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      07-14-2021, 03:23 PM   #1
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Post X7 - Family vacation trip from Austin, TX to Page, AZ

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Taking inspirations from Wild Blue and sygazelle , wanted to do a vacation trip from Austin, TX to National parks near Moab, UT and Page, AZ for a total of 20days. Due to my son's basketball season and unexpected tournament we had to cut short our trip duration from 20days to 10days. We were planning to cover parks near Moab, UT

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but changed the plan to Page, AZ two days before the planned trip because we came to know that Antelope Canyon tours were resuming from July 12th.

Our plan was to not drive more than 7hrs a day. So the trip planning came to something like 3 days drive to Page, 4 days in Page driving around different place of interest and 3 days drive back

We booked Holiday Inn for the cities on the road and Hilton in Page, AZ

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The paces we were planning to visit:

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For planning we used Roadtripper app. It was very clean and easy to look at different place of interests along the route in the app.

Also, our goal was to take it as it comes and not to strictly follow a schedule. We wanted to drive till Page, AZ and drive around from Page to other attractions.

We are a family of four, Me my wife and two kids (Daughter in Middle School and Son in High school). X7 was a perfect fit for our get away. wanted to document our trip so that I might help others who are doing a similar planning. As this is our first Family trip and a long drive we did few amateur mistakes, but will help to plan better in our next trip.


One day before trip: (10th July)

Enable hotspot 3GB free trial and added unlimited packages in the car so that kids are entertained during the long trip. We also bought BMW travel folding tables

Packing:

1) Fridge
[As the places that we would be visiting will be very hot and we'll find little to no Indian restaurants on the way we wanted to have a fridge to store our pre-cooked Indian food and cool water/gatorade/ soda]
2) Battery to run our fridge and dash cam.
3) First aid kit, Emergency kit
4) 10 pairs of dresses each
5) Instant Pot electric
6) Water kettle (drinking hot water)
7) Water (48)
8) Gatorade (24)
9) Trail shoes (4 pairs each one)
10) Trail walking poles - 4
11) Trash bags Big size
12) Trash bags - small size
13) Tissues and toilet papers
14) Assorted snacks - big bag
15) Prepared Indian food
16) Sunscreen
17) Medicines (for all)
18) Kitchen towels and toilet papers
19) Milk - 1 liter, Chocolate milk - 12, Eggs, Coffee powder etc
20) iPads - 4, Laptop, Camera and cables
21) Blanket
22) Empty water bottles
23) Mini Coke
24) Masks
25) Orange juice - 12
26) Windshield washer liquid, windshield liquid spray and pole
27) Fire extinguisher
28) Jumpstart battery
29) Flash light - 2
30) Engine oil - 1 liter (just in case)
31) 4 round caps
32) BMW folding table
33) Duck tapes

I don't have spare tires, so used that space to store item #3), 10), 13), 18), 26), 27), 28), 29), 30), 33

Then the next thing we did is to arrange Battery and Fridge with bungee cord to anchor to the slots on the 3rd row sear (car seat anchor point):

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After that we used all the space to fit other large items. Once done we drew in all the smaller items between spaces with the tail gate closed. Water, Gatorade and orange juice were put in small spaces and corners

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There was a gap between the second row seat and storage cover, so we used a green blanket to cover that space so that the items are not visible from outside

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Its a long day, so will continue my blogging ....
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      07-14-2021, 06:15 PM   #2
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Thanks for the write up and sharing. Iím curious how well the fridge and battery worked? I see mixed reviews on REI.
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      07-14-2021, 09:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DM2CS View Post
Thanks for the write up and sharing. Iím curious how well the fridge and battery worked? I see mixed reviews on REI.
Its only two months with the fridge and battery. But I had left the fridge connected to the battery and then battery to power outlet at home for two months to test for the trip. It didn't disappoint. So far its good. I had hot dog sausage in the fridge for three days during the trip in the fridge and ate it. no issues
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      07-15-2021, 06:17 AM   #4
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Awesome, can't wait for more!

Good job packing there. Tight, conserved, keep all eye lines clear. Good to hear the fridge is working well. I take it the battery is to keep things powered when you're not driving, as it could be plugged into the trunk 12V outlet?

I'm super jealous that you'll get to see some things I didn't, particularly Antelope Canyon. I had been checking the Antelope status every day leading up to my trip, hoping they'd open. Closed for 486 days, due to COVID!!!!!!

Also jealous that you, being in Austin, can hop over to Snow's BBQ any time you want, the other top thing I'm bummed I missed.

If you left on the trip on July 11th and planned 10 days, I assume you're in the middle of it right now. Drive safe, have fun, and we're waiting anxiously to see your report and pics!
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      07-15-2021, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Blue View Post
Awesome, can't wait for more!

Good job packing there. Tight, conserved, keep all eye lines clear. Good to hear the fridge is working well. I take it the battery is to keep things powered when you're not driving, as it could be plugged into the trunk 12V outlet?
That is right, battery is to run the fridge and dash cam running while I'm not driving. battery is connected to 12v connector in the truck to charge it while driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Blue View Post

I'm super jealous that you'll get to see some things I didn't, particularly Antelope Canyon. I had been checking the Antelope status every day leading up to my trip, hoping they'd open. Closed for 486 days, due to COVID!!!!!!

Re-opening of Antelope Canyon changed our entire plan from Moab to Page. Happy I did


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Blue View Post

Also jealous that you, being in Austin, can hop over to Snow's BBQ any time you want, the other top thing I'm bummed I missed.

If you left on the trip on July 11th and planned 10 days, I assume you're in the middle of it right now. Drive safe, have fun, and we're waiting anxiously to see your report and pics!
Thanks ... will keep posting. Hope it brings in practical experiences of long family trip with X7
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      07-15-2021, 11:29 AM   #6
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Day 1 (July 11): From Austin, TX to Sweetwater, TX

Day 1 (July 11): From Austin, TX to Sweetwater, TX - 254 miles.

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Start Odometer : 10,115


Due to the late start we had planned for a shorter drive today and reach Sweetwater, TX before sunset down.

Leaving Austin, TX the roads were pretty good with lots of greenery along the way
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Was interesting to see rain moving towards us

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I was using waze for navigation, because it give traffic situation realtime... most of this stretch was 75 mile speed limit, I wanted to test milage running 75 miles in Adaptive mode

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Car was eating miles without any complain and road changed to two way lane with lots of potholes when nearing Sweetwater. We were able to hear increase in road noise but was not much of bothering.

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I wanted to test wireless charging during this leg of the trip because when my phone used to get hot and shutdown due to over-heating.

To my surprise with phone connected to Car's hotspot it never over-heated during the entire trip. It was warm though. Also another surprise was I ended up using 90% of 3GB data by driving . This data transfer might be a reason for mobile getting so hot

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Wireless charging was big discovery on this trip. I added unlimited data to the Car Hotspot (so not sure if I'll be able to see the amount of data the car use moving forward)

As most of the drive is on empty roads, planning to test sprinted driving and Eco mode driving tomorrow to see if that makes any difference with milage. In Sweetwater topped up gas and this time gas stations had 91 octane as premium (first time for this car)

End Odometer : 10,369

Summary:

Total Miles : 254
Fuel Type : 93 Octane
Mode : Adaptive, Adaptive Cruise
Speed Maintained: ~75miles/hr
A/C : 73
Milage : 19.0
Data: 90% of 3GB data
Wireless Charging : Yes, phone didn't overheat and shutdown. (which it usually does without car hotspot)
Rookie mistake: I packed windshield liquid spray and pole in the spare kit storage. was not able to get it out. so used the ones found in gas station. Planning to get it out during our next hotel stay
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      07-15-2021, 11:09 PM   #7
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Day 2 (July 12): From Sweetwater, TX to Albuquerque , NM

Day 2 (July 12): From Sweetwater, TX to Albuquerque , NM - 456 miles

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While searching for todays drive we saw Costco and Chick-Fil-A in Lubbock enroute to Albuquerque so thought of making it as our lunch break.

For today's drive I waned to see the milage while spirited driving and driving on Eco mode with cruise

So for the first part, from Sweetwater to Lubbock : 128 it was spirited drive and refiled at Lubbock Costco. The milage came to 17.2. I know it would be less but didn't think it would be this less in the highway

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The second part was, from Lubbock Costco to Albuquerque Costco: 328 Miles.

While starting from Lubbock Costco my son dropped his AirPods and it rolled between 2nd and 3rd row seats. We had to move the 2nd row to reach it. While doing so we trigged something to the 3rd row and it started showing an error in the console.

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There should be a kill switch for all the button in 3rd row so that we don't mistakenly trigger something in the cargo area . BMW hope you are listening to this

It was a surprise seeing an alert on road conditions but later learnt that it was a new feature released as part of recent software update
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The rest of the drive was a boring long stretches and driving in Eco mode

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waiting for tomorrow to start seeing the real deal


End Odometer : 10,825

Summary:

Total Miles : 456

Leg one

Total Miles : 128
Fuel Type : 91 Octane
Mode : Sports
Speed Maintained: spirited
A/C : 71
Milage : 17.1

Leg two

Total Miles : 328
Fuel Type : 91 Octane
Mode : Eco Mode, Adaptive Cruise
Speed Maintained: 75 miles
A/C : 71
Milage : 20.0

Looking forward for tomorrow's site seeing...
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      07-16-2021, 10:13 PM   #8
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Day 3 (July 13): From Albuquerque, NM to Page , AZ - 417 miles

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This is going to be another long day of driving with a stop at Four corner monument and then to Page, AZ

After starting the day from Albuquerque towards Page, we were greeted with varying landscape

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Stopped at Subway for quick lunch as it was getting late to the destination

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The total ride was peaceful with traffic at just one small stretch

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Roads in NM were not that great lots of potholes

While crossing Shiprock, saw this majestic mountain standing tall in a plain land. Later came to know some interesting facts about this mountain

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Reached Four square by noon and the entrance was pretty crowded, it took close to 30mins to cross the last .4 miles into the park

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After spending 30mins in the Monument headed to Page, AZ. Reach Page around 5:30pm local time. It was a long day checked-in to the hotel and took much needed rest.

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To our surprise, we got a room overlooking Glen Canyon Dam and Wahweap .

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With this our drive to Page, AZ is complete and we'll be visiting local view points tomorrow.


End Odometer : 11,242

Summary:

Total Miles : 417
Fuel Type : 91 Octane
Mode : Eco, Active Cruise
Speed Maintained: 65Miles/hr
A/C : 71
Milage : 21.4

First time seeing more than 21mpg

Total 1127 miles from home
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      07-16-2021, 11:53 PM   #9
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Day 4 (July 14): Sightseeing around Page


After long drive from home our sightseeing starts today. We wanted to hit three famous places today 1) Horseshoe Bend, 2) Glen Canyon Dam overlook and 3) Wahweap. All these are within 15mins drive from Page, AZ

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1) Horseshoe Bend

It was a decent walk (.7 miles) from the parking lot to the Horseshoe bent. There were quite a few people but not crowded. The view was amazing and I know the pictures doesn't do justices . The temperature was soaring high close to 100F

Entry to the park is $10 per vehicle
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Plenty of parking space

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Unique rock formations
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Canyon cliff wall
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A shot walk to the rim
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Horseshoe Bent:
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We were already tired from this short trip. might be due to the heat

2) Glen Canyon Dam overlook

Its a small walk climbing down stairs to reach the Dam overlook. Its a small area but worth the view.
Parking overlooking the dam
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Direct view of the dam
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3) Wahweap (Glen Canyon National Park)

Glen Canyon National Park is huge and Wahweap / Lake Powell is a amazing place to drive through and look at all the activities down that place.


Drive over Glen Canyon Bridge:

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Wahweap Entrance:
We had National Park Annual pass so it was a breeze getting in


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Drive to Wahweap
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Dam view near the bridge
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It was a nice time spent, came back to the hotel for a welcome rain and temperature drop
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      07-17-2021, 10:08 AM   #10
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Excellent! Do hope you're having fun. You're choosing some good sites. That walk to Horseshoe Bend must have been sweltering in the July Arizona heat.

I can only guess that you're doing Antelope Canyon and North Rim over the next few days. Can't wait to see!
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      07-18-2021, 06:04 AM   #11
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Thanks for sharing!! Looks like an awesome trip! I found the driver assistance on the open roads (traffic included) to be very useful as it reduces driver fatigue but be careful with it on in construction sites. Looking forward to the rest of the trip! Enjoy!
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      07-18-2021, 09:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks for sharing!! Looks like an awesome trip! I found the driver assistance on the open roads (traffic included) to be very useful as it reduces driver fatigue but be careful with it on in construction sites. Looking forward to the rest of the trip! Enjoy!
Agreed with the driver assistance . I have inactivated steering intervention, So it doesn't rattle me . It takes away lot of fatigue
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      07-18-2021, 09:34 PM   #13
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Day 5 (July 15): Sightseeing around Page - Antelope Canyon and Big Waters - Part 1

Day 5 (July 15): Sightseeing around Page - Antelope Canyon and Big Waters - Part 1

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Today both the places turned out to be an amazing experience. So splitting this into two parts. Part 1 - Antelope Canyon tour (less driving) and Part 2 - Big Waters (all driving)

1) Antelope Canyon

We had booked our tour for Antelope Canyon (upper) at 1:20pm and should report at the tours before 30mins from the tour time. It was a lazy morning, had our breakfast at the hotel relaxed for the day. We started 12:35pm and reached on time. The tour costs $90 per person and in that cost $8 dollars should be in cash. The entire tour is for 90mins, 30mins for drive to and fro and 60mins in the Canyon.

Open ground parking:
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It was super hot when we started so had sunscreen applied. Its mask mandatory, so all were wearing mask. The tour started promptly in a 4x4, due to covid restrictions, only 6 can be in a vehicle and per tour guide, so we and another couple were in one vehicle. It didnít feel hot once the vehicle started.


It was a 3 mile ridge (approximately 15mins) to reach the Antelope Canyon entrance.

Drive to the entrance

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Entrance to the Canyon:
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Our tour guide looked very knowledgeable in photo spots. And helped in taking and teaching us to take photos inside. The place was very cool inside and views very breath taking. We are amateur photographers and it didnít do justice to what we say, it was simple amazing.

Girl in Night Dress, It was a picture of the entrance in a specific spot

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Light illumination and contrast

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King Kong

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Canyon is wider near the base and narrower in the top like a triangle


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Monument Vally at sunrise

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Abhiram Lincoln

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Waves

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Dragon

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Jupiter cyclone

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Getting narrower near the exit

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Walking back to the entrance on top of the Canyon and getting down

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Our tour guide Sherry, very helpful and patient while we were taking pictures

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Antelope Canyon is a nice place and should be in all our list to visit.

Next, in the evening we are planning to go to Glen Canyon- Big waters to check if it offers something better... that would be part 2
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      07-19-2021, 09:19 AM   #14
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Wow, that's awesome! I'm jealous it was closed when I went through--will have to go back!
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      07-19-2021, 04:30 PM   #15
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Day 5 (July 15): Sightseeing around Page - Antelope Canyon and Big Waters - Part 2

Day 5 (July 15): Sightseeing around Page - Antelope Canyon and Big Waters - Part 2



1) Glen Canyon - Big Waters

Glen Canyon - Big waters was a complete surprise. The Nation Park is so huge and vast, you’ll feel insignificant to the mountains and valleys. There is no clear marking for the entry and the visitor center was closed before we reached, so we did couple of drive by to see where the entry was. Finally we found and drove inside. It was a vast land with dirt road. You’ll be able to drive close to boulders, rocks, gravel, mountain, sand etc, it was a complete game changer. We drove close to 4 miles inside the park and soaking in all that the park can offer. It was very windy that day.

X7 was surprisingly planted and well behaved while driving in gravel and dirt road. I didn’t try anything crazy as we were in a remote place, without cell coverage and 4 miles from civilization


I would highly recommend taking your car inside this park and have some real fun!



When you start driving past Glen dam and in SH-89 you’ll get a glimpse of the canyon

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Once you cross Utah border, opposite to Big waters visitor's center there is a small dirt road that leads into the park

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Then you are lead into endless dirt road with mountains and valleys


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We were able to drive very close to big boulders along the way

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The mountain that we drove close was so big and magnificent

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For the size comparison of the boulder (its bigger than x7)

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We spend some time walking and taking in what the nature has to offer

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And we saw this gem while driving back

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All in all Glen canyon blew our mind and there is nothing that we have experienced as close as this. It left us feeling insignificant and small in a good way. Glad we were able to see it and experience it. We are in loss of words....
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Last edited by Mail4loys; 07-19-2021 at 04:45 PM..
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      07-19-2021, 04:46 PM   #16
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Took this video of X7 DHP in action on the Glen Canyon - Big Waters dirt roads

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      07-20-2021, 09:49 AM   #17
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What an amazing trip journal. Thanks for sharing!

I noticed that you did not have a chance to visit Santa Fe. That would have been a phenomenal experience. Looking forward to more pictures.
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      07-20-2021, 10:11 AM   #18
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Amazing trip. Great photo journal.
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      07-20-2021, 10:58 AM   #19
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That's an epic write up
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      07-20-2021, 11:52 AM   #20
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You made the Bimmerpost front page! Looking forward to the next day's writeup!
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      07-20-2021, 12:52 PM   #21
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Man, really inspiring me to take a road trip from
Houston along the same route. Just flew to Albequerque to visit Ojos Spa resort in Santa Fe for the wifes birthday. As much as I love to drive the wife hate it and would rather fly.
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      07-20-2021, 02:29 PM   #22
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What a shame you had to cut your trip short, but fantastic nonetheless!
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