52 States in 8 Months

The next National Park in Utah: Canyonlands!

Posted in Las Vegas to El Paso by Ulf on May 23, 2009

After we left the Arches National Park we went to Canyonlands which is just a little bit further to the South. In the beginning there were still a few other cars on the road, but later on we were the only tourists for miles:

2009-03-27_12-36-15 Springbreak 1140068 Paul
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At some point the road ended, so we parked our car and followed a little trail through the park. It was really interesting to see the how the landscape changed completely every few hundred meters. Have a look at the following pictures: Those places are about 500m away from each other, at most 1km. It only took us an hour because we had our lunch in between. And this time it wasn’t even my camera which changed the colors ;-).
If you’re not impressed, then keep in mind that we drove about 100km of everything-looks-the-same-landscape to get here!

2009-03-27_14-06-03 Springbreak 6990 Ulf 2009-03-27_14-12-48 Springbreak 6993 Ulf
2009-03-27_15-14-27 Springbreak 6997 Ulf 2009-03-27_15-27-23 Springbreak 7002 Ulf

Please have a look at the picture in the lower left-hand side corner above. You’ll notice some needles along the horizon. The part of the National Park that we were in was called “The Needles”. But those needles are only one of the attractions which Canyonlands offers. In fact, Canyonlands is a mixture of different National Parks which are divided by the Green river and the Colorado river, so we’ve only seen a tiny fraction of the whole thing. But we saw this:

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After we left Canyonlands we realized that we were already pretty late on our way to Cortez, so we decided to take the shortest possible route. This route lead us over a mountain which was about 7000ft high. Not a real problem for us since the place where we took the pictures above already had an elevation of 5000ft. Right? Wrong. We took our summer tires directly into an area with full snow coverage, about 20cm deep… (this is the point where we turned around; one other car had turned around about 15ft further along the road, so that’s why you see the tracks on the road).

2009-03-27_17-29-56 Springbreak 7033 Ulf

With this little detour we enjoyed sunset on the road, heavily discussing if the truck in front of us would carry aircraft tanks or boat pontoons. When we came closer we decided that those were the aircraft thingies:

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