top of page

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky, UT, and my drive to Boulder, CO

When I get to Moab, it is a zoo. Last year, when I visited in January, it looked like a lovely, quiet little town sandwiched between red rock mountains and the snow-covered La Sal Mountain. Wow, so many people, so much traffic. It threw me off balance. I reminded myself where I belonged. I took a deep breath. I knew I would find myself back in the wild soon enough.

I stopped in the library to write and get groceries before heading to Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky.

I am returning to revisit the park. I feel it will be the most remote place to be away from Moab. My book is a good reference. I checked to see what my favorite part was in Canyonlands last year. It's the White Rim Overlook. 

I get to the trailhead by 3:30 p.m., and I am starving. Since I have yet to determine where I will stay tonight or my setting, I decided to take advantage of the covered picnic table and cook dinner.

The hike is less than two miles and is an easy trail. I am trying to articulate what my eyes see and how to describe the view that, in this instance, opens up in front of me.


Yes, Island in the Sky is the perfect name for this landscape. It feels like a city rising from the bottom of the earth. The layers of space here are mind-blowing. I wish I could capture the spirit here with my camera, but it is impossible. You will have to come and witness it for yourself.

It is already closer to seven, and I still need to find a place for tonight. I saved several options for BLM campground (I have been told there are no more free BLM in the area of Moab).

Oh no, I know one day I will scramble to find a safe place to call home. I have already checked out three places. They are all full. I know there is a BLM closer to Moab. I am heading back to the zoo. By eight, I found a tiny corner on another BLM campground.

To my surprise, I had a quiet night.

Since I have a doctor's appointment today at two, I originally planned to spend one more night in Moab and then head to Boulder. I have six to seven hours with stops of driving time. I like to avoid driving at night.

I will take today as a long library day, with stops for my doctor's appointment and to wash my car.

I found a rest area an hour and a half away. The bathroom is open twenty-four hours. (I called to check out). From my experience, when a rest area has a bathroom that is open twenty-four hours, you can most likely rest there for the night with no one bothering you.

An hour and a half of driving toward Boulder, Colorado, will keep me at a low elevation and on a warmer night. The temperatures in Boulder are back to the mid-30s.

I chose to take the slower scenic route 128. I am in awe of this beauty! The view takes my breath away. Yes, I know I am losing my breath lately, but it's so worth it. Driving in a Canyon with the brown Colorado River floating beside me is incredible.

The early evening cloudy sky muted the colors around, making the black in the rocks rich and contrasting with the lush greenery. The endless texture added an extra layer of stunning views, soothing my pain from the Cortisone shot.

As the Colorado River is now to my right, the landscape changes. The sheer rock formations are left behind, leaving room for the smaller cream color mountain to shine my heart.

Google Maps welcomed me to Colorado by 7:30 p.m. The visitor center/rest area is a short drive away. Now that the days are longer, I have a bit of time to heat my dinner. (I planned ahead and made sure to have leftovers from yesterday's cooking).

The parking lot has another truck and one more car. I feel safe. I go to wash for the night but feel very vulnerable when entering the building. I have learned to trust my intuition and not question myself. I will wash up in my van.

More cars and trucks arrived later at night. We all respected each other and kept a quiet night. I have more confidence now when I need to sleep in a rest area. I like that.

Good morning. It's another great day in the universe. The weather indicated snow on my way to Boulder. This is far from what I would like to deal with. 

My first two and a half hours are of a clear blue sky, wrapped by the stunning view of the mountains. Driving with mountains hugging me in a beautiful squeeze is so relaxing. I am a mountain girl. I feel at home. The Colorado River still accompanies me with his excitement strong flow. 

As I enter Vail Pass, I lose my blue skies and enter a magical winter wonderland. It is so stunning! My clean white car is no longer clean or white.

I am truly looking forward to the next few days. It is family time!

Adi is flying from San Francisco to join Ron and me. The last time I saw my boys was back in December before I left for my second year of this amazing life I am giving myself.

I am taking an Airbnb for about two weeks to regroup before I head to Canada.

7 views0 comments


bottom of page