We’re just now leaving Vegas, after three days of actual vacation we somehow managed to squeeze into our trip. It’s already closing on a hundred degrees, the temperature never drops too far below it. The haze from the Californian forest fires is dying down, and the mountains have finally made themselves apparent on the horizon. It promises to be a long day as we head towards Monterey, normally not a terrible drive, except we’re going through Yosemite on our journey west. More updates to come.
Continue reading Travel Updates Day 25: 6PM Pacific
Only have a few minutes to write, found a single square foot of service in Death Valley. It’s hot. It’s so incredibly hot. Temperatures up to 130? Definitely. It’s like living in a blow drier. More updates to come.
Side update: Now 100 feet below sea level. It’s 115
We struck out to explore the Mojave this morning, but much to our surprise were greeted with what appeared to be a heavy fog covering the entire area. Visibility was fine up until about a mile out, where it just dropped off completely. Everything past that point became a confused haze of blue and tan, entire mountains disappearing into the background, the sands of the desert just sort of, ending. We later learned that this was an incredibly unusual phenomenon, one which the ranger we asked had never seen before in his life. Apparently, the massive forest fires happening in Southern California right now have created a enormous smog cloud, which has moved over us since yesterday morning. Unperturbed, we continued into the Mojave and climbed the Kelso Dunes before heading back north towards Vegas. The haze has lightened since then, but still hangs over the land for considerable distance. Visibility has increased to maybe two or three miles, but past that all you can see is a wall of light grey, with tan towards the bottom. More updates to come.
We’ve left Utah and made it to Vegas. However were not ready to go broke quite yet. We’re driving through the city on our way to Primm, and spending the day out exploring the high desert. The promise of a mojave ghost town has us driving south into the desert, where its already almost one hundred degrees, and rising. The various mountain ranges which border the desert form a great bowl around the sands, which lay flat out to the horizon. A layer of green coats the yellow, a blend of some two thousand unique plant species which call it home. Getting sunburned through the windows. More updates to come.
Continue reading Travel Updates Day 21: 3PM Pacific
Zion National Park is the pinnacle of Southern Utah. Two hundred and twenty nine square miles of canyons, arches, mesas, slots, and formations, unlike anything else in the world. Resting on the point where the Mojave, Great Basin, and Colorado Plateau slam together, Zion is the twisted byproduct of an all out tectonic war. Albeit a gradual one. The elements have carved through the Navajo Sandstone with a humbling force, and left in their wake one of the most majestic landscapes in the world. Over four hundred unique species of animal, countless plants and insects found only in the canyon, all the result of one hundred and fifty million years of sedimentation.
Continue reading Zion National Park
Hello all and welcome back, apologies for the sparse content of late, the lack of service has been plaguing this trip from the start. Turns out most camp sites and national parks don’t have wifi, go figure. Today we’re on our way to Grand Staircase, with plans to hike Zebra Slot Canyon, and possibly the flooded Tunnel Slot Canyon. The heat is real once again, set to reach over one hundred by noon. As amazing as it is this desert it truly brutal, we’ve been rigged with water bottles and canteens for days now. That being said, if we weren’t we’d surely be laying in a crusty pile off the side of a trail somewhere. The sky is its usual dusty haze of blue, sliding in over the brilliant red sandstone cliffs to obscure their details from view. The desert foliage covers the tops of the mesas, the red and green becoming indistinguishable in some places, creating something of a confusing tan shade across the horizon. More updates to come.
Continue reading Travel Updates Day 19: 3PM Mountain
Unfortunately a lack of cell service still plagues us. Travel updates are only possible in the mornings and evenings now, as the entirety of the afternoons are spent in the canyons. That being said, we’re on our way to the Zion Narrows, with plans to hike three hours up the Virgin River to Wall Street, a famous canyon junction. Thankfully we’ve come on a day with cloud cover, it’s only supposed to reach about ninety degrees, bearable when compared to the blazing high desert. More updates to come.
The Arches are about seventy seven thousand square acres of sandstone buried in the stomach of Southern Utah. These are however, the most majestic seventy seven thousand square acres anywhere in the western hemisphere. Relatively small in comparison to it’s brothers throughout the country, the park covers a compact area of highly condensed sandstone structures and arches, housing more than two thousand within park limits. The park is open all day every day, affording you access to some of the most magnificent sunsets and milky-way panoramas anywhere in the world. The mere concept of the place is staggering, much like the old growth forests of the pacific coast, Arches is a window through time, the remnants of an ancient world whose foundations predate the Jurassic.
Continue reading Arches National Park
We packed up and rode out towards Capital Reef about an hour ago. Much to our surprise however, about forty five minutes in we found ourselves driving into the heart of a gigantic thunderstorm. It’s incredibly strange, the storm is coupled with a heavy fog, basically a massive column of cloud covering a section of the canyons. Visibility is somewhere around half a mile, and the canyon walls appear as vague silhouettes in the hovering mist. The rain is also incredibly thin, it flies right off the windshield completely of its own accord, you don’t even need wipers. Not the journey we were expecting to be sure. More updates to come.
The sun is out and the heat is real as we start out on our journey into the canyons of Southern Utah. The long awaited stretch of National Parks is finally upon us. In the next few days we’ll see the Arches, Dixie Forest, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Staircase, Monument Valley, and the North Rim. Backcountry camping will be a true testament to our aptitude for the desert, already we’ve seen warnings for rattlesnakes and scorpions, and those were in public. As we pass through the mountains separating the Great Basin from the canyons, green starts to appear once again. Lush valleys and grassy slopes line the highway, even wind turbines spin dot the land, spinning lazily in the morning breeze. Hints of the red sandstone crop up every so often, a streak or two running down the side of a mountain, or hidden beneath the trees. Not long now until we’re exploring the last new biome we have left to see in the continental states. More updates to come.
Continue reading Travel Updates Day 15: 3PM Mountain