After making the plan to stay in Tucson till Wednesday due to the U of A having a holiday and parties were bound to happen, we decided to go grocery shopping to prepare for our national parks journey. After loading upon the necessities of Hummus, Pasta, and Ramen, we headed back to Nolan’s and decided to walk up to campus to get a tour with him. See, Nolan has a special position at the U of A. He drives a golf cart around for people who injure themselves or are permanently disabled so that they can easily and safely get to class. This was awesome for us, because during his 3.5-hour shift, we got free rides around the whole of campus and got to check out the amazing “scenery” that southern Arizona has to offer.
We then relaxed a little more, and prepared to go out, which turned out to be fairly uneventful. We woke up at the crack of 8 and were on the road to the Grand Canyon by 10. This marked another milestone in our journey, the 4000-mile mark, and neither one of us wanted to strangle the other yet (at least that we know of). The Canyon is simply staggering. It is hard to describe or talk about if you have not been there to witness its magnitude. So, for those of you that have been there, you know what I am talking about. For those of you who have not, I will let these pictures do the talking.
We camped at the Mather Campground, caught the sunset from Hopi Point, sunrise from Yavapai Point, then drove the Desert Rim Road and stopped at every overlook before heading up to Zion Canyon!
At this point it is the 12th of November, and I am sitting in the shadow of the mighty Watchman Peak in Zion National Park. We explored much of the scenic drive and short hikes this afternoon, and are planning to do the Angel’s Landing hike tomorrow before heading up to Bryce Canyon National Park for our last two nights before Salt Lake City. Word is there should be some skiing to be had Monday!!!!!!!!!
This guy was hanging out 30 yards away from the tent at dusk last night.
After turning in early to arise to hike Angels Landing, I was awoken at 1 am by a steady rain, and had a hard time sleeping thinking of other plans to make, if we will stay dry, etc. We finally wake up at around 7 am, pack the car fast, and high-tail it to Salt Lake. We gave up on Bryce because the weather looked pretty nasty until monday at the earliest. We hopefully will be making an overnight down to Bryce before the season begins.
We are done! Made it to Salt Lake City, and after many many hours of good music and 4700 miles, we are so close to our home for the season!
I want to leave you with a quote from John Muir, one of the foremost preservationists: “Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”