US Trip 2016 – The scenic route

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This post is also available in: nbNorsk (Norwegian Bokmål)

After finding the last caches we needed to have finds in all the 29 counties of Utah, the next part of the trip was a bit more focused on scenic roads and national parks.

tracklog-the-scenic-route

The next hotel we had booked was in Moab. And we can’t drive from Bryce to Moab without driving Scenic Byway 12! Which we did last year, and the year before that.

After a short stop in the General Store, to get some supplies (had to laugh a bit when we spotted the Norwegian water, Voss), we headed straight to the first cache of the day. Another Utah GeoTour-cache.

Welcome to Tropic

Since we’ve driven this road before, we didn’t really have that many caches on the list. But we did find one a bit outside Henrieville.

View along the road

But we also prioritized other things this day. Like a visit to Kiva Koffehouse, where we also went last year. Amazing place, and amazing view!

View from Kiva

We continued along the scenic road, and eventually we reached Capitol Reef National Park (after first driving a bit on UT 24). We stopped by the Visitor Center, to get our passport stamped and do some shopping.

We can’t visit Capitol Reef without also visiting one of the orchards, so we stopped at one that was open. The fruit available today was Apricots.

The orchard

Looking for the perfect apricot

Apricots

After Capitol Reef, we didn’t stop before after Hanksville. We stopped at a cache we had been close to last year, but for some reason we didn’t find it then (because we didn’t try). We didn’t find it today either, even though we tried really hard.

The next planned stop were in Green River, where we had some GeoTour-caches we needed to find.

After finding a couple of them, we noticed an unfound cache on my GPSr (they are tagget [Nf], so I can easily spot them). Could it still be unfound? We just had to check! And shortly after, we could log the second FTF on this trip (and our fifth FTF in Utah in total :D) Did not expect that!

Studying the log

We found a total of 5 caches (and 1 DNF) i Green River, 2 of them GeoTour-caches. With our previous find in Goblin Valley in 2014 (where we became FTF), we now had enough GeoTour-caches in Emery.

The next stop was Crescent Junction, where we also stopped last year. Another GeoTour-cache, and a funny location.

Lightning and Sally

We did a short visit to Arches National Park. We can’t visit Moab without visiting Arches!

Arches NP

Arches NP

After the visit to Arches, we went to find one more GeoTour-cache. Then we went to get some supplies and some food, before heading to the hotel. We needed to get some sleep, since we planned to get up real early!

We got up early enough to be checked out and ready at the car by 4:30am. Not sure how, but we did.

The reason for getting up so early, was to get to Mesa Arch in Canyonlands before sunrise. We made it just in time!

At the parking

After the short hike from the parking, we arrived at the arch just before sunrise. And we were not alone!

Taking photos

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch

It was well worth getting up early for this! We spent as much time as we needed, before heading back towards Moab. We had to stop along the way, to find the last GeoTour-cache we needed to get the patch for Grand County.

Since the view is so awesome, and the GeoTour-caches all of high quality, we even stopped to get the fourth Grand-cache.

La Sal Viewpoint

After picking up the patch in Moab, we continued south towards Blanding. We stopped at a couple caches along the road, including a GeoTour-cache in Monticello.

We also did a short detour to get a couple challenge caches and a large cache.

Short detour

We found several caches in Blanding, including a virtual cache at the Visitor Center. We also found two large caches, and some extra bonus finds.

When we started seeing signs advertising Navajo Taco, we decided that we just had to try it. After finding the place they sold it, we found a nice place to eat it – an empty park.

Navajo Taco

As a bonus, there was a cache there as well 😀

After eating, and DNFing another cache nearby, we continued towards the Four Corners Monument. A long drive, without any caches.

Eventually we reached the monument, and got to stand in line. We were not the only ones wanting to stand in four states at the same time!

Waiting

Eventually it was our turn!

Four states!

Heltinnen in four states

thomfre in four states

After walking around a bit, and getting some souvenirs, we continued back towards Bluff.

We found another GeoTour-cache and a couple other. When opening one of them, we got quite surprised when we suddenly saw a Norwegian flag!

Norwegian flag

After reading the back, we got even more surprised! Not only was it the Norwegian flag, it was placed there by b?h?, which are from the same area as us! How cool is that!?

Note

We had to do a short detour to Goosenecks State Park, to get the last GeoTour-cache we needed in San Juan County.

Goosenecks State Park

The next on the program was to pick up the San Juan patch, and visit Monument Valley.

When we reached the spot where tourists (including us) stop to take photographs, we parked at the side of the road. The engine suddenly stopped, which was a bit odd. I was able to start it without any problems, but the check engine light came on. Uh oh. Two things came to my mind right away, one of them a quote from The Big Bang Theory and the other what happened to our rental last year…

At least the view was great

Check engine light

We just had to continue, not much else we could do… So we continued to the patch pickup location. While Heltinnen went inside to get the patch, I started studying the owners manual. Since we hadn’t had cell reception since the morning, we couldn’t really google anything…

Neither of us found anything alarming in the manual (as long as the light didn’t flash, which it didn’t). So we just continued towards Monument Valley.

Monument Valley

After visiting Monument Valley, we continued towards Moab, leaving Utah for now (we’ll be back!).

We stopped in Kayenta, which felt a lot bigger now than the last time we were here! We managed to find WiFi there (but still no cell reception), and spent some time googling the check engine light. We also found a cache right next to where we found WiFi.

Kayenta

When we continued to the next “bonus cache” (as we call them when they’re not on the plan), the check engine light went off 😀 Awesome! 😀

We enjoyed the sunset along the last stretch to Page. It was dark by the time we arrived, but we arrived with no warning lights lit – so we were happy! Time is very confusing in Page and the surrounding area, so I have no clue if we arrived at 10pm or 9pm.

Sunset

This post is also available in: nbNorsk (Norwegian Bokmål)

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