past tense: flabbergasted; past participle: flabbergasted
surprise (someone) greatly; astonish.
"this news has left me totally flabbergasted"
Yeah, that's the word I'd use for Utah, flabbergasted...less so in the surprised manner, more so in the astonished/ astonishment sense. I'd say that most of the Northern portion of Utah we missed out on. To start, we crossed the state line in the dark and arrived in Salt Lake city in the dark. Then we woke up to an inversion, apparently quite common in Salt Lake city. I remember Alison saying to me as we pulled into the city, 'I bet we're going to wake up to some amazing views.' HA! That's a laugh. Despite being socked in we enjoyed a short tour with our new friend Mindy (a pro cyclist friend of Alison's...and now my friend too! facebook official) and her brother Allan, then departed for St. George. Thankfully we did eventually escape the inversion and found some mountains behind the clouds. Views became increasingly scenic as we approached St. George. But, before I get to Utah pictures, check out these two places we managed to catch before it got too dark. Devil's Washbowl and Shoshone Falls, both in Idaho...again, beautiful state!
We arrived in St. George after dark and immediately stopped at a starbucks to get some wifi and figure out where we were going to park for the night. After an hour of catching up with the outside world and digging through google maps we found a spot to camp at the base of the Red Mountain Trail. I can't say much for our first night, but new years day was pretty fantastic as it was the first time I got back on a bike in over three months! We parked near an unofficial OHV area where mountain bike trails can be found. From there Alison hit the road on her bike and I hit the trails on mine. Luckily for me, mountain bikers in general are pretty rad people, and after a brief conversation I made a ride buddy who guided me through a trail appropriately named, 'Zen.'
Night number two was spent in BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land just South of the bike trails; this spot was a little more scenic than all the previous. I'm guessing the progression in scenery is going to be a trend as we continue to travel, seems like every spot is better than the last. On a side note, if you're traveling in the states and dedicated to camping for free, get the US Public lands app, this will show you where all the BLM land is in your surrounding area and it works offline as an added bonus.
Day three in Utah was yet again spent on the bike. We're still attempting to work out a schedule that works for both of us that allows for enough lounge and play time, but as we settle into our travel life a little more it's beginning to take form. After we rode bikes we went up to Snow Canyon to explore a little. Note: if you're ever in St. George, UT, GO TO SNOW CANYON!!! I'm really glad Alison talked me into this one despite me being pretty tired. The pictures speak for themselves I'd say.
Today, we woke up in another BLM spot suggested by Todd from Vanlife America (http://www.vanlifeamerica.com/), did a quick morning hike to the top of a neighboring ridge then hit the road once again. We're now heading East through Zion National Park. What I've seen of the park thus far is kind of tantalizing. I feel like I could spend a lifetime here but I only have a few days. I'm currently waiting for Alison to catch up to me as she's on a training ride. I've already explored down some random dirt roads and stopped multiple times to take pictures...this drive could take a long time. I'm convinced we have to camp out here...