To create more positive moments in your life, replace "if only" with "next time." -unknown
The tag on my chai tea bag when I returned home from our desert trek summed up the entire week. What an amazing trip, filled to overflowing with gorgeous scenery!
We didn't spend enough time in the San Rafael Swell. The goal is to hit that again, perhaps this spring, and hit JUST the Swell, nothing else.
We didn't go to Bryce Canyon at all this trip and instead opted for Kodachrome Basin, a site I've longed to explore since I first heard the name. With a name like that, it's gotta be good, right???
Kodachrome Basin got its name when National Geographic visited in 1948. Using Kodak's relatively new vivid slide film, photographers captured many of the 67 pipes, spires and cliffs featuring red Entrada sandstone and white Dakota sandstone. Park officials changed the name to Chimney Rock State Park a few years later, hoping to avoid legal entanglements with the film company, but Kodak wound up being a much better ambassador than the IOC and granted permission for use of its trademark name.
Kodachrome Basin is beautiful and probably worth more time than we gave it, but one of the things we learned this trip is to do supplemental shooting BEFORE hitting The Wave. Everything looks a little bland after the magnificent color of The Wave! We decided National Geographic named the Kodachrome basin after the film because they hadn't seen The Wave yet.
Last time we ventured into The Wave, we had planned to hike and shoot remote areas in and around Capitol Reef National Park. Again, this is something better experienced BEFORE The Wave because the colors just aren't as intense and overpowering, but Capitol Reef bears a magic all its own.
We didn't spend enough time in Capitol Reef, but there will be many more chances, even if we don't get lucky and get drawn for The Wave again in the next couple of years.
Both of us were a little gimpy after two days of fairly heavy rock scrambling. We hadn't undertaken such activity in a number of years, and we were out of shape. But now we have new goals for next time. And for life.
We'd planned to camp somewhere in Capitol Reef, but the lure of a hotel hot tube was too strong a temptation. Winter rates made the deal even more sweet. But then, the pool door was locked!!! Closed for winter. Oh, man!
The next morning, our car wouldn't start. Turned out the battery just needed a good charging after I ran it down charging camera batteries at the Arizona State Line Campground. Nippy night temperatures took rich advantage of my indulgence. However, this could have happened to us in the middle of nowhere, at White Pocket, at Wire Pass Trailhead or in Capitol Reef. Instead, it happened in a tiny little town, mostly closed for winter. We made it home safely and on time.
Next stop, Goblin Valley. Both of us had been there before, but not with good Nikon cameras. Unfortunately, I fell asleep in the car, and I had neglected to mention to The Lizard that I'd like to hit this state park again. We drove right by.
Moab is one of our favorite destinations. We'd stopped there on the way out, and we'd had dinner at the very same restaurant (and even the very same table!!!) where we'd enjoyed our first date nearly 10 years ago. A big plus was being able to watch portions of the Broncos and Seahawks playoff games while we enjoyed our meal and reminiscing about past trips and all the hockey playoffs we've watched in that very same locale.
We decided en route to home to stop there again and have dinner at the very same restaurant again. Just because. We would find things to do!
We did a brief pre-sunset tour of Arches National Park and enjoyed a quick drive through The Portal, picking out future trails to bike and camp.
No matter how often we get to go to Moab, it just isn't close enough! If we lived closer, we'd probably be there every weekend!
No trip west is complete without a visit with relatives in Grand Junction. We stopped for lunch and watched the puppies play again, and I cracked a tooth while munching on a soft piece of pizza. Go figure!!!
But again, we consider ourselves lucky. Or, well, blessed. This could have happened in White Pocket or in The Wave, while I was munching on almonds and pistachios. But it waited until I was back in civilization and close to home, close to a good dentist who rushed me in and took care of things.
It was a while before I could swallow more than soup or applesauce, but baby food is all the fuel needed to process something like 1,000 red rock photos. And one of my cutest puppy photos ever...