Usa – Bryce, Canyonland, Arches and Monument Valley
Bryce, Canyonland, Arches and Monument Valley
We left Las vegas to go back again to natural scenery, we had other parks to visit. But before leaving Gianni wanted to have a look at Motor Speedway, a car track that belongs to Nazcar Circuit. At that time of the day it was desert, so there was nothing special to see.
We drove for a long way, only a quick stop every now and then, until we reached Zion Park. We didn’t stop there for long, we wanted to reach our next destination, that is Bryce Canyon in Utah.
It is not really a canyon, but a large anphitheatre, famouse for its rocks; they are red, orange and white. It is really very beautiful, there are several panoramic places from which you can better enjoy the landscape. There are also some wild animals, as for example some antelopes and a lot of squirrels, even some prairie dogs.
Then we got to Moab, where we are going to stop for a couple of days, because around this city there are a lot of things to be seen!
The town is a typical Far West town, with a long main street sided by a Mc Donald’s, some souvenirs shops and a supermarket.
Once we were in the hotel, we had to do the laundry; we had been travelling for days and we needed clean clothes. Then we went out for a very quick dinner and then to bed. Our day had been rather tiring, and the day after we had a lot of things to see.
We started the day visiting Canyonlands; as the name iself suggests, it is made up by a series of canyons created by River Colorado. The ground and the rocks are incredibly red and it is very hot! One of the canyons is called Dead Horse Point, it seems that in the past a lot of horses ran free in this area. Once they were caught, they were taken to this canyon, that forms a kind of natural corral, to be tamed. The best horses were sold, the others were set free. For a strange and inexplicable situation, a lot of the horses that had to be released remained in the canyon and died of thirst.
But even without the legend, the place is so beautiful, I didn’t want to go away. Gianni and Manuel kept jumping on strange rocks that seem to be very unstable and took a lot of pictures! We looked for a way to go down the canyon to see the Colorado, but on our map there were a lot of paths where we cannot drive.
Dead Horse Point
Arches National Park
It was lunch time, we looked for a place where to eat but there was nothing around. So we went back to Moab and ate at Mc Donald’s. It was not a problem, to reach Arches National Park we had to make that way. It is a really wonderful sight; there are some arches in red sandstone that you cannot see anywhere else in the world. It is unbelievable to see what nature can do. In this area, if you are lucky enough, you can also see soma puma: but we didn’t see them.
There are several paths in the park, but some are very steep, so we admired some of the arches from afar. The most beautiful is without any doubt the “Delicate Arch”.
Late in the afternoon we went back to our hotel because, besides a shower and dinner, we had to prepare our luggage.
Our destination for the next day was the Monument Valley, we were really very curious to see it, because we had admired it as the setting of the most famous western movies. While heading there, we stopped to take photos from afar, it is so very beautiful! At the entrance, we stopped for a drink, as it was getting hotter and hotter, and we bought some souvenirs. Then we started our tour among those red towers, on a path with red sand.
I must confess we were a little disappointed… from afar it seems so beautiful and imposing, but the magic disappears when you are inside. It is a nice place, but less beautiful than we had imagined. Before leaving the place, we wanted to take a photo with the signboard at the entrance; there is one in every park we have visited, but this one was bigger and it is worth while to take home a souvenir. But we were not the only ones who wanted a souvenir: we had to queue up and wait for our turn!
On the way there were several stalls selling local handycraft. In the past this was a Navajo reserve, and all the stalls are owned by native Americans. We stopped to have a look and I fell in love with a pair of wonderful earrings, the dreamchatchers. According to the legend, the person who wears them is protected from bad dreams, only nice dreams can pass through the filter of these earrings.
While we were leaving the Monument Valley, the sky was getting more and more cloudy; soon after crossing the border with Arizona it started pouring. We drove on, destination Page.
Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell
When we got to the hotel, Manuel decided to stay there because he was very tired. Gianni and I instead decided to go out to visit the Antelope Canyon. We had seen wonderful pictures of this place, but unfortunately it was closed because of the rain. So we went to visit Lake Powell, an artificial lake near Page. It is very nice and we saw a lot of boats, some of them were particularly big. We were told they are houseboats, used by tourists during their holiday. While coming back to the hotel, we saw a signboard where was written “Bull riding tonight”. We asked for information and we were told the rodeo was at 10 p.m. So we had the time to go back to the hotel to take Manuel. Even if he was tired, he was ready for the evening program.
The rodeo was held inside a large fence surrounded by grandstands full of people. There were a lot of cow boys dressed in jeans and shirt, wearing boots and big hats. We also saw several boys dressed in the same way: at the beginning we thought they simply wanted to copy their fathers and elder brothers; then we found out that also the children were taking parts in the contest.
And they were the first to show their ability: they were clever and brave, but once or twice we were really frightened when they fell from the bull. After the adults started their performance, it started raining again so we didn’t stop for long.
We came back to our hotel… the day after we were going to visit the Grand Canyon!