Monthly Archives: January 2015

Left Moab – Night 8 at Sand Island Camp

Started driving south from moab.  Started to get dark so found a campground.  Super nice.  Too dark for pics.  Updates tomorrow.

As usual, the drive between these different places results in different topography. Ended up in more rocky areas again though in Bluff.
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I got out of moab a little later than I wanted so ended up trying to find a place to sleep. I didnt want to pay $100 for a place so luckily I found Sand Island Campground.

As with the other campgrounds…completely empty. But what an awesome setting.
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Only got to barely freezing last night. My water didnt completely freeze which was good.

Moab – Arches National Park

Moab the city is much bigger than I thought.  I didn’t think anything was here except for the national parks and some bike trails and a few motels.  But it is actually a small town.  There are two National Parks:  Arches and Canyonlands.

Today, I decided to visit Arches.  The landscape is like the high desert I’ve been driving through except its got these crazy formations of huge rock.  Pretty amazing.  The entire place is vast.  There is a campground from the park entrance that you have to drive 18 miles to give you an idea of how big the place.
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I decided to check out Utah’s iconic Delicate Arch and a lesser known Eye of the Whale Arch which required a small off-road adventure.

 

Delicate Arch.  It was about a 1.5 mile hike to reach this arch.  From pictures I’ve seen, I knew it was big, but it is much bigger than I thought.  Here are a few pictures.

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There was a lot more to explore up there too.  I wanted to check out some of those rock formations that were immediately behind it and got a few pics from there.

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Here is a rare selfie from a little peninsula of rock that had a good little drop on each side.
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Eye of the Whale Arch.

This one took some driving on a road I wasnt sure the subie could handle.
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It got me there though.
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SLC to Moab – day 6

One thing i like while driving is seeing the topography change.  From SLC to Moab, I went from a summit, to more desert but with different mountains starting to form, to the the rocks of Moab as i started to near the town.

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I did take a small side trip between SLC and Moab.  A guy in an SLC visitor center marked me up a map. He knew everything.  He suggested a small scenic byway called 9 mile canyon road.  Pretty nice.  In the middle of it, was some picnic area that marked the location of an old ranch or something.

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SLC city walk

Overall, very cool city so far.  Has a good downtown feel but it seems more spread out.  There is a small section with tall buildings, but even then, things are still spread out.  Meaning, the streets are pretty wide and isn’t very dense.  Many of the people in the city itself arent even from Utah (based on about 10 people i met) with maybe 1 that was actually from utah.  It seems SLC is more diverse than the rest of the state.  At least thats what the locals have said.  Lots of water features, good views, and from what I saw, overall well kept.

First stop was a coffee shop.  Nice place with some law firm above it.  Was able to chat with one of the attorneys.  Got a lot of insight from the barista about the city.  She told me all about the alcohol laws.  For example, if a place is first known as a food eating establishment, you cant get only alcohol. You need food with it. However, so long as you intended to eat, that is ok.  Like if you ordered a drink, but had to leave, thats ok.

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The backdrop of this city is pretty amazing.  Mountains everywhere.

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Thought this was a cool use of an alley.

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Went on facebook and got some tips where to go.

City creek mall.  Has a creek running through it and apparently has a retractable roof.  Creek has fish in it and it actually starts outside with a waterfall.  At least thats what it seemed like.

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Mormon temple and square.  The whole street grid is based on this block.  Everything west is West 100, 200 etc, everything east is East 100, 200, etc, north and south the same.  The temple is located on a block and the entire block is surrounded bu a huge wall.  Looks like a fortress.  Within the walls are various buildings.

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Capitol Building.  Looks like all other capitol buildings but the location of it is awesome.  Its up on a hill looking down on the city and has a crazy awesome view from the front steps of the entire valley.

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Here is a 180 degree panorama from the steps.  might be too big for this website.

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Red Iguana.  Everybody says i need to eat here.  Walked up and there was a line.  Features in one of those eating shows.  Got the mole negro.  So good.  And presented well…a plate full of it with the rice and beans on its own plate.  They give you a sampler of the sauces so you can see which one you want.  Tres leches dessert was great as well.

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Walking back to the hotel i ran into the clark planetarium. Maybe i was paranoid but from the moment i walked in, i felt watched.  I realized though the place was really for kids so I was essentially the creepy guy at the playground without a kid.  Took a pic of myself at this thermal image exhibit and hightailed it out of there.

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Here are some miscellaneous pics.  Arena, skyline, more fountains…

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After a nap went out to a coffee shop and hung out.  Salt Lake City Roasters.  Nice atmosphere and was two stories.  Forgot to take pics.  If i get back there, i will snap a few.

The drive to salt lake city

From bonneville, it was 109 miles to slc.  Mostly the same but a couple of points.

First off….80 mph speed limit is awesome.

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The first 40 miles was absolutely straight.  I have never went so fast for so straight for so long.  It was awesome but a bit boring.  I think they know that because there were a lot of signs that told you to pull over if you were tired.

I also learned that I should have failed my driving test because when I saw this sign on this road, I thought someone messed up.  But obviously I must not know what it means.

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The one thing it could mean is that it can get windy.  If that is the case, somebody hasnt played enough pictionary.  Horrible sign either way.

On 80 at least, the geography is a bit different than nevada.  In NV, it was mountains, valley, mountains.  While very similar, it was more valley with sporadic mountain ranges.  As you approached the mountains the freeway simply went around it versus over it.

Anyhow, after a short drive from the flats, I arrived.  Will be here a couple of nights with the convenience of lights and a hot shower.  Apparently sundance film festival and some huge outdoor retailers conventions are here this weekend.  Picked a busy one.

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