Thursday, June 08, 2006

Taos and Moab

Monday morning we left Denver, delayed somewhat by additional repairs and fluid flushes we needed (or were told we needed) when we got the oil in our Jeep changed. We still need new shocks, but "need" in the sense that I wouldn't need to go to the bathroom as often as I do on the road, not "need" in the sense that our vehicle's going to fall off its axles if we don't get them now. One more thing to do in Seattle.

We took almost the same route we did last year from Denver to Taos, south on I-25, only we did the other (shorter, southern) side of the Enchanted Circle once we got off the interstate in New Mexico. Taos was where we decided it'd be nice to spend my birthday, since it's pretty and has good restaurants and there are galleries and shops where Justin could buy me sparklies (I got a sort of multicolored metal fish pin. I like seafood).

Yesterday, we left Taos and drove through a huge rain/sand/thunderstorm that pursued us through three states: New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. We stopped at a gas station in Blanding, Utah that had lost its power, so they couldn't do anything for us except offer us an unlit bathroom and a bag of peanut butter M&Ms (because the day after my birthday is still kind of my birthday, right? I was born at 9:22 Pacific time, which was the next day on the east coast). I heard on the radio the next day that there were 60 mph gusts in Blanding and (relatively) nearby Monticello.

Oh, and we cracked our windshield somewhere in the Four Corners area. I guess we should get that fixed too. Also our fuel gauge appears to be broken. It only goes up to the halfway point, even though we're pretty sure we've filled the tank every time. But we're not positive, and who could be when the gas light keeps going on after 100 miles? So that could be interesting.

But we finally made it to Moab. I drove up to Canyonlands National Park to take sunset pictures, then got up six hours after I got back to the hotel to take sunrise pictures. The light wasn't ideal for either perspective, but I took a few nice pictures that should make it on SmugMug soon. (Canyonlands probably merits a separate blog entry.)

The weather has gone from ambivalent to downright nasty again in the past couple of hours, so I might not get up to the park again before we leave (and I can't say I absolutely relish the idea of getting up at 4:30 AM to drive an hour in pitch darkness for a second morning in a row anyway), but that's okay. Justin promises me we'll be back, especially because we're skipping the other southern Utah parks this time around. The park ranger at Canyonlands told me the light is better for the pictures I want to take outside of summer anyway, so that's a good excuse to return.

Stay tuned next week, when we go to Salt Lake City and Vegas! Those should be two very, very different experiences. (Dad, who has his priorities straight, advised us to bring booze to SLC.)

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