Friday, September 16, 2011

Travels to Hubbell Trading Post

Wilson Arch

Wilson Arch, with a span of 91 feet and height of 46 feet, is located about 24 miles south of Moab on US 191. The arch is visible from the road and there is a pulloff on the left.  I've learned to keep my eyes open on our travels.  You never know when a sight like this will present itself.  (not my pic)

 We enjoyed our stop at the Hubbell Trading Post.  These buildings are quite well preserved.  This guest hogan was used by Hubbell to take care of friends and travelers.  The hogan was built in 1934 Hubbell started this trading post in the 1870's and expanded the post and ranch. Later a post office was opened.  In 1883, a small pox epidemic killed thousands of local people.  Hubbell opened his home as a hospital of sorts to care for the sick and dying.  Trading was a common practice and soon the store became known for its handmade rugs, jewelry, carvings, baskets and pottery taken in as trade for food and other basic items.  Today, the Hubbell Trading Post is a National Historic Site and is known for its excellent handmade rugs.  An auction will be held this weekend.  Gosh, wish we could attend.  They have beautiful handmade wares.  
Along side of the hogan is a small gazebo.  Looking in we saw a large slate type table and benches.   

 The blacksmith shop still has repaired farm equipment and tools, hardware, horseshoes and the gate with the Hubbell initials.
Dick liked this bread oven.  It was used to bake hundreds of loaves each week supplying bread to the family and to sell in the store.  We only wish it was still functioning.....How we love bread...

Corn, squash, melons, beans, and chiles gro here.  Daghaa Neezi Hubbell's gardener for over 70 years grew fruit and vegetables for the family and workers.  The garden is still full of produce with a scarecrow guarding its veggies.  .  
On to Holbrook.  No stop here just took this snapshot of the dinosaurs in town.  There are quite a few of them as well as enormous amounts of petrified wood.   

We're at forest lakes and relaxing for a few days.  Fished at Willow Springs and got a couple bites but only caught this stick.  Good thing: no cleaning tonight hmm but no fish dinner either.  
Worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Canyon de Chelly 
Touring the visitor center opened another whole new canyon to our trip this year.  There is evidence that people have lived in these canyons for nearly 5,000 years--longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted on the Colorado River Plateau.  At the Canyons mouth near Chinle the rock walls are only 30 feet high but deeper in the canyons the walls rise until they stand over 1,000 feet.  Cliffs rise straight up, overshadowing streams, cottonwoods, and small farms.  The Navajo people still live in these canyons and farm the lands,
We stayed at the Canyon de Chelly cottonwoods Campground.  We had wide open spaces, dump and water, and plenty of chicks, horses, and stray dogs wandering the grounds.  Can't believe there is no fee for the campground although it is posted that there will be a fee in the future.  

Our friendly little horses ran wild.  

 We did the 37 mile round trip drive through the canyon and had gorgeous views.
Deep in the canyon Tsegi Overlook provides a view of the Navajo farmlands.  We saw a small herd of goats in the distance.    

White House ruin was built by ancestral Puebloan people and occupied about 1,000 years ago.  It is named for the long wall in the upper dwelling that is covered with white plaster.  

 Cairns mark our hike to the White House Ruin.

"With beauty all around me, I walk" A great quote as we hiked through this canyon

Spider Rock is an 800 foot sandstone spire that rises from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. W e could see the volcanic core of Black Rock Butte and the Chuska Mountains .  Another great day of discovery of our beautiful America.  We must come back.
Canyonlands National Park

This is Utah's largest National Park.  It is a rugged high desert of rock with spectacular formations and gorges carved over the centuries by the Colorado and Greed rivers.    Island in the Sky District , in the northern section of the park between the Colorado and Green Rivers,  overlooking some 10,000 square miles of rugged wilderness.  Thank goodness for the Cairns marking the trails.   

Mesa Arch Trail.  An interesting walk through an area of pinon, and juniper trees, mountain mahogany, cactus and a plant called MormonTea.  The arch is made of Navajo sandstone and hangs precariously on the ridge of a 500 ft cliff, framing a spectacular view of nearby mountains.   

 Can never get enough views from the arch.
 Fencing along the way is made from downed trees.
Dick enjoying the views.  

 Contemplation rock.  I could have sat here for hours enjoying the views.
 Grand view trail had some interesting rock formations.
 The confluence of the Colorado and Green river are seen in the very distance.
 This interesting hike was very quiet.   Only about 6 other hikers on the trail.
Even the trees bend to look like arches. 

 Views were amazing.  Miles and miles of this canyon creating gorgeous sights.
 Our night time campfire.  Quiet times to end our time at Moab.
Full moon coming up over the mountain.  We are so fortunate to have had this time in Moab.
Moab Utah

View of our campsite lit up by an evening light show from a raft trip.  We were fortunate to get a spot at Goose Island, on BLM for $6. a night.  What a treat to enjoy this light show. We did the raft trip a couple years ago so just get to relive wonderful memories.   

 Moe  and I did a short walk each morning. The bike trail was a convenient spot for our walk and  bike rides.  
Dick liked this walk too, nice level ground and great views.   

 Can you see the sheep.  It is so much fun to try to find the animals and creatures written about in the travel info.
 In the middle of the petrified sand dunes sits Balanced Rock, a huge boulder weighting about 3,600 tons (how does one measure this) perched on a slowly eroding pedestal.  Amazing
 This amazing site.  The double arches have to be one of the most photographed in all of the Park.
 Can you see the climbers on this pinacle.  It was so much fun to watch them scurry up this rock and then stand in awe at the top.
Just looking out and enjoying the views of a great. day.  

My 3 mile excursion to delicate arch had a huge payoff.  The view magnificent.  This arch sits in a huge slickrock amphitheater setting.   The hike was great passing the Parade of Elephants and several small caves.. Could they be arches in waiting.  hmm I didn't read about the steep dropoffs along a narrow cliff.   A great hike.  .  
 I'm the miniature person standing at the base of Delicate Arch.

More good hiking into Devils Garden area.  Tunnel and Pine Tree arches are on this path.  This was a great day....We'll definitely revisit this area and do more of the hikes.  Everywhere we look, there is another amazing view.  AMAZING  how many times did use this word today.   

Steamboat Springs

 Camp Yampa outside of Steamboat.  Beautiful spot with great hiking right on the river.  
Walking through Steamboat, we reminisced all of our ski trips and especially Buddy's run.  Great memories 

 Steamboat had lots of art work.  We especially liked these.
 President Lincoln.  how I wish I could have known this man.
 This moose is made out of lots of individual pieces.
Flowers everywhere.  This is greenland personified.  Enjoyed a glass of wine sitting by the creek.  A beautiful day.
HMMM wonder if anyone else opened up their blog site to find a new format.  Not quite sure what to do with it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gillette Wyoming

Most of the Escapees have headed down the road so we are taking this time to explore the city. Right outside the CamPlex is this wonderful assortment of equipment used to extract the oil and coal from the area. Dick and I are wishing this oil rig was in our back yard.
Dump truck for coal.....Discount tire doesn't carry replacement for these wheels. Each tire weighs in at 6.5 tons and lasts for 2 years.
This engine is on the market in great condition has worked since 1975 with low speedometer mileage of 2,400,000 miles. The owner is willing to negotiate a price on it.

We went out to the coal mine viewing area and watched these huge trucks haul the coal out of the mines to this conveyor and onto the trains. We saw one train 1.4 miles long filled with coal.
This scoop holds 23 yards of coal. It seemed huge.
Dick is thinking about this tire for our motor home. Hmm only $38,000 a piece.
Coal truck at work. This was on Sunday so we're assuming they work 7 days a week hauling coal.
The coal mines are like a maze with roads going back and forth, trucks dumping huge amounts of water on the roads and gargantuan trucks hauling coal out to the trains.

The technology is amazing. Touring this area proved to be quite an education and appreciation for the source for our energy. Gillette considers itself the energy capital of the world. They produce 40% of the low sulphur coal in the US. They ship 400 million tons of coal a year by way of 83 mile plus long trains a day.

Our last night in Gillette and a sunset to celebrate. Made me think of Mother Teresa's saying:"Quiet sounds of Nature. See how nature, trees, flowers, grass grows in silence. I see the stars, the moon, the sun, how they move in silence." Perfect ending for our stay.