My first *real* day of travel has gone very well. I woke up before my 5:30 alarm in Grand Junction and hit the road around 6:30. It was still dark when I left, so it took awhile to fully wake up (you all know what a morning person I am!). I felt VERY glad that I checked before continuing on after Grand Junction, because there is NOWHERE to stay between there and Moab. (Good advice, Toni) And, turns out, it is "Jeep Safari" in Moab this weekend, whatever that means. From what I could tell, it means everyone in the U.S. with a jeep was driving through Moab at the same time as me, and probably filling up all the hotels.
Anyway, got to Arches around 8:30. What a place! It is stunning, and hard to describe, so the pictures below will have to suffice. Light crowds, warm weather, some short hikes, all was well. I just read an article in National Geographic (Adventure or Traveler??) about "arch hunters" which are just what they sound like, people obsessed with finding new arches. So I was in the right mood for such things. It was just a really neat place.
After that, I drove a lot. South back through Moab, lunch at "Taco Time" in a gas station in Monticello, the only food I could find in about a 100-mile or more radius. Onward, into the Indian Reservations, across the Arizona state line. Paid $3.49 a gallon for gas. :( Lots of empty spaces and "towns" on the map that were 1 or 2 buildings. I debated staying overnight in Tuba City because the "Cameron" dot on the map was TINY-but I called Toni for some tech support and he found that there is, in fact, one hotel in Cameron. (side note: I went out to find me some dinner tonight and found out that my hotel, along with 2 gas stations, IS Cameron).
Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to the Grand Canyon! It should only be about 30 minutes from here to get in. AND...just figured out I'm here in time for the full moon, so there *should* be a program at the park tomorrow night! There was one tonight, but I didn't figure it out until now. I might sleep in and have a good breakfast tomorrow, because I'll have time to see the sun come up in the canyon Monday.
Speaking of which, the time zone thing here is crazy. I don't know what the heck time it is. It's the same as mountain time, but they don't observe daylight savings, except on the reservation, which I'm on, when they do. So who knows. Luckily it's not terribly important, hopefully I figure it out at some point tomorrow, in time for ranger programs. My phone has NOT reset, but the clock in my hotel is an hour early, but the park is not on the reservation...so who knows! Anyway, I'll update the next time I get a wireless connection!