Trip Start Nov 20, 2003
7Trip End Dec 06, 2003
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Usually when I head out on one of these drive-abouts I have done some extensive reading on the geography and history of my destination. This opportunity for the pursuit of leisure came about rather suddenly so I didn't have much in the way of advance preparation time. I think the only book I've read that concerns Utah is Norman Mailer's "Executioner's Song," a book that isn't so much about Utah as it is about the relationship between West and East among other things. It's powerful stuff so definitely check it out.
I've written about Las Vegas quite extensively in the past. This will be my fourth time visiting the city that crap built. You can find a travelogue on this website that I wrote quite a few years ago
Q: Why Utah and the other Four Corners States?
A: Well, in November 1997 and November 1998 I had the chance to drive through the state on my way to Las Vegas. Unfortunately at the time I was on the clock and couldn't linger. Now I get my chance to explore the National Parks of the southern half of the state. Basically, it was the one place in North America that I had visited but never really explored enough to satisfy my curiosity.
Q: What's your itinerary?
A: The trip starts with a mad dash through the central time zone to western Nebraska. Then the real scenery begins, as we'll drive through the Rockies in Colorado and down to Moab, Utah. From Moab we will explore Arches National Park and perhaps visit Canyonlands National Park. We'll continue to move westward with a stop at Twisters in Green River, Utah for a meal. Capitol Reef National Park will be a drive-by before settling in for a couple days of camping and hiking at Bryce Canyon National Park. Zion Canyon National Park will also be visited before spending a day/night in Las Vegas. From Vegas we'll drop into Arizona and travel across the north of the state possibly stopping in at The Grand Canyon but definitely making a pilgrimage to Snow Bowl and a DelTaco restaurant in Flagstaff. A stop will be made at Painted Desert National Park before heading northward to visit the archeological parks in the Four Corners area such as Canyon de Chelly and Mesa Verde. Then we'll start back home with a possible stop at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. We'll definitely be spending a night at Kingston Mines in Chicago before returning home.
Q: We? Who are we?
A: Yes, this isn't a lonesome wander for me this time around. I have a navigator (i.e. someone to feed me junk food while I'm driving) and her name is Nadia Abuseif. She passed an extensive audition for the role last November on a trip we made down to Key West, Florida. If she survives this adventure, she might just become a regular fixture in my travelogues.
Q: What's the weather going to be like?
A: Good question. If things remain seasonal in Utah then we will be experiencing daytime highs of 15 degrees and nighttime lows of 0 (everything in Celsius). If things get ugly we might be in Las Vegas sooner than we had planned. Of course, everybody reading seemed to really enjoy my harrowing adventure up the Dempster Highway this summer so maybe a little adversity makes for a better travelogue. Personally, I'd rather have sunny skies and open road.
Q: What's it with you and November travel?
A: Since 1997 I've only spent one November without traveling. I guess the best part is the lack of other tourists on the road that I enjoy most. Motel rates also drop in November and some camping can be done for free. Weather is always a gamble during this month but I always seem to get lucky.
Q: How many McBiscuits do you plan on eating?
A: All of them.
Q: What will be the signature CD of this trip?
A: Well we're visiting Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and possibly the Grand Canyon so it will be Suckerpunch's "Carols From The Canyon." Of course I'm no longer in control of the stereo so we'll see what happens.
Now everybody get back to work! The Mongoose flies again!