I’m called to spectacular canyons, blooming deserts, Saguaro cacti, colored bands of limestone and hoodoos, hanging gardens, wrinkles in the earth’s crust, and raging rivers. I’m called to get into the great outdoors and hike. I’m called to get far from civilization and out into the wilderness, far away from the daily news cycle and the plague of COVID-19.
My heart was set on going to west Texas and New Mexico this year, but as fall approached, I could see it wasn’t going to work out. New Mexico has a lot of restrictions for travelers, notably a required two-week quarantine. Though they recently updated their travel restrictions, my home state of Virginia is still on their list of states required to quarantine. Many of the state’s state parks and museums are not open.
In west Texas, the main place I wanted to visit was Big Bend National Park, but the park is only partially open, and the recommended place to stay, Chisos Basin Lodge & Restaurant, is closed. Thus my reason for going to West Texas went down the drain. Though there were other places I wanted to visit, Big Bend was the biggest draw, and if New Mexico was out, I knew I needed to rethink my road trip.
A long-time destination on my list has been Arizona and the southwest corner of Utah. We did the Four Corners area, including southeast Utah, in May of 2018. Mike and I have always wanted to visit what is known as The Grand Circle, which includes the parks: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks,
Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Grand Canyon National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. We visited Arches and Canyonlands in 2018, so, skipping those, we would like to do a larger area than the Grand Circle, extending a little north into Utah and south down into Arizona. We’ve decided to skip the Grand Canyon this time around.
As I only recently decided to do this trip, I am going to be doing it by the seat of my pants. Mike plans to fly out to meet me in Denver, and he will do the Grand Circle parks with me. Our son Alex and his girlfriend hopefully will drive along with us from Colorado and do the parks too.
After they all leave, I hope to head south into Arizona. I will drive out to Colorado (three 8+ hour days) and back (four 8+ hour days) by myself.
I’ve been to the Grand Canyon once in my life, on my road trip with with my first husband in 1979. At that time, we only stopped briefly into the park, and, as our camera had been stolen in San Diego, we didn’t take any pictures.
I hope to leave in mid-October, but many things need to fall into place. 🙂
Good to know you still have plans, Cathy. Good luck! 🙂 🙂
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Thanks, Jo! I hope it all works out. I still have a lot of logistics to figure out. 🙂
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We still have our repeat trip to the South West on the back burner. As we’d go by – rented – RV, we’d have to go through New Mexico. Plus: we’d need to “test” ourselves with an RV on a much shorter trip first. We would not want to fly and rent an RV there. No flying for us in the foreseeable future.
I wish you good luck and a wonderful and remarkable trip, and I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures.
I think it’s okay to travel through New Mexico as long as you quarantine. I’m planning to travel through on my way back from Arizona. I would love to do this trip by RV but we won’t be able to this time. I also don’t plan to fly anytime soon, although my husband will do so on this trip (he’s limited in time by work). Thank you so much for the good wishes, Pit. I doubt I’ll be posting any pictures, because I still plan to take a break from blogging at least during 2021 (and maybe longer). I’ll still post pics to Instagram though. 🙂
I shall look forward to your trip. We drove from San Diego, stopping in Sedona (hope you visit that place, it’s amazing), Grand Canyon, Page for the slot canyons, Bruce and Zion. I have the road trip on Travel Words site if you want to read about it. We loved each place and would have liked to have spent longer in the region. Missed the parks close to Las Vegas where we flew home from as we didn’t know about them until later!
I do have Sedona on my list, Jude. All the places are listed in the blog post. We’ll be doing Capitol Reef, Bryce, Zion, and some other state parks. I’ll drop Mike in Las Vegas (he’ll fly back) and then I’ll go to southern Arizona. It will be a bit less than a month. I’m skipping the Grand Canyon and Page this time (it’s too much time to get to those). We can combine that with a Nevada trip another time. Thanks so much; I’m so excited to go somewhere, although we did manage to make it to Chicago (great fun!) at the end of August. 🙂
Yes, I have just read your other post. Sounds like an excellent trip.
Thanks, I’m very excited about it. 🙂
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