Chasing the Totality

Day One: Tucson to the Arizona Strip

It was over a year ago when we began planning a trip to observe the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States in 26 years. Those plans shifted quite a bit over time, and eventually it was me and Dennis on a three-week trip that would include camping with friends in southeastern Wyoming, attending the Wilderness Symposium in Park City, Utah, and countless adventures along the way.

Based on previous experience, we decided to limit our mileage to about 150 a day to leave time to hike and sightsee. Our first day out, we got up early and cruised almost all the way to the Utah border.

We checked out disperesed camping at Lone Rock on Lake Powell, but there were tents and RVs as far as the eye could see. But an evening storm produced a fabulous rainbow.
Among the many tools on board the Taco Grande are a Bad Elf GPS that uses Bluetooth to chart our location on cached maps from ESRI World Images, Open Street Map and CalTopo. We've gotten very good at using those tools to find off-the-grid camping.
A short distance from the lake, we followed a 4WD road to the base of some nicely sculpted petrified sand dunes.
Big Pool
Great views and not another soul in sight. Scroll for a panorama.
We set up camp just in time for a dramatic thunderstorm.
In the morning before it got too warm, we took a few hours to scramble around the dunes.
The swirls and ripples in the rock are not too different from The Wave, except these rocks are lighter in color.
A crown of red sandstone atop the mostly white dunes, with a half moon on the horizon.
Streaks of red, white and gray in the sandstone.
One of many caves in the area.
There's a well-known slot canyon in the area. Is this a memorial to an unlucky canyoneer?
Dennis scrambled all the way to the top for a dazzling view of Lake Powell.
Back at camp, we enjoyed an al fresco shower before getting back on the road again.
Next: Southern Utah