In the first few days of the trip, we had established a morning ritual, which we didn't
break away from much. Usually it was up to Niels to decide when it was time to get out of
bed. Naturally this had its advantages too. Thus he had the right to 'baptize' the
bathroom, i.e. take the first shower of the morning. By shower number 3, the room would be
more or less submerged. Even the clean towels could be wet.
Mostly Niels's fellow travelers were sound asleep when he returned from the hose-down.
This was easily corrected though. The TV was switched on. Deep moans and the occasional
loud curse usually followed a few seconds of MTV. It worked every time. Next there would
be a scramble for the bathroom door; who would do the 'confirmation'? Usually that
privilege fell upon Manuel, which left Dave and Mark to administer the 'last rites' of the
We bought groceries in a local market. It was a sunny day so we camped right in the middle
of the parking lot and ate our breakfast.
As we headed East the terrain was rising gradually. We crossed the low Shoshone Mountains
and the Monitor Range. However, these were mere bumps in the road compared to what we
would encounter later.
The drive through Nevada was rather uneventful. We crossed into Utah that afternoon and by
this time we knew it was impossible to reach Grand Junction, which had been our intended
destination. Distances on a road map can be conceiving and once again we had thoroughly
underestimated the great expanses of the American West.
Instead we headed for Bryce Canyon. We arrived just before sunset and discovered that this
was the perfect time to see the great gorge. Dusk arrived as we descended the canyon. Some
places the path was so steep it was difficult walk on. The ascent was a test of one's
physical condition but we all lived to tell about it.
Bryce Canyon, UT
Then we had to find a motel. We knew it could be difficult because we were in a scarcely
populated area of the state; it was far between towns. We tried the nearby Cannonville but
without luck. The question was whether we should double back to Cedar City, the largest
town in the area, or if we should continue eastwards. We went east. After 25 miles we
reached Escalante and found a motel.
See more photos from May 31.
Go to the next page in the Diary (June 1).