Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Day Trip from Quito to Otavalo

On our first full day in Ecuador, we went on a tour to the town of Otavalo. On our way, we stopped to see the biggest lake in Ecuador, and the kids got to try out a huge swing.
I loved the bathroom signs!
The big attraction in Otavalo is the market. The kids got to try out their bargaining skills, and they did well.
After the market, we went to see Peguche Falls. Last time I was in Ecuador, I didn't get to see this, so I was really happy this time.
And then we went to Parque Condor, where there was a very funny bird show. Unfortunately, it was in Spanish, so I didn't get the jokes...
The birds were really good posers, though!
And very well trained.
After the show, we walked around seeing some of the other birds. This is an Ornate Hawk-Eagle.
And here's what I really wanted to see - an Andean Condor, the largest flying bird in the world!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Off to Another Continent, But First...

I spent some time at the Provo Elks Lodge with my friend, Sally. This has to be the friendliest lodge I have ever visited!
We walked every day, usually on a great trail along the river.
This was almost a month ago, and the cotton from the Cottonwood Trees was all over the trail.
I left my trailer at the Provo Elks Lodge, and drove my truck all the way to my daughter's house in San Diego.
Then my daughter and her family and I flew out of the Tijuana Airport.
Flights are a lot less expensive out of Tijuana than San Diego. We got business class seats for less than the cost of regular seats out of San Diego.
Goodbye Tijuana!
We changed planes in Mexico City -
Then arrived at Quito, Ecuador late at night!

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!