6,570 Miles Round Trip

Note: This post was written 09.16.20

6,570 miles!  That is how far we traveled on our epic road trip.  That is a lot of driving!  I have spent the last couple of days writing articles about our ‘schoolcation’ including the one at the end of this email.  Please take a peek because I really worked hard on them and hope I am able to garner some new followers when they are shared.
I am aware I owe you a little more information about Utah, so I intend to do that in just a bit.  First, I wanted to let you know that we have a Facebook Live scheduled for today at 4PM to talk about our trip.  Even if you can not watch, it will be there later.  It will just be us talking about the trip, no sharing videos, etc.  If you have a question for me or the boys, just send it to me ahead of time or comment during the Live.
In case you missed our big announcement on Facebook, Explore More Family Travel was featured in our first national publication – AFAR!  AFAR provides digital content but is also a print publication.  I am particularly honored to work with AFAR because they are known as a different kind of travel magazine that goes beyond destinations.  Afar “inspires those who travel the world seeking to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives.”  If that doesn’t describe the type of travel I seek for myself and my clients, I don’t know what does? 😃 Please take a look at the article below.

‘Why Work and Go to School From Home When You Can Do It From—Anywhere?’ – AFAR, September 2020

After the coronavirus pandemic forced many of us to log into meetings and classes remotely, these families saw it as an opportunity to transport their entire operation to new and beautiful places. Here’s how they did it.

Now, about Utah.  If you ever find yourself there, do not rush through it in three days.  My biggest regret of the trip is that we did not spend more time in Utah.  I really enjoyed our stay in Sedona and was able to explore Enchantment Resort which is a Virtuoso property that I foresee selling in the future.  However, we have friends in Phoenix so I think that the chances of us getting back there are pretty good.  
My friend in Phoenix actually said to me, all of Utah should be a National Park.  I must admit, I agree!  Every few miles, you are treated to a landscape completely different than what you were just gawking at a few minutes prior.
Our first stop was Capitol Reef National Park.  We did not intend to go here when we embarked on our trip.  

Then we found out about this restaurant, Hell’s Backbone Grill.  It came highly recommended to use from a friend.  Once we started researching the restaurant, we realized we had to eat here. 

One of the reasons we were so intrigued is that the owner/chefs of the restaurant in a small town of only a couple of hundred people were announced as nominees/finalists for best chefs in the Mountain Region by the James Beard Foundation for the 2020 season.  We had to find out why a restaurant in the middle of nowhere was so popular.  
The reason was clear – the organic, locally produced, regionally and seasonally appropriate cuisine was sublime.  Rob and I are novice foodies so we are so glad that we experienced this restaurant.  At some point on Facebook, I questioned rearranging all of our plans to go to this restaurant, but after further reflection, I do not regret it.  I only regret not arranging the trip to spend more time in Utah.
Once we decided to stay in Boulder, UT so that we could eat dinner at Hell’s Backbone Grille, we realized that we would only be an hour from Capitol Reef NP.  It was fate that we visited here since it is the home of the Twin Rocks!

Next on our itinerary was Bryce Canyon National Park which Bryson was very excited about!  I started calling it Bryce Conyon to back Connor feel better!  This is us in front of Bryce’s famed ‘hoodoos’.  What are ‘hoodoos’?  Well, I am glad you asked – “Hoodoos are pillars or towers of rock, typically between 5 and 150 feet high.  Unlike a spire, which tapers from bottom to top, hoodoos have a variable, totem pole-like thickness throughout their height. The pillars of rock are typically a softer sandstone capped by a more erosion-resistant layer of rock.”

We left Boulder, UT at 6:30 AM to arrive at Bryce around 8:30 AM.  However, we still ran out of time as we tried to also fit in Zion National Park before making the long trek to the Grand Canyon South Rim.  Because of COVID and its devastating effects on the Navajo people, the East Entrance that requires travel through Navajo territory is closed.  We tried to fit way too much into this day. 
We were able to see Zion by car which was very impressive as it was, but we did not get to do any hikes.  Parts of the park can only be accessed by a shuttle bus.  We took the bus to the end of the line, started to hike, then realized we did not have enough time and it was so hot because we were there too late in the day.  This basically meant we wasted 2.5 hours because there was no need to take the shuttle bus if we were not doing the hike. 
The drive into Zion was so impressive, but I recorded it all instead of taking photos.  So, you’ll have to wait until I am done with my Utah video before seeing that.  Here is a photo of Zion from the road …

So after a very long day and wasting 2.5 hours of it for no reason, we drove six hours to The Grand Canyon.  I felt that we missed a lot in Southern Utah, including Arches National Park and the Moab desert.  We will try to do those parks whenever we make it back this way to see New Mexico and Colorado, but I am disappointed that we did not spend more time in Southern Utah because it really is so impressive.  Like I have said before, Utah rocks!

Keep Dreaming,