Week 9 – Provo to Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Day 57 – West Wendover to Provo

Our week started with a drive back to civilization after our side trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats. We retraced our steps on I-80, then turned south to bypass Salt Lake City. Our route took us right past the Bingham Canyon Mine (which was unfortunately closed to visitors so we couldn’t get a closer look), then into Orem, where we just happened to find an outlet mall with a Columbia store and a place for Michael to get his haircut. That afternoon, we headed to our final destination, Provo. We drove around a bit before checking in to the hotel so we could see the city center, then we grabbed Chick-fil-a for dinner and settled in for the night.


Day 58 – Provo

Monday was a rest/work day at the hotel.

Day 59 – Provo to Green River

Tuesday started with work time in the hotel, then we got back on the road and headed to Green River. We took US 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon and over Soldier Summit, then down along the Book Cliffs to our campsite in Green River State Park. The highlight of our stay was a visit from a tiny bunny, who seemed to hang out in our campsite a lot of our time there.

Day 60 & 61 – Grand Junction

Wednesday was another work/drive day, this time taking us east on I-70 through western Utah and back into Colorado. We went into Grand Junction for groceries, then continued to our campsite about 10 miles further east, along the Colorado River in De Beque Canyon. The next morning, we went for a 3-mile run (only our second run so far on the trip), then headed back into Grand Junction, since cell service was not available in the canyon. We started at another park along the Colorado River, then transferred to the mall to escape the heat of the afternoon and finally back to our campsite for the night.

Day 62 & 63 – Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Friday started with another work day in Grand Junction, then we took US 50 southeast to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It was a hot afternoon, and during the climb into the park, we got concerned about RC overheating so we paused about halfway up. She was a little too hot, and refused to start up for a while until we let her take a longer break. After about a half-hour, she started right up and took us the rest of the way to our campsite in the park. After settling in, we hiked about a mile to the visitor center along the canyon rim and got our first views of the Black Canyon.

On Saturday, we went for a morning hike, returning to the visitor along the rim trail, then doing both the Oak Flat Loop and the Uplands Trail. The views of the canyon were amazing, and we even saw a grouse displaying for his mate. We also met a super nice retired couple from Montrose, who helped us identify the grouse and gave us some great tips for our journey to South Dakota. We returned to camp for lunch, then relaxed for a while before returning to the rim of the canyon again to just sit, relax and enjoy the excellent views. Later that evening, we were treated to one of the best sunsets we’ve seen yet.

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