Updated: Feb 13
Right after we attended the wedding of a lifetime in Sedona AZ, we packed our converted Sprinter Van and hit the road. This is part one of many parts to our Southern States Tour. In our previous (several) posts we covered the northern states so let's tackle the rest of the Lower 48.
On October 26, 2020 we left Oceanside CA on Hwy 76 to Interstate 15N. The wind was crazy and the temps were chilly. This cross country trip included our black lab Shadow. We made a few plans this time and had some points of interest that were must-sees. Look at that wind!! High profile vehicles, proceed with caution:
Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah was first on our list of places to see. It's about 75 miles past Las Vegas. Now if I were traveling solo - Vegas would have been my first stop. Darin isn't a fan so we basically rolled right through, caught the tip of Arizona and entered Utah.
I-15 takes you into Cedar City Utah, we exited and headed east on Hwy 14. Since it was Fall the days were shorter and the sun disappeared quickly. We drove by a few dirt path turn outs that were kind of hidden, we took one of those and found our first spot to sleep for the trip. This little path was right above Coal Creek.
Darin took Shadow out to do his business and we settled in for the night. OH MY GOD! Utah can be very cold in the Fall. Thank goodness I had made a very heavy and very large blanket for the van.
The next morning while making coffee I realized how cold it must have been for Shadow, as I watched him lying in his bed curled in a ball and not moving. From that point on, we put him in bed with us to keep him warm too. I promised myself I would take better pictures this trip to document our travels - This one was my Pano attempt to capture the inside of the van and our warm blanket. Darin's face got seriously distorted!
Let's try that again!
Here is a view of our spot in the morning:
The road from Cedar City is beautiful and curvy. Sometimes Darin takes the curves faster than I would like. Take a look at what could happen:
Just kidding! We did not make those skid marks, we just randomly stopped there to let Shadow stretch his legs and do his business.
Cedar Break National Monument did not disappoint. While we were walking around we chatted with a college student that made other recommendations for our travels. Let's give a shout out to the other Local Union 831 members that are laid-off during COVID! Stay safe out there people.
Yes! It was very cold for these SoCal travelers.
We made quick business out of sightseeing, got back in the van to warm up and headed to Capital Reef National Park. On the way there we saw snow on the ground and beautiful landscape in Teasdale. Here is a shot of Twin Rocks in the Park.
The Fluted Wall and the Castle are massive and hard to image how they were formed. There truly are too many pictures to post but here is another:
After leaving Capitol Reef, our van must have become a spaceship because we landed on the MOON! I can only hope that my photos do it justice. The landscape here was like being on another planet. There was little to no traffic and felt very strange driving through.
The gray mounds are not piles of cement, they are actually natural formations from Mother Earth. This went on for miles.
We continued on our way toward Arches National Park. We stopped just before the entrance and took advantage of the BLM land in Moab. From I-70 take Hwy 191 to Willow Springs Road - Turn left and pick your spot! This area is huge! Check out this sunset from our campsite.
Dinner was grilled sausage & onions in Ramen noodles. We needed to warm up from the inside out and that did the job. Shadow was up in bed with us, The temp dropped to 17 degrees!
The sunrise was just as spectacular - and watch the video of Darin driving "Juggy" out of our spot. The video shows how massive this area of free camping actually is, in fact it took several minutes to get back to Hwy 191.
Next up, Arches National Park! I wanted to see Arches for a long time and it did not disappoint.
After Arches we turned left on Hwy 191 and headed east on Hwy 128 which basically followed the Colorado River. The amount for places to camp along the river has us longing to return to enjoy the area. The water is likely always cold but the scenery was simply amazing. Here are a few photos and some silly videos for a dose of laughter.
Now you may be wondering why we have called this a Southern States Tour and we're heading north...? Simple, we want to hit all the states that we haven't visited in 2020 so our route will be a bit erratic. Hang in there with us, we'll visit some known and unknown gems along the way. So far we are only two nights in and I want to go back!
We had our product stock with us because we decided to sell them on the road. I'm glad we did that because 15 minutes after leaving home, we made a sale. This meant we searched out many Post Offices over the next several weeks. This is how we store our own screens, keep it simple style - handy and ready at all times. Magnetic clip on the seat bases.