A Travellerspoint blog

April 2015

RV Day 25

Dinosaur National Monument.

After a great 9 days in Moab, we headed North ( slightly away from intended line of travel) to venture towards the small town of Vernal in Northern Utah. Ronnie and I had visited the Dinosaur National Monument 16 years ago as part of a rafting trip with a group of Penn State buddies who live all across the United States and we wanted Alyssa to see the 'Dinosaur Wall'.

The Dinosaur National Monument is located over the world famous Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry. The exhibit hall consists of 3 sides with the Dinosaur Wall being the 4th side of the building. The wall allows you to view approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones. Here you can see Allosaurus, Apatosaurus and Stegosaurus bones to name a few. The 80 foot long mural even allows you to touch some fossils that are estimated to be 149 million years old. The exhibit also includes the most complete skeleton of a dinosaur in the world.

We decided to stay in the National Park and camp for the night.....no electricity connection or water etc. It was peaceful, right beside the flowing Green River and we wanted to have a fire because Alyssa is dying to have Smores.....alas, this was not possible due to the windy and rainy weather.

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Posted by V3USA 06:49 Comments (0)

RV day 21

Arches National Park

Today we began our day with an early start. We had been warned about getting to Arches NP early to ensure we got a park as they are in the midst of expanding the carpark and ironically therefore have less parking spots. Our destination this morning was the Delicate Arch a 3 mile round trip from the carpark, mainly uphill to the Arch.

Delicate Arch stands as an iconic image of Arches NP and is used as a symbol for the State of Utah. Surrounded by sky and pierced by nature, Delicate Arch perches precariously on the edge of a smooth sandstone bowl and is reminiscent of an amphitheater. It is as dramatic as it is breathtaking.

We continue our day by seeing the Garden of Eden, Double Arch, North and South Windows, the Parade of Elephants, Balanced Rock and finally Park Avenue. Balanced Rock defies gravity and is a very picturesque formation. Park Avenue is a flat walled canyon with walls similar to that of a big city skyline.

Arches NP has vast views, vibrant colours and a skyline formed by magnificent rock towers, gigantic arches, 'windows', spires and other unique wind worn sandstone formations. An extraordinary landscape we can only marvel at.

Miles covered: 2,466

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Posted by V3USA 15:04 Comments (0)

RV Day 19

T-Rex Tour 19 April 2015

Today Mum, Dad and I did the T-Rex Tour of Hell's Revenge. It was fun and awesome. The best part and the bit I like the most was when Ben our tour guide did some hot rodding. When I looked at the speedometer I saw that he was going 19 MPH when he flinged around the corners. The Hell's revenge trail sounds scary and the first part of the trail is called the Devil' backbone which sounds even scarier. I felt pretty scared at first when we went up the Devil's backbone but going down was even scarier. Dad said that he was scared because of the drop offs on the side. Dad even said that he thought it was scarier than the Scooby Doo ride at Movie World on the Gold Coast. Even though Dad said he was a little bit scared, he still said he had a great time. Mum said she had a great time and it was heaps of fun and would do it again and would even consider driving the tour herself. I was a bit bummed that I had to wear a helmet and Mum and Dad didn't but that is ok. Ben said it was the law.

Posted by V3USA 18:17 Comments (2)

RV Day 18

Canyonlands 18 April 2015

There is not many places in the world were you just stop and say WOW! Simply beautiful. Today we drove from Moab to Canyonlands. I think Canyonlands National Park is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, maybe not quite at grand (Pardon the pun). Nonetheless it is still very beautiful and worth the visit. Canyonlands consists of colourful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches and spires in the heart of southeast Utah’s high desert and you can see that both water and gravity have been the prime architect of the land, sculpturing layers of sedimentary rock into a rugged landscape. The Island in the Sky mesa is the most accessible area within Canyonlands and this is where we spent our day. Every overlook offers a different perspective on the park’s spectacular landscape, including our little hike up Whale Rock. We all scrambled up Whale Rock to see views of Island in the Sky and surrounding canyons. They call it Whale Rock because it literally looks like a stranded whale on the beach (or in the desert in this case). This trail begins with a quick, level walk across the desert. As it approaches the base of the butte, the trail climbs gradually on ledges and slopes, finally becoming a short but steep ascent to the rock’s crest. The slickrock scramble onto the back of the whale makes this a fun 1.6k round trip hike. I think that the two canyons carved by the Green and Colorado rivers and the vast and very different regions: Island in the Sky on the north, The Maze on the west and The Needles on the east are what make it uniquely different to the Grand Canyon. Here the beauty of Mother Nature is on display in full splendor. The colours and layers are exquisite as the sun casts light against the improbable landscape and both the Green and Colorado Rivers slowly scour and deepen the canyon floor.
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As we leave Canyonlands National Park we drive to Dead Horse Point State Park. It’s on our way home and the map we have of Canyonlands NP indicates it could be a really nice 360 degree view of the canyons around us. Towering 2000 feet above the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point State Park doesn’t disappoint and provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonland’s sculptured pinnacles and buttes. According to one legend, the point was once used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck (we drove the RV over the narrow neck with butt cheeks clenched which is supposedly 30 yards wide, NOT!). The point was fenced off with branches and brush, creating a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted, left the other horses corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2000 feet below.
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Posted by V3USA 16:48 Comments (2)

RV Day 16

16 April 2015

Today we leave Cannonville to travel to Torrey to stay overnight. We’ve chosen Torrey because it is within easy access to Capitol Reef National Park. Our plan is to drive to Torrey, do a quick trip to Capitol Reef, stay overnight in Torre and revisit Capitol Reef Friday morning on our way to Moab.

Snow, snow and more snow.

Our plans were thwarted by the snow which continued to fall lightly at first, but when we fuelled up at Torrey, started to fall a little heavier. I don’t think Nick or I could have spent another night in the RV (gas guzzling, sardine tin is what Nick calls it) in freezing conditions. Alyssa has done well throughout the freezing temperatures because of the sleeping bag Doug loaned her, but Nick and I are wearing 3 layers of clothing to bed and we are still cold.

On to Moab we pushed, reaching our destination late in the afternoon. It is raining, but at least there isn’t snow (yet) and the temperatures are at least in the double digits.

We didn’t get to see Capitol Reef.

Guess what? It snowed in Moab overnight and left a light sprinkle of white over the rock face that looked like powdered sugar in the morning light. Luckily the temperatures are continuing to increase……stay tuned for a weather update later in the week.

Posted by V3USA 16:47 Comments (1)

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