28 Jun

Bruno Meets Moab

Off-roading is one of Bruno’s great loves and something I had been looking forward to on this trip. Southeastern Utah is where we let it all hang loose! And speaking of, we’ve been seeing a lot of Smokey Bear signs along the road. If there’s one thing we’re learning, it’s that Smokey doesn’t like shirts. He only likes pants. Dislikes shoes and absolutely no socks.

Shafer Trail in Canyonlands


After our short stint in Colorado, we headed for Moab, Utah – the jumping off point for two National Parks, rock climbing, mountain biking, 4×4 driving, Colorado River sporting, and countless other outdoor activities. We started with the northern section of Canyonlands National Park, which has the dreamy name of Island In The Sky.

Bruno doesn’t get to use this 4WD very much, and apparently there are tons of off-road trails around Moab to try out. We did some quick research and there is an easy ride called Shafer Trail that sounded just right for Bruno! Here we go!

Up, up, up Bruno goes!

Shafer Trail in Canyonlands

Bruno and Amanda look down upon The Gooseneck of the Colorado River.

Gooseneck - Shafer Trail in Canyonlands

A bit further down the road from this scenic spot is where they filmed the final scene of Thelma & Louise where they drive their car off the cliff!

Gooneck Colorado River Shafer Trail

Amanda and Bruno posing, an unstoppable duo.

Shafer Trail in Canyonlands

Check out this picture of Bruno driving. He wants to drive straight ahead, but there is a giant wall blocking his way. What do ya think he’s gonna do?

Shafer Trail in Canyonlands

You guessed it! He proceeds to use these CRAZY SWITCHBACKS to drive up the wall and out of the Canyon!!

Shafer Trail in Canyonlands

What the heck!?? Good work Bruno!!

Shafer Trail in Canyonlands

There’s tons of beautiful landscapes in Utah. You can basically point your camera in any direction and get something spectacular.

We drove through Arches National Park and it happened to be ridiculously windy that day. Gusts of 50 mi/hr (80 km/hr). I managed one good shot of this incredible double arch, with Amanda in the foreground being pummeled by sand and wind.

We hiked the Chesler Park & Joint Trail Loop in The Needles area of Canyonlands National Park. Arguably the best hike that I’ve done in my life so far. It was 11 miles long and took us around 6.5 hours to do. The desert was predictably hot and dry – we started rationing our 4 liters of water to ensure we made it to the end.

Every corner you turn, the landscape changes to something new. Simply amazing. Ohh look, Travis has captured the moon in his hands! SO MAGICAL!

Snack time with the best views ever!!

There’s a great part of the hike where you’re sneaking along narrow walled sections of the canyon rocks. Pretty fun!

To get to Bryce and Zion National Parks, we take a road that dips into Arizona. We stopped near the Lake Powell Dam to see the celebrated Horseshoe Bend in the Colorado River and were overcome by the number of tourists. TONS of people from all over the world speaking so many different languages. All in this tiny town in Arizona! Bruno is just part of the crowd now.

The Horseshoe Bend is looks similar to the The Gooseneck that we had already seen, but the canyon here is at least twice as big and the upstream dam makes for some brilliant green algae colors.

Take a look at this doofus. Next stops are Bryce and Zion Canyons!

  • At least that Smokey Bear has a little more decency than Donald Duck. Just a shirt and a sailor cap, really Donald?

    Awesome pics, that looks like my kind of picnic spot with a view!

    We were planning on visiting Moab, but then our hosts in Grand Junction offered to take us rafting down the Colorado River. It was hot so we went with the rafting 🙂

    • Travis

      Nice! I’ve been meaning to research whether multi-day rafting/camping trips down the Colorado River are a thing that people do. I suspect that the numerous dams make it difficult to have a continuous journey… TBD

  • Beautiful pics as always FWB! I definitely have these parks on my road trip list!

    • Amanda

      Definitely crossing places off our bucket list as well 🙂 Thanks Mr. Tako!

  • Jay

    Moab is the best! What I like about it is that its pretty far from any major city, which minimalizes the tourist stuff. I’m a big mtn biker and its kind of a mecca for that. We usually go in October when it cools off and the rates magically drop to off season pricing.

    • Amanda

      Agreed – I would love to see it in the Fall / Winter! We also don’t have a bike rack on Bruno, which is something I would absolutely consider if we were heading back. I’ll try to remember that you’re the go-to guy for Moab recommendations 🙂