Tuesday, October 13, 2009

AH, the Grand Canyon, some call it the Land to Inspire our Spirit. Yes, this gift presented to us did have a way of inspiring me. As Dick and I walked the rim we remembered many happy times and traced some of our hikes from Hermits Trail, The Tonto trail, Bright Angel, Indian Gardens, the South Kaibab , and stretching to see the North Rim and the rapids of the canyon. Wonderful fall days with cool breezes and memorable times.

Our campground was filled with deer coming right up to our motor home and drinking water from Moe's waterbowl.

One of our friends smiling

Our campsite tonight. We're just out of Flagstaff and have a great spot in the forest...cool weather, turning leaves, and a campfire. . It feels like fall today but I hear its still summer in Phx. Be there tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A great time kayaking around Lake Powell, oogling the houseboats and enjoying the wonderful scenery. The water was like glass when we started but the waves came in to challenge my abilities.

Tour of the Glen Canyon Dam, the second highest concrete-arch dam in the United States. It stands 710 feet tall. Wow this is an amazing work to build and now to provide water and electricity for us. The discharge capacity from the outlet pipes is 15,00 cubic feet per second and from the spillways its 208,00 cubic feet per second. The dam produces approximately five billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power a year enough for about 4000,000 households.

A great view from the dam...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The deer on our trip

Yellowstone visitors

Our visitors at Capital Reef Campground

My favorite dears.......

Lake Powell

Day 80 of our adventure and we just crossed the state line to return to Arizona. Vacation is not over yet but it does feel good to be back to the warm country. It was 28 degrees in Bryce last night and a sunny 75 here at Lake Powell. Dick was ready to put on his shorts and thaw out. We'll head South to the Grand Canyon in the next couple days and then on to Phx.

View from our campsight looking out at Castle Rock.

What a view.

Another hole in the rock as seen from our camp at the National Park. More wonderful rock formations and a beautiful sunset. We treated ourselves to Mexican food and Margaritas in Page; Our taco level was very low. Another great day on the road.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bryce Canyon, Utah
Bryce Canyon is about 18 miles of amazing HooDoos-apillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion. Hoodoo also mean to cast a spell. Surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah, hoodoos cast their spell on all who visit. You can't help but smile as your imagination runs wild viewing the thousands of Hoodoos. It fun to look out and pick out different figures, shapes .
We drove from Capital Reef past the Escalantes to get to Bryce. 14% grade at times. I drove the 12% stuff and left Dick with the big incline/declines. We were glad to get settled in at the National Park.

More Voodoos. I did a couple good hikes today but the temp is dropping and it is cold. Down to 28 degrees last night. We got out the hats, gloves, down vest and warm socks. Tonight we're getting some rain.....hmm maybe snow by morning. Glad we have the propane heater.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef is one of those undiscovered gems. Who knew this little known park would be so beautiful. The geological formations are incredible, the walls of the canyon come alive as the sun sets from bright reds, to clay to grey blue. A real education in the formation of the layers of rocks. This area is called the Waterpocket Fold because of the freeflowing Fremont River and the giant buckle in the Earth's crust that stretches approximately 100 miles.

We stayed at Fruita National Park. Our park had a huge apple orchard available to everyone. Eat what you pick, pay for anything you take out of the orchard. An honor system complete with bags, scale, and paybox. We've had applesauce and apple cobbler. Yum . The deer come in towards evening to do clean up. What a sight with about 15 deer wandering around the park.

Petroglyphs made by the prehistoric farmers of the Fremont Culture. There were so many areas quite well preserved. It was like being on a treasure hunt as many were unmarked and just left for us to discover..

I found this ET like rock formation along the roadside. As you can image the kids were climbing all over it.

Hickman Natural Bridge: 133 feet wide 125 feet above the ground is named for Joseph Hickman who labored to preserve Capitol Reef as a park. Well worth the mile hike past a granary used by the people to store beans and corn gown on the plains below.

Just past this bridge lie the orchards of Fruita, a 19th century Mormon pioneer settlement. Throghout the park we found orchards that had peaches, apricots, pears. Too late in the season for us to enjoy however, the local women do keep up the tradiiton of preserving the fruit and sell wonderful home made pies, breads, and muffins in a little vintage farmhouse.

The Castle is a very promintent landmark. This park was quite a wonderful gift to add to our experiences of this trip.

And to all of my farming friends. This tractor was built in the 1940's in Salt Lake and it was used with horses. We found this in an old blacksmith shop.

Moab and the National Parks

An amazing trip through the arches National Park. There are over 2,000 cataloged arches range in size from 3 foot opening to the longest measuring 306 ft. Of course we only saw a very few but none the less a it was amazing to see the double arches, sand dune arch and delicate arch as well as the many rick formations. Three gossips pictured at the left....remind you of anyone??

Double arch. WOW

Canyonlands National Park, Utah's largest National Park
We entered Island in the Sky and were amazed at the vastness of the canyons from the Green and Colorado rivers to the mtns. The vividness of the red rock and depth of the canyon could not be captured on film. THe 100 mile White Rim Road is for experienced mountain bikers to challenge themselves ( no we didn't even give it a thought)

Shafer Canyon Overlook .. A wilderness of rock
Another beautiful overlook. This park was such a surprise,

Dinosaur National Park

My favorite blue dinosaur near Dinosaur National Monument.

Dick posing by the femur of one of these great dinosaurs. Earl Douglass paleontologist discovered a 200 foot long sandbar layered with prehistoric pland and animal fossils. Can you imagine finding parts of a dinosaur. There are still active digs in the area. roo5 lont wqnegq4 lqy343e 2i5h p43hiw5o4iw plqne qne qnimql rowwilw.
Look closely. Petroglyphs surround the National Park. This specific area had about 40 figures. Awesome find.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grand Tetons

Our view of the Grand Tetons with reflection in Jackson Lake as seen from our campsite at Colter Bay. Amazing formation starting 2 million years ago, massive glaciers up to 3,500 feet thick flowed south from Yellowstone and filled the valley...eroding mountains, moving and depositing huge volumes of rocky glacial debris. The sheets of ice filled the valley, alpine glaciers sculpted the jagged Teton skyline. The glaciers carved the peaks and canyons ancd created many lakes along the base of the Teton Range. We marvel at the beauty and appreciate all that nature provides. While we were visiting, several large lightning caused fires burned around the area giving us the smokey haze reflected in this pic.

Yes, we are wearing lifejackets ( not just a weight gain). We spent an afternoon on a raft trip cruising down the snake river in pursuit of wildlife. Starting from just below Jackson Lake Lodge and taking out at Deadmans Bar Road. Our big find: several bald eagles, lots of beaver homes, and a relaxing time with Mike, our very entertaining and educational tour guide.

Clarence the big bull moose of the Tetons. We had been kayaking through the tributaries of the Snake River thinking we were totally away from civilization when we happened around a corner to this huge guy munching grass and algae from the river.

We could get within about 50 feet of him while nearly a 100 photographers sat across the road trying to get their great shots. A photographer festival was going on at Jackson Lake....I'd never seen such enormous lenses or so many people in photo vests lugging tripods. We could have rented out our kayaks many times over.

Moose Ruby and her calf Mattie entertained us for 30 minutes with their antics. Notice the decorative collar on Ruby not just to keep her classically dressed but to track her travels. The calf was still quite attached to her mom but certainly enjoyed the water. Clarence kept constant watch from just across the stream.

My great viewpoint from kayak. WOW what an opportunity.
See the moose in the background and the glorious fall colors .
My BEST kayak day ever.
Beautiful glaciers all around. Brr cold at night 20's ...sunny days 70's. We're enjoying the sunsets and campfires at night. A great time for Arizonans to appreciate the cool temps and fall colors.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yellowstone National Park

We've been busy and at National Parks so out of the Blogsite range along with spending more time enjoying our selves instead of the computer. being a little lazy .....We enjoyed Yellowstone last week. These beautiful Elk were in the Park at the Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs area. Even a huge bull elk unfortunately he did not enjoy posing for pics.

Dick waiting for Old Faithful to Blow and she did. Another special moment at Yellowstone.

This is 5 o'clock traffic at Yellowstone. Hmm the bison do have the right of way!
We saw 100's of them this day.

Mud volcanoes were bubbling throughout the park some even in the parking lots.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It didn't have the deep colors of our Grand Canyon but quite beautiful with a view of water falls .

Then off to the Grand Tetons. Blog post on that later. We're just outside of Jackson Wyoming and traveling towards Flaming Gorge National Park in the next few days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

60 days out and loving the lifestyle

We're 60 + days out on this adventure. Can you tell we're still having fun??We have visited 7 states and 2 countries...Az, Calif, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana ...... US and Canada.
Traveled over 3,500 miles in our RV and 2,000 miles in our jeep
Spent 3 days in the rain otherwise weather has been a summers dream Listened to trains 44 nights or 70% of our sleepy nights...
Our new motto: I hear the train a coming, this must be our camp site.
Picked at least 2 gallons of wild blackberries and ate nearly that many. Shopped at one major grocery store other than that we have enjoyed farmers markets, roadside stands, fishing boats, fish stands, wineries, the locals and our friends and relatives gourmet meals.
Fun? yes...
Exciting? always
Exceeded expectations? in every way

Glacier National Park .... So many glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, beautiful views....its hard to know which ones to post. Glacier Park was named to describe the 30 to 40 slow moving glaciers that carved awe-inspiring valleys throughout the nearly 1 million acres. We traveled the " Going to the Sun Road " to get the viewing of the dramatic mountain scenery.

At times the roads were narrow, we were detained for road work and crept along due to the rock overhang. Dick had white knuckles, a cramp in his break foot, furrows across his temples .... and he was only sitting in the passenger seat. HMM

No this guy was not really a close encounter but rather on display at the Canadian Visitor Center at Glacier Bay. We did have lots of warnings about Bear sightings and warnings to make a lot of noise and carry bear repellant spray...

This TRex was also on display at the Canadian visitor Center. He was uncovered in Canada with all bones complete . What an enormous display.

View of Lake McDonald the largest body of water in the park.

We camped at the park.. a great pull through spot $10 a night with just a short walk to this amazing view.

I loved the reflection inthe water at St Mary's Lake.

Virginia Falls..One of our favorite falls. We hiked down to see this magnificent view.

Yes, we're still kayaking. Calm waters and picture postcard amazing.