Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fuelin' Around: NV-UT-AZ-NM

As D mentioned, we had a sprint through NV, staying in an illegal camp site. Went through more deserted terrain--at one point we went 50 miles and saw one car. During this stretch we passed what I think was an abandoned mining site off the highway. Despite Denise's (very reasonable) concerns, we took the Skamper for some mild off-roading and explored the ruins. We continued on into Utah to Bryce Canyon, which was again incredible. Huge canyons and bright red rock formations. The best part was probably the huge natural arch. We left out of there and continued on to Arizona. Once again, Labor Day weekend screwed us, and our accomodations weren't ideal. We did make a fire and finally had some marshmellows/s'mores. The next morning, we found the coin-op shower that cut Denise off before she could rinse her hair. I tried to alleviate her grumpiness with some bacon and Huckleberry Skampcakes, but it was no use. We trekked on to the Grand Canyon's North Rim, which is apparently the non-touristy side. I was surprised to find exactly zero tourist traps on the 50 miles in from our campground. It wasn't crowded at all; not what I expected. We took a 1.5-2 mile hike down the canyon, and remembered how out of shape we were. After catching our breath, we drove on towards Carlsbad Caverns. While the Grand Canyon had a lot more trees than I would have expected, the rest of the trip through Arizona was exactly what I thought it would be--miles of nothingness punctuated by spectacular mesas and rock formations. Again, you could look out for hundreds of miles and see absolutely nothing. We were off the interstate and drove through Navajo and Hopi Indian nations. It was really depressing. Looked no better than third world shanties. We keep saying to each other on this trip, "how would you like to live HERE?". I think it's a tie between MT, WY, NV, SD, and AZ as to which is the most barren. Tonight we arrived in NM, and are once again partaking of Wal-Mart's hospitality. It's now raining. Strange that the first rain we see all trip is in the desert. We set some traps for Lewis last night, but have seen no signs of him.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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