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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

One of the advantages of getting older is being able to take fall vacations. The crowds are thinner and the weather is usually good. Well, most of the time the weather is good.

Hubby and I just returned from a trip to the Southwest US, one of our favorite places. The geological wonders are amazing to see. I have a National Park Service passport and wanted to get as many stamps as I could. We visited 14 national parks and national monuments, some of which I didn’t know existed until we saw them on a map or on road signs. Here’s the first seven we visited.

Great Basin National Monument near Baker, Nevada
This park is geared toward hikers, with mountain terrain and a cave for exploring.

Zion National Park
Zion is a beautiful canyon full of rock cliffs, streams, trees, and unusual geology. We had to ride the free shuttle through the park since vehicles are not allowed. Having someone else do the driving is a good way to see everything. We could get off and on the shuttle as we wanted to. What a fun day this was!

Pipe Springs National Monument

I’d never heard of this one, but the Native Americans came here because of the artesian spring. Later, it became an old LDS tithing site where people brought their tithes and hid their multiple wives. It’s a living history site now, with gardens, oxen, and reenactors.

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
We didn’t spend time here since the park is for hikers. Our schedule didn’t allow for us to get far from the car. Sadly, I didn’t take one picture.

Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument
Again, no photos because we were on the very edge of the park, and our schedule didn’t allow time for exploration inside the park. We visited the Paria Visitor Center where we chatted with a very nice woman. A little farther down the road, we stopped at the Big Water BLM Visitor Center that had dinosaur information. Lots of dinosaurs used to visit the national monument.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Many years ago, Hubby worked part-time in Glen Canyon Dam. Yes, in it. It’s full of offices, electronics, tunnels, pipes, and all sorts of cubby holes. I followed Hubby around the inside of the dam, going places the public can’t go. Nowadays, we both have to view it alongside the tourists, but being there brought back lots of memories. Sadly, the reservoir is 44 percent full. Practically empty.

Navajo Bridge and Lee’s Ferry
These sites are included in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The Navajo Bridge was the first to cross the Colorado River in that area. Before that, the only way to cross the river was at Lee’s Ferry. Both historical spots are quite a ways off the beaten path, but worth the drive to see.

That’s enough for now. Next week, I’ll post more photos of our trip through the beautiful country of the southwestern United States.

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