US Trip 2015 – Red Rock Country

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After spending two nights in Las Vegas, we had planned to take the scenic route to Moab, with a night in Bryce Canyon City.

We started a bit later than usual, since we didn’t have that much caches planned. We decided to spend a few minutes walking around the hotel, just to see a bit more of the hotel, before checking out and packing the car.

We headed straight to the Arizona border, stopping only to get something to eat and find a few caches. Since I like to collect state signs (and we wanted to find the cache there), we first crossed the border on a side road, before heading back to Nevada and crossing the border again on I-15.

Me at the Arizona border

We made sure to find at least one cache in Arizoa, before crossing the border to Utah.

Utah sign

We stopped at a few virtual caches along the road, some traditionals and a couple of earthcaches, before heading towards Zion National Park. We also did a short stop at a gas station and bought birthday cake.

On our two previous visits to Zion, we’ve visited the ghost town of Grafton as well. To get there, we had to cross the historic bridge in Rockville. The cache there was gone last year, so when a new cache was placed now, we just had to stop and find GC5YTPV Rockville’s Historic Bridge.

Rockville's Historic Bridge

We didn’t have any stops planned in Zion, since we have been there before and anyway didn’t have time to do anything else than drive through on Mt. Carmel Highway. But the drive is worth the trip alone, so we still got to enjoy the park!

Zion National Park

We stopped to find a few more caches along the way from Zion to Bryce, and after finding a few, with got some bad weather. Luckily it didn’t last too long, and we could continue to find a few more caches. Since we’ve driven that way a couple times before, we didn’t have that many caches to find anyway.

After the rain stopped

We stopped at a nice little shop in Hatch, had a short photo stop after turning onto Scenic Byway 12 and arrived in Bryce Canyon City around the same time as the sun set.

Almost there

After spending some time looking at souvenirs and stuff, and getting something to eat, we spent the rest of the day looking through everything we had bought along the way, trying to see how we could pack everything. It became clear soon enough that we needed a third piece of luggage on the way home…

The weather the next day was even worse than what we had between Zion and Bryce. But there was no way we were going to let that stop us from continuing with our plan! So we headed straight to the park entrance, hoping to at least enjoy some of the overlooks along the road. We’ve been to Bryce before as well, so we hadn’t planned a very long visit anyway.

Bryce Canyon National Park

In addition to the rain, it was also quite foggy, and it got worse and worse the further into the park we drove. So we didn’t get the awesome view we know is hiding underneath all the fog, but I have to say that the hoodoos still look awesome in the fog!

Not much visibility

On the way out of the park, it got even worse…

Not much visibility here...

Luckily the visibility increased a lot when we got closer to Tropic. The first cache of the day was when we got to Henrieville, and we ended up finding a whole lot more caches then we had planned this day – not bad for a rainy day!

You have to keep smiling! Can't let some rain stop you...
You have to keep smiling! Can’t let some rain stop you…

We’ve driven Scenic Byway 12 before, but in the other direction. So we knew exactly how breathtaking the views along this road are. Even though we’ve found the caches, we had to stop at at a few viewpoints along the road.

Nice view

When we suddenly noticed a sign saying «OPEN», we decided to stop at the nice little coffee house. It was really nice to just sit there, inside, looking out at the amazing landscape outside.

Coffee break

The weather got a lot better, and except from a lot of fog at a summit, it was perfectly okay the rest of the day.

We continued stopping at caches along the way, and it’s always nice when the cache is at viewpoints with a view like the one below!

Nice view!

After doing a few caches more, and a quick stop in Torrey, we continued towards Capitol Reef National Park. Since I also collect National Park signs, we just had to stop and get some pictures.

Capitol Reef National Park

Driving through Capitol Reef was just as nice as last time, and we had to stop and get some fruit this time as well.

Driving through Capitol ReefInside Capitol Reef NP

We continued through Capitol Reef, stopping at couple caches around Hanksville and an earthcache once we got closer to I-70. The geology along the road in Southern Utah is simply amazing!

Random view along the roadView from the car

Once we made it to I-15, it didn’t take long before we reached Crescent Junction, where we had planned a stop to see two famous cars.

Cars

We stopped at a couple more caches along the road, and a store where we bought the third piece of luggage. Since we arrived at the hotel early enough, and since we needed to go outside to get something to eat anyway, we found a few caches in Moab.

It's always nice to look back at the landscape in Southern Utah

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