This Is A Proper Town

Trip Start Jun 06, 2011
1
12
51
Trip End May 22, 2012


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Where I stayed
Canyonlands Campsite
What I did
Felt at Home

Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday 1 July

LK: Early start for Arches National Park, a completely stunning area of other-worldly sandstone formations illuminated in fiery colours as the sun rises. The scale is awesome, and photos can't capture the sensory overload of the surroundings.

KK: Not that we didn’t try – between us we took over 70 photos (no, we are not going to post them all up). We had a hike from the Devil’s Garden; the sign said it was difficult. In the UK "difficult" means a bit hilly. We were soon actually climbing up rocks, a couple (the man looked like Dom Joly) with their young son were pulling us up rock formations. I don’t mean they were using their son to pull us up, that would be inhumane, but that it took four of us to make any kind of progress. Other hikers were coming back and saying there was no way through. We pressed on. “Look at the size of that lizard!”

LK: We managed one more walk in a different area of the park, but time was getting on and wandering about in a desert under the midday sun was not something to prolong, even if we did get to see an eagle soaring overhead. We promised to return at sunset another day, and promised our car we would park it in the shade for a couple of hours.

KK: Truth be told the campsite was so excellent that we extended our stay there. The cold beer at Rio’s Bar might have helped – we watched tennis from Wimbledon, Nascars crashing, baseball and got talking to guy who had driven in from L.A. He looked like David Gest and was splendid fun. LK made shadow puppets on the tent wall as the 4x4s roared by and then we slept soundly. We’re either getting used to this or have lost all feeling in our hips.

Saturday 2 July

LK: Our first cooked breakfast in ages. We didn’t make it, obviously, we don’t do advanced camping with fire and all that. Instead, we were at The Peace Cafe, served by an hilariously laid back tattooed and lip-pierced waiter wearing a apron with a little skull print on. I liked him, even if it took ages for my (wrong) smoothie to arrive.

KK:  He was so cool that he gave me Lynn’s wrong smoothie when her right one eventually turned up and complained that our tip was too generous. It wasn’t, his maths was as bad as his memory for smoothies.  We wandered round Moab’s shops as the morning heated up. Hardly any chains in town, there is a McDonalds and a Burger King down the road but they look like prisoners of war. This place doesn’t feel like America. With its wooden fronted shops and with scruffy action, adventure types wandering the streets it feels more like New Zealand. Obviously we love it.

LK: So much so that we booked to stop for Sunday and Monday, but this time in a motel. You can only put up with strangers’ mess for so long. On which note, we received confirmation that our tenant is finally in place and has paid the necessary money up front. A big relief.

KK:  With the car telling us it was 118F outside, we went back up to The Arches in the evening to see the sun set. A popular choice judging by the amount of people swarming over the hot red rocks. You can’t blame them because it is beautiful but if they could all stop shouting for five minutes it would be better. “Look at the size of those Ravens!” I shouted.  In my defence they were bloody massive. Down at the gas station by the camp site I spoke to a Navajo man who had been out firing guns with his brother. “The beer here is 3.2 percent proof shit,” he told me. I agreed then bought some anyway. We drank it under the stars as the 4x4s rolled around waiting for us to go to bed.
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Comments

jon bennett on

Team travel,
Nothing witty or enlightening to say but I did just want to write to encourage you to keep up the regular updating.
I'm enjoying it immensely, I save it for journeys on the bus and it has me snorting with laughter, which is alarming fellow commuters.
Not sure if there's a way for you to alert people where you are off to so that they can come up with any suggestions - they probably can keep their well meaning advice to themselves, it's your adventure - but let me know if there's any kind of itinerary.

jon bennett on

ps tell me you bought a bottle of that wine that liam recommended?

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