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My Trip to National Parks of The Southwestern USA

by rjlowney on 04/02/11 at 5:35 pm

I took this trip my freshman year of college. I went with a couple old friends and made a couple new ones along the way. I also was able to see some of the most amazing places in the states.

Day 1

(Our chariot)

We meet up at the ISUORC (Iowa State University Outdoor Recreation Center) with our waterproof bags, issued by ISUORC, packed with cameras and clothes for all sorts of weather.  The twelve of us loaded up the trailer with food, tents, sleeping bags, and our luggage, then we headed out.  Our first stop was North Platte, Nebraska.  This is where we were going to stay in a hotel for the first night.  We had greatly underestimated the speed we could travel in our 15-passenger van, (with trailer) and what was supposed to be a 7-hour trip took 9 hours.  We checked in to the hotel shortly after midnight right before another ISUORC group, with the same travelling speed problem, on their way to California. 

Day 2

(The Gray Canyon campsite)

We got up nice and early to get going on our way.  Our next chunk of road covered 613 miles and ended in Moab, Utah.  After about 12 hours, we were there but with one problem; we couldn’t find our campsite!  With one gas-station within about 30 miles, we searched and found a little park in the Gray Canyon on the Green River.  There were campsites and an outhouse, it was perfect.  We had a great time soaking in the beautiful scenery all around us.  We set up our tents, made dinner, and then a few of us went on a little night hike.  It was awesome walking around with nothing but nature for miles.  We heard many animals but our flashlights were never quick enough to catch them.  Growing tired we headed for our tents and our zero-degree-sleeping bags. (awesome camping accessory)

Day 3

(Our group at Arches)

We explored Arches National Park.  The sight of the towering sandstone arches and other enormous rock formations was very humbling.  Arches is a huge park with something to see around every turn.  It was also fun because there were plenty of spots to leave the trail and go take photos or just stare at the natural wonders that lay all over.  We hiked a couple trails including the one which led to the Delicate Arch. (the big one seen in tons of pictures and brochures) We covered a lot of ground.   The twelve of us took literally hundreds of photos on this day alone: photos of us hiking, playing on rocks, of the scenery, and of anything else that caught our eyes.  This was my favorite day of the entire trip and I cant wait to go back.  The time came when we had to leave and we left to go to Grand Canyon Village, Arizona.  We arrived at our campsite after midnight and it was snowing!  Snowing in Arizona!  We set up our tents and thanked ISUORC for giving us zero-degree-sleeping bags.

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