Finally, I'm going to show off all my beautiful Utah photos! The scenery was spectacular, more so every place we went (so you'll have to keep reading all week!). Dave and I left Seattle at 4:00am on Saturday morning, and drove to Salt Lake City via Washington, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Idaho. The drive took us hours and hours longer than Mapquest predicted, and by the time we got there we were pretty exhausted. I took some short catnaps, but Dave had to drive the whole way. Dave's parents had flown in earlier and we met them at the Hotel Monaco. It's a great hotel - I'd highly recommend it. It's very pet-friendly, and if you don't happen to have your pet with you, they have goldfish you can borrow for your room. Dave's parents had one, and he/she was quite cute. We had dinner there and breakfast the next morning, before beginning the drive down to Moab to meet my parents.
Dave suggested that we take a slight detour (Well, to be honest it was more than slight. Slight on the map perhaps, but not in the amount of time it took. But, that is neither here nor there, and it was lovely.) to the Wedge Overlook:This is in the middle of nowhere central Utah, off of a very long dirt road off of another long dirt road (hence the long detour). I believe the portion above is looking towards the Little Grand Canyon. Here's another view:You can see the tiny San Rafael River there in the bottom (in the green valley). It's amazing to consider that this little river carved out this immense canyon, but there you go. The area is called the San Rafael Swell, and it's my understanding that the land swelled up then the river carved down. There are so many places like this in Utah that it boggles the mind. One of the most amazing things about this area is that it isn't even a state park! It's just there, in the middle of nowhere, on BLM land. Here's another photo, for scale!On the drive back to the highway we saw many free-range cattle. God knows what they were finding to eat (and drink!), as grass seemed a bit thin on the ground. I particularly liked this cow, who was very cooperative during his photo shoot:He walked right over to the road and looked at me! Further down the road we saw our first petroglyphs and pictograms. Honestly I didn't know they were different until reading the interpretive sign at the turn-out. In case you also don't know, petroglyphs are carvings/etchings/chips in the rock, whereas pictographs are drawn or painted on the rock. These below are thus pictographs, although this particular rock had both types.At least some of the drawings were done by the Fremont Indians, which I was excited about since I live in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle (probably not related, but I actually don't know).
After our little detour we arrived in Moab, where we met my parents at the great condo they had rented, and had dinner at Eddie McStiffs, a local brewpub. I had pizza. It was very good.
Tomorrow we journey to Arches National Park, and attempt to drink enough water to compensate for being out in the desert when it is 107F.