Jo's Southwest Adventure

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ANTECEDENTS to this trip are here.

Want to see my favorite pictures from this trip?

So the plan was to drive to Vegas, camping at Red Rock Canyon near Mojave on the way there, spend the weekend in Vegas at Combatcon, leave the following Tuesday morning for Utah, and camp from Tuesday June 30 to sometime during the weekend of July 10-12. I had the following list of what I wanted to do, in this order, which I was not necessarily tied to; my plan was to go to a park a day, to have time to hike and chill, and I had more days than parks planned so that I could be flexible.

The original list was:

  • Kolob Canyons (the northwest part of Zion NP, different entrance)
  • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
  • Buckskin Gulch (in Vermilion Cliffs Nat'l Monument)
  • Escalante-Grand Staircase NP
  • Canyonlands NP
  • maybe Arches NP
  • Timpanagos Cave (near Provo)
  • Big Basin NP in Nevada
  • Lamouille Canyon in Nevada

You can see from the list of links below what I actually did...many changes were made, and many places added. Also, I drove a long way- from home to leaving Vegas, I put 738 miles on my truck; by the time I got home from Utah, I had added 2222 miles, which makes 3960 miles I put on that truck by myself. Wow.

And here's how it went...

The desert! Yippee!

On the right is Highway 14, getting near Red Rock Canyon.

Red Rock Canyon
State Park, CA

I had to use google to figure out what this is...the Ivanpah solar power plant, near the 15, just before the Nevada border.

Combatcon 2015

Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon

Kolob Canyons
Zion NP, UT

These are the pictures of the road from Cedar City to Cedar Breaks NM, which was about 30 miles outside town. Beautiful drive.

Cedar Breaks
National Monument, UT

Driving to the Grand Canyon, I passed this sign...and not five minutes later, here is a line of cars stopped...for bison, just like the sign said! And there were cute baby bison too! we were stuck for about ten minutes til the herd wandered off enough to drive past slowly...just right for a photo-op!

Grand Canyon
National Park, AZ

BLM 1065
AZ and UT

Wire Pass / Buckskin Gulch,
Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, UT

And the clouds are closing in again...

I went through Kanab again...this time I found cell service. The ONLY PLACE I could get a signal was at the local home-made ice cream store. I took it as a sign, and had half black raspberry pecan and half brownies on the moon while I called Diana and Doug.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes
State Park, UT

Scenic Highway 12, UT

The Cowboy Grill, Tropic UT

My campsite at the Cannonville UT KOA

Dinner. Noms!


A morning bunny butt.

Kodachrome Basin
State Park, UT

Bryce Canyon
National Park, UT

Escalante Petrified Forest
State Park, UT

This is what it looked like just driving up to Capitol Reef. Wow.

Capitol Reef
National Park, UT

Factory Butte

These pictures were taken on the 24, going north from Hanksville toward Highway 70; the clouds were AMAZING. It was like watching theater of the sky.

Going south on the 191 toward Moab, although I'm going to turn off for the next two places.

Dead Horse Point
State Park, UT

National Park, UT / Island in the Sky

The 191 from Canyonlands toward Moab

National Park, UT

This is what I was driving into, as I went north toward the freeway.

My lovely campsite at the Green River KOA

I had shredded my hiking shorts on the rocks in the morning and NOBODY TOLD ME. Sheesh.

The next day, driving toward Utah, I passed an offramp for Saltair. I thought that was gone, but I got off to take a look; this place is a rock music venue that they have built where Saltair used to be.

A scale model of the original Saltair that was in the new place's gift shop.

The Great Salt Lake and the hills that cut off Stansbury Bay.

Yup, I was driving into that, and it was about thirty minutes of rainstorm and hail hell. Then I was out the other side, and it was fine.

The Bonneville Salt Flats, which were actually full of water from all the rain. I stopped for pics, it was cool and I needed to get out of the car for a bit.

The lovely motel room I got in Elko when the THUNDERSTORM FROM HELL descended on me as I attempted to drive 18 miles into the mountains outside of town to camp in Lamoille Canyon. Halfway there I realized that not only was it not going to get better, but camping would suck in this storm, and I turned back and found a lovely room at the HIgh Desert Motel. With an ARMCHAIR. I hadn't sat in a real chair for ten days; I spent the evening reading. It was lovely.

Elko is a very wierd place.

Driving through the Sierras. Yes, it rained like hell again as soon as I crossed the state line. Sigh.

At Nancy's. She had a fancy whipped-cream dispenser that we had to try out.

Cary's fifty-first birthday party. It was great.

Me and the dogs.

No more camping! A real bedroom, and such a lovely one.

Breakfast at Katrina's in Auburn the next morning, of course

And The Man is glad to see me come home safely.

Here are my very favorite pictures from this trip