Posts Tagged ‘Canyonland National Park’

Road Trip: June 21 – July 6, 2002

“The real voyage of discovery consists in not seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

A page from my Journal.

After spending way too much time driving to the end of the road in Canyonlands National Park, I knew most of the rest of the day’s explorations would have to come through the windshield of my vehicle. That was OK because I was traveling through familiar territory that I had been through many times.

My Journal

While I often tried to drive new roads and see new sights on my trips to Texas to visit family once or twice a year, the one I was traveling this time was the shortest and the most used. Shortly after leaving Canyonlands, I stopped in Moab, one of my favorite towns, to gas up and get snacks for the road. Cheetos and a Coke, I suspect, as this is my usual travel fare.

But even in my hurry to get down the road, I did stop for about 10 minutes at Wilson Arch to take a few pictures.  Wilson Arch is about 25 miles south of Moab and quite visible from the road (Highway 191). There is also a half-mile trail leading up to and around it.

The first time I spotted the 46-foot-high by 91-foot-wide arch,, I had been amazed. It simply stood there without fanfare.

Today there are turnouts and interpretive signs noting that Wilson Arch was named after Joe Wilson, a local pioneer who had a cabin nearby. Additionally, the signs say the rock formation is entrada sandstone and that the arch was formed when ice-filled cracks formed and caused parts of the rock to break off. At least that’s my interpretation of the more scientific data.

Whale Rock in Canyonlands National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

On the same page of my journal that I noted my stop at Wilson Arch this day, I also listed the birds I saw, a habit I followed each day of my journey and one I continued in my book, Travels with Maggie about my later RV-ing years. And yes, the same Maggie who made this trip with me is the same one in the book.

The birds this day included American robin, European starling, California gull, magpie, raven, violet-green swallow, Say’s phoebe and pinyon jay, the latter being a species I saw for the first time and which I added to my then-growing life list.

Bean Pat: All about the Everglades https://earthstonestation.com/2019/03/06/two-people-that-saved-the-everglades-earnest-coe-marjory-stoneman-douglas/  Great blog for nature lovers like me.

Now available on Amazon

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion Pepper. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder and is always searching for life’s silver lining. She can be reached at patbean@msn.com

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Canyonlands National Park, Islands in the Sky -- Photo by Pat Bean


“What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” — Jack Kerouac.

Travels With Maggie

Good-byes and hellos with months between hugs from loved family members have long been a part of my life. It began when I left home at 16, continued when my children left home and is still a way of life today.

My five children are not among those who settled down in the same town in which they grew up, the kind of place where your best friend is that freckled-face boy or curly-haired redhead girl who sat behind you in kindergarten.

For people who need roots – and a part of me envies them – it’s a great life. But my children must have had too much of my wander lust in their genes to take this route.

They scattered to the four winds, almost before the ink on their high school diplomas was dry. At one time, I had a daughter in Canada, a son in Korea, a son in Japan, a son in Hawaii and a daughter in Utah. A few years later and they were all scattered elsewhere.

For this mom, who had long dreamed of living on the road as William Least Heat Moon did in “Blue Highways,” this wasn’t a bad thing. When I sold or gave away most of my possessions and took to the road in a 22-foot RV with my dog, Maggie, I wasn’t leaving any child behind.

My living on the road has meant I probably get to see my children more than I would if Maggie and I had stayed put – but certainly not as often as the mom whose children live next door, or even just across town. It means my hugs have to be squeezed into limited visits.

I’ve come to think of my life as one of those bitter-sweet oxymorons. While I love the hugs and hellos I also treasure the good-byes. There’s still way too much of the world out there I still haven’t seen.

I’m always hearing people say they want my life. I usually believe a few of them.

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