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As you can see in the map on the left we didn't make it too far south from our previous location of Snow Canyon State Park in Utah.

We did however make it into a brand new state for us (our 45th), Arizona!

We made reservations at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campground located in the middle of the Virgin River Canyon. We are 1100' lower in elevation than our previous campsite which should bring our overnight tempuratures to several degrees above freezing.

Surrounded here by tall grey and red rock mountains that easily tower 1000' above us, it acts like a natural amphitheater. With Interstate-15 less than a mile away you can hear the semitrucks at night as they bounce their way over the concrete bridge spanning the nearby Virgin River. It's not loud enough to disrupt our sleep though.

The Virgin River winds it's way around just behind our campsite, albeit several hundred feet below us in a deep ravine. There is a hiking trail here that starts just a few feet from our campsite that makes it's way "down" to the river. The only problem I see with hiking that trail is that eventually you'll have to hike your way "back up" to return home, never a fun time as far as I'm concerned!

The entrance into the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area

Only 1 in 10 campsites here are equipped with their very own shade pavillion.
Guess what, ours has one, imagine that!

Our new Starlink satellite dish has an unobstructed view of the northern sky here...

...and with that comes speeds we NEVER SAW when previously using cell phone signal.
That makes it easy for us to DOWNLOAD YouTube and Amazon Movies to watch,
plus UPLOAD photos and videos to include in the blogposts.

MONDAY - Today a routine 10-mile trip into town to purchase gasoline turned into quite a scenic drive.

As you can see from the map below, the section of I-15 between the Virgin River Canyon Campground (upper right) and the Eagle's Landing Travel Plaza (lower left) where we purchased gasoline, goes through some rugged terrain.

What you can't tell from the map is that the roadway doesn't go "up and over" the mountains, it rather winds it's way "through them" the same way the Virgin River has for thousands of years. It's hard to imagine the little river behind our campsite carved out this rather wide path through these sandstone mountains. In one stretch the roadway is directly above the river for a good amount of distance.

Let me share some photos of what it looked like from ground level.


Here we go! This is the northern entrance to the gorge.
Nearing the middle of the gorge we came upon a wide spot.
This is today's meager Virgin River which created this gorge and canyon.
Coming out the southern end of the gorge is nothing but wide open flat land.
We've purchased our gas, now it's time to head back home through the gorge.
We are just about back home because I recognize that mountain face ahead.
Yep! This is our exit alright. Know why I recognized that mountain?
Because at sunset the last two nights I've been staring at it from our campsite.

TUESDAY - If a "picture is worth a thousand words", then what is a video worth?

Yesterday's still photos just didn't do the canyon justice, so today we're going back into town (to eat lunch) and will attempt to video our return trip coming through the gorge with the sun at our backs.

After lunch while I started working on the video Tricia went for a little walk out behind our campsite. She didn't walk all the way down to the river, but she did get close enough to take a few photos of the neighborhood.

This is how the trail starts out fron the campground,

You had better be careful because there are lots of things trying to hurt you out there.

These are always just nipping at your ankles.

Somewhere at the base of that cliff is the Virgin River.


Even after putting the video clip of the Virgin River Canyon through an excruciatingly slow image stabilization sequence in my iMovie program I've come to a very obvious conclusion:

Mounting my action camera to ROVER's side view mirror might work fine while driving 25MPH along a smooth state park road, but traveling 60MPH down a typically bumpy Interstate Highway is not going to be a stable enough mounting point for taking videos.

You'll see what I mean when you watch the following video.
Again SORRY! I'll eventually get better at this, I promise.

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