Valley of the Gods: Day 1

Another week off from work and another trip to the desert. This time, Valerie and I are heading to the Valley of the Gods, near the Utah/Arizona border just north of Monument Valley. Our plan is to drive to Moab, spend the night, then head down to the Valley of the Gods the next day where we’ll be staying at a quaint bed and breakfast nestled in the bottom of the valley.

From our home in Golden, we headed west over the mountains with a lingering threat of a major snowstorm to contend with. Fortunately, the brunt of the storm had not reached the Colorado mountains, so we were able to get over the passes and into the Utah desert country with only one minor snow squall to slow us down. After a brief stop to take some photos of the Fisher Towers, we arrived in Moab in the early afternoon. We wanted to try to get some sunset photos in Arches National Park. But by the time we got there, the clouds thickened and it began to rain heavily. We waited at the Garden of Eden viewpoint in the hopes the storm would end quickly, but it continued to rain in sheets until near dark, when we finally abandoned our photo trip and headed back into Moab for the evening.

As we drove into town, we saw the flashing lights of a police car as well as a television news van parked in front of the road to Potash. The previous day, someone shot a park ranger on Poison Spider Mesa. The individual got away and now there’s a major manhunt trying to track him down. The road to Potash (the access point to Poison Spider) was closed and 145 people were out trying to track down the shootist.

Priest and Nuns with Castleton Tower in a Rain Storm

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About Mike

I have a passion for adventure travel that began in 1989 with my first overseas trip: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Having never been to a foreign country, Africa felt like being on another planet; I knew then and there I was hooked on travel. Since that time, I have visited all seven continents and dozens of countries. I’m using the experience I’ve gained in planning my own trips to help my clients plan their own adventures through my adventure travel company (http://www.offtrailtravel.com). After working as a firefighter for the US Forest Service in California and Wyoming for three years, I moved to Durango, Colorado where I graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in accounting. After graduation I moved to the Denver area where I worked in a Big Eight accounting firm to obtain my CPA license; soon afterward I began a career as an auditor with the Colorado Department of Education. My background in accounting helped me develop detailed-oriented skills that have been extremely useful in researching and planning my own travel over the years. I think this provides a unique asset to my clients in putting together their adventure travel plans. I currently live in Golden, Colorado with my wife Valerie, who shares my love of adventure travel. I’m an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club where I lead trips for club members and have taught ski lessons in their Telemark Ski School. I enjoy skiing, mountain hiking, trail running, photography, and astronomy. I take any opportunity I can get to explore new places, whether it’s on the other side of the world or just down the road.
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