In each of the past several years, I’ve done an extended road trip. This year, it was a tour through a bunch of national parks in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Here’s some of what I saw!
This little guy was sunbathing on a rock
Driving to our next stop we were rudely interrupted by some free-range cows who thought the best place to hang out was the middle of the road
On one hike, we had a little guessing game for how many vertical feet the trip back to the canyon rim would cover. Someone guessed 300 feet. That seemed too high for me, so I guessed 120. The third person guessed 210 (I’m sure you can figure out their technique).
We knew the heights of everyone there, so were able to construct a 30-60-90 triangle which pointed more-or-less at the rim of the canyon. This meant that the vertical distance was around half the horizontal distance, and people tend to be better at guessing horizontal distances, but it was still just guesswork. Finally, someone got fed up and brought out the altimeter app on their phone, which read 5,893 feet at ground level.
Long story short, we got back up to the canyon rim and the altimeter read 6,014 feet, so I was pretty proud of my guess. Later, we saw a sign which had the height of a rock feature in the canyon. Someone covered it up and asked me to guess. I guessed 450 feet, which is what the sign said. Pretty good at guessing heights that day, I guess.
Some of the most striking features were the natural arches—they seem both really fragile and really sturdy at the same time.
My favorite hike involved some fun rock scrambles over sandstone fins, under arches, and shimmying down some steep rock faces.
We also saw the most massive elk I’ve ever seen, as well as someone whose hiking boots got tied together somehow hopping along, but I didn’t get pictures of either. Here’s my favorite picture I took, which involves a reflection in the Colorado river: