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Trip Report Red rocks rock!

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Just got back from our Spring trip to UT/CO/AZ.

We planned this trip at the last minute (about 3 weeks beforehand) and with only 6 days it was hard to squeeze in everything we wanted to do but it was fabulous!

What we did
Colorado National Monument : Rim Rock drive
Arches NP
Natural Bridges NM
Canyonlands NP (Needles) + Newspaper Rock
Goosenecks State Park
Monument Valley
Rifle Falls, CO


Logistics
We flew BOS>DEN return with Jet Blue. Not the most ideal gateway but it was the cheapest route (plus we used miles for 2 tickets).

We arrived in Denver mid morning last Wednesday and picked up the hire car for a week.
Hertz had given us some kind of monster car that would seat 9 and did 16 miles to the gallon so we switched to a new RED Chevy Captiva. It was just right for the 3 of us.
It was a very pretty red colour to begin with but after 1410 miles it was covered with a thick coat of red dirt :)

We plugged our destination into our Tomtom which we brought with us and headed towards Grand Junction about 4.5 hours away. Made one stop for coffee at a Starbucks located just off I 70 using DH's i-phone.
I paid with my Hawaii Starbucks loyalty card and the barista said it he was from Maui. I was surprised he'd relocated to Colorado so far from the ocean but he said there was lots to love about CO.
We stayed at the SpringHill Suites Marriott for our first night which is in the center of Downtown Grand Junction.
Hotel was fine, free on points so no complaints and we had a drink in the bar before heading out to dinner and nibbled on the free bar snacks (wednesday = wings).

Walked a block or so window shopping on the way to dinner. I was tempted by a tray made out of a beer barrel lid but we were traveling light and that thing would not have fitted in my carry on even if I jettisoned every item of clothing I'd packed.
We ate at a little Nepalese restaurant called simply 'Nepal'
http://nepalgj.com/
Food was good. The curries tend to be rather mild but they provided some house made tomato achar which added just the right amount of spice.

We turned in early after a 4am start EST. Lights out @9pm
Free breakfast at the hotel was underwhelming but adequate and we were on the road before 8am (not as early as we planned but teenage daughter needed a little lie in!).

First stop.. was Starbucks again and the second stop was really not a stop as it was the Rim Rock DRIVE but we did pause at nearly all of the lookout points.
Very pretty scenery backed by views of the Rocky mountains. We were lucky enough to see 2 Desert Bighorn sheep grazing beside the road.. they even posed for photographs unlike the turkey vulture that was chased from it's resting place by two cawing crows!

Here's a link to the sheep
http://www.nps.gov/colm/naturescience/desert-bighorn.htm

Time for a break!

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