I think this may be a record for us: three postponements of the same trip. First we were going to leave Tucson on August 2, and enjoy a glorious couple of weeks exploring Utah and Colorado before Alumafandango began on August 21. Then, when it became obvious work wasn’t going to allow me to go that early, we postponed to August 8, which quickly became August 9. And then we realized we were far too deep into too many projects, and the trip slipped again to August 14.
As you might guess, this has meant re-writing the trip plan several times. Now, instead of going up to Utah and visiting Navajo National Monument, Canyonlands, and Dinosaur National Monument, we are going up through New Mexico on a quicker route. But here’s the ironic bit: the trip has actually gotten better in some ways.
Maybe I’m just looking at the glass as 30% full, but I see a very relaxing (although short) trip through some interesting parts of New Mexico that we haven’t seen before. Instead of a lot of boring Interstate, we’ll get a chance to roam up AZ Rt 191 (part of it, not the “Devil’s Highway” portion), AZ-NM Rt 78, and NM Rt 180. All of these are great scenic roads.
When we go out on a new trip, I like spending the first night somewhere boondocky, with no hookups and few people. It’s usually the easiest night to be self-reliant, since our batteries are fully charged and we have lots of water and fuel. Plus, I just hate paying campgrounds the first night of a trip. The fee for a campground is always more palatable when you need their amenities to replenish your systems. So, if we make it that far, our first night will be at a remote free boondock site near El Malpais National Monument in northern New Mexico (point “B” on the map).
We’ve been to El Malpais before, so we’ll move on directly the next day to Bandelier National Monument (point “C” on the map). I planned the trip so that our drive on day 2 will be a half day, giving us time to do a little exploring at Bandelier when we arrive. If there’s a lot to do, we can spend two nights there.
From there we have to cover another 350 miles or so to get into Denver by Friday night. And that’s when the work begins. Brett & Lisa will be there already and we will meet them to do some prep for Alumafandango, and check the campground to ensure everything is ready to go.
Alumafandango will keep us occupied until Sunday August 26. Probably that night, or the next morning, we’ll hit the road again and work our way over to Utah to start checking out more national park sites. Utah is the motherlode of great western national parks, so we’ve got a lot of choices.
Our plan at this point is somewhat open but we have a few pretty good ideas of what we would like to see and do. I’ve got all my projects under control (they’re never really “done” but at least they are managed), and we’ve cleared our schedules so that we don’t have to get back to Tucson until September 4. So even though the early August trip didn’t work out, the late August one looks like it will. And that’s good enough.