So technically, due to our change in plans from day 4, day 5 is no longer in Utah. Instead of waking up from camping in Canyonlansd National Park, we'd made our way to Grand Junction and were now enjoying a breakfast of waffles and fruit. But, seeing as it's part of the trip I figured I'd still share. I mean, it's not like we teleported home or something awesome like that.
Since we were already so far away from Denver at this point, we'd made sure to plan to see a few things that we'd never really drive all the way out there for (no matter how cool they would be.) First stop was Rifle State Falls Park. A small little state park where the main attraction are three beautiful waterfalls, caves, and a hike that loops around the whole thing. I think it maybe took us an hour (and that was mostly because I take a crazy amount of photos.)
It was absolutely beautiful. The water was crystal clear, the path was heavily wooded and lush, and the caves had all kinds of little areas to climb into and explore. If you're ever in Rifle, definitely make a stop to see it. And if you like golfing, there is a beautiful course right down the street. Despite being from Augusta, Georgia I don't golf- but it was so pretty I would have given it a shot if we'd had time.
After Rifle, we drove to Dotsero to do an easy off roading trail where we'd planned to end the trip with an easy night of camping. Again, plans went out the window.
About 1/2 way up the dirt road, it started to rain- turning the whole road into a slippery, muddy slide. We figured we'd suck it up and push on with our plans, until we noticed that the temperature outside (at 2p) had fallen to a balmy 40 degrees F. There was absolutely no way we were going to be warm enough if everything kept up like that. And lastly, just in case we were still considering not being smart, it started to hail.
Looking back, it's hilarious, but in that moment all I wanted to do was get down from the mountain. Luckily, we still got to see a beautiful part of the National Forest up there and do a little off roading so we still felt the day was a success.
Once we hit the main road, we realized were only around 3 hours from home by that time, so instead of braving the elements we decided to wrap up the trip and head on back to our casa. Because in all honesty, nothing sounded nicer than seeing our puppy and sleeping in our own beds.
Day 4- Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Arches National Park