Did ya get up on a little Zion and Bryce?
Thanks for asking, man!🙃
Bryce and Escalante didn't fit our road map. That'll be an incentive to come back for the next trip! I'd really love to win the park's lottery to be one of the 10-20 people per day with permission to see The Wave. And despite having two nights in Zion for Angel's Landing, Observation Point, etc., we'll definitely be back for the Narrows, the Subway, and Kolob.
Ten nights in all. Got in like 70 miles of primitive hiking (some was less than primitive - true wilderness, which is the real dream) all throughout the UT, with a touch in AZ.
Usually stayed in airbnbs or NP lodges for the wife but also satisfied my cold camping itch: At Goblin Valley, we holed up in a yurt (wish I had brought my telescope!) and at Canyonlands, I set up my tent a few steps from the cliff at Island in the Sky. It got down to 16*F that night. Brrrrrr!
Flew into SLC and after grabbing bear mace and booze, we were off to Capitol Reef NP for a day and night. Then Goblin Valley and Little Widhorse. Then Arches NP, then Canyonlands NP. Did Monument Valley (was minorly bummed at how that's less hiking than a restaurant and driving around). A day in Antelope Canyon plus Coral Pink Sand Dunes. And finally the 48h at Zion.
From talks with rangers, the parks seemed to top out at 50-200 people per day. And very few of them were hiking. Stuff of dreams.
Crazy how many times we saw tracks that clearly belonged to a big cat (cougar, not a dog). Was glad to have the bear mace. But, unlike a grizzly, you always wonder what your odds are of knowing you have to ward the cat off before it's at your neck and game over.
We finished with 24-hours in Vegas. Which is probably the ideal amount of Vegas for Beth and I. And after showing up late and lying about it being our honeymoon, the Bellagio upgraded us to the stupidest suite I may ever see - penthouse, private elevator, overlooking the famous fountain. So so so perfect and dumb.
Looking back, wow. Never seen anything like Utah. Well I went as a child but had forgotten. Still, it was the right length of trip because just as it was ending, we were ready to be elsewhere, home with families in Algonac, MI then across Canada to Buffalo, NY. So whew - we've put in some miles.