The Entire Trip in 3 1/3 Minutes

November 29th, 2009 16 comments

 


» Want to see every day of the trip? Start here!


Threw together this video. Well, threw it together over the last month or so of the trip. But definitely thrown, this video. It’s just stills from the trip, but I kind of like how it shows the trip’s progress over time. If I’m allowed to like my own reflections of my own trip.

I suppose I am.

Anyway:

I’m offering a bright, shiny mule (donkey? I can’t tell them apart) to anyone who can name the place where every photo was taken. And hopefully they don’t yank it for using the Breeders song as the soundtrack. It’s a good song for the video is all. IMHO.

bkd

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BTW, I’m Posting New Travel Stuff on My Other Blog

January 1st, 2010 No comments

My other blog is at bkdunn.com. I’m gonna keep this one free of distraction by not, like, adding stuff to it ever. Probably. Or at least, that’s my current theory. Working theory. Meantime, my other blog already has a couple new posts on it about driving back up the west coast (Highway 1, Redwoods National Park, Evergreen Air and Space Museum) and I’m on, like, Maui as I type, so maybe something will come out of that. And if it does, it’ll end up over there.

Anyway. Just if you’re interested.

bkd

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It Is Finished (Day 129)

November 26th, 2009 4 comments

There aren’t a whole lot of interesting, good, or even somewhat pleasant things to say about the ride down the 15 from Provo to SoCal. It gets particularly annoying after you enter Nevada and are in quasi-California traffic from Vegas on into the megalopolis. Sort of an anti-climactic final ten hours of the trip. For the sake of color, though, here’s a picture:

provo-streetIt was either this or the one of the gas station in Vegas.

For the sake of continued triteness, here are some numbers:

  • Miles: 22,245
  • Photos Taken: ca. 12,000
  • Gallons of Gas: ca. 1,350
  • Blog Posts: 224
  • Days: 129(-ish)
  • States: 48
  • Waterfalls: 37
  • National Parks: 19
  • Lighthouses: 15
  • Grad School Apps Worked On: 9
  • Great Lakes Visited: 5
  • Caves Explored: 4
  • Bears Seen: 3
  • Fish Caught: 3
  • Times Snowed On: 2
  • Transmissions Blown: 1
  • Countries Visited: 1

Thanks for following along — it’s been fun.

bkd

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Lower Calf Creek Falls Hike (Day 128)

November 24th, 2009 1 comment

The last real trip-like thing I did: hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante. The payoff seems way to good considering what a short (6 mi. r/t), easy (not much elevation gain) hike it is. IMHO. I guess that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though — it’s a pretty great payoff.

Most of the hike heading up to the waterfall looks like this:

lower-calf-creek-falls 1

So, you know, red rocks, but with more stripes in them. This area more than most reminded me of a painting that used to be in my Grandpa Kimball’s house somewhere. There were horses involved (in the painting), but not the kind of horses that kill people.

The trail eventually started following alongside the creek (that would be Calf Creek).

Then I got to the waterfall. I’m not sure if it’s really all that cool, or I just realize at this point that it’s the last major natural feature of the trip and am therefore inordinately excited about it, but whatever. It looks different from every angle, has a bunch of cool colors in it, and is really high. Tough lighting though.

lower-calf-creek-falls 4

lower-calf-creek-falls 3

lower-calf-creek-falls 2

lower-calf-creek-falls 5

lower-calf-creek-falls 6

lower-calf-creek-falls 7

lower-calf-creek-falls 8

Waterfall, yes!

The trail back had these trees on it:

lower-calf-creek-falls 9

Seemed important to share them.

Then when I took off out of there, I was on Highway 12 again and took this picture:

lower-calf-creek-falls 10

I like denuded aspens.

Anyway, all-in-all a pretty good road trip lo these past four months. Maybe I’ll do an entry for the drive back to SoCal. That will be epic. Epic!

bkd

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Highway 12 (Day 127, Part 2)

November 23rd, 2009 No comments

The weird part is that when I went to college in Utah, I never really thought the place was all that pretty. And I even went to some places in Southern Utah back then. Bah.

The driving from Four Corners all the way to Escalante was fantastic. The scenery kept changing (from one type of red rock outcropping to another, sure, but still) and was constantly interesting. To me. YMMV.

highway-12 1

And, IMHO, aspens rawk.

highway-12 2The foreground makes all the difference…

highway-12 3Because I’ve never seen snow before.

The pass tops out at 9,600 feet elevation. Kind of interesting to consider how wild 6,000 feet seemed in New Hampshire and then how mild that is in western-US terms. Anyway. Once I got to Escalante, I had a late lunch and found a place to stay, then headed out onto the Hole-in-the-Wall road. I was sort of hoping I could get to the hole before sundown, but about halfway there realized I wasn’t gonna make it.

hole-in-the-rock-road 1But I *did* get to see these rocks.

hole-in-the-rock-road 2And take a hero-shot of my truck. Boy *that’s* gonna look good on Craigslist one day.

hole-in-the-rock-road 3Then I took the obligatory battery of sunset photos.

And then I went to the hotel and ate pre-packaged cheese-and-crackers.

bkd

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Capitol Reef: More Red Rocks (Day 127)

November 23rd, 2009 3 comments

Went on an actual little hike at Capitol Reef (National Park). It’s the national park in Utah that no one wants to talk about. Probably due to all the scandals and all.

Chimney Rock Loop, with about 3 miles of additional canyon thrown in.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 1The rock they named the trail after. Curiously, it’s not much a part of the route’s scenery.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 2

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 3Evidence I was there — and that the moustache was still alive and well as of Day 127.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 4

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 5I’m always impressed by the trees that manage to make a living out here. And by contrails.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 6

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 7Birds could live here. Or rock-climbing gnomes.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 8

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 9Just trying to imagine the wind that blew the pinecone (or whatever) here in the first place…

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 11The rocks also make me think of the U2: Live at Red Rocks video, which then reminds me that someone thought it was a good idea to put songs like “Party Girl” on the video/album, which then makes me remember there’s a reason I never owned U2’s Live at Red Rocks video.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 12And do the trees get lonely?

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 14Looking west from the top of the switchbacks.

capitol-reef-chimney-rock 15

Yeah, I guess I’m mostly over captions.

BTW, another park with a ranger who gave good advice on a hike. She also seemed somewhat outraged that every photo of Bryce Canyon that she’d ever seen in a calendar pictured Bryce during winter with snow on the Hoodoos. It *is* an outrage.

Just FWIW in case you care etc. etc., I liked Capitol Reef. It’s more subtle and less in-your-face than Bryce or Arches — more just a place to hang out than to have to confront. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I know it’s true. FWIW.

bkd


Doesn’t “Moki Dugway” Play Outfield for Cleveland? (Day 126, Part 2)

November 23rd, 2009 2 comments

Seems like he should if he doesn’t.

At the end of Valley of the Gods, the road dumps you off on Utah Highway 261, which you then follow if you’re trying to get yourself on to Lake Powell and Capitol Reef. The speed limit changes almost immediately from 55 to 35 and then to 15 and then the highway becomes gravel and good luck to you from there.

Road goes up quickly. Photos didn’t turn out that great, but it was an amazing stretch of road. I have no incentive to lie to you about this, therefore I *MUST* be a reliable source of information in this matter.

This drive, btw, is called “Moki Dugway”. Named after the outfielder. It made a Forbes list of America’s scariest highways.

moki-dugway 1

moki-dugway 2

moki-dugway 3

moki-dugway 4

moki-dugway

moki-dugway (1)

At the top of it you get a view back over the Valley of the Gods, where my truck no longer is. Way cool drive, although the funnest part was being on one of the switchbacks and trying to figure out how where the road was actually going, cuz you sure can’t see how there’s going to be another ledge onto which it can switch back.

Lessee. Then I stopped by Natural Bridges National Monument and drove around their scenic loop. It was getting pretty late in the afternoon to try and take pictures, but oh well.

natural-bridges 1

natural-bridges 2

These bridges also had names. There were a couple others there as well. Would probably be a fun place to visit in the actual day-time so you could run out on the trails and check out the bridges from a vantage point other than the overlook on the road. Tja.

Then I got to Lake Powell.

lake-powell

The, uh, bridge goes over the lake. Camped about a mile away from here — last camping night on the trip! — at Dirty Devil River. Nice campground, $6, but fetchin’ cold.

All in all, a big day.

bkd

So, Four Corners: Meh

November 23rd, 2009 No comments

I think $3 is probably a little steep to visit this place. OTOH, it’s hard to begrudge the Navajo much. I wonder if the souvenir stands were owned by different tribes depending on the corner in which they were located. I don’t wonder about it much.

four-corners-markerRacking up extra Colorado minutes.

And now I can say I’ve been there. Four states! (Although I’m sure the marker’s in the wrong place or something that totally screws it up.)

bkd

Valley of the Gods and My Truck (Day 126)

November 22nd, 2009 5 comments

Dirt road. Southeast Utah. A little to the right of Monument Valley. Did I mention dirt road? Aw screw it, just pictures and call it good. Hopefully you like images of reddish rock outcroppings.

valley-of-the-gods 1And road. Images of roads also.

valley-of-the-gods 2These rocks all have names.

valley-of-the-gods 3But the names aren’t particularly interesting.

valley-of-the-gods 4Or descriptive, imho.

valley-of-the-gods 5But, you know, having a name or not doesn’t really change the rock.

valley-of-the-gods 6I mean, if it’s a good-looking rock, who cares what its name is?

valley-of-the-gods 7And the names are just arbitrary anyway.

valley-of-the-gods 8So if you need names, make up your own I guess.

valley-of-the-gods 9Technically speaking, the road has a name as well.

valley-of-the-gods 10But name or not, it still just takes you where it takes you.

valley-of-the-gods 11I don’t know what the weeds are called either.

Pleasant rocks. By which I mean they were rocks that were pleasant. It was a sentence fragment.

bkd

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Welcome to Utah (State #48)

November 22nd, 2009 2 comments

#48. So sad.

welcome-utahThe sign would be cooler if the ski jumper were jumping through the arch. IMHO.

Last state down, nowhere left to go but back to Del Taco.

bkd

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