Tag Archives: Escalante

Utah is……

I know, I know. I’m kinda dragging out this whole vacation posting thing. And S, if you’re reading, I know, there’s not enough about you in it. ūüôā But the thing is, I have real work to get caught up on, RV packing up and moving to do, campsites to immediately find, pictures to go through… on top of that I’m also trying to reach back a week or so and even remember what the heck we did. Yes, there were funny moments – none of which I feel I’m capturing here. (yet, anyway). But I really want to make sure I, at minimum, get down what we did and where for posterity. Along with the photos, of course.

The lesson learned: Blog while you’re vacationing. Even if you can’t post it you can write it. Then it doesn’t turn into such a chore when you get back. And you really do capture the funny stuff to share!

After our night in the secluded beauty of the rainbow rocks, we continued to our next destination, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Escalante, Utah. I had booked us a few nights at the state park that sits inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Let me be honest – I had no idea what this park was about. Several months ago, when we decided on this vacation, I sat down and started combing state and federal parks for a site that a) was available and b) could fit our rig. A 39′ fifth wheel is no small camper. Campground after campground was coming up booked (it was spring break, after all) or could not accommodate a camper our size. When this park had an opening I snagged it. I figured we were close enough to other parks that the worst situation was that we’d drive everyday to a park and just use the campground as a base camp.

Man did we luck out!

It’s called the Petrified Forest state park for a reason! DUH! First there were rocks and boulders EVERYWHERE! And what did I say keeps a Boadway happy? Climbing on rocks and boulders!! Second there was a fantastic path up the side of the hill through an area covered in petrified wood! I had no idea it would be so colorful!

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And the scenery was breathtaking.

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That’s how we spent one morning. That afternoon we headed to Calf Creek to hike the three miles, one way, to the Lower Falls. It was just a 10 mile drive east of our park. The drive itself was indescribable. Marbled canyon walls, steep, hairpin turns. Unfortunately not enough great places to pull the big dually over to take photos. There’s the Kiva Koffee House between our camp and the falls on Hwy 12 that sits atop a hill, surrounded by all of this gorgeousness. It has wraparound windows for an unobstructed view. However we went to falls on a Tuesday – the day the Koffee House is closed. I have no idea what their coffee is like but I’m certain you need to stop for the phenomenal views!

At Calf Creek we meandered the three miles to the falls. Interestingly, a lot of the trail is sandy. Sand so fine, in fact, it’s like powdered sugar the color of terra cotta! Sounds neat. Crap to hike in. But still a hike that it worth it!

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There were ancient pictographs too!!

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And getting close to the falls…

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And the falls!!!

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And more in the “S Doing Scorpions in Scenic Places: A Collection”

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That was enough excitement for one day! I think we all slept like the dead that night. Which was a good thing because I had it on good authority that Bryce Canyon is waaaay better than Zion National Park. Convenient – since we were a lot closer to Bryce Canyon anyway.

That is, of course, so long as it’s not’s SNOWING!!!

Yes folks, the kids that left Syracuse, New York to get out of snow woke up to light flurries. Oops! Although no one was in the mood to hike in it, it made for some great pictures. That’s after the mad raid for warm clothes through MY closet. S was swaddled head-to-toe in my oversized long sleeve performance shirts, fleeces and jackets. Z was in my Adidas workout pants, flood waders for him, and my Clemson sweatshirt. (because you know, 16 year old boys are too cool to be too warm and cozy, but humble enough to wear ridiculous looking highwater athletic pants.) And Uncle Dan had on a pair of my funky designed spandex running tights under his shorts. Michael swears he will never look at me the same way in those (previously sexy) running tights again. :-/

We may have driven through Bryce Canyon but I took some pictures (and on the way there!!)

We pulled over the side of the road to capture this snow system moving across the distance!

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Bryce Canyon in snow.

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Another long day and we were pooped. We needed our rest because we were headed back to Nevada and Las Vegas, baby!!

Scenic Byways in AZ

We left the Grand Canyon and headed north. Our next destination was the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument in Utah. Our route took us north on Hwy 89 to Page, AZ and over to Kanab, UT to carry us on to our destination. But while in the truck I noticed a Hwy 89A that split at Bitter Springs, AZ ¬†that skirted the south edge of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and a “red dot” labeled “Navajo Bridge” and on to Fredonia where it soon met back up with regular ‘ol Hwy 89 in Kanab.

I know in this day and age of wildly popular electronics and gadgets it seems ridiculous to read¬†anything “paper” while navigating but any RVer worth his/her salt will tell you it’s a must. I will admit to not carrying any maps. I leave that to the GPS in the dash and our phones. I do, however, have an American Highway road atlas I picked up at a gas station a while back. It claims “140 detailed road maps and 55 large city maps and a national parks section with profiles of the top 12 parks.” I bought this a few years ago before I was even considering RVing. It appears to have been published in MMXIII. (2013. I had to look it up too….) This comes in handy ALL THE TIME!

  • double check Janet (what we lovingly call our in-dash sat-nav)
  • get my general bearings
  • planning
  • illustrate to Michael when a cell phone screen is just too small

You may be asking yourself, “what in the heck is a ‘red dot’ “? It’s just my atlas’ way of noting points of interest. So I started investigating this Navajo Bridge and decided it fell perfectly into a “Dillon Vacation Detour”. So we took it.

But before we even got that far we saw signs for “Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument“. We actually saw signs for this on the road, and turns out, it’s POI in my map too! We had no idea what it was or what to expect, but hey! That’s how a “Dillon Vacation” goes! *wink*wink*

It was most interesting volcanic rubble! We were able to hike around in it and take photos!! You let the Boadway’s climb on rocks and they are happy!!!

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I want to note here that I made the $80 “investment” of an Annual National Parks Pass while at the Grand Canyon. ¬†Hey, it’s only a $10 lifetime pass if you’re over 62! By the end of the vacation it had already paid for itself. I highly recommend it since it gives you free access to all the national parks. They can get kind of expensive….. $25/ car here, $5/ car there… it adds up! This really is the cheap way to see them time and again throughout the year!

Highway 89A did not disappoint! It is an official scenic byway. We even stopped at a marked area of ancient pueblos!

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And we made it to the Navajo Bridge! (ok, I have since figured out how to get the exposure correct when I have light and shadow in my view. I did not know how to do that then… Please excuse my learning curve….)

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Trying to stay free and easy, I had left one night open for us to boondock. See! I do have a wild side!! If I haven’t mentioned it before I use www.overnightrvparking.com. ¬†It’s a subscription site on where you can stay overnight, usually for free. There are other free sites but I like this one because other RVers submit info to “keep it real”. ¬†I found we could just pull over on the side of the road on a gravel pull out on 89A. So we did.

Sometimes you get a stinker. And sometimes you hit the jackpot!

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This was our backyard in  Vermillion Cliffs!!

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The next morning… on to UTAH!!!!!