Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies drove part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante, a National Monument in Utah

map showing location of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

map showing Utah's national parks and monuments

August 12, 2012 The two RV Gypsies drove on UT-12, Journey Through the Byway to see fantastic scenery.

sign; Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument contains 1.9 million acres of land in southern Utah. There are three main regions: the Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Canyons of the Escalante. President Bill Clinton designated the area as a U.S. National Monument in 1996 using his authority under the Antiquities Act. Grand Staircase-Escalante encompasses the largest land area of all U.S. National Monuments.

Grand Staircase-Escalante  scenery
road on the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah

Grand Staircase is a geological formation spanning eons of time and is a territory of multicolored cliffs, plateaus, mesas, buttes, pinnacles, and canyons. This parcel of land dominates the rural southern section of the state of Utah, protecting as much as two-hundred-million years of history within its boundaries.

Grand Staircase-Escalante  scenery
Grand Staircase-Escalante  scenery
Grand Staircase-Escalante  scenery
sign: summit 7,600 feet

Cows run freely in many areas of Utah. They have free range of the road.


The topmost stair of the Grand Staircase - Powell Point

sign: The topmost stair - Powell Point
Powell Point
Powell Point
Powell Point
Powell Point
Powell Point
While driving on the Grand Staircase-Escalante, the two RV Gypsies spotted a very unique campground. (They did not stay there though.)

The Shooting Star Drive-In, just west of Escalante in Utah, is an Airstream Resort with a classic 1960s drive-in movie theater that made its debut on May 6th, 2011. Opt from eight custom-designed Airstreams, each of which resembles an old Hollywood Star’s dressing room where visitors can look through their star's personal shooting script or try on wardrobe pieces.

Ann-Margaret’s cabana was styled after her trailer on VIVA Las Vegas with Elvis. There is also a version of Robert Redford’s digs when he was filming Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Think Western decor with Native American flair mixed with modern amenities like a flat screen HDTV and stellar barbecue out front.

Every evening at sunset, guests can hop into a 64 Caddy, 61 Rambler or a 66 Olds 98 and put the top down to enjoy a drive-in movie with pizza, popcorn and shakes.

The Shooting Star Drive-In
The Shooting Star Drive-In
sign: Welcome to Escalante
sign about the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition

The San Juan Expedition (also known as the San Juan Mission or the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition) was a group of Mormon settlers intent on establishing a colony in what is now southeastern Utah. Their difficult passage through the deep canyons of the Colorado River represents the ingenuity and determination needed during the country's era of western exploration and settlement.

sign: Hole-in-the-Rock Escalante

In 1868, when G. K. Warren created the map shown below, the landscape here remained uncharted territory - one of the few remaining blank spots on the map of the continental United States. And with good reason. A maze of sheer-walled canyons and rolling slickrock mesas defied any but the most intrepid of travelers.

sign: rough country
expedition map
old map showing route of Hole-In-The-Rock Exposition
blank spot on the map for the area of Escalante
sign: the story of the last wagon train
wagon train - stage coach
poster showing the rugged territor of Escalante
poster showing the rugged territory of Escalante

Below: The rugged territory behind the Escalante Heritage Center Hole-In-The-Rock Welcome Center.

The rugged territory behind the Escalante Heritage Center
The rugged territory behind the Escalante Heritage Center
The rugged territory behind the Escalante Heritage Center

flowers and bees

flowers and bees
flowers and bees
flowers and bees
flowers and bees

The two RV Gypsies took a dinner break

laughing clipart dudeLee Duquette entertains on a piano
Lee showing off his
musical talent



Karen Duquette's beverage

Karen's appetizer:
clams, tomatoes, spinach, garlic

Karen's chicken dinner

Karen's appetizer
Karen's chicken dinner

nextContinue on for more great scenery on the other end of the Grand Staircase-Escalante near Boulder, Utah on CR-1668 Burr Trail Road - with very different scenery from the above scenery - plus a slot canyon.