East Mitten

We arrived just in time for the sunset lights on Monument Valley. These high columns and large tables, some of them so familiar for appearing in countless movies, were glowing red in the last rays of the sun.

We spent the night there, contemplating a moonrise behind the Mittens, and waking up for the sunrise. We wanted to start hiking in the Grand Canyon later in the afternoon, and still had a long road to go.

After about 12 hours in a valley sized for giants, we were off for about 400 km more of beautiful road, going South West inside the State of Arizona, all the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.



Landscape Arch

Hiking at night in the Devils Garden of Arches National Park, star gazing on a boulder next to Dark Angel, and waking up with the morning light in the middle of these beautiful sandstone formations was just amazing.

We spent the morning exploring the several arches, running and jumping around the huge playground, full of boulders and strange rock formations.

We then drove to the nearby Canyonlands National Park, and down the Island in the Sky. A short visit that hardly gave us enough time to grasp the immensity of these landscapes.

We had ten to fifteen days to spend in Utah before getting to San Francisco, and wanted to visit most of the National Parks in Utah, hike in the Grand Canyon, and join the Canyonneering week-end. After driving 130 km in the Arches and Canyonlands, we took the road all the way to Monument Valley, 350 km more further South.

Grand Teton


Sleeping on a boulder

We woke up on the Jackson Lake, packed a few days of food, went to Jenny Lake Ranger Station to get a hiking permit, parked the old Ford next to the nearby String Lake, and started hiking.

We had already bought a bear spray in Yellowstone, and the rangers kindly gave us another one, so we had one each. They also lent us food canisters, two large boxes made of rock solid plastic to prevent bears from eating our tasty but not too smelly food.

We started hiking up the Paintbrush Canyon, climbing amongst a beautiful pine forest, along torrent and lakes. I prepared some tea while waiting for Trevor. He had to go back few hundred meters to find the hat he had lost. On his way back, he spotted a black bear, eating some berries just a few meters from the trail! ... more

Lulu Pass


Moss on a branch

Trevor is pretty good at mechanics, and in the morning he could find the problem easily. It was the dust shield of the brake, a plastic part, that was touching the disc. So after looking at a large herd of bison passing by and across the river to the other side of the valley, we kept driving North East.

We went hiking up Pebble Creek in the afternoon, found lots of delicious berries, thought we saw a grizzly bear when it was a bison, stopped for a snack by the river. There was lots of animal tracks everywhere. It's impressive how much life there is in this sanctuary.

Further East, we joined a group of several people, biologists, guides, biologists, and aficionados, all passionated by wolves. They know the members of the different packs evolving in the area by their names, and can even sometimes recognize them just by sight. In their telescopes, we could watch the activity going on around a bison carcase. We came several times in a few days to observe grizzly, wolves, and crows, taking turns to eat on the carcase. ... more



Little Prismatic Pool

We woke up in the car after a cold night, drove the last few miles to the East Entrance, and entered the park. A nice rock with view on the Yellowstone lake became our breakfast table, where we made some tea to warm up.

As the girls were driving from the South, we started exploring the huge park with Trevor, going from waterfalls to thermal springs, from forest to lakes and rivers.

After a bit of suspense made of canceled reservation, fully booked campground, lack of cell phone coverage, and messages left to the rangers, the girls managed to find us at our campsite in Grant Village.

More than one month later and on the other side of the continent, it was really nice, and also a bit surreal to meet here with Geetika, Smitha, and Saritha. ... more

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