Driving into Utah my first stop was Orbital ATK. This is a site where they build and test rockets. In front of the facilities, they had many samples of different parts and pieces and where they belonged on actual rockets.
Just a few miles down the road was Golden Spike National Historic Site (see post here). It was a very hot day and I still had a ways to drive until I got to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Layton, Utah.
That first night in, we just relaxed and planned to go to Antelope Island the following morning.
These were the first bison I had seen so far on my trip. My Uncle Dennis told me that during the spring this island is flooded with bison that are crossing the streets and making it very difficult to drive, but a beautiful site.
Fun Facts about Antelope Island
- Bison have been on the island for 100+ years
- Between 500 and 700 bison on the island
- Bison Roundup once a year to do vet checks and auction 150 bison per year
- Pronghorn (Antelope) were native, disappeared and reintroduced
- Around 150 pronghorn on the island
- Desert Bighorn sheep released in 1998, many transplanted to other areas
- Around 100 bighorn sheep on the island
- Fielding Garr Ranch
- settled in 1848
- 133 years of ranching
That night Aunt Hollis and Brandon, my cousin, and I went to the Ogden Raptors Minor League Baseball game. My Uncle Dennis is a score keeper there. They have one of the most picturesque fields in all minor and major league teams and man was it gorgeous!
The following day on our way to Snowbasin Resort, we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on a beautiful river.
Our next stop was the Shooting Star Saloon, which was a local place for my uncle in college and one of the oldest continually operating bars west of the Mississippi.
From there we went up to Snowbasin Resort and went on a little hike around the area. During the winter this looks nothing like this. I’m not a huge snow person, but I’m not sure if this place is more picturesque in winter or summer.
I had an amazing time with the Kunimuras and thank you SOOO much for your hospitality. It was great seeing all three of you and being able to spend time with each of you.
After spending a couple nights with family, I was on the road again. This time I was headed towards Colorado, by way of Dinosaur National Monument (see post here). Here are some pictures of Utah’s beauty & Black Beauty.
Did you know that Colorado’s welcome signs say “Colorful Colorado?”
Driving into Colorado later than originally planned (see Dinosaur post for why), was the first time during my trip that I had driven at night. As it was approaching dark, I thought I was getting pulled over, as the inside of my car turned bright red, I looked in my rear view mirror, but no cops….. Then I looked out the driver’s window and I needed to stop.
I don’t know if that is why their sign says Colorful Colorado, but it sure did make sense to me! I made it safe and sound that night and left bright and early the following morning. On my way out of the town, I got clarification on the quality of the area when there were a few people sleeping on the side of the highway…
From there I headed straight to Rocky Mountain National Park (see that post here). Denver was my next stop where I had the pleasure of having Ryan there to keep me company. We did some touristy city stuff and went to a bookstore to pick out some books.
Next stop was the Dirty Heads & Soja concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.
This is where I learned a very valuable lesson. Altitude and dehydration can do a LOT to my body. I’m sure I didn’t have enough water that day, and I was consuming alcohol as well. BUT, while at the concert, I started to not feel so well and passed out. Luckily, I was sitting down and Ryan was there to catch my head before it hit the concrete. Unfortunately we left the concert early so I could rest and get more water. From that moment on, I was very cautious of my water intake, especially when I was in higher altitudes.
I strongly recommend everyone should visit the Red Rocks Amphitheater at least once in their lives as it is breathtaking.
From the city to the countryside, Evergreen was the next stop. Upon arrival I was greeted by some new friends 🙂
While in Evergreen I was still adjusting to the altitude, but we did go on a few hikes around the lake and through the forests.
After dropping Ryan off at the airport I picked up my dad and from there we were heading north…
Side note: The reason I only did the northern parts of these states, so far, is because I know I didn’t want to try and visit Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter. And I will be back to both these states to do MUCH more!!