We returned from Asia to find that my start date as a Climbing Ranger was pushed back which opened up about one month of free time. With nothing much else on the docket we decided to load up Penny and cruise south!
We drove ourselves south and headed straight for Joshua Tree National Park. We stayed in the Hidden Valley Campground for several days climbing the nearby crags and drinking Tecate in the sun.
Driving east from there the highways took us toward Arizona. Neither of us had ever been to Sedona despite having heard it's reputation as being a mecca of sorts for several years. Although we were slightly disappointed by the actual city of Sedona the area was stunning! Tally learned to chase a frisbee into the water at the local watering holes and I got to ride my mountain bike on some stellar trails.
Grand Canyon National Park was next on our list! Unfortunately having a dog with us limited how much we could explore in the park. Nonetheless, it is stunning even from the rim! There is also excellent free dispersed camping to be had just off of the South Rim! A friend of mine connected up with us and the 3 humans and 2 dogs formed a pack for a few more days.
With the painted hills of Arizona behind us the van took a heading for Indian Creek, Utah! We have a special love for this place. It is where Alex and I first spent time together and will always be unique. Through the dust storms we explored some of Canyonlands National Park, climbed a few cracks, and stood on top of the South Six Shooter!
We ran a few errands in Moab (aka had a beer at the brewery and took showers) then camped up the highway for the night. With Salt Lake City in the GPS we headed north and dropped the dog off at a friends before cruising up the Little Cottonwood Canyon to meet my family at Snowbird. Spring skiing in the book! When the turns ran out we grabbed the pooch and began rolling towards home, through the City of Rocks!
It is always bitter sweet to end a road trip. Alex and I tend to be at our finest when we are wandering in the van. Exploring new campsites, enjoying the scenery, playing with the dog. A new chapter always starts, hopefully the "Summer in Leavenworth" chapter is a good one!