Travelogue: Salt Lake City, Utah (Sept 2016)

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The drive to Salt Lake City was long. 4 hours long.

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The view from the hotel was awesome. Mountains!

We upgraded to the VIP floor, including happy hour (unlimited drinks and food) at the lounge.

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I loved the view! Sunset time.

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Free breakfast.

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We went to see the Salt Lake Temple and churches around the city.

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Next, we drove 2 hours to the salt flats.

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Because it had rained a couple of days before, there was still water on top of the salt, which made a reflection and really cool pictures.

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Exfoliating!

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Utah 2016

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Salty.

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

Back to SLC.

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We found yet another amazing taco truck!!!!!! El Paisa Mariscos Y Tacos.

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BEST fish tacos I’ve ever had.

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Went back to the hotel for VIP happy hour (free unlimited drinks).

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…And sunset.

Then amazing food at Whiskey Street.

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

Peach mule!

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

And that’s all, folks.

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Travelogue: Arches National Park, Utah (Sept 2016)

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Note: If you want to go to Fiery Furnace, you better book months in advance! We missed out on it. You can also risk it and ask for any last minute spots at the visitors center. (More info here)

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Devil’s Garden.

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Landscape Arch is the longest of the many natural rock arches in this park.

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Time for sunset at…

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Delicate Arch.

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Walking to the middle of the arch was amazing. It was windy and the view was kind of, well, majestic. I was surprised at how polite people were, letting others have their photo opportunities and not crowding the arch.

If you plan to see the sunset at Delicate Arch, I recommend you start hiking up an hour before the sunset time (check the weather). Also, bring flashlights or headlamps. We were the only ones with headlamps so people were following our light source going down the trail afterwards. It was pitch dark.

Utah 2016

I really liked camping out in Utah. The campgrounds we stayed at were all really good. There were lots of convenience stores around. The Utah night sky was the best part.

The view at the campsite next morning:

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We went back to Arches.

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Windows.

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We drove back to the Mexican truck/re-purposed gas station (Tacos La Pasadita) in Green River because it was SO GOOD.

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GET THE VAMPIRAS!

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Green River is known for their melons. So many different melons and cantaloupes.

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Yellow watermelon.

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Back on the road. Next, we go to Salt Lake City!

Travelogue: Canyonlands National Park, Utah (Sept 2016)

When I told people I was going to travel to Utah for my birthday week, most reactions were “Why? Of all places?”

Other than checking off my bucket list for hiking and road tripping across 5 National Parks, what I really wanted to do was to start my day with the sunrise at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands.

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The weather forecast was not looking good. We experienced torrential downpour for an hour up until we got into the actual park. After we got in, it was fine!

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The “hike” to Mesa Arch was easy, 15 minutes and you’re here. Along with fifty other photographers.

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

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I love sunrises. You start the day from darkness to light, and then you have a whole day ahead of you.

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Utah 2016

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After seeing the sunrise, we went to hike other trails at the park. There were many easy hikes.

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Some crater.

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Island in the Sky.

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We then took an impromptu side trip to Dead Horse Point State Park (entrance fee: $10).

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Colorado River. This view was the main attraction of the park. We spent around an hour and a half there.

On the way to dinner, we saw a rainbow.

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We ate at The Blu Pig. Southern barbecue!

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Then Moab Brewery.

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We stayed in a campground in Moab for the night, since it’s right in between Canyonlands and Arches (for the next post)!

Campsite info:
Archview RV Resort & Campground
U.S. 191 Moab, Utah 84532
435-259-7854

Travelogue: Bryce Canyon, Utah (Sept 2016)

We camped out at Ruby’s Inn Campground (info in the previous post) so that we could get a head start on hiking at Bryce Canyon National Park the next morning.

The Fairyland Loop is an 8-mile trail that takes you all around many spectacular hoodoos and viewpoints. It was probably my favorite hike of this trip, strenuous but amazing views that I could never even have dreamed of. It takes about 4-5 hours, especially if you stop and take pictures/snack.

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Depending on which part you start at, you go up and down in elevation — going up is always harder for me… I felt like I couldn’t breathe (I know I’m weak).

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So many hoodoos.

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After the Fairyland loop, it started getting really foggy and cold — we decided to drive through the loop to stop at the various viewpoints instead of hiking another trail.

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The Amphitheater

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We drove to the end of the loop to try to get more pictures, but it became so foggy that it was impossible to see beyond two feet. So we gave up and went to the general store to get some food to cook at the campground.

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There are plenty of general stores right outside the park for everything you would possibly need. I bought stamps and postcards to send out to friends. We also bought ramen and spam and cheese.

Side note — I really liked the name of this beer but didn’t buy it:

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Ruby’s Inn Campground
300 So. Main Hwy 63,
Bryce Canyon, Utah. 84764

Travelogue: Zion National Park, Utah [Part 2] (Sept 2016)

Observation Point. Take the shuttle to the Weeping Rock stop.

If you’re short on time and deciding between Observation Point or Angel’s Landing, I’d pick the latter. Angel’s Landing has more of a thrill factor with the chains and the narrow paths — lots of picture opportunities and you can be done in 2.5 hrs. Observation Point is a strenuous 5-hour hike, 8 miles round trip, and has similar views as Angel’s Landing (but higher and has a nice panoramic view). It IS longer and steeper, so I would start earlier in the day to avoid the sun.

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Definitely bring some snacks and lots of water. This is really good, by the way. Rip van Wafels! Dark chocolate sea salt. Sorry for the dark picture.

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This was a similar viewpoint as Angel’s Landing (previous post here).

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Some people rock climb in this crevasse. Pretty cool.

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After this hike, we left Zion and drove towards Bryce Canyon National Park.

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The drive was insanely awesome. Very scenic, no boring roads here.

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Checkerboard mesa. Look at the checkerboard marks!

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You can see we’re leaving Zion when the road abruptly stops being red.

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We stopped by this gift shop/restaurant for huckleberry ice cream.

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Onward to Bryce!

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We got to the campground (near Bryce) around sunset. After we set up camp, we drove into Bryce Canyon to eat at the lodge restaurant. You can drive right into the park after hours for the restaurant.

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Hoodoo beer!

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Some notes about the campgrounds: I recommend all the ones we stayed at — they will be listed at the bottom of each post. They were all very clean and had great individual showers, which was important to me…

Campsite Info:
Ruby’s Inn Campground
300 So. Main Hwy 63,
Bryce Canyon, Utah. 84764
$62.78 for 2 nights

Travelogue: Zion National Park, Utah [Part 1] (Sept 2016)

Zion

We drove from Las Vegas to Zion National Park, Utah. You’ll know you’re in Zion when all the rocks turn red.

Since it was September, we had to park the car in the parking lot at the entrance and take the free shuttle to get to different parts of the park. In the winter time, they let you drive into the park since there are less visitors. Get there early to get a spot!

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The Zion Canyon Shuttle stops at nine locations in the park. Buses run frequently throughout the day, as often as every seven minutes.

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I wanted to hike up Angel’s Landing ever since I heard of it — it’s so narrow at the top that “only an angel can land on it”, and I wanted to conquer my fear of heights. There are chains for you to hold onto!

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Yes, we were down there.

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Calm down. That’s a temporary tattoo.

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Moar chainz.

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Once you get past this point, you can do anything. In life.

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Afterwards we went to the gift shop to look around and I found this:

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No, I didn’t buy it… but it looks cool.

Campsite Info: 
Zion Canyon Campground and RV Resort
479 Zion Park Blvd.
Springdale, UT 84767
$39