Utah for the Eclipse

Utah for the Eclipse

September 30th through October 14th, 2023

We were in Grand Junction, Colorado, and we were headed for Anaheim, California. That put us on a path to Richfield, Utah in time to see the annular eclipse. In fact, we planned it that way.

The drive is through one of our favorite spots, and we had to stop in Green River to eat lunch at The Tamarisk. It was delicious, of course, and we drove into San Rafael Reef country full and happy. It's such a pretty place. We stopped at a pretty rest area to walk Lacey, too. The whole drive was perfect.

Our site at the KOA was perfect. Normally, we have our own roll of turf we put out as a floor for most of the dog pen area but they had their own faux turf there already. We were able to park with the trailer behind us, all in a line, and that's our preference.

We even donated our well-used camping/portable grill for a "real" Weber grill. We used the trailer space to put the grill together one evening, using a small space heater to keep the small space perfectly warm. We love doing projects like this together, and we're really loving the new grill.

There aren't many places in Utah that aren't gorgeous, and Richfield was right in the middle of a very pretty place. Our first touring stop was to Fremont Indian State Park where we did a little hiking and a bit more driving. There are lots of petroglyphs and other artwork from Native American stays in the area, and it's beautiful (though right next to the highway). It was a great time.

The main draw in the area is the Pando, the largest, most dense organism in the world. It is a huge aspen tree grove, all connected as one by their common roots. We were lucky to be there in the fall when the leaves were yellow, and it was beautiful. We even took our new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Overland on a real offroad trail (nothing too serious) to see how it handled a rocky, dirt hill. It did really well! It was cool to be able to change the suspension to get it up and over rocks.

When we got out into the national forest a bit, we got out to let Lacey run around and just enjoy the natural beauty. We just couldn't stop smiling. It's where we're both very happy.

We also drove on pavement to go look at Fish Lake (no boat this time) and other reservoirs. Then we did a long tour through the national forest to get back to Richfield. It was a really nice day.

On a different day, we drove a bit farther to get to Capitol Reef National Park. This is classic Utah, with towering mesas, layered rock, and wide, open spaces. We hiked around a little bit, but not much. Mostly, we drove around to see different sights and to check out the visitor center. We also stopped at a place to enjoy a picnic lunch we brought. The weather was getting cooler already in early October, but it was lovely.

On the far side of the park, there is a long trail that starts with a crossing of the Fremont River. We ran out of time to do the trail, unfortunately, but we did want to check out the river. The Jeep did well, of course, and the water levels were low. It was still a blast to do!

Margot drove across and back again

The real reason for our stay in Richfield was the eclipse, and we were out in our patio area when it started. There were lots of people staying in the campground that weekend for it, and everyone was outside in the chilly, morning air. The eclipse was a "ring of fire" as the moon passed between us and the sun. The moon isn't big or close enough to block it completely, but it got darker as it blocked most of it.

Margot hung her eclipse-viewing glasses over her phone's camera lenses to get some photos. The eclipse only lasted a few minutes, and it was pretty cool. The shadows cast through the tree leaves onto the shade over Lacey's fencing were especially interesting.

We left the day after the eclipse to head to Las Vegas. We really enjoyed Richfield (we went to Steve's Steakhouse three times for their steak ends -- yum!) and we'd definitely stay there again.

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