That’s a skier, obviously, but Liz and I bonded over bikes – kids’ bikes, specifically. We met and then spent an intensive 2 months together, every year for 5 years, planning and hosting the Mad River Valley’s annual bike swap. It was so much fun and we executed so well, it was like an annual dance. We passed the bike swap along to another organization, Doug and I went off on RV adventures, and Liz moved to Park City, Utah. *SIGH* There was no chance we’d miss Liz on our trip through Utah.
Several people remarked that driving Utah State Route 12 from Bryce to Torrey (a small town near the Capitol Reef NP) was beautiful. It was also the last remaining ‘space between’ Utah’s National Parks we’d yet to visit. So we set a course for SR-12 north, not knowing much about the area and planning to explore a bit over 4 days. Wow! It’s the top spot for a return visit on our next trip to Utah.
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It was clear early on that there would be no time to visit all five of Utah’s National Parks before our visit to Arizona. No problem – we can stop at four on the way south, and the hit the last one as we head back north. Ah, but which one? Fearing increasing temperatures in June, we opted for the one at the highest elevation, and we’re very happy we did. Bryce is nice!
From Lake Powell we headed south to meet friends in Sedona for the weekend, so we had 2 days in which to wander, chill and move ourselves 4 hours on down the road. Hey Doug, did you know the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is only 2 hours from here? Squirrel!
One of our goals was to explore the space between – between the National Parks. Toward that end, we stopped by a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office and made one ranger’s day. We asked about maps, roads and campsites in the area between the NPs, mostly managed by the BLM. She was beaming! She went on to tell us all of her favorite places, potential road closures, and where campsites are plentiful or scarce.
If we ever had any inclination to refer to the midwest as ‘flyover states’ (we didn’t), our travels last summer would have changed that. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the northern midwest, finding the region surprisingly beautiful. (If you have any doubt, check our blog posts from summer 2016.) We were glad that our ‘straight line’ to Utah this year would include a different path through the middle of the midwest.