Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Moab, Utah

This morning we woke up to over a foot of snow that had fallen overnight. And no snow plows in sight. The car nearly got stuck. Here's a photo of it with the snow:

I can't say that we were surprised to see more snow, but not this much. I am really glad I decided to pack the winter boots. I almost didn't. I wish I'd brought my hat, gloves, and my big wool coat.

We were going to stop for breakfast at the little restaurant in front of our hotel, but we didn't want to get stuck in the parking lot so we hit the road instead. We stopped at a Burger King drive-through and then started driving out of Chinle. We decided not to stop to see Canyon de Chelly after all because we didn't want to get snowed in.

Then there was a 50 mile drive on the road up to the main road. The road seemed like it had been plowed in parts, but it was very slippery. As we got closer to the main road, the snow had started melting and there wasn't as much of it, so the road was much better.

So we drove back into Kayenta, where we ate at the same diner, and then headed into Monument Valley, which was incredible. There was only a little snow, and none on the road, which was good. The weather was clear, with a blue sky. Monument Valley contains these red rock formations that just spring up out of the desert. They were very striking in the snow. They almost looked like they were carved and placed there by an artist.

We kept on driving and arrived in Utah. We started to see more rock formations. One of the first was in Mexican Hat, Utah, where there is a formation that sort of looks like a sombrero. We also saw the Abujo Mountains, which were covered in snow. The formations were more of a tan color, instead of red. One of the most striking was Wilson Arch (you can see the little dot of Jim, with his orange shirt on, which gives you an idea of the scale of it all):

I think we will see more of these tomorrow when we go to Arches National Park.

We stopped for the night in Moab, Utah, which is quite a different place from the places we stayed in the Indian Reservation. It is in a valley, surrounded by red-rock mountains that are almost golden in the sunlight. It is a little town with restaurants and gift shops. We ate dinner at a Thai restaurant and bought some postcards.

Tomorrow we are driving to Arches and then Bryce National Park. The plan then is to head into California for some warmer weather. We'll see how it works out.

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