Home From Our Southwest Adventuring!

Oh, My, Goodness. What a trip! For those of you that might not have followed along via my Instagram account, here is a snapshot of the photos I posted, starting in St. George, Utah, and ending in Kanab, Utah:

We were gone a total of three weeks, visited five national parks, three national monuments, and traveled over 2,000 miles. We visited an amazing array of places by car, foot, kayak, gondola and boat, and made countless memories we will never, ever forget. Our newly retired best friends, who have the same type of travel trailer that we do, accompanied us, and I am pretty confident they had as wonderful of a time as we did in that midway through they were already talking about planning another long distance RV trip to do all together, possibly up into the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few of the random things that went through my mind during our journey:
  • Wildfires are a constant summertime threat throughout the southwest. Our scheduled ride on the Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train out of Durango was cancelled due to the Burro Wildfire, and our return trip home from Kanab, Utah was impacted by the Lone Pine Wildfire.
  • Our National Parks are without question one of our nation's greatest treasures. We met foreign visitor after foreign visitor that came here solely to see our vast, beautiful wilderness, and we were humbled anew each and every time they shared their joy at being able to do so with us. 
  • It's hot in the southwest! And while, yes, it's a dry heat that is much, much easier to take then when combined with humidity, it still affected us tremendously when we were out and about. My skin cracked open in a few places, plus I experienced several instances of moderate heat exhaustion in spite being well covered from the sun, finding shade where  I could, and  drinking a good amount of water each day that had been supplemented with electrolytes.
  • Utah is the cleanest state we've ever traveled in, with some of the nicest, most helpful people we've ever met. But it's also home to some of the goofiest alcohol laws we've ever encountered, including not being allowed to order any drinks in a restaurant bar unless it's accompanied by a food order, and limiting the percentage of alcohol in beer to 4% or less. Too funny!
  • We enjoyed riding a series of gondolas into and out of Telluride, Colorado during our visit there, which are completely free to use in the summertime.
  • We saved over $250 in entrance and camping fees with my husband's National Parks lifetime senior pass, including half price full hookup camping reservations at Mesa Verde National Park. 
  • We came in well under budget thanks to our love of being active wherever and whenever possible. The majority of our days were spent hiking or attending ranger talks, both free, including an Astronomy event in Bryce Canyon one memorable evening - we exited the shuttle bus in a completely dark field, and basically groped our way over to the dozens of viewing telescopes that had been set up. 
  • In total we hoofed our way over more than 100 miles of national park and monument trails, enjoying amazing sights and sounds as we went along.
  • Our wildlife sightings included coyote, marmot, collared lizard, turkey, mule deer, Blue jay, red tail hawk, chipmunks and squirrel. 
  • Our geology sightings included the Colorado River, the Colorado Plateau, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyondland, Arches and Mesa Verde National Parks, and Canyons of the Ancients, Cedar Break, and Escalante National Monuments, plus the Navajo Nation's Four Corners Monument at the point where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico come together. We also enjoyed exploring the Utah towns of St. George, Torrey, Moab, and Kanab, and the Colorado towns of Cortez and Telluride.
And finally . . . 
  • Though it's always wonderful to get away, it's also always wonderful to come back home.

Make it a great day wherever you are!


  1. Omigosh! What a magnificent adventure, Tamara! Sounds like you did it up right and had a fabulous time doing it. Love the pics although (especially, it seems, in our National Parks) some scenery is so awe-inspiring that even the best of photos couldn't do it justice. SO glad you had a safe and memorable journey!

    Just curious . . . The second photo in the second row - could that be the "Sisters" in Arches?

    1. Hi Mary, it was indeed an amazing adventure, though to be sure it's fabulous to be out of the heat and come home to cool temps and ocean breezes. :-)

      So, I do think the photo you are asking about is indeed the same, however in my park brochure it's been labeled as 'The Three Gossips.' Not sure when/why the name change might have come about?

    2. Yes, the Three Gossips does ring a bell, so that's most likely what it has always been. (Our visit was 11 years ago.) That formation was one of my favorites in Arches because it reminded me of my Mom and her sisters - that's probably why I was remembering it as the "Sisters." Gorgeous country, all of it! Thanks for the info, Tamara!

  2. Your trip took you through so many of my favorite places. Such beautiful landscape that I never tire of. Glad you an amazing trip!

    1. We could not believe the beauty of the Utah portion of the Colorado Plateau! The stretch of scenic highway 12 between Bryce and Torrey, in particular, was so gorgeous and amazing I couldn't even begin to try and describe it. It really must simply be experienced.

      Sadly, our RV will be tucked away in our garage for the remainder of the year, as our travels turn toward plane, auto and hotel instead. The result of having our granddaughters on the east coast, is that we are now starting and stopping trips from there, rather than from our home on the west coast.

  3. Love your pictures and it makes me miss the state of my college education ....My daughter lives in Salt Lake, so maybe, if work ever slows down, I will go visit later this year. I love Arches, and Moab. I went on a river raft trip on the San Juan River nearly 40 years ago....it was amazing...so glad you enjoyed your trip! Cindy in the South

    1. We've traveled in northern Utah - SLC, Park City - and much enjoyed those gorgeous mountains. It really is a spectacular state. We were a little late in the season for more than level one/two rafting and kayaking, but it was still fun!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip, Tamara! I love all of your photos and whilst it is nice to be home, you have made some magical memories. Now to plan your next adventure!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    1. Yes indeed, Sue. And the next adventure is right around the corner, when we fly out to visit our granddaughters, including the newest at just 2 weeks old!

  5. I like your last statement - Though it's always wonderful to get away, it's also always wonderful to come back home. As much as I anticipate a vacation/holiday, I appreciate the homecoming. As familiar as home is, I seem to see it with fresh eyes after a time away. Vacations aren't always restful but the change does something for the perspective.


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