Saturday, April 25, 2015

More of Arches and Canyonlands

While in Moab, I spent a day in the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands NP. From the end of the road, Grand View Point, you get a good view of Monument Basin.

And you can see the White Rim Road down below. You can also see why they call it the White Rim.

Zooming in on some of the "Monuments."

This is the view from the Green River Overlook.

The Green River merges into the Colorado River farther south in the middle of the park.

I went out to look at Upheaval Dome. It's so big I had to put two pictures together - that's why the skyline is so rounded. They don't know how this was formed - either from a meteorite 200 million years ago, or a slow-moving salt dome even older.

The next day, I went back to Arches to do some more little hikes. No trip to Arches would be complete without a little hike out to Landscape Arch. A piece of it fell down in 1991, and now you aren't allowed to walk under it.

I also did the little side-trail to Pine Tree Arch -

And Tunnel Arch.

You can see Skyline Arch from the road.

And I cheated and got a picture of Delicate Arch from the overlook.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Moving On to Moab

Moving on to one of my favorite places, Moab, UT, I scored a great campsite in loop A of Sand Flats Recreation Area. I got there on a Wednesday, and there were plenty of empty spaces, but by Friday all 124 spaces in the campground were full.

Sand Flats is mostly for jeeping and bicycling, and I had fun watching the jeeps up on the huge sandstone rock by my campsite.

It was also popular to climb the rocks in the evening to watch the sunset.

The next day I ran around nearby Arches National Park visiting some of the iconic scenes. I'd seen all of them many times before, but I never tire of them. This is Park Avenue -

And nearby are the Three Gossips.

Double Arch is one of my favorites.

The view looking up.

In the same area are the Windows. This is North Window.

It's amazing how huge it is.

And here's Balanced Rock.

The next day it got really cold - too cold to do any outdoor activities. I could even see snow from my rig!

Fortunately, there was a slide show and lecture by famous photographer, David Muench. I was really excited to meet him - I've been admiring his photos for decades. The show was all about photos he has taken in the National Parks.

I bought his National Parks book to send to my father. Since my father is a photographer, I was hoping he would like the book, and he did.

I even got it autographed for him!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poking Around Green River

I stopped for a couple of nights in Green River State Park in Utah. There's not much in the state park, other than a 9-hole golf course, but I used the stop to see some things in the area.

I drove north along the Green River and saw some beautiful scenery.

There was a even primitive campground up there. How's this for a view?

I also drove up Sego Canyon to see the prehistoric pictographs and petroglyphs. I don't know how real they are. It looks like a lot of them have been redone, and there were lots of old signatures and dates too.

The pictographs were on a high wall, so are probably more real.

A close up.

Nearby, there were more on some private land, but there again, I don't know how real they are. Probably the lighter colored ones are true prehistoric petroglyphs.

I also drove up Black Dragon Canyon to try to find the dragon.

Turns out the dragon is really red, not black. It also looks more like a pterodactyl, but since they were around 150 million years ago, I don't know how men got this image 1000 years ago.

Next - on to Moab, one of my favorite places.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Quick Trip Through Zion National Park

Well, quick for me anyway... I love this park and could spend a lot of time here. Thanks to fellow bloggers, Jim and Gayle, I found a great camping spot west of the park. A little far away, but very nice, with a great view.

I can't believe how crowded the park has become. I went in several days, very early so I could get a parking place at the visitor's center in order to ride the shuttle. I went to Weeping Rock -

Crossed the Virgin River on my way to -

The Emerald Pools.

The Kolob Terrace Road was closed for reconstruction most of the time, but open on the weekend. I went up and walked a little of the Hop Valley Trail.

Back in the Valley, one of the shuttle stops is at the Court of the Patriarchs -

Where this big guy was strutting around. Too bad it's not Thanksgiving...

For the first time, I walked the fairly new Pa'rus Trail along the Virgin River.

Lots of wonderful views, including some of the Watchman.

I had not hiked this trail before because I thought it would be in the trees, but I was really wrong. Great, open views.

When Jim and Gayle and their blogger gang were at the park, they went on the Many Pools trail in the upper part of the park. I thought it looked interesting and actually found it with the help of a nice ranger at the Visitors Center. There really are many pools.

One last view of the amazing Zion spires.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Another Page in Page

Page, Arizona is one of the newest towns in the country - it was founded in 1957 when the Glen Canyon dam was built here on the Colorado River.

The view of the river below the dam.

I went on a little hike above the dam.

Someone spent a lot of time marking the trail, and it was a good thing. It would be hard to follow over the red rock.

The trail ended at the Hanging Garden.

And then I went on the short hike to the Horseshoe Canyon overlook, downstream from the dam. It's one of my favorites, but I got here a little too early - the sun wasn't all the way down in the canyon yet.

I had a great spot at Lone Rock.

It's amazing how low the water in Lake Powell is. This is the water level now -

And this was the level when I was there in 2008. Of course at one time the water was up to the top of the white area.

No wonder the GPS thought I was underwater!