Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Reef in the Middle of the Desert

The next stop for the WINs was Capital Reef National Park.
One of my favorite things to do here is the Cathedral Valley loop. It's a long drive on dirt, and you have to cross through the river to get to it, so it's best to have 4-wheel drive. I hooked a ride with Maynard and Nancy.
Our first big stop was to see this gorgeous view, and to find the Indian couple that Maynard found last year. Can you see them?
There they are! He looks pretty happy, even though his wife is pretty ugly...
At another one of our stops, we found some great rusty stuff!
We stopped at Glass Mountain -
Which is a large mound of selenite crystals, a kind of gypsum.
The big attraction in this area is the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon.
On another day, Sally and I walked in Grand Wash. It's a beautiful, easy hike.
This guy was a little scary -
But we continued on, and I found some pretty flowers to photograph.
We also stopped along the main road to see the petroglyphs. Capital Reef is probably the least popular of Utah's Big Five National Parks, but it is one of my favorites!

Sunday, June 6, 2021

A Fantastic Visit to Bryce Canyon

My next stop was Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. I met up with the WINs for the first time in well over a year, due to Covid. Our first outing was a difficult hike down into the Bryce Canyon Amphitheater. I guess I was too busy huffing and puffing, or too enthralled by the scenery to take many pictures.
The next day, we went on a hike in nearby Red Canyon.
One day, I led a hike through Willis Creek slot canyon. It's an easy hike, other than hopping back and forth across the little creek.
Kevin got a great picture of me!
Aferwards, we visited Kodachrome Basin State Park, which has some very unusual rock formations.
But we weren't done with Bryce yet. On the next day, we drove to the end of the road, stopping at all the overlooks. This is Natural Bridge.
And then the following day, I led a hike on the Rim Trail in Bryce. It's very easy, with lots of great scenery.
We were very lucky to get a group camping area at Ruby's Inn Campground. Thanks, Maynard, for the picture. (My rig is on the left.)
This little guy visited me a few times. It was a great stop!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Quick Stops in Page and Kanab

Time to head north! On my way, I made a couple short stops, the first one in Page, AZ. This town did not exist before Glen Canyon Dam was built in the 1950s.
There is usually lots to do in the area, but this year everything on the Navajo reservation, such as Antelope Canyon, was closed due to Covid. We did go to see Horseshoe Bend, a beautiful overlook of the Colorado River.
Sally was a lot braver than I was...
We also did the short hike to the Hanging Garden.
Lots of Maidenhair Ferns growing out of the alcove.
Just beautiful!
Next, we moved on to a parking place north of Kanab, UT just outside the east side of Zion.
Within walking distance from our parking place is the Belly of the Dragon, a culvert under Highway 89.
There is an unbelievable amount of etchings the whole way through the tunnel.
I also took Sally on one of my favorite hikes in this part of Zion, the Many Pools hike. However, it has been so dry lately, that it was basically "No Pools."
On our way home we passed a family of Big Horn Sheep. Don't miss the baby mostly hidden behind the rocks. Next stop - Bryce!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

More on Prescott Valley

One of the best things to do in Prescott Valley is to hike at Watson Lake.
The rocks are just gorgeous, but do require some work to get through, even on the trail.
Even the ducks are friendly!
I visited the small zoo in Prescott, but I think I went on a day that was too warm. Most of the animals were asleep or hiding.
But the Bald Eagle did come out and say hello.
One day, 3 of us WINs went to visit the Alpacas at Plum Creek Alpacas.
We got to feed a lot of them!
Sometimes they weren't too interested if your hand smelled like another Alpaca.
Unfortunately, they had all been sheared the day before we arrived.
We got to see all the fiber that came off of them.
The alpacas are protected by 2 gigantic Great Pyrenees dogs, which we also got to meet.
Why aren't you feeding us???
Back at the Elks lodge where I am parked, I continued to walk around Fain Park every day. The highlight was always the cormorants on the dam. Time to head farther north!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Moving Uphill to Prescott Valley

After my month in the California desert, I moved back to Arizona and went up the hill to Prescott Valley. The WINs were here and I joined them for one meeting.
But I was staying at the Prescott Elks, which has this beautiful view of Fain Park.
You might be able to see my rig up on the cliff.
I went down to the park every day to walk.
The cormorants really liked to sit on the dam.
And sometimes I would see a Great Blue Heron.
Or a Road Runner.
And the best thing - there's lots of rusty stuff there, left over from when it was a gold mining area.
There's also a pretty waterfall-
But if you walk to the top of it, you can see that it's created by pumping water up from the lake. But it's still very pretty.
One night some of the WINs came over to the lodge for dinner. Lots more to see in the area!