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Old 8th January 2021, 04:46   #1
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Default Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

After all these long years reading through captivating travelogues, I’m going to try to narrate my own. Hope this is going to be a nice read for fellow BHPians.

This is pre Covid era, when we could travel freely and maintained social distancing with anti-socials only. This is about our trip in Dec 2019.

I’m always eager to go on a road trip, drive for long distances & see new places. Here in US, flights are super convenient & people prefer to take flights & rent car for the destination, but I prefer driving mainly for below reasons:

• Driving lets you see the change of landscape. From flat roads, to dry deserts & curvy roads & snow. You know what I mean.

• For me it gives a sense of control. Difficult to express in words, kind of I control the trip and gives sense of freedom.

• Personally, I believe, road trips generate memories. I have never heard people saying when I was child I flew with my parents. Also in TBHP I’ve seen people posting photos of their parents & their beloved cars, those things are etched in their memory. I want my son to have great memories also with his parents.

• I did not have car till I was 28. I did not travel at all when I was growing up, maybe I want my son to have something which I did not.

Anyways, lets come back to trip. Christmas in US is ‘Happy Holidays’ for my son & my office is also closed for Christmas & opens on Jan 2nd. So, it’s almost 10 days for us including weekends.

I’ve heard about mighty 5 ( 5 National parks) & always wanted to do it. I set up plan& my Friend Soumyo & neighbor Vivek agreed to join. Soumyo does not drive, so he’ll with us. Vivek & family will travel in his sedan.

Mighty 5- Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Zion National Park.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-mighty-5-route.jpg

My plan was slightly diverted from this, but eventually I did more than Mighty5 , thanks to my wife.

This was my plan:

Day 1 Dec 25/2019: Home to Hotel near ZION National park. Stay overnight.
Day 2 Dec 26/2019: Visit ZION National Park. Come back to hotel.
Day 3 Dec 27/2019: Zion to Bryce Canyon park. After visiting park check in to hotel.
Day 4 Dec 28/2019: Zion to Page, Arizona- visit Lake Powell.
-Lake Powell to Monument Valley.
-Monument Valley to Moab, UT.
Day 5 Dec 29/2019: Visit Arches National Park. Come back to hotel.
Day 6 Dec 30/2019: Arches to Canyonland National park. Drive to Las Vegas & check out Fremont St.
Day 7 Dec 31/2019: Visit Hoover Dam & return to home.

I was travelling with 6 adults & 2 kids in my 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.
If you notice carefully Capitol Reef was missing from the list. I skipped it as I thought it was not that important. How my thought process was changed, we’ll see that later.

How I Plan

I don’t drive adhoc & without a plan. I always like to drive with peace of mind so I could enjoy the drive & arrive at the destination tension free. Usually I can drive for 8-10 hrs in a day if I’m driving to a hotel. If I’m visiting a National Park, I select 4-5 viewpoints daily where we can stop for photo op. For navigation I use a 2014 Garmin NUVI & IPHONE 8s Plus. However, cell service is limited in most National parks.

I search for ‘Vista Points to Visit’ or ‘Scenic viewpoints’ in google for that destination. It gives 7-8 lists typically. I read reviews & look for photos online. I select 4-5 points depending on how far they are stretched. Now I go to GPS Coordinates and search for that place. https://www.gps-coordinates.net/

Once that place is located, I find the nearest parking lot from Satellite View & grab the coordinates. I do this for all the points. I also create a route covering where to start and end. I maintain checklist of which to visit in Day 1, Day 2 etc. Something like below:

Wed, Dec 25
3:00 PM MST
Check In La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham La Verkin, Gateway to Zion
101 E. 500 N. La Verkin UT, 84745, United States

Thu Dec 26
Day 1: Visit Viewpoint 1.
Visit Viewpoint 2 & so on.

Fri, Dec 27
12:00 PM MST
Check Out La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham La Verkin, Gateway to Zion
101 E. 500 N. La Verkin UT, 84745, United States

Visit Viewpoint 1.
Visit Viewpoint 2 & so on

Fri, Dec 27
4:00 PM MST
Check In Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
30 North 100 East, Bryce Canyon, UT, 84764 United States of America

Sat, Dec 28
11:00 AM MST
Check Out Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel
30 North 100 East, Bryce Canyon, UT, 84764 United States of America

Visit Viewpoint 1.
Visit Viewpoint 2 & so on

Sat, Dec 28
3:00 PM MST
Check In Hyatt Place Moab
890 North Main Street, Moab, UT, 84532 United States of America

Sunday Dec 29
Visit Viewpoint 1.
Visit Viewpoint 2 & so on

Mon, Dec 30
12:00 PM MST
Check Out Hyatt Place Moab
890 North Main Street, Moab, UT, 84532 United States of America

Visit Viewpoint 1.
Visit Viewpoint 2 & so on

Mon, Dec 30
3:00 PM PST
Check In Best Western Hoover Dam Hotel
704 Nevada Highway, Boulder City, NV, 89005 United States of America

Tue, Dec 31
11:00 AM PST
Check Out Best Western Hoover Dam Hotel
704 Nevada Highway, Boulder City, NV, 89005 United States of America

Visit Viewpoint 1.
Visit Viewpoint 2 & so on


The night before travel, I update my Garmin GPS. Then use POI loader. As most of you’re aware of you can save the Latitude & Longitude with description in .csv file. You can send the file to Garmin & voila, just drive selecting the points.

Looks like below:

-112.9876761 37.199091 Zion Visitor Center
-112.9604336 37.2365225 Court of Patriarch
-112.946535 37.272872 Big Bend Viewpoint
-112.9475294 37.2842699 Temple of Sinawava
-112.881645 37.227677 Checkerboard Mesa
-112.2411535 37.475348 Rainbow Point Bryce
-112.260411 37.531947 Natural Bridge
-112.247199 37.544578 Farview Point

Now what happens if Garmin stops working? For that I found an Iphone app ‘Maps.me’. This is an offline map where you can send coordinates & navigate. It’s also available for Android. This link explains the process: http://www.ultimatecampgrounds.com/i...to-maps-me-app

What if mobile stops working also? Hmmm, I don’t know. God wants me to get stranded. Good thing I have other mobiles with my passengers.

The whole process may sound elaborate, but if you keep practicing this won’t take more than 2-3 hrs. It gives me a lot of peace of mind. Some additional preparation I do:

- Note the name, address, contact & hours of operations for food joints.
- Typically write address of Car repair shops like Oreily, Tire shop, Jiffy Lubes etc. Just in case.
- Carry portable tire pump- a 12 V one.
- Note towing options, toll free numbers.
- Highway emergency numbers.

One most important tip as part of planning- Always call hotel before leaving and confirm reservations & local weather. I’ve seen a family denied booking despite having confirmation from Booking.com. The hotel lady told me sometimes 3rd party websites will generate confirmation but not necessary the hotel will have the same information. I make it a practice to always check with hotels before leaving. They can also tell you about local situations.
Enough of Planning, let’s start journey:

Day 1- Dec 25- 3:30 am
I wanted to start late at night so I could reach hotel around evening & get some rest.
Car filled to brim with luggage.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-car2.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-car3.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-car1.jpg


Destination – La Qinta hotel in La Verkin. Total miles 682 miles. Time 10 hr 46 mins. Stopped at 3 places.

Quick stop for loo & coffee, 2nd stop at Barstow for breakfast & 3rd stop at an Indian restaurant for lunch. We had packed food for dinner as well.

Barstow: McDonald's, 1611 E Main St, Barstow, CA 92311

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-breakfast.jpg

Indian Restaurant in St George, UT- Red Fort Cuisine Of India, 148 S 1470 E, St. George, UT 84790

Reached hotel on Christmas day.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zionhoteldec25.jpg

Kids seem to be happy.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zionhotelkids.jpg

Day 2- Dec 26-

Some trivia on ZNP( courtesy Google)- Zion National Park is a southwest Utah nature preserve distinguished by Zion Canyon’s steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through its main section, leading to forest trails along the Virgin River.

Morning started with yawn:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zionstart.jpg


Destination was Zion Visitor center. Normally at the entrance we pay for the entrance fee, but since we’ll be siting 5 National Park we decided to buy the Annual pass. This was a cheaper option.

My goal was to drive the Zion Canyon Scenic drive from the Visitor center. Then go to Zion Mt Carmel tunnel to view Checkerboard Mesa.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion-scenic-drive.jpg

As luck would have it all private vehicles were prohibited for December last week & we had to take the free Park Shuttle. Parked car at visitor center & stood in line to board the shuttle. The shuttle stops at different viewpoints along the route & you can hop on /hop off any time.

Visitor Center Shuttle boarding point:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zionshuttlebus.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zionshuttlebus2.jpg

We decided to go straight to End of route- Sinawava Temple & visit different stops while coming back.

Photography at Sinawava Temple :

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-streamzion1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-img_4036.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-img_4037.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-img_4060.jpg

The great Soumyo

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-img_4050.jpg

Photography at other spots while coming back to Visitor Center:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion2.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion3.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion4.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion6.jpg

We thought of taking lunch at any of restaurants along the route but there was waiting time of 3 hrs. we did not waste time & decided to cover Checkerboard Mesa through the tunnel. Took the shuttle to come back to Visitor Center, hopped into car & drove to Checkerboard mesa.

En route to tunnel:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-ziontunnel.jpg

Checkerboard Mesa: 1st encounter with snow in this trip.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion7.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion8.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zion9.jpg

No Photo is complete without my car in it.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-zionparkwithcar.jpg

Came back to hotel after having lunch/dinner at a local restaurant- If I remember name correctly it was Switchback Grille, 1149 Zion Park Blvd, Springdale, UT 84767.

To be contd...
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Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-img_3503.jpg  


Last edited by CARNAMA : 10th January 2021 at 12:07.
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Old 8th January 2021, 23:53   #2
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Default Re: Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

Day 3- Dec 27- Destination was Bryce Canyon National park. My trusted Garmin guided us. After couple of hours of driving, noticed wiper fluid got frozen. There were no shops, even gas station stops were closed. Anyways stopped once or twice to pour water on windshield & continued driving. It was 3-4 hrs. of drive.

Photos en route

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-routetobryce1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryceroute3.jpg

Bryce is famous for ‘Hoodoos’. Trivia from Google: Bryce Canyon National Park, a sprawling reserve in southern Utah, is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations. We did see snow clad Hoodoos but most of the upper vista points were closed for season.

Photos from Bryce:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryce1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryce2.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryce3.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryce4.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryce7.jpg

Vivek joined us finally: Family to the left.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-brycegroup.jpg

No photo completed without car in it

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-brycecar.jpg

Came back from Bryce & had dinner at a local pizza restaurant & came back at hotel. The difficult part was to load /unload all the luggage every time you check-in/checkout . It was snowing and windy.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-bryce-restaurant.jpg

Day 4 Dec 28 Had breakfast at hotel & destination was Lake Powell & Glen Canyon Dam area. In 2017 we visited ‘Antelope Canyon’ in Page , AZ & missed Lake Powell. It was always on mind to visit lake Powell, so I squeezed into this trip.

Photo at Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam .

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-lp1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-lpmarina1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-lpmarina2.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-glencanyon1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-glencanyon2.jpg

Now as a thumb rule, I always request people to start early and for some unexplained reason we always start late. The consequence is to drive fast & not miss any exit to save for lost time. During winter, it gets dark fairly early & I had to reach Monument Valley at least before 4 pm. I was driving around 85 mph in a 65mph zone. It was a 2-way road & traffic was sparse. I’m not encouraging people to drive over speed limit under any circumstance, and you’ll know why.

A highway patrol car was coming from opposite side, the moment it crossed me it switched on the lights & took a U turn and came behind me. I know the drill, I paid for speeding in 2015 &the fines were hefty – I paid $484.

Something interesting was unfolding inside my car. I was slowing down and pulling to the right to stop & I overheard my wife & Soumyo speaking. They are childhood friends, studied in same school and in a bizarre coincidence we stayed in same apartment community in US. She heard Soumya’s wife speaking in Bengali in children play area, approached her & found out she is wife to her childhood friend. Another coincidence, we found out that me & Soumya live in same area in Kolkata. Our houses are barely 1 mile apart. We might have crossed each other’s house million times. Strange things do happen.

Coming back to conversation.

Wife - “Just slow down and move to the right, the cop will pass”

Soumyo – “She is right, why you’re stopping? Listen to your wife”

No doubt they studied in same school for 11 yrs

I was spell bounded and was begging the cop to take me with him handcuffed. I was ready to go with him than to stay with these geniuses.

Anyways, I stopped & the officer came to passenger window.

Officer - “Good afternoon Sir, do you know why I stopped you?”

Me (hands on steering) “yes officer, I was over speeding”

Officer- “Where you’re coming from & where you’re heading?”

Me “I’m coming from Bryce Canyon & heading to Monument Valley”

Officer “Can I have License please “

He took the license & went to his patrol car.

Soumyo” How much could be the fine”

Me “Based on my previous experience, could be around $400”

Soumyo “I feel bad for you, $400 is too much”

Me “Spare some feeing for you also, I was driving fast to make up for time & also to reach Monument Valley before daylight fades so all of us could enjoy the views. So honestly speaking If I get fined, you’ll be paying half the amount “

Conversation ended with awkward silence.

Officer came back and handed me the license & a form.
Officer “This is a warning for today, I’m not giving a citation but please drive carefully”

Before I could thank the officer, I heard response from joyful Soumyo “Thank you, Sir, have a great day”. Anyone from Bengal would know how we typically spear ‘Sir’ in our accent. It was exactly like that.

Officer smiled & let us go. The moment I started driving heard this comment from wife:

Wife” It’s because of us that he didn’t fine today”

Me” Why do you say that”

Wife “He peeked inside, saw all these luggage’s & must have thought- oh they seem to be 1st generation homeless Indian; they must have saved their lifetime earnings for this trip. If I fine them today, they may have to sell their car & everything else to pay the amount. That’s why he had mercy on us”
I kept quiet as I had to reach Monument Valley on time & within speed limit, so I told to myself ‘Keep Calm & drive on’.

En route to Monument Valley:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-mnmtvalleyroute2.jpg

Trivia on Monument Valley: Monument Valley, a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border, is known for the towering sandstone buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The park, frequently a filming location for Western movies, is accessed by the looping, 17-mile Valley Drive.
My goal was to drive along the 17-mile loop were you could see the buttes up close. But the route was closed for bad road condition as it’s unpaved. So instead took some photo from Visitor center itself.

Towers behind are called buttes:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-monumentvalley1.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-mv2.jpg
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-mv4.jpg

Leaving Monument Valley after Sunset:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-leavingmonumentvalley.jpg

Destination Hyatt Place at Moab , UT. Moab is a small town but famous for a special reason. Moab is off roaders paradise, all Jeep owners come to Moab for enjoying outdoors in their vehicle. There is also annual jeep Safari being held here. Obstacle like Devils Hot tub, Devils crack are all in Moab. One day I wish to come back to Moab if can get a Jeep.

Time from Monument Valley to Hotel was apprx 3 hrs. we were hungry & wanted to eat in Moab as there’s nothing in between. Requested Soumyo to look for Indian restaurant if available nearby, he came back with a name being super excited. Punched the name and google showed time to reach was 6 hrs 30 mins. Found out that it was in Salt Lake City, UT. Requested him to go to sleep and only wake up once the engine had stopped. He obliged.

Found an Asian Restaurant in Moab, food was good.

Last edited by CARNAMA : 10th January 2021 at 12:56.
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Old 10th January 2021, 12:54   #3
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Default Re: Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC( Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

Day 5 Dec 29- Arches National Park

Trivia courtesy Google: Arches National Park lies north of Moab in the state of Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east. Long, thin Landscape Arch stands in Devils Garden to the north. Other geological formations include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape in the middle of the park.

Photos at Arches :

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches1.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches2.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches5.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches6.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches7.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches8.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches9.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-archies7.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-archies8.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches10.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches12.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches14.jpg

Remember no photo completed without my car in it

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-arches13.jpg

Came back to hotel after having dinner at the same Asian restaurant.

Looping back to Capitol Reef discussion which I left at beginning of the thread. Vivek was following a different schedule & he already updated us that he had visited Capitol Reef. He is a good photographer & showed me & wife nice photos of the park.

After he left:

Wife” Why dint you include Capitol reef?”

Me “I was pressed against time & could not accommodate Capitol reef.
Moreover, I felt Monument Valley is more picturesque. So, I included that”

Wife “Since we have come so far, we should include Capitol reef”

I felt she was right. Went back to drawing board. My plan for next day was Canyon Land & to Las Vegas. It was already 7 hrs. drive & now I’ve to include Capitol Reef. Luckily it added another hour.
That’s how Mighty 5 was completed & Capitol reef got added. Kudos to wife as Capitol reef turned out to be scenic and something interesting happened.

Day 5 Dec 30

Trivia on Canyonland National Park courtesy Google: Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah is known for its dramatic desert landscape carved by the Colorado River. Island in the Sky is a huge, flat-topped mesa with panoramic overlooks. There is separate district called Needles but we did not visit as it was adding a lot of time.

Photos at Canyonlands: Weather was not the brightest.


Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-canyonland1.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-canyon2.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-canyon4.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-canyon3.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-canyon7.jpg

Camping anyone !!

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-camp.jpg

Next destination – Capitol Reef- It was 2.5 hr. drive, but the park was indeed beautiful. Unfortunately, the park was closed when we reached but we clicked photos before it was dark.

Capitol Reef

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-capitolreef.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-chimney2.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-chimneyrock1.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-cr2.jpg

Trivia on Capitol Reef courtesy Google: Capitol Reef National Park is in Utah's south-central desert. It surrounds a long wrinkle in the earth known as the Waterpocket Fold, with layers of golden sandstone, canyons and striking rock formations. Among the park's sights are the Chimney Rock pillar, the Hickman Bridge arch, and Capitol Reef, known for its white sandstone domes. In the north are the towering monoliths of Cathedral Valley.

Now we are super hungry & I was desperately looking for restaurants. The park was closed, no vehicle in sight, it was cold & pitch black. I was driving towards Las Vegas hoping the find a restaurant.

Suddenly wife shouted “Indian restaurant”

All of us were in disbelief, Indian restaurant? Here in middle of nowhere? She was confidant it was there & told me to turn back. Anyways, we had no option & I took a U turn. I was afraid that I’m going in opposite direction & I could see no soul. I’m a big fan of Crime documentaries like Dateline, Snapped, Disappeared and things could turn bad very quickly. There was no cell signal, no nearby gas station & we had kids onboard.

After driving for few minutes, we could see light & indeed it was ‘Curry Pizza’. What a relief it was. Had good food & spoke to Punjabi chef. We Bengalis like spicy food & wife went into kitchen & requested chef to add more spices.

Restaurant Photo:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-pizza1.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-pizza2.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-pizza3.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-pizza4.jpg

Now drive to Las Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas multiple times before, so this was only to visit Fremont Street. Typical touristy place. Not to my taste, but just to put a tick against a name.

Fremont Street Photos:

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-lv2.jpg

Reached Hotel near Hoover Dam around 2 am. The receptionist lady was watching ‘Dateline’ alone in the room. I’m not the only one who is into crime documentaries. She even allowed us to park in front of the hotel as it was late. The spot was meant for electric vehicles and she confirmed no guests were coming.

Last day Dec 31- I’ve been to Hoover dam but Soumyo did not. So, went to Hoover dam, clicked some photos.

Hoover Dam Photos

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-hoover1.jpg

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-hoover2.jpg

Now the long drive back from Las Vegas To Fremont. We reached home 31st Dec at 12 am exact & there were fireworks. Definitively nobody was welcoming us, it was for 2020. Little we know how it’s going to turn out for everybody.

I’ve a dash cam & prepared a video collage through Google photos. Hope you like it. Please ignore date/time stamp.



Some of the take ways from this trip:

• Planning must be on conservative side. You cannot always maintain
speed limit on a mountainous road.

• Never drive with near empty gas. There are stretches where you don’t
get gas for more than 100 miles.

• If you’re not staying inside the park, leave before it gets dark. I’ve hard
stories that people cannot drive from Yosemite because of thick fog.
You’ll be stranded.

• Try to book hotels near the park. Options may not be good, but it’ll be
safe.

• Prepare well if you’re driving in winter, parts of parks may be closed,
chain requirements, huge traffic. You don’t want to ruin your holidays.

• If not always, listen to wife. You’ll be surprised.



Thanks for reading
Happy Motoring
Carnama
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Old 11th January 2021, 08:38   #4
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Thread moved from Assembly Line to the Travelogues section.

Nice Travelogue! Thank you for sharing
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Old 11th January 2021, 11:22   #5
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Default Re: Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

Great snaps, and nice narration. American South West has always been enticing for the adventurous, and equally desolate as well. Very rarely I have seen Monument Valley in snow! There are interesting names for many of these structures.

Memorable emotional scene is where the opening scenes of the movie 'Vertical Limit' and there could be many!
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Old 11th January 2021, 20:43   #6
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Default Re: Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

We did a similar trip in December 2015 and each of these places have a charm of its own. Your pictures brings back a lot of beautiful memories.

Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-dac1f197539b44d4ac826776f7a43fcd.jpeg
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Old 11th January 2021, 22:01   #7
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Default Re: Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

This brought back memories, pretty sure some of the photos are nearly identical to ones I have except without the dusting of snow (given it was May..).

A group of us did a bit of a road trip after a conference in Salt Lake City in 2018. Covered most of the same spots really. Your Zion-, Arches-, Bryce Canyon-, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef- and Dead Horse Point parks. We did quite a bit of that driving out from Moab. Caught up with some friends as well near Green River as they were doing field work there. Even remember catching the 2018 Champions League final at the famous (to geologists at least) Ray's Tavern (genuinely up there when it comes to a simple cheeseburger). Somehow managed to find a solitary scouser, wasn't a great game for him mind.

The aforementioned Ray's Tavern - highly recommend!
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-20180524_151458.jpg

The really distinct spires in Bryce Canyon
Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!-20180528_153245.jpg
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Old 12th January 2021, 13:21   #8
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Default Re: Mighty 5 trip in 2019 PC (Pre Covid) - 5 national parks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CARNAMA View Post

Wife” It’s because of us that he didn’t fine today”

Me” Why do you say that”

Wife “He peeked inside, saw all these luggage’s & must have thought- oh they seem to be 1st generation homeless Indian; they must have saved their lifetime earnings for this trip. If I fine them today, they may have to sell their car & everything else to pay the amount. That’s why he had mercy on us”
I kept quiet as I had to reach Monument Valley on time & within speed limit, so I told to myself ‘Keep Calm & drive on’.
Bursting out of laugh with this . Superb travelog with great pictures. Thanks for Sharing.
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