We continued heading South and it was time for a snack. What could be better than going to a restaurant after 3 months of lockdown and a couple weeks on the road? Wyoming was not as strict about COVID, so we took our chances and headed to the Den.
It was quite an experience! The beer tasted delicious and the portions so huge we couldn’t finish our meals and had to take the leftovers with us.
The night started descending and we found ourselves completely unprepared for it. The map showed something resembling public land near Fremont lake, so we headed there.
It was hard to see in the darkness. The usual instinct prompted us to take the Forest road. The plan was to sneak up a hidden turn and set up a tent on the side of the road. Suddenly here we got lucky – a random turn around Half Moon lake brought us crashing a fly-fishermen party of 7 trucks and 10 tents. They were friendly and welcomed our company, so the night continued around the bonfire, with beers, chatter and laughs.
Later on our way lay through the Flaming Gorge and Red Canyon. These places were some sort of our point de reference for the upcoming experience of His Majesty Grand Canyon. Google Maps did not do a good job pointing us to the correct location, so at first we ended up at the Swett Ranch Historical Homestead. It was an interesting, historical place, despite our misdirection.
Ëжmobile had a hard time going up gravel roads with large rocks in middle and holes in the ground. I jumped out a couple of times and did my navigator dance. Finally we were able to find Red Canyon Visitor center.
We got there in the high midday sun, it was bright and clear. We made lunch at Canyon Rim overlook at 7430ft. The scale of this place was immense. There was a boat going down Green river, and it looked like a tiny white leaf from the distance. Do we really have to go to the Grand Canyon after this?
Our plan was to head toward Salt Lake City to say hi to my high school friend S. Sarkisian (a.k.a. Cosines) and camp for the night somewhere in the area.
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City was our gateway towards the Western beauty and wilderness, things that I have been dreaming to see as a child, things I only have ever seen in the postcards, and later in so many photos, posters and ads. It was waiting for us around the corner, we were so close to it!
We got to SLC around sunset and did not really get to see much of the city itself. We spent some time in Sugar House Park getting tips about visiting Utah National Parks from Sergey. Main takeaway: “If you don’t have enough time to visit all of them, then just skip Capitol Reef”. And that’s exactly what we ended up doing.
Tip for self: next time in SLC – the Bingham Copper Mine, salt dunes and city center are worth checking out.
We ended up winging our camp setup (again) at the Mill Creek suburb in the mountains to the East of SLC. Yoga in the morning out in the nature felt great! And we moved on…
Arches was the next stop, but before we got there we saw a giant sand dune right on the side of Highway 191. And of course we didn’t miss an opportunity to attempt a couple of slide-downs!
The sand was hot in the afternoon sun, you couldn’t walk 10ft without burning your soles. We had to hop and dig into the deeper levels of sand where the temps were bit cooler. Ugh! Finally made it! Oh things you do for this sweet Instagram influencer life…!