Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Colorado 2012: The Adventure Begins

We've been planning a good camping expedition for months. We even conned some friends to come along on the ride. For the past two years we intended to get to Colorado but have not made it out of Utah. I have a small love affair with Utah and couldn't bear to vacation anywhere else, but the mountains and cool air of Colorado were calling to us.

We left on a Tuesday. Arizona is in the grips of a particularly humid monsoon season.  Mike and I were both up extremely early, the trailer was packed and a small snack was enjoyed.  We met Mandy and Pete at the local McD's for the worlds best breakfast.  While Mike was inside washing up, I noticed a man with a huge grin in the side view mirror.  He was oogling my awesome Jeep trailer.  I got out and a 20 minute explaination/conversation began.

After sufficently fueling ourselves up, the northward journey began.  Slab and lots of it.  We were out of Phoenix before the sun peaked through the storm clouds. We zoomed through rain in Payson, and onward.  In fact, it rained most of the way through northern Arizona.

Rommel slumbered and Elly kept vigilance over our trek.

We hit the Utah state line and exhaled.  We were almost to our first stop: Mexican Hat.  This is the third year in a row we've stopped in Mexican Hat (see last year and our honeymoon).  It is one of our favorite places and I had to share it with friends. 

Bye bye overratted Monument Valley.....

Hello Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods. Go. See it. Enjoy.

We had to kill time before the "Home of the Swinging Grill" opened.  We let out the dogs and let them blow off some steam. It was a wee bit warm but Rommel doesn't let that spoil a game of fetch.

We headed on through and pass a Mustang.  Here we are in all our 4x4 glory and a Mustang passes us.  Shameful....

After a filling and enjoyable steak dinner, we found camp. Valley of the Gods is a perfect place to camp. I wouldn't say it isn't well known, but I rarely see a lot of campers out here.  It was us and the rock formations.  No road noise, no neighbors, nada. 

A storm was brewing so the sunset was phenomenal.

This would be our warmest camping experience of the trip, but still worth it.  We sat around and the boys planned tomorrows route.  Long after the sun sank, we retired to our respective RTT's and dreamt of adventures to come.....

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