I realize that I’ve been posting pictures but not many stories about our travels. So here’s the scoop.

Mary and I have been camping our way through Utah these past few days.

Day 1: (Wednesday) Valley of Fire in Nevada on our way out of Vegas, with a campsite overnight at Zion Canyon. No real hiking. But a beautiful drive through Zion Park at sunset, including a long, curvy, and very dark tunnel on Highway 9. Day 2: (Thursday) Awake at 4:20 a.m. Brutal, considering too Utah is an hour ahead of body time. We got a very early start, clearly, and saw a lot. Zion Canyon is pretty, but there wasn’t a lot that really grabbed us. If you are a passionate hiker, Zion is probably a great place for you. But if not, a short day would suffice. It did for us. We took the shuttle through the Park, hiked some short and relatively flat trails, and called it good.

After that it was a long drive across the state. 5 or 6 hours to Moab, outside Arches National Park. We drove through the park a bit at sunset and saw a lot to marvel at. The sunset drives have been good orientation for the daytime hikes.

Day 3: (Friday) A day on our feet, and in the heat. We hiked to Double Arch and the Windows Arches in the morning; pretty flat, probably a mile. Lunch break in Moab with the World Cup on. Then a mile hike to see Landscape Arch (I still haven’t posted a pic of that one yet). Followed by a long and hot and very uphill hike to see Delicate Arch. No idea on the mileage, but it was an hour getting there. As the pictures testify, it was all worth it. But man was it hard work in the heat. Water’s never tasted so good.

Day 4: Today. A drive south through Monument Valley, site of many Western panoramas. On the way there the highway, with little warning, turns into a 5-mph narrow gravel switchback road to get you down to the floor of the valley. That was certainly exciting.

Right now we’re in the Navajo Nation, with plans to see Antelope Canyon in the morning and then drive to Bryce Canyon, for one final day of sightseeing before coming back Tuesday.

All told it will be a week of canyons, arches, and hot sun.

We’ve camped every night so far. Average price has been around $20 per night. Tonight was one of the cheapest nights, and yet the whole campground is covered with wifi. (And yes, the computer came with. I’ve actually gotten some work done on freeways and in random bits of time outside the parks.)

One interesting note before I sign off: there are a huge percentage of international tourists. Hard to guess how many but it feels like 1 in 4. We hear lots of French and German, some Spanish, and some British accents.

All for now! Will post more pictures as I can.