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Sunday, June 25, 2006 11:29 pm

So I officially, completely hate Kamino. Stupid randomly corrupting hard drive. I went to Best Buy and purchased a 1 GB USB storage key thing and am copying all of my pictures to it out of fear that the laptop is conspiring to destroy them all. I actually ended up getting 3 of them (they were on sale, and 1 GB probably wouldn't have been enough by the end of the trip). So, if at the end of my trip anyone is interested in a barely-used almost-new 1GB USB Key Storage thing, I'll sell it to you for $35. I couldn't find any for less than $50 in the stores. Send me an email if you're interested!


I also remembered why I use Microsoft Word to type this stuff and then save it in a text format - spell check! Yeah, I'm going a little nuts (hey, I've been gone what, 27 days now?) Today went reasonably well...at least it started and ended that way. I woke up (and, thanks to some great people in the campsite next to me from an El Paso Scouts Troop) and had breakfast. Thanks again guys! After that I hopped on my motorcycle and headed to Carlsbad Caverns. It was great! It's a little different from Mammoth Cave National Park - it has more formations and the layout of the caverns is completely different. All in all it was a fun couple of hours. There are two self-guided tours that go something like 3 miles around the caverns and I did both of them. After I was done with that I took straight off - I still wanted to try and make it to 4 Corners. I probably could have made it too had it not been for the weather I encountered later in the day.


The first part of the drive was uneventful and pretty boring once I got away from the Guadalupe Mountains. It was flat plains for the most part. As I continued on my way I approached another mountain range (I'm not sure which one) and at that point I noticed dark clouds coming over them towards me. I kept driving - hoping I'd miss them since I was ultimately heading west some more. As I stopped for gas it began raining, and I decided at that point that I really didn't want to get wet again. So I started backtracking. That worked for a while, until I noticed that the storm was also closing in on the south. So, like a small animal trapped in a slowly closing deathtrap, I gave up and resumed heading northwest. It turned out to be okay, the rain wasn't as bad as it looked (I skirted along the edge for a while and then got away from it). I made it all the way to Farmington, which is about an hour from Four Corners. There's a neat RV campground there with a train set setup in the office's yard and everything. I was able to setup camp there. Tired and mostly dry, I'm off to bed.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Today was a very busy day. I started out and hit Four Corners Monument where I took a $3 picture. It was probably not worth it, but oh well. I've now stood in four states at once, as well as driven through four states in less than a minute (I road a circle around the monument). Woo hoo! (heh)


Following that brief stop I was off to Arches National Park. In case you haven't noticed, I decided to alter my route at this point. Instead of going directly to Bryce Canyon I'm going to go to Arches National Park followed by Capitol Reef National Park. After driving for a while I saw a sign for Mesa Verde National Park and I thought "hey, I should visit that." So I did. I took a brief, whirlwind tour of Mesa Verde (which basically consisted of visiting the largest cave dwelling of them all - the Spruce Tree House) and departed. After driving some more, I saw a sign for Canyonlands National Park and I thought "hey, I should visit that too." And so I did, once again taking a whirlwind tour. This one was mostly driving and seeing the sights - which are, I might add, very impressive. Canyonlands has some really amazing cliffs and formations. I ended up visiting the southern end of the park, where there are some good views of the "Needles," a series of beautiful rock formations that actually cover a pretty significant area. After riding along the relatively short scenic drive (though the road into the park was pretty scenic itself and that one was probably about 35mi) I took off and finally, about an hour later, arrived in Moab, the town right outside of Arches National Park. It was only about 4:30pm, so I drove through all of Arches, stopping along the way to hike to some of the arches that were off the road.


That done, I drove back out of the park (the campground was full), found a campsite literally right on the Colorado River (in an area called "Negro Bill Canyon" and setup camp. I then decided that I was hungry, and went to Denny's just down the road for a late dinner (breakfast?). Following that, I was off to bed. What a long day! Tomorrow is going to end up being more of the same. Looking at the map I think I'm going to do a whirlwind tour of Capitol Reef and try to make it to Bryce Canyon. That way I can drive through Zion National Park on my way to the North Ridge the next day. I'm off!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Yet another busy and interesting day. I woke up, tore down camp, and returned to Denny's for breakfast (again) :). Following that I was off to Capitol Reef National Park. I made it there in relatively short order and drove down the entire scenic drive. Along the way I stopped at "Grand Wash" and hiked up into the canyon quite a ways, seeing an interesting arch (I forget its name) along the way. At a couple of these parks (including this one) there have also been "petroglyphs," or images that earlier civilizations have left carved in stone. Some of them look pretty neat. It's amazing to think about how old some of them are. It's even more amazing to look out at the scenery and think about how young humans are compared to the age of the Earth. The amount of time that passed during which geologic processes shaped the landscape we now see is basically unimaginable.


My short time in Capitol Reef NP done, I was off to Bryce Canyon. I got to Bryce Canyon National Park in relatively short order and checked into their campground. At that point I decided I was too exhausted to really do anything productive for the rest of the evening (it was about 7:30pm). I called family and friends and then built a fire (which involved driving a few miles to a store, buying a bundle of firewood, and driving back with it on my lap). I spent the remainder of the evening staring at the fire before heading off to bed.