight. With a mix of herbs, spices and creativity our lunch consisted of a Tai burger with red pepper/basil slaw and a Sweet potato burger with cilantro lime sour creme. It only got better with dessert. We ended the meal with a slice of Ginger Berry pie with ginger added to blueberry, boysenberry raspberry, and strawberry blended together for a masterpiece dessert. This place was truly a hidden gem.
The day ended with rain, which only intensified the colors of the surrounding plateaus and created a peaceful easy feeling.
Tomorrow we are heading to Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, and Moab.
This place Rocks!
Eric and Lori Malcolm
HumbleWeeds in Utah!
Scenes from the Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion National Park, and our base camp.
A cold soaking rain followed us through Montana. As one Montana local put it,“it snows pretty much January-December here. ” Sorry to my fellow Garett Countians out in Montana (Pat and Deb); we didn’t make it to Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site at Deer Lodge, Montana….but I did LIKE you on Facebook. We learned Montana is serious about invasive species being brought into state. Water vessels are subject to check points at state parks and rest stops for invasive species hopping a ride on a boat or jet ski. We respect Montana for protecting their pristine water ways.
We skirted the rain as long as we could and decided to follow the sun which led us back to Utah to discover other National Parks on our list.
The Grand Canyon – the North Rim
Well we chased the sun all the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. First time for both of us. Not at all what we expected. For a Saturday morning, there was little traffic as we drove through the towering ponderosa pines, the bright white aspens, and the tragic evidence of past wild fires to the North Rim, a side to the Grand Canyon many never see. Wildflowers line the road side as you meander thru a a beautiful forest to the massive Grand Canyon. We even saw a road runner cross the road; but no coyote chasing it. 😉 We took the foot path to the canyon rim, which was freakishly unsettling. The sheer magnitude of this view makes one weak in the knees. A spectacular site to behold at least once in your life.
Zion National Park
Best described as a smooth, spiraling, tunneled drive through naturally patterned and painted rocks. Eric spotted a Big Horn Sheep on the hillside making his way down to the creek and about that time two female sheep crossed in front of us to join a group of about seven enjoying and evening drink at a creek just below the road. Zion National Park is full of contrasting colors of red, orange, taupe, and green. A stunning site of geological wonderment.
Dixie National Forest
Alive with a plethora of interesting attractions, one in particular is the black lava rocks. It looked like truck loads of black rocks were just dumped in the forest. Apparently, it’s young lava, only about 1,000 years; in the grand scheme of things that is considered a recent event. Hope we are not around for the next eruption.
We are camping at a KOA for a few days just outside of Bryce Canyon. Roughing it with WiFi, but no cell service. LOL, We have the most spectacular site, surrounded entirely by towering plateaus of vivid colors. As darkness fell, the stars filled the sky and the Milky Way was so vivid just above our tent it gave me goose bumps. It was an OMG moment.
Tomorrow Bryce Canyon!
Eric and Lori
Humbleweeds at Glacier National Park and the Huckleberry Patch
Glacier National Park
Phenomenally magnificent! We have never seen anything like it. The road through the park is called Road To The Sun , and deserving of the name. The terrain is dramatic, to say the least. The water is so clear you can see every stone in the rivers, displaying pastels of green, pink, red, and turquoise. The lakes are bluer than blue. The wildflowers flood the hillsides with vivid orange, yellow, pink, and purples. The actual glaciers are amazing to see as they have a distinct glow ; many confuse snow fields for glaciers. One peak in the park offers a fun fact of interest, the Triple Divide, with an elevation of 8,018 ft. The water coming off the peak flows into three directions contributing to the Pacific through the Columbia river, to the Mississippi River then to the Gulf of Mexico, and to the Hudson Bay into the Arctic oceans; all from one peak. The road through the park, at times, is down right scary. You are on the side of an 8,000 ft summit with no guard rail at some spots…it’s exilerating. The national parks are crazy busy this time of year, so traffic was heavy at 8:00 am in the park, while the fog was still lifting. Weather conditions changed every few minutes, (kind of reminded us of Garrett County ). Temps never got above 62 in the park. Brrrr. But it didn’t matter, we were too busy being amazed. Time flies at Glacier. Before you know it hours have passed and you are only have way through the park. It’s defiantly a multi day trip. You see something new everyday.
We ended the day in a town called Hungry Horse at the Huckleberry Patch, known for their huckleberry pie. We had a slice a la mode. It was sooooo delicious. Huckleberries are abundant here and you can find everything with huckleberry as an ingredient from pancakes, cookies, lotions, soaps, and even beef jerky…and many more creative approaches to the huckleberry. The huckleberry is to Montana as the blueberry is to Maine. We meant to take a photo of our beautiful pie, but devoured it before we even gave it a thought. Did I mention it was delicious?
We were approached by a woman at our campsite asking to photograph our Maryland license plate (we have become celebrities of sorts). She was from Canada and her goal was to photograph license plates from all 50 US states. Newer Maryland license plates reference the War of 1812, the Canadian photographer asked us what it was all about…. Do you know Maryland’s role in the war of 1812?
National Park groupies,
Eric and Lori
1. View of waterfront, Seattle, WA
2. Lori and Eric enjoying the kindness of a stranger; who volunteered to take our photo, old school style.
3. Seattle Sculpture Park with Space Needle in background.
4. Local brews from Montana.