“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.”
— Sun Bear, Chippewa

This is the second part of the journey that took us through the green landscapes of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana all the way to Wyoming, we now make our way south to the red lands of Utah. This part of the trip will take us through Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park in Utah. And it will end by a stop in Great Basin National Park in Nevada.

Bryce Canyon National Park

With its incredible colors, and its crowds of “hoodoos”, a rock formation that looks like characters, Bryce Canyon is quite a unique landscape. It’s technically not a Canyon but was formed the erosion of drainage through this plateau. We hiked around the rim and then made our way down. We then got to see one of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen, thanks to all the rain clouds storming through the area.

Zion National Park

The next step takes us to the incredible red rocks of Zion with its steep cliffs. We went up to Angel’s Landing. The very final part of Angel Landing is probably one of the scariest parts of a hike that is easily accessible in the US. That part was closed as the trail is up the ridge of rock with drop-offs on each side and there is only probably 3 feet of width. And there is real danger as there have been at least 17 documents deaths. We did get amazing views from Scott’s Lookout and that was good enough for me!

Finally, we hiked the Narrows, an incredible hike up the Virgin river inside a slot canyon where you are basically in the river the whole time. Quite unlike any hike, I’ve ever done.

Great Basin National Park

One the way back to Oakland, we decided to stop in Great Basin National Park which I was not very familiar with. It turned out to be a really nice park. It doesn’t draw the big crowds of other parks in the West, but it’s quite nice for that. Being in a high desert, and really far away from any city, the sky was truly astounding. We could see the milky very easy, as well as the Comet Neowise.

The park also protests several groves of Bristlecone Pines which are some of the oldest living organisms on Earth. Some trees here can be as old as 5000 years old and we saw several that were older than 3000 years.

I tried to do some astrophotography but these were my very first attempts, and I have a lot to learn how to take better pictures.

The Loneliest Road

The final stretch of the trip was to drive on Highway 50, also dubbed the Loneliest Road in the US as it is isolated and you only a few towns on a stretch of over 400 miles (650km). There a stretch of 112 miles where there is only one gas station, the Middlegate Station where we stopped for a nice burger.

The End

That’s it. After about 3500 miles of driving, the journey has to come an end, and we make it back to Oakland. If you’ve reached this far, thanks for reading, and thanks to my wonderful & amazing travel partner!