We like to mix up our travel routes even when repeating a beginning and end. Such is the case this year as we once again travel from Durango CO to Seattle WA. Last year we traveled thru Moab, around Salt Lake City, to Boise, western OR and Yakima WA to Seattle. This year we wanted to travel across southern Utah to Death Valley, then north on US395 to Oregon and then I-5 to Washington. We traveled this route from April 22 to May 13. Some highlights and stories…
The route west from Durango took us to Page Arizona and Lake Powell, the huge reservoir created by the Glen Canyon Dam project. We stayed at the Lone Rock National Park Service campground right on the lake just into Utah. The camping area has no designated sites so campers spaced themselves out along the shore. Then the wind started. And it blew and blew and blew. Sand blasted against the RV and car. Too windy to leave, too windy to go out, we could only wait for it to subside. By the second morning we had sand drifts in front of the car and RV. Time to go as the forecast called for a one day respite and then more wind. Dreams of kayaking Lake Powell would have to wait until next time. This isn’t a 2 week vacation, its a lifestyle, we’ll be back.
Next up, Zion National Park. Wow, entering the park from the east is spectacular and a bit daunting in a large-ish RV. First of all there is a special fee for RVs since they have to close the old tunnel one-way to allow you thru the middle. $15 or 100+ mile detour – an easy choice. Then the geology and landscapes on the drive are breathtaking. After a night nearby we ventured back into the park the next day. Zion Canyon is accessible only by NPS free shuttle. This is a great service we hope more and more parks adopt. It reduces traffic, pollution, noise and allows visitors to hop on and off from differnt trailheads and attractions. We traveled to the furthest point for a hike up to the Narrows of Zion Canyon. Beautiful day, then after a lunch break on the Virgin River the weather changed abruptly. Wind, rain, cold forced us into the museum to wait it out. It didn’t stop, we left. Then again, we’ll be back.
Next up, Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. This one has been on our list for a long time. Located less than an hours drive east of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire is a geologic wonder. We took several of the hikes including the White Domes, the incredible Fire Wave and a petroglyph trail. April is perfect time to visit, the winter is done and the summer heat has yet to arrive. We saw lots of wildflowers and even some edible mushrooms (desert shaggy mane) by the roadside.
You can click on the images for a larger view.