As I left Nevada rather pissed off, and not having very high expectations of the remainder of this leg back to Colorado; it didn’t take too long at all to turn my frown upside down.
It seemed from the moment I crossed the Arizona/Utah line at I-15 the level I had known as breathtaking was quashed by the sights in Utah. Gorges, more mountains, mesas, canyons, and overall landscapes and vistas that just made your jaw drop. I have mentioned to many since that if I could do it all over again I just would have spent the whole time in Utah. I’m quite regretful about it actually, but no need to dwell.
Just as I entered Utah I made yet another stop in St. George. I hadn’t had any significant food since I left the desert. I little more caffeine and protein in a pretty short stop and I was back in taking a state that fortunately is one big national park to be honest with you. And you can see it in a pretty good clip. The speed limit is 80 which means I went 90. Not only was the speed fast, but wow, there was a lot of traffic on I-15 so at times you couldn’t take advantage of the crazy speeds.
This wouldn’t have been very noticeable but once I got to I-70 to officially start going due east again; it seemed like I was the only car going in either direction. Did I not get the memo or something? Is this thing closed? Not that there was anything wrong with that.
I still was having a hard time judging the daylight. I figured by the numbers (via Google) my opportunity to stop at either one or two of the national parks in Utah was impossible, but if I got to one and there was still ample daylight I’d try to get a quick glimpse. But who cares actually, I was still enjoying the mountains.
If you ever follow my advice and go to Utah, from my short experience the stretch on I-70 between I-15 and the Colorado line is the most beautiful natural spectacle I have ever seen. What some of us imagine as quintessential Southwest in our minds is right there in Utah. When I tell people that they are so surprised, as was I. Of course the pictures won’t do it justice again, but you either -A- have to believe me, or -B-, go see for yourself. More so on this stretch was driving and taking pictures such a dangerous endeavor.
It got so unbelievable finally I gave up and stopped at several viewing point exits that were available and I’m glad I did. My favorite picture (and evidently some others) of the trip came from one of these stops.
Unfortunately though as I passed the exit to Arches National Park it was not only getting dark, but it appeared it was getting hit by a rain storm in the distance. Besides, the hotel had already called me to know my estimated check-in time, and I wasn’t doing well in meeting my ETA. So the delays, the desert, and Vegas beat me, but Utah was the ultimate win.
As I finally crossed the Colorado line I knew my trip was winding down after it felt like it had only started. Still, the most difficult part of the trip was ahead of me. Finding sleep, and not getting too much as I had a early plane to catch the next morning. I thought Utah was going to be the most epic part of my trip. Boy was I wrong.