For the lack of press it gets, Utah is one of the United States’ best states. Well, I mean, there are things not to like, just like any other state, but if we’re talking scenery, Utah is extraordinary. Sadly, I was still trying to cover as many miles as possible, and did not stop each time the landscape called to me.
Um, yeah. It totally hadn’t occurred to me to keep the windshield clean for photography purposes. Ha ha ha. It’s ridiculous. But the fun thing is, you all can truly imagine what the world looked like from my perspective.
I left my brother and sister-in-law’s home in Idaho and in no time I was crossing the border into Utah. I drove all day in that state. The first (and only) big city I went through was Salt Lake City.
Finally there was a spot that seemed like it deserved a stop, and there was a wide pull out with an information sign talking about the mining history in the region. It was nice to stretch my legs and get some photos without spots in the sky.
As I left the high ridges and appealing snowy slopes of the canyon pictured above, I began looking for my camp spot for the night. I chose it to be out here away from civilization, so I would not be tempted to explore, but to get back to driving early in the morning. But when I arrived at the entrance road, it was gated and closed due to snow!! I hadn’t even considered that would be the case. But luckily, I had a Plan B, and confidently zoomed on down the road. I would be spending the night outside of Moab.
Finally, I began to see the landscape I had been aiming for. While most of the country I was driving through is considered “desert” based on the average yearly rainfall, I was looking for a particular kind of desert. Not merely dry, but also spectacular. Southern Utah is where that started happening for me.
Since I had to add an hour and a half to my driving time, due to the other camp being under snow, it was totally dark by the time I found the next camp site. It was very popular, and hard to find a place to camp in between the many other happy campers who got there before me, in the daylight. I couldn’t see well enough to walk out into the desert and find a spot to place my tent, so I got the idea to simply lay my seats down in the back of the Jeep and sleep there. It would be cleaner, that’s for sure!
After I had prepared a place to sleep, I had time to soak in the quiet of the night. The stars were amazing above me, though I was nearly blinded by the bright moon. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The temperature during the day was a nice warm 50 degrees (10 C), but it was getting cold fast. I took a couple photos of the stars, then climbed into my Jeep-shaped cocoon, and snuggled in for the night.