Friday, November 26, 2010

National Park-ing Day

Our day, beginning with the Arches argument, is packed with multiple National Parks spanning from Utah to Colorado to Arizona and back to Utah. A banquette of canyon blanketed with cacti and sagebrush ushers us to Mesa Verde National Park where we commune with ruins the Anasazi left behind in their mysterious disappearance 700 years ago. We lunch on our staple wrap of avocado, cilantro, spinach, hummus, and cucumber as the wind whips our faces on a cliff overlooking the four surrounding states, though we can’t decipher where one begins and another ends.

It’s just a short drive to Four Corners National Monument where we find a “closed” sign. Since there’s controversy over whether the monument is actually on the four corners, we figure our presence counts. Just for good measure we perform headstands for the other disappointed travelers and flip off the gated institution for wasting our gas. We peel out, meeting more high winds that attempt to rob us of valuables from the backseat as offerings to the desert gods. I unbuckle to adjust the load in perfect time for a state trooper, from which state I couldn’t tell you, to witness my heroic efforts. Anxiety ensues as his lights flash behind us, but thankfully the sweet officer takes pity on two organizationally challenged east coasters and offers us a warning.

We drive over Glen Canyon Dam, watching sand being swept into wave-patterns along the highway as we weave toward Bryce Canyon National Park. Around nine pm and 8,000 feet, we embark on a steep, winding road anticipating a campground twelve miles and 1500 vertical feet away…
Still Anticipating…
Where is that damn campground?!
It seems that the scale on Rand McNally’s Atlas is slightly off; or maybe we are just exhausted. After an hour and a half search for the fabled campground at Bryce, we bag the idea for a 30-degree-night in the convertible.

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