Grand Circle Western Parks Tour / Oct-Nov 2016 travel blog


Goodbye to Utah!

Our route to all the places we have visited looks like a drunken wandering, but there is some logic to the path we have taken. We started with a list of where we wanted to go, mapped the route, and started making plans, only to discover several destinations that would be hard to visit because all the campgrounds would be closed due to seasonal closings! We checked the average temps and discovered that even some roads would be closed due to snow! So, we did more research and made a plan to visit the coldest places first so as to avoid high altitudes and especially snow, with Bryce Canyon NP and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon being the coldest. Seeing them in October proved to be the solution, although it meant that we made some strange wanderings back and forth across the states of Utah and Arizona!

And November has been chilly so far. This part of the country has some very pleasant daytime temps, as long as the sun is shining, but it is very chilly overnight! We have been congratulating ourselves on our successful trip planning because we have not seen an overnight frost in the past month. When we arrived in Cortez it could have been shorts weather, but when the shadows got longer jeans were more comfortable and as soon as the sun went down there was no question that a jacket was needed. The overnight temps are going to be below freezing so we will have to take precautions with our water line, something we have avoided since our first night in Colorado over a month ago!

There are some lesser known attractions near here and Cortez is centrally located among them. The best ones are the ruins of several pre-Columbian settlements: the Mesa Verde National Park, the Anasazi Heritage Center, the Hovenweep National Monument, and the Escalante Heritage Center. Also we will investigate the Four Corners Monument.

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