Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dixie National Forest Adventures

We spent some more time checking out the area. We did another hike in the Park. Angels Palace Trail is an one mile hike up through a canyon with interesting more interesting rock formations.




We had some climbing to do with a few narrow parts where I kept one hand on the canyon walk on my left to avoid being too close to the cliff edge.


Joe makes it up the hill.

Some nice views from near the top.


Hey, can you see our motorhome down there on the right.


I would have taken more pictures at the top but the battery in my camera ran out and of course I had left the extra battery in the car. I need to start recharging the battery in the camera as soon as we get back home.

Anyway, it was a nice hike. We then walked back down and decided to take a drive on the scenic Cottonwood Canyon Road. You just drive back to where we turned into the park and go straight on a graded dirt road. It runs for 46 miles to Highway 89.


Some parts of the road were soft sand and this motorcyclist in front of us had his feet on the ground for awhile to keep from slipping.


We just went about 10 miles and stopped at Grosvenor Arch, a superb double arch named in honor of a former National Geographic president. We took a short walk up to it.


There is one big arch and a smaller one to the left.


Savannah finds a little shade for a rest. I think she likes this area as dogs are allow on the trails around here.

We headed back through more beautiful country.

We haven't spend much time sitting outside at our campsite as the desert winds are with us again and it is a little cool as well. However, we have great views out our window and so who are we to complain. Not us. We love this area and know there will be plenty more to do when we return some day.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Kodak Moment -Kodachrome Basin State Park

We left the Lake Powell area driving on Hwy 89 to Hwy 12, which is an All American Road, with plenty of beautiful scenery. I had downloaded an audio book, which we haven't done for awhile. We have several drives of 4 hours or more coming up in the next few weeks and so a book was in order. I downloaded a thriller called The Panther by Nelson De Mille, which is 21 hours long!! That should keep us occupied on the long drives. We got to Kodachrome Basin State Park, which is about 9 miles or so from Hwy 12 not far from Bryce. I had read in the Mike and Terri Church's southwest Camping Destinations book that they thought this was one of the most scenic campgrounds in the country and I think they are right. It is set in a basin surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and interesting spires. National Geographic Society were so struck by the photogenic character of the place that they suggested it be named in honor of the pioneering color film. Originally they changed the name but later got permission from the Kodak company to use the name and it has been that ever since. As we drive on the 9 mile road to the campground, we are already struck by the beauty of the place.




The campground itself has great views as well. There are only about six of the 37 sites with full hookups. The others have no hookups. It looks like the full hook ups sites were added later and are the largest sites as well.







We could see why this is a popular campground. We were lucky to get a reservation as there were only a few sites only for 3 days, which is what we wanted. There are also a number of trails right in the park, ranging from 1/2 to about 6 miles in length. One day, we took a walk on the 1/2 mile nature trail for a tour of the desert plants of the area, including juniper trees and the Park's trademark formations.



The Park's red rock spires are interesting. Geologists think the the towers were formed when liquid sand intrusions rose to the surface as a result of earthquake activity and subsequently hardened. the tallest of the tower is 156 feet tall.






We are enjoying our stay here. Stay tune for further adventures.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Meandering around Lake Powell

We have enjoyed our week here at Lone Rock, on the banks of Lake Powell. We are actually in Utah but when we drive a few miles to Page, we are in Arizona. Lake Powell, which is part of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, is the second largest man made reservoir in the US, behind Lake Mead. We took a tour of Glen Canyon Dam in one of our previous visits. We seem to just do one or two new things when we come and so it looks like we have a reason to come back again as there are still many things to do in this area, which is a popular vacation spot. We have had a number of people vacationing from other countries staying here at Lone Rock. The day we got here there weren't very many people here, most of them on a hill closer to the entrance. I think it might have been the wind. Yes, more wind. When we set up, the wind was so strong, the sand was hitting us in the face. Luckily the weather improved during our stay, only one other day that was real windy. A little cool some days and warmer as the week went on. We love this place and the views are incredible.


One day we drove over to Horseshoe Bend, another horseshoe meander right off Hwy 89 about 4 miles from Page. There is a 3/4 walk through sandstone and loose sand to get to the steep cliff to view it. The walk starts off with a somewhat steep hill and then heads down hill. This was the middle of the week but there were quite a few people taking this popular hike. Like the meander at Gooseneck, there is a 1,000 foot drop from the cliff down to the water.

Below is the start of the wall to the cliff seen in the distance.

When we reached the overlook, we weri awed by the magnificence of the landscape. You look down at an emerald green Colorado River that heads towards the Grand Canyon.


You really need to get right to the edge of the cliff to get a picture showing the river going around the bend but I am a little chicken to get that close. Signs did warn not to get to close as there could be loose rocks.


The white blur above was a boat. Kayaking through this area would be an awesome trip.



We went out kayaking twice while here. The lake is hugh and we just paddled in the Lone Rock area which is in the west end of the lake. Remember, I mentioned the low water level. One of the problems with this is we had a hike down loose sand the rocks to get to the shore. Which meant a hike up when we were done. Ugh, not fun. However, the paddling sure was. The first time out we paddled over to the Lone Rock, which gave this campground its name and paddled around just enjoying the views. It was very cloudy that day and we just got back when the winds came up and started really blowing. We lucked out there. Our next trip, in which I took the camera, we again when to the otherside towards the rock and then did some exploring of some of the many fingers in the lake. Below is a picture I found online that shows the area we paddled. see the fingers to the left of Lone Rock.


A few other boats also checking out this area, including a house boat that found a nice little cove to hang out.



Lots of interesting rock formations.






We could see places where we could have gone further if water level was up. There are usually suppose to be some slot canyons in this area but we couldn't find them so was probably due to the low water. Still just an enjoyable paddle. Below are some views as we head back.





In the picture about you can see our rv in the middle of the picture between the white motorhomes. See the rocks below and the one motorhome on the right. On our previous visit we parked our rig farther back from that trailer and actually paddled directly from our site with just a small hill down to the water. The water traveled through that rock area. You would never have known if you hadn't been there before.



We had a good time here and is another spot we hope to return to again. We are now on our way to Kodachrome Basin State Park for three days. No cell or internet there and so I'll post when we get to a place with reception.