Scheduled trip: Escalante, UT - Grand Junction, CO
Actual trip: Escalante, UT - Grand Junction, CO (360 miles)

Doing the Nat'l Parks with sensory overload
Southeastern Utah is literally one big national park. Even though we were behind schedule we simply had to do some more sightseeing in this picturesque state. First stop was Capitol Reef.

That morning the visitors' center was already crowded before 11 AM. Obviously we weren't the only ones who wanted to enjoy the grandeur of the red cliff formations. A narrow road wound its way through the landscape. Following it was like riding a roller coaster. At several interesting sites we stopped and took pictures.

By this time we had been on the road for more than 2 weeks. We had already seen so much it was getting difficult to digest new sensory input. Surely we didn't spend the necessary time at each of the fantastic sites. Majestic rock formations unlike anything else in the world were bypassed without much thought; it had become somewhat commonplace.

After covering Capitol Reef, the winding back roads led us to Arches Nat'l Park, which was less crowded than the previous site. We parked the cars and hiked into the landscape following the carefully marked paths. As we caught a glimpse of the first arch, we found ourselves on a rock with what seemed like a 150-feet vertical drop on two sides. There was no railing so standing at the edge was certainly not for the faint-hearted. After verifying the awe-inspiring drop each of us kept at a safe distance. It shouldn't be a big deal, standing at the brink of a chasm. You can stand at the top of a long staircase without thinking twice about it yet you can't face a drop like the one that we encountered.

It wasn't easy finding a cheap motel in Grand Junction. In fact we drove around for about an hour before we found something suitable. After checking in, we went for some food. Dave called Karla Frank, a Swiss girl who had moved to Colorado. They set up a meeting the next day. Karla played on a soccer team and we were to meet her at a local tournament.

<<May 31, 1996<<


Day 00: Prelude
Day 01: Leaving NC
Day 02: Tupelo, MS
Day 03: Henryetta, OH
Day 04: Roswell, NM
Day 05: Flagstaff, AZ
Day 06: Las Vegas, NV
Day 07: Victorville, CA
Day 08: Long Beach, CA
Day 09: Los Angeles, CA
Day 10: Thousand Oakes, CA
Day 11: Malibu, CA
Day 12: Lompoc, CA
Day 13: Lompoc, CA
Day 14: Palo Alto, CA
Day 15: Palo Alto, CA
Day 16: Fallon, NV
Day 17: Escalante, UT
Day 18: Grand Junction, CO
Day 19: Lafayette, CO
Day 20: Colby, KS
Day 21: St. Louis, MO
Day 22: Knoxville, TN
Day 23: Burlington, NC
Epilogue: Author's notes



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