Fall 2016: Montana through Arizona

You might have heard that in Minnesota, we have cold winters.  This is true, as you can see here.  The flip side is that we have great summers with moderate humidity and warm temperatures that approach being hot on only a few days.  This is a great season to get out and enjoy our 10,000 lakes and/or 10,000,000,000,000 mosquitoes.

But that’s not good enough for me; I wanted a longer summer.  So, with summer waning, I packed the car and headed out (mostly) southwest where the weather for me would still be summer-like, while my fellow Minnesotans back home would be looking forward to the first freeze of fall.

My journey took me to the states of Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Arizona.  I visited four national parks and a number of national forests and wilderness areas.  (Astute readers will note that Wyoming and Montana do not fit my “longer summer” motif – especially when climbing above 10,000 ft – but I wanted to visit them anyway.  My second “summer” would need to wait.)

My adventure included the following destinations:

That sounds like an adventure to me.  I hope you enjoy it.

Cairns: In case you didn’t know, cairns are piles of rocks, usually small ones such as you see below, that mark a trail where it is impractical to have a trail on the ground.