I had a free day yesterday (Sunday) and hit the road with my atlas in hand. Total trip time was 15.5 hours, and mileage was ~1000 miles. Left my house at 3:00 a.m. and was back home by 6:30 p.m.
Destinations (in order):
Zion National Park. There wasn't another soul on the road at 3:45 a.m. I was squealing tires around some of the tight turns and lovin' it. I love going through the 1.1 mile-long tunnel carved out of sandstone, too. It's a trip in itself.
Kanab, Utah. Took highway 89 to the east. Drove past Lake Powell and eventually got to...
Page, Arizona. Gassed up at Maverik and grabbed a couple of glazed donuts. The sun was just starting up and the scenery was spectacular. Again, nobody on the road except me. Speed limits are 65. Hah.
Junction highway 160 to Kayenta. They have a Navajo Indian code-talkers exhibit but I didn't stop to check it out. Headed north on Hwy 163 to...
Monument Valley. If you've ever seen a Western, you've seen these rocks. It's a scene right out of the movies. Pretty cool sight. Here are the pics.
The "classic road picture!" That long stretch was especially fun
This guy was setting up his tripod and ended up being in the background of my picture
Mexican Hat, UT. Crossed back into the Utah border briefly for a stop in this town, so named because of a rock formation that resembles an upside-down sombrero. Gassed up again just for good measure.
The sombrero -- if you look closely.
Highway 191 South. By far the funnest stretch of road. Zero traffic. 100% visibility. Straight, smooth roads. I set the cruise control at 105 mph and literally didn't touch it for 25-30 miles.
Back on Hwy 160, headed northeast.
Four Corners. Really, there's not THAT much to see... just an elevated concrete slab with each state's name (UT, NM, AZ, CO) in it. There were Navajo Indians selling their wares all around -- frybread and such. I got there just before a tour bus arrived so luckily I didn't have to wait too long to get my shot on the concrete.
Got picked up by Highway Patrol in Colorado for doing 85+ in a 65. The sheriff was extremely cool, though. He told told me twice that he liked my car. lol. He even went so far as to recommend a scenic drive in Colorado once I got there! I got off with a warning for doing 69 in a 65 and went on my way (more carefully this time of course).
Cortez, Colorado. Cool little town with plenty of greenery -- it was a welcome change after driving in the desert so long. I called my fam from a pay phone (my cell hadn't had service all day) to let them know I was road-trippin' and not to call out a search party. It was about 10 a.m. by this time.
Passed by Mesa Verda Nat'l Park. Looked cool but I didn't go in.
Mancos, Colorado. Stopped for a pic at some gift shop alongside the road. In front there, are huge telephone poles stuck into the ground and painted to look like arrows.
Highway 184 to Monticello, UT. Fun windy back-country roads all the way.
Hole in the Rock. This was the coolest place. I took a tour for $4.25. The story is this -- this guy (Albert Christensen) and his wife Gladys spent 20 years carving their home out of a solid sandstone rock. Yup that's right -- they lived in a cave pretty much! It is sweet inside -- and stays cool year round of course. The excavation was done by hand but with periodic dynomite blasting. The home didn't have electricity until the 60's, when it was wired crudely along the ceiling. Have a look at the pics!
Onward to Moab, UT and the gateway to Arches National Park. That park is home to the famous "Delicate Arch" seen on many Utah license plates (this pic isn't mine)...
But here's one I took.
Hooked up with I-70 west (it was great to finally have an interstate -- my legs were getting cramped from the clutch and gas). The rest of the drive was noneventful, a few mountain passes until I hit I-15 south, then it was a straight shot to my house. All-in-all, it was a giant Utah loop.