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Desert Bloom

A roadtrip through the American Southwest

I-70 West
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Looking through a rainy windshield on the highway

Day 1, a soaking trek across I-70 to reach Pittsburgh by nightfall.

Chapters:

Moab   |   Monument Valley   |   Page   |   Bryce Canyon

Zion    |   Palm Springs   |   Joshua Tree   |   Grand Canyon

Sedona   |   White Sands   |   Far West   |   Neon Cowboy

Overlooking the football stadium in Pittsburgh
View of Pittsburgh from atop Mount Washington
The Columbus skyline from the highway
Dave wearing a halloween mask while driving
Dave sipping coffee while driving
Dave sipping coffee through a halloween mask
Instagram story showing my car with a bike on it

Day 2, hyped up on caffeine, cruise through Ohio, through Indiana. The official Gateway to the West.

Sign for the Mississippi River in St. Louis
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Windmills in Kansas
Sleeping in the passenger seat
Diner sign in the sky

Somewhere in Kansas.

Hayfields in Kansas

Blowing through the nothingness, we speed

into the night to reach Colorado by morning.

The spedometer
Tree silhouettes in the dusk
Dave in the rearview mirror
instagram story from eastern Colorado
5,280 feet into the mountains
8,400 feet up in the mountains
Snowy Vail Pass in Colorado
Clock in downtown Frisco, Colorado

Found 'em.

There's a frosty treat in store.

Main Street in Frisco, Colorado
Moab
My car with a sun flare behind it
Moab, Utah state shape

After 3 days of driving, we hit Moab, Utah. A lush, green valley surrounded by red desert. The Colorado river skirts the town, on its way toward forming the Grand Canyon.

Hiking in Arches National Park
Downtown Moab
Trail sign in Arches
Red rock stairway in Arches National Park
Dave on a rock ledge in Arches
USPS truck in Moab
Bike Shop sign
Sun flare through a giant arch in Arches National Park
Delicate Arch
A storefront sign for Desert Wild
Red and green colored fire hydrant
Moab Garage Co. Cafe & Espresso
Dave rock climbing in Arches

Spent the afternoon climbing every rock face possible in Arches National Park, then we hit the town for a cold beer before venturing out to make camp.

Man walking along a rocky trail
Person sitting on Delicate Arch
rock formation in Arches National Park
Giant red rocks in Arches
Surveying the National Park
My car parked in Arches
Cooking a meal on an open fire
The night sky near Moab

Camp meal. Night 3. Under a canopy of stars.

Camp meal on an open flame
Roof tent parked under the stars
Camping out under the stars
Green River overlook in Canyonlands

Green River Overlook in Canyonlands merges the Green and Colorado rivers to form the northernmost rim of the eventual Grand Canyon.

Sitting on the edge of a huge cliff
View from Dead Horse Point State Park
Watching the sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park
Monument Valley
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Driving into Monument Valley

Monument Valley is the biggest expanse of open space I have ever seen.

It's majestic. Easy to see why the land here is sacred for the Navajo.

Picture of myself in the side mirror
Monument Valley floor
Taking a picture in the road
Iconic shot of Monument Valley
Shiprock
Oljato
Buttes at sunset
Page, Arizona

The tribal park tours are on reduced hours due to Covid. Quick pitstop and we drive on into the setting desert sun. The next town is Page, Arizona.

Driving in the desert dusk
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Save 15% or more.

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Day 7. Saturday. We accidentally stumble into a massive balloon fiesta. We ask if anyone needs help rigging it up, for the small price of a free ride.

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Floating through the air at the behest of the wind.

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Gravity.

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Bryce Canyon
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Detour: Bryce Canyon National Park

Ahead of schedule by a full day, we decide to veer off our route as we dip back up into Utah on the way to Zion.

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Spent 4 hours walking the canyon rim and down in between the hoodoos. But we had to hit the road and make it a few hours south to Zion for our night 8 camp.

Zion
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Waking up to a perfect view just west of the park at Kolob Gate Gardens.

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A tarantula sighting didn't scare us enough, so we start climbing the infamous Angel's Landing.

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Sure-footed but afraid of heights. +5,790' up.

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Rest for the wicked.

Cruising the canyon boulevard by bike. Court of the Patriarchs ^

The Watchman v

Palm Springs

Mesquite, NV for a hot shower and hefty meal. Last night of camp before Dave returns to Barcelona.

Ani flies in later that night. Off to Palm Springs.

Sunrise over a bluff along the Pacific Ocean. Crystal Cove State Park.

Wig Wam Motel on historic Route 66.

San Bernardino, CA. National Register of Historic Places.

Twin Palms. Sinatra residence v

"Mojave moonrise" from the Palm Springs aerial tramway.

Off to Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree
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Cholla Cactus Garden

A thirst-quenching beer before making camp.

Campsite at Sky Fire Ranch. ^

< Daybreak in the desert.

A friend appears to have visited camp last night.

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Grand Canyon

5 1/2 hour drive through the blank desert. Just in time to set up camp in the dark. 5:28 am, sunrise at the Grand Canyon south rim v

View looking away from the canyon rim.

Mountains of northern Arizona.

Sedona
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Paparazzi joins us to get a view of the Sedona red rocks.

[Glenn Frey voice]...

Whte Sands

Wide open New Mexico

Far West
Neon Cowboy
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Man steaming a cowboy hat in Texas
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A color coded gallery of everything else
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(c) 2022 Nick Gianetti

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