For years, I’ve been wanting to visit the National Parks of Utah – but work-type responsibilities have always gotten in the way. It’s really tough to try to fit big adventures into your life when you’re working 9-5, Monday through Friday. I didn’t want to short-change the parks and, like most Americans, I had a guilt-complex about actually utilizing the meager amount of Paid Time Off most companies provide.

But now that I’m freed from the shackles of cubicle life, I’ve got plenty of time to give those parks the attention they deserve … and now thanks to the good folks at Honda, I’ve got a ride, too.

crosstourHonda is letting me borrow a brand new 2013 Crosstour for the month to take into the canyons and valleys of the Southwest – which is really awesome because I don’t think my 206,000+ mile Accord would have made it there and back in one piece. In addition, the fine folks at Big Agnes are setting me up with some extra toasty sleeping gear for the trip – because as much as I’d like to pretend it’s spring in March, it’s still winter for most of the month. I’m hoping my New England blood thickens up a bit once I start getting into the colder temperatures.

So in a few weeks, I’ll be hitting the road and heading northeast. In a severe change of pace, I’ve decided I’m not going to plan this thing within an inch of its life, and instead just take it day by day and see what happens. I’d like to hit Zion and Bryce first, then maybe visit the Grand Staircase before heading to Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands. If I’ve got time I’d love to visit Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly before I head back west … because I can’t really pass up the chance to see scenery like this:

Monument Valley
Image by Moyan Brenn.

I’ll be doing some quick and minor updates along the way on my Twitter and Facebook pages, so be sure you’re following those to see what I’m up to.

And if you’ve been to those areas and feel like sharing any favorite trails, campsites, or greasy spoon diners – please let me know!

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