A Travellerspoint blog

Denver and random thoughts

Warning: This is a long and convoluted piece.

Arches and Canyonland were wonderful. I got some of the most amazing pictures of the area. It was just the right time of year to be out there, nice in the day and not to cold at night. I hiked all day yesterday and took pictures of as many of the arches as I could. The hiking was great but my feet are tooled. I am looking forward to a couple of days without any heavy duty walking.

Today was long day. I wanted to go to 4 corners and didn't realize that the only way to Denver from there is exactly the way I had just come from. So I left at 7:30 for Four Corners and arrived in Denver at 6:30 ish. It was around 600 miles and 11 hours. That is a long time to sit in a car. The silver lining was the drive once I hit Colorado. It was the most beautiful drive up to this point. Most of I-70 goes right next to the Colorado River, through valley carved out by the river, with snow capped mountains and lushest green fields. I kept thinking I was driving past a golf course only to realize it was just someone land around their house.

Denver is not what I expected. I had heard it was congested and smoggy. It is in fact the opposite (at least right now, I don't know what the summer is like). Green everywhere with the Rockies in the background. The freeways are nice and traffic wasn't bad at all. I am pleasantly surprised. I hope getting to the game tomorrow will be easy. I am really hoping for a bus or a train, but we will see.

So on the way up I realized I have been at this for 3 weeks, so I decided to just put out some random musings.

I have noticed that on the signs that designate food and gas they list Starbucks. Is Starbucks really food?

This will probably make some of you laugh but I think the most important thing I have brought with me so far is my spiral note book. I use it to jot down addresses, phone numbers, directions and of course thoughts. It has helped me out immensely.

I have passed a number of antique shops on the way and think some of them should really say; "Garage Sale" or "Junk", the stuff people will try to sell as antiques is really laughable.

While sitting watching the sunset in the desert I was really amazed at it's austeyr beauty. Sometimes the only sound is the wind. It looks so desolate but underneath it is teaming with life. It is an amazing place. I think that I will have to go back and spend more time.

I wondered if anybody noticed that they featured one of my photos from Bryce on their random photos. I was stoked. It is nice to get some notice.

It is amazing what a smile and some eye contact can do. I have met some of the nicest people on the road. While hiking around I have encountered a number of guys that just fall into step with me and hike a day away and talk like we were old friends. I don't know what "it" is but that kind of sharing makes me grateful to be on this trip. On a side bar, the reception to my tattoos is interesting. When I wear shorts half the time people look down then look away and say nothing and other time they make a deliberate attempt to say hello to me. If I take off my shirt for some reason that really seems to intimidate people. Most just look away, like I am some kind of dangerous convict or something. The social dynamic is fun to watch.

Finally a little rant. What is it with people that drive 4x4 but want to think its a luxury car???? When they slow down for a bump in the road or crawl on a dirt road. It makes no sense to me. Oh well, I will let you all know about the baseball game. I will be loading more of my photos of Arches and Canyonlands on my "myspace" page soon. Enjoy.

Posted by JustJ 18:21 Comments (0)

Three blind men

Sometimes I feel like that old fable of the three blind men that encounter an elephant. Each man feels a different part of the elephant and thinks the elephant looks like something completely different from the other two men. In general I only get a day or two where ever I am going to draw my conclusions. I was thinking this is probably the case for SLC. I am sure if I had seen a different part on a different day I might have loved it. As far as it goes though I am sticking with my current impression and don't see myself returning.

You have to love modern technology. I am sitting on a bench in the middle of nowhere on the edge of the Moab writing this. Today has been kind of a let down. I traveled all the way down here to the Canyon Lands/ Arches National park and couldn't find a camp site inside the park. Who would have thought they would be full on a Monday (I think it's Monday). Oh well, there were a lot of opportunities for photo ops today and from the look of it I should get some wonderful pics of Arches tomorrow. Speaking of pics, I have reached my quota at this site so for a while (until May) I will still be posting photos but I will have to do it on my "myspace" page. at http://www.myspace.com/giantsjoel hope you enjoy the pics. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 16:46 Comments (0)


I spoke too soon

I had a chance to drive and walk around Salt Lake City today and I must say I spoke too soon. I am staying in Ogden with seems to be a more industrial area and may have colored my opinion of the city yesterday. After the dust settled (literally) I had a chance to see SLC with a clear sky. It is really a beautiful city, especially at sunset. I wish I could share a picture of it with you but I was unable to get one tonight, and alas I am off to the Canyon Land National Park.

If you want to get around SLC, with out problems Sunday is the best day to travel. When I went downtown today I felt as if I was in the movie "I am Legend". It was completely deserted. Spooky is the way I would describe my entire visit. It was spooky on so many levels I hope that I will be able to convey them all. The emptiness...eerie. Everything downtown is closed on Sundays as well, dark and deserted. Temple Square was filled with greeters and guides. All of them young women. Now I am not saying LDS are any kind of cult, but I have read that many cults use young women to bring in new converts. Everyone walks around with "Stepford Wife" type smiles. It was unnerving.

While I can't say I had a terrible time here in Salt Lake City, the food was good. I will be glad to put it in my rear view mirror and head off to camp some more. It is great the way things work out. I was originally planing on seeing a Rockies game on the 21 but since the condo in Angel Fire got pushed back, it allows me to see more of Utah and still catch a game. In fact instead of the Phillies I will get a chance to see the Cub's. Heres hoping for no snow.

Posted by JustJ 19:55 Comments (0)

I can attest...

The mullet is not dead! Saw one today while driving around SLC. Who knew? So far I can't give Salt Lake City any kind of glowing review or even a mediocre one. The wind was blowing up all kinds of dust and the sky just looked hazy (have I mentioned that I have had enough wind to last me two lifetimes? If not, I hate the wind!)

Driving here is an interesting experience. There are two types of drivers the ones that are doing 90 and the ones that are doing 60 (in a 65) in the second from the left lane. So I decided it would be best to just cruise in the far right. Only to discover this is the alternative fast lane! It is either bog in the middle or get run off the road on the edges. Lots of fun, and of course just like everywhere (why should Utah be any different) no one knows how to merge!

A friend of mine did an "Iron Ass" motorcycle ride. That is where you ride so many miles in so many days. He traveled from Santa Cruz to SLC and back in two days (I think), just to have sushi. To commemorate this ride he had a patch made, since I was in the neighborhood, had me deliver it in person. I have to say that is some of the best sushi I have had in a while, even if I did have to wait 30 mins to sit at the bar. I was naturally sceptical since I am, like, 1000 miles from the ocean, but it is great. Takashi, down town.

I hope that tomorrow will change my mind about SLC. I had a very different picture in my mind. Clean, tall white buildings with lots of nicely dressed mormons running to and fro. Really all I have seen are refineries and street people. Dirty air, dirty people, not so nice. Seattle, no there is a clean nice place. More to come.

Posted by JustJ 20:33 Comments (0)


You know a lot of these parks I have gone to you have no idea what it looks like from the camp ground. All the camps look the same. Bryce is no exception. When I got up this morning I didn't feel like doing anything, certainly not hiking. I have hiked close to 30 miles in the last week and wasn't feeling it this morning. I decided I would just take a little hike around the rim. Well once I got up there I had no choice but to take a hike today. It was spectacular. This park is so unlike the last two. All the structures and colors it was amazing. I have added a few pic for you to see but I am now over my limit so I wont be adding any more till May. If I had kids this or Zion would be the park to take them too. Horse rides, wonderful hiking. I know the sunset is going to blow my mind tonight. Looking forward to the big city, a real shower and a pizza.

I am really would like to being somewhere that is a little warmer. It got down to 22 degrees last night. There is still snow all over the ground. The worst part about seasonal buys is that once the store is sold out, they don't buy any more. Do you think I could find gloves anywhere. Needless to say my socks now have more then one use.

Posted by JustJ 15:39 Comments (0)

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