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Summer Drive - Americas National Parks in Utah & Wyoming

Day 1 - Page, Arizona

sunny 101 °F
View Driving the West - 2020 on rorndorff's travel map.


This is the third summer we have left the hot heat of Scottsdale and parked ourselves somewhere cool. 2 years ago it was back up to my hometown of Seattle, and the home of our grandkids. Last summer was spent in downtown Denver exploring the city on foot and over the light rail. This year we are heading up to middle Idaho for a new adventure on a luxury dude ranch. I took an extern/internship after completing my holistic nutrition and wellness coaching classes. I am working with the executive chef on nutritious crew meals (and whatever else he needs), and Shirley will be teaching yoga and waiting on tables in her spare time! The ranch is in the middle of the Sawtooth National Recreation area encompassing over 750K acres and tons of trails to explore on our days off. These entries are from our 2 week drive from Scottsdale to Stanley passing thru some of the most beautiful areas of our country. 4 of the 5 national parks in Utah and Wyoming and countless forests, state lands and cities along the way.

Day 1 - Scottsdale, AZ to Page, AZ
On the banks of Lake Powell lies the sleepy little town of Page Arizona, our goal for Day 1. Car is packed to the roof with all of our gear and stuff we need for 3 months in Idaho. We've done these road trips before, and it never ceases to amaze me the accumulation of stuff we 'think' we need to survive for the summer! Shirley did a great job of keeping us organized, the garage piles remained relatively small, but it was still a full load.

A nice easy first day on the road, albeit a bit different with the COVID thing going on. Masks on the ready, attractions still closed, parks just starting to open, we really didn't know what to expect. We traveled up I-17 to Flagstaff and then went north on US Hwy 89. This highway stretches from Arizona all the way up to the Canadian border in Montana by Glacier National Park. A scenic byway with splashes of color from yesteryear along the route. Our goal was to see as much of this highway on our way up north.


Glen Canyon Wilderness area holds one of the largest and deepest bodies of water in the area. Even with COVID in full swing there were jet skis, boaters, and hikers all around. We stopped first at the lookout facing east as the sun started to retreat behind the rocks to the west. From there we made our way over to Horseshoe Bend, just south of town. A magnificent sight to behold with the green colors of the water against the stark rock backdrop. There was a wedding going on. Quite the sight to see the bride in her dress, bridesmaid holding up the dresses train, walking the 1 mile down to the cliffs edge.

We are learning the new normal out on the road with masks, sanitizer, and distancing. Hotels don't serve breakfast anymore, no maid service and pools, hot tubs and exercise rooms are all closed. Given all that our country has been thru it was a small price to pay for being back out in the great outdoors and on our way north to cooler temps!

Keep checking back for additional posts as we work our way up to the ranch...

Posted by rorndorff 12:12 Archived in USA Tagged mountains parks hiking driving national usa

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