Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park

While staying at Arches National Park, Alice and Robbie told us we must visit these two places.  They were only a little over 30 miles away, so a day trip was definitely in order.  Just when we thought we had seen it all, and nothing more could compare, we visited these two places, and we were unprepared for all we took in that day.  Even on the way in to Dead Horse Point State Park, the beauty was such that I kept wondering when I was going to come to the booth to pay the entrance fee.  It seemed to be several miles of such beauty that I couldn't believe we weren't already there.  Then finally we saw the sign and then the booth.  So, we stopped here first and spent a couple of hours before heading to Canyonlands National Park.

You probably think this is a very funny name for a state park.  There is a legend about how it got it's name.  Actually, there is more than one version, but one of the versions is that cowboys corralled wild mustangs to the point, then chose the ones they wanted and left the rest to die.  They were fenced in and couldn't get out, so even though there was water within their close vicinity, they couldn't get to it.

We are at the overlook, so pretty!

I loved the colors here. 

I know many people don't believe God had a part in this.  How can you look at this and not believe!

Looks like natural stairs.  We just loved the rock formations here!

After we left the State Park, we headed a short distance to Canyonlands National Park.  Canyonlands is a very large park and there are three districts.  Since there are no roads in the park that link them to each other, it would take 2 to 6 hours to travel between them.  We visited "Island in the Sky" which was the closest to us and considered to be the easiest one to visit because there are so many overlooks. 

There's those mountains again!  So pretty and the rock formations are beautiful.

Kinda looks like someone dug this out. 

Another beautiful overlook

This is one of those photos I'd love to put in a frame.  Loved the foliage here.

Another overlook.  There are so many in this park.

Ok, it's hard to choose, but I think maybe this one is it.  Aren't the colors something?!


Another overlook, something different everywhere you look.

This panoramic photo was taken by Al while at Dead Horse Point State Park.  For some reason, it got out of order when I loaded it up.  He does a  great job on the panoramas.  I just loved the contrasting colors here.  I have to confess, it has been hard for me to distinguish some of the photos from the two parks.  Those mountains are everywhere you go and so are the red rocks.

Hope you have enjoyed our blog this past year.  We are now home and I plan to take a break from blogging.  We hope to be able to continue our journey again starting in late October.  Meanwhile, we plan to enjoy our time here at home and hope to spend time with our family and in particular our wonderful grandchildren.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We are Home Now!

Al and I arrived at our home yesterday.  We had not planned to get home quite this early, but we were dodging some bad weather predictions in various areas.  First, when we were in Colorado, snow was predicted, then while in Kansas, where we spent a few days,  we learned there were some high winds and possible tornado warnings.  We decided the best thing to do was keep heading north and east.  So, as planned (although not quite as early as this) we headed to Goshen, Indiana.  We felt like we were being chased from one state to another.  Not good weather there either, but we stayed for 3 days and then decided we were already close enough to home and that it was the best place to head.  Since few campgrounds were even opened yet between there and home, we couldn't wait to get home at that point.  It was cold everywhere including here when we arrived.  However, the warmth of a nice fire in our home makes everything seem so right.  We love being home!  We had a wonderful journey these past 6 months.  I am in such awe of it all.  I know I keep saying that, but honestly we feel so lucky and thankful to have seen so much of this beautiful country this past winter.

Given all the devastation in the Southern and Southeastern states from tornadoes, I am so glad we went the direction we did.   It might be colder here right now than normal, but we expect it to warm up in the days ahead.  Anyway, it's nice to be back home and have the warmth of our family around us.

Since we have been busy getting our home settled again, I haven't posted everything from our trip.  We visited Canyonlands National Park as well as Dead Horse Point State Park while at Arches National Park.  It was only about 30 some miles from Moab, so it was a must see.  I will be doing another post very soon.  More amazing photos, I promise!

Have a very happy Easter everyone!  Check back soon! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Arches National Park, Part II

Notice the beautiful La Sal Mountains.  I fell in love with them!

We spent a total of 5 days at "The Devil's Garden Campground" in Arches National Park.  Like I said in my previous post, we had a great visit with Robbie and Alice and also went on a hike together.  The trail was called "Park Avenue".   Robbie suggested we park one vehicle at our starting point and another at the ending point.  Since the trail was about a mile, we thought it was a good idea.  We took our time and Al and I both took lots of pictures.   Not sure it reminded me of the real Park Avenue, but it sure was beautiful.

After our hike and tour of the park we all rode into town and stopped at a nearby RV Park where another couple from the Montana Group, Dennis and Jackie were staying.  We all decided to all go into town and stop at a local pub where they were known for their great chicken wings.  We all had a great time.  All six of us were at the Quartzite Rally in January, where Robbie and Alice were the Wagon Masters, so it really is amazing how many people you meet in one place and run into again in another.

A few days after we arrived at the park, another couple, Laurie and John who we had met while in Lake Mead, arrived at the park.  We all got together that night at Robbie and Alice's for a campfire.   We were happy that we had a chance to spend some more time with them before we left, especially since they only live about a half hour from our home.  Whenever we run into people who have NY license plate, we almost always stop and ask them where they are from unless they beat us to it.  They had stopped by our campsite at Lake Mead.  Not only did we see them there, we also got together with them in Zion.  It seems we are visiting the same National Parks before heading home.  Not really a surprise though, because the weather was really getting better at all of these places, so now was the time to go.  We met up with them for dinner one night while at Zion.  Also, we went for lunch together at a great Mexican Restaurant in Moab one day while in Arches and did a little more touring of the area with them as well.

Al took this beautiful landscape photo of multiple arches.  Of course, this is why this is called Arches National Park.  There were so many arches there and some were very tough to spot.

Three quarters of the way over on the  right, the oval rock is called "balanced rock"  Like many of the rock foramtions, you can spot them from various places in the park.

Another of Al's landscape photos
More rock formations, so beautiful against the blue and white mountains!

This is the Park Avenue Trailhead. 

More of Park Avenue. 

This was one of Al's favorites.  It amazed him how the rock is balanced up there.  It is appoximately 200 ft. up in the air.
On our hike we saw these three characters.  They are called the three gossips.  I wonder if they were gossiping about us?

Can you see the arch here?

Our friends and hosts, Robbie and Alice taken just before we said goodbye.  We were sorry to go, but all good things eventually come to an end and it was time to move on.  We have met some great people since starting out on our little journey and the nice thing is, we know when we say goodbye, we will eventually meet up with them again, perhaps in a different place. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Arches National Park, Day 1

We arrived at Arches National Park on a Sunday and we knew we had a long drive through the park to our campsite. It was about 18 miles through the park and some of the most spectacular scenery we have ever seen. Our Montana Club friends, Robbie and Alice work at this park during March and April so we were visiting them and seeing this beautiful National treasure at the same time. Like usual, we took soooo many pictures, and there is just too much to put into one blog, so I will do another blog in a few days with more even better pictures. The following pictures are simply ones I took from the truck on our way to our campsite. This drive is called "Robbie and Alice's driveway." Actually, that's what Robbie calls it because it is the most beautiful drive and could you just imagine a driveway like this to come home to everyday? That is exactly what it is like for them for two months of the year, every year. I promise, you will be even more amazed at the photos we took in the days following our arrival.
I decided not to edit these photos, so you will see parts of the truck and most were either shot through our front windshield or out the passenger side window.

This was one of my favorites shot from the truck

Each bend in the road brought us something new and different.

See what I mean!

Aren't these rock formations something.

Lots of arches in this park. Here is one we saw on our way in.

This is our campsite. We have beautiful scenery all around us.

Stay tuned for more pictures of this gorgeous place. There is no way I could do this place justice with one blog entry. This is only a preview, as we were amazed at the enormity of it all. Not shown in any of the pictures, are the royal blue snow-covered mountains against the red rocks, I fell in love with them. They will definately be in my next post. So, check back with us soon. Bye for now.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

This is called Natural Bridge. I loved the setting with the trees peaking through and the snow. I have been trying for a few days now to update the blog, and show you pictures of an amazingly beautiful place we visited, while staying at Zion. Unfortunately, I had very slow Internet where we were, so I was unable to do so. Bryce Canyon National Park is located about 89 miles from Zion, so we thought we would just do a day trip to check it out. All of these National Parks are so beautiful, that it would be a shame to be so close and not go there. We knew it was at a very high altitude, and it wouldn't be too practical to take the RV there, especially since there may be snow. So, we decided to just go for the day. After all, 89 miles is not really that far. The only problem, 89 miles driving in mountains, takes a little longer. Also, once you get to the park, it is a lot of driving through the park, and getting in and out of our truck to see everything. It ended up being a very long day, but well worth the trip. We found the overlooks in Bryce to be breathtakingly beautiful to say the least. I am still in awe over the wonder of it all. It was very cold there, considering it was hot at Zion. The altitude was over 9800 ft. in some areas and there was as much as 3 feet of snow. It was kinda nice to visit snow for a day and then leave it behind. I hope you enjoy these pictures.

These rocks are so vibrant in color, difficult to really capture.

Who does this guy look like?

Are these buildings? I love using my imagination here!

So pretty, don't you agree!

Bryce's Point. This was my favorite overlook here.

I am a little behind on this blog. I am trying to go in order of the places we have visited. Since we left Zion and Bryce, we went to Arches National Park and camped in the campground there. I can't wait to show the pictures of this georgeous place. It was amazing! Canyonlands National Park was only 30+ miles from there so we also visited it as well as a state park called Dead Horse Point State Park. I will be putting up more amazing photos of these wonderful national parks in the very near future. So please check back.