Immediately post-work, we headed out to the biggest island located on Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island State Park. The island was named for the apparent large population of Pronghorn Antelope. We expected to see at least one antelope. We saw a total of zero antelope on the island. I would rightfully so like to rename it ‘Bison Island.’ We saw herds of Bison.
We camped lakeside on the island that night. With no cellphone reception, we threw a car loft party that night. It generally consisted of the two of us passing back and forth a bottle of liquor and attempting, then successfully assembling our bed without either of us exiting the vehicle. It was cold that night and leaving the warmth of the car was not very appealing. Early to bed we planned on getting up to watch the sunrise from behind the mountains. 100% worth the early rise. The pictures don’t do the view justice.
Looking forward to warm weather again we headed south towards Arizona. We had a slight pit stop in Bryce National Park. Since it was the off season, we did not have to pay the 30 dollar entrance fee (hurray!). We got to see Bryce Canyon and got inspired at Inspiration Point (had to) free of charge.
If you aren’t much of a crowd goer but desperately want to see the Grand Canyon, go in the winter. Less crowds and less traffic! The North Rim route was unfortunately closed, but the South Rim provided unreal views.
We stayed in Flagstaff, Arizona for a few days. Flagstaff is a small town north of Sedona and Phoenix. We discovered the convenience of staying in a hotel parking lot. All the amenities with no cost. We even made use of their hot tub with no issues.
Next up: Sedona! Sedona meant sun and warm weather! Sedona is slightly north of Phoenix. It is essentially one giant tourist hub. Surrounded by red rocks, desert, and a constant stream of sun and warmth, it’s no wonder why. The first day it was bright and a high of 17 degrees, in February. In Canada that kind of february weather is unheard of.
About 10 minutes outside Sedona, there is free dispersed camping off the 525 route. It was quiet and we were able to park and wake up to desert terrain and red rock views.
Chris worked the second day, while I decided to check out the acclaimed hiking trails around Sedona. I had looked up a popular one within walking distance of town called ‘Soldier Pass.’ Mistake 1: Assuming the trail was a loop. It was in fact only a segment of a much larger route. Mistake 2: Not taking a picture of the map prior to leaving the trailhead. Amateur moves.
An almost 2 hour hike turned into a 4 mile, 4 plus hour hike. Thankfully, the trail was full of a lot of other hikers and they were able to point me in the right direction to get back to my starting point. Again, the scenery made it all worthwhile.
For the majority of our last day in Sedona, we spent time exploring the back roads in the Ford Focus. Ignoring signs that clearly stated the roads further were meant for off road vehicles, the Ford hauled through some very narrow and steep terrain. The roads were not even on google maps. When the terrain got too rough we turned around. We were in no way on a mission to destroy the vehicle and our sleeping accommodations. A few hours of fun was all we needed. We settled in a spot again off the 525 for the night. The next day we were off to Sin City! Vegas, baby!