Charlie and Lanie's Rally to Cali

Just in case you missed us..

Sanclemente DePasquale Westward

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Oh yeah we forgot to mention we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  If you were older, rich and artsy this would be the place to be.  With our budget all we could do is look around.
We made it out of New Mexico and traveled North to Colorado.  Immediately after you pass over the New Mexico border into Colorado the landscape changes.  Suddenly you are surrounded by tall mountains and the foliage comes back to life.  The change from monotone desert to rich land explains why it is called Colorful Colorado.

We stopped in Colorado Springs to try and experience Pikes Peak but we got there too late and this time of year it is too cold in the mountains for people to be able to make trips up.  We decided to move on north where a friend of Charlie’s, Jordan, cordially invited us to stay with her while we explored Boulder.  We got to capture what it is like to live in Boulder and experience the “crunchy” atmosphere of land loving people.  The mountains blow West Virginia out of the water and were something that left us in complete awe.  We piled into Jordan’s jeep and trekked up over 10,000 miles to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  There we got our first real taste of hiking.  We saw Bear Lake,

Nymph Lake,

and Dream Lake.  Dream Lake was one of the most beautiful landscapes we have ever seen.  I hope the picture does it justice because we still can’t stop talking about it.

Boulder is also known for its tons of microbreweries.  Lead by a bearded man with a thick Irish accent, we got a tour of the Avery Microbrewery.  Much to Charlie’s dismay, their Smoked Ham Blend was not available but the lady said it was like drinking beef jerky. Mmm.  By the way me and Charlie have finished over five bags of beef jerky already on trip.  We each tried unique blends and throughout the Boulder trip Jordan had us trying different kinds of beer including ones that tasted like espresso (just like your’s Nino and Lori), ginger and blackberry.  Almost every city has had a Q’doba or a Jimmy Johns and to much of both our dismays we haven’t indulged into our old college like ways and have passed them by at each place.

After we left Colorado we headed west to Utah.  Since we would be camping in Arches National Park and because we left Boulder at about 4:30pm and had a six hour trip ahead of us we stopped for the night in Grand Junction because we didn’t want to step up camp in the dark.  We both had to pee so bad we couldn’t make it to the hotel so we stopped at a lone gas station.  Charlie somehow slipped away from me to buy a scratch off lotto ticket.  We won $2 so of course, instead of taking the money, we bought another ticket.  Won $5, so pressed our luck once more.  Well, turns out, someone up above had control of our bladder because Charlie’s ticket won us $110.  That boy is my lucky charm.  He was so happy he took me out to dinner, half price appetizers at Your Neighborhood Grill, Applebee’s.  After bone buff wings, we spent the night at Grand Junction so we could get an early start to Arches.  We left Grand Junction at about 8:30am and had about an hour till we reached Arches National Park which has only one campground inside called Devil’s Garden which has been booked up for months since it is teacher’s convention in Utah.  There are however some first come first serve campsites.  We called on our way and got in touch with a lady who laughed and said “Hun, those fill up by 8:15.  Good luck.”  Psh, Luck? Little did she know about Charlie over here.  We drove into the campsite and charmed our way into Campsite 20.  One of the best views in the whole campground the guy said.  Our tent was surrounded by rocks to climb on and we were so secluded we could see every star in the sky at night.

We set up camp and ventured into the town Moab which is about a mile south of the park.  The closer we got into town the more we realized that this is a place for adventure.  Charlie’s eyes lit up as we passed signs for pretty much everything an L.L. Bean has gear for; ATV rides, Off-road Jeep trips, Hummer rock crawling, White water rafting, cayoneering and rock climbing.  After considering our budget, we agreed on an ATV tour that we would take off early the next morning.  Before heading back to camp we had our first hike in Arches National Park to Sand Dune Arch.  You would almost feel like your at the beach with all the sand except for the 200 foot high red wall rock formations surrounding you.  We leisurely walked the path but soon realized the best things about these rocks were not looking at them but climbing them.  Charlie traversed atop the first arch before I even knew he was gone and then we were hooked.  We climbed up everything and saw amazing views of the park.

Bright and early we left for our ATV trip.  Cody, the crazy sandal wearing, motorcycle jumping, “strap my 11 month old baby on my back when I go rock climbing” tour guide took us on an incredible ATV trail filled with sandburms, almost vertical ledges we had to ride up, water holes, and sharp turns… all the while going as fast as we can.  While on the trail we also got a chance to stop and see incredible views.  Cody was also handy with the camera and got some great action shots and Charlie was a great driver.  We did get to switch but Medford is a little less experienced then Woodstown with off-roading.  So far, it might be the best experience we have had on this trip.

We both agree that Moab would be a great place to visit again with lots of money and a fully equipped RV.   With advice from Cody we then trekked up Mill Creek Trail to a waterfall that is outside the park so not many people know about it.  The locals give us the advice “make sure to go left where the trail splits.”  Yeah the trail splits like 5 times and it is overgrown with trees and bushes so the entire trip we weren’t too sure if we were headed the right way.  I, with my great directional skills, finally got us to a place where we could hear people and water so had an idea we were getting close.  The water was a chilly 50 degrees but Charlie decided that it was worth it to jump off the cliff, I took one for the team and took pictures instead.

Once we got back in the park the sun was almost setting and we wanted to catch the Delicate Arch during sunset.  We had to hike up a strenuous 1.5 mile completely uphill hike but once you got there it was all worth it.  The sun cast orange hues on the huge arch and you couldn’t look away.  Since the scene was so picture perfect people scaled the rocks looking through their lens and seemed to not care if they fell off the cliff to get the perfect shot.  It was one of those things where you had to look away because in no way did I trust that these people weren’t going to slip and fall.  I’m pretty sure every mother knows exactly how that feels.  Not that these German tourist were my kids (hiking in Crocs non the less) but it was scary enough that we decided that that was enough and left the beautiful sight.

After another glorious night under the stars, this morning we hiked the Devil’s Garden trail and because of the long day yesterday we wanted to take the easier 3 mile hike but somehow ended up taking the difficult, primitive 7 mile hike uppppp hill to the Double O Arch. Again it was all worth it once we got to the top and took it the sight. Primitive hike really had no trail but just piles of rocks leading you from one spot to another through trees, up rocks and over water holes.  It has definitely tuckered us out for the day and now we are driving 5 hours to a town right outside Zion National Park.  We are springing for a hotel because another tidbit about the campground is there are no showers.  Smelly.

Arches National Park is something hard to describe.  I got a little crazy with the picture taking and I wish they did the park a little more justice.  this is a place you have to see in person to really appreciate it.

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Written by rallytocali

October 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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