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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Ericast 258 - The Southwest Adventure

I'm back!  Where'd I go? I was fulfilling a near-lifelong dream. Wonder what it was? Here's your show.

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So much for the good regular show-habit... but there's a good reason.

When I was a kid I was a huge Road Runner cartoon fan; I loved the background scenery. So, for years, I've wanted to get down to the desert southwest and see if for myself. I decided this was the year: Stop dreaming and start doing!

Ruth is back to teaching, in our same school district, so she and the girls have the same break. But, "break" for teachers doesn't mean "do nothing."

So, how about a June road-trip, rather than to do Duluth?  But "Desert in Late March" is different from "Desert in Late June"

So, how about I hop a cheap flight to Vegas and drive north to scout it out?  Good idea... and once you get a hotel and rent a car and are buying meals... for just the cost of one more plane ticket I could add Candela.

So that's what I did.  It was spectacular.

Sunday night it snowed in St. Paul -- 6" or 7".  (We needed the moisture in the ground!)
Monday: Take off around 7:45 a.m., land at 9:00-something, get a car, stop at McDonalds, and head north!
Virgin River gorge at the Arizona border - wow!
Zion - shuttle buses because it's already the start of the busy season there
Tuesday: Back into Zion, then out of Zion, north to Bryce Canyon
Tuesday night: Astronomy!
Wednesday: Bryce Canyon itself. The surrounding area looks like northern Minnesota.  (It's here that Candela goes "splat" on her knee while admiring the view like I told her to.)
Thursday: Out through Red Canyon, north end of Zion, St. George (tabernacle, temple, petroglyphs)
Thursday night: Mesquite (and big comfy waterproof band-aids). Outdoor hot tub
Friday: Out through Valley of Fire, a depressing Lake Mead, a few blocks of the strip
Early to the airport thanks to quick rental car return and TSA-pre treatment for some reason
Rented a locker and wandered the terminal to kill time
Flight home at 11:55 p.m.  Candela managed to sleep a bit, but was asleep for the initial descent and hosed her ears
Picked up around 5:30 a.m. Saturday
Home to sleep, then off to the circus at 2:30 p.m.

Conclusions: Utah and Nevada (and Arizona) are beautiful.  But so is Minnesota, in a different way.

Want to see the photos?  Here's the entire vacation album of Eric and Candela's 2015 Utah Trip...


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