Friday, June 29, 2012

Joseph H. Stewart Campground & Crater Lake National Park, OR

Crater Lake National Park, OR

Friday, June 29, Joseph H. Stewart State Campground, OR -154 Miles Today, 9,173.5 For the Trip

The mileage for today is a little deceptive - it was only 41 miles to tonight's campground, but after setting up the trailer I drove to Crater Lake National Park & did as much of the Rim Drive as was open. The last time I was here was during a 2004 trip - it was a month earlier, far more snow, and the Rim Drive wasn't open past Discovery Point. This time I got as far as the boat docks, but the East Rim Drive was still closed.

It is a very pretty location with different views from every stop along the drive. I shot a couple of panoramas, but with the slow Verizon connection here at the campground I'll wait before adding them to the page. I included a photo of one of the buildings at the Rim Village Visitor Center. I don't believe the ladder is a fire escape, but the way in before the snow melts. They get an average of 44' (yes, feet) of snow per year. Makes our 200" at Oswego look pretty anemic!

I also stopped at the Mill Creek Falls viewpoint & a gorge along the Rogue River. Although I could be wrong, I believe the river supplies the water for the Lost Creek Lake, the lake the Joseph H. Stewart Campground is on. I'm in site A8, and, since, as usual, I'll early for hitting Bullards Beach on the 10th, I've decided to stay for at least a couple of days. I'm booked until July 2nd. It is my kind of campground. Water, 30 amp Electric & free showers for $20.00 per night, and although the campground map makes it look crowded, each site has lots of space. My site is 78' long with a large field in back & on both sides. Oh, and it is level! Highly recommended!

By the way, it rained last night. I'd have to go through all my posts to be sure, but I think it is the first rain of the trip. I should have jumped out in a bathing suit & cleaned the bugs off the trailer, but I didn't. Today was cloudy - good for photographing the river & falls, but not quite as much color on Crater Lake as a clear blue sky provides. Still, it sure is blue, and the few times the clouds parted enough to let the sky show through it was even bluer! More photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

Dinner is going to be Rice Pilaf & a couple of Beer Brats. Not sure what the vegetable will be...

Until Next Time!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holiday RV Park, Phoenix, OR

Mt Shasta, CA

Thursday, June 28, Holiday RV Park, Phoenix, OR - 171.6 Miles Today, 9,019.5 For the Trip

It is great to be back in the land of electricity & cell coverage. Actually, the electricity part was covered by the solar panel, batteries & inverter, although I didn't try to use my electric blanket. That might have pushed the batteries, however I did manage to make a pot of coffee every morning.

The drive up CA 89 was very pretty. I've driven it a couple times before, but only going south; the north direction has Mount Shasta in view & it looks great. Eventually, CA 89 runs in to & is replaced by I5. Still pretty, but not as interesting a drive. I stopped at the Toyota dealer in Medford, OR, and left the trailer in their parking lot. More than one salesmen came out to ask about towing the Escape with the RAV4. Lithia Toyota did an oil change, rotated the tires, and checked the transmission fluid - the color was OK so I didn't have it changed. It should be good for another 10,000 miles. They did a great job of washing the collection of bugs off the front end (as well as the rest of the RAV4) - I only wish I had reconnected the trailer before they washed the car so they could do the trailer as well! While I didn't make out as well as last year when I bought over $1000.00 worth of tires, I do appreciate Oregon's no sales tax.

By the time I got out of Lithia Toyota it was 4:00 & I decided to find a nearby place to stop for the night. I'm in site B8 at the Holiday RV Park. It is connivent, but probably not the quietest park - it is along side I 5, and, as I just discovered, at the end of one of the takeoff patterns for the local airport.

Dinner was the rest of the mixed vegetables & a Bubba Burger. The handy thing about the Bubba Burger is it is the only meal I have in the freezer or refrigerator, for that matter, that doesn't need any prep - just throw the frozen hamburger on the grill. I guess that is why it tends to be my short notice dinner.

Till Tomorrow -

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, CA

Burney Falls, CA

Wednesday, June 27 - McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, CA - 61.5 Miles Today, 8,847.9 For the Trip

Today was a short drive. I did make one stop to photograph a snow covered peak & the stream below it. Too bad the road is part of the image, but that's the way it goes. It did get cold last night - down to 33°F. Got a bit of a scare when I fired up the furnace at 2:00AM - it wouldn't start. I had run out of propane since the last time I ran it & it took a couple of tries to get going. As far as battery power, after running the furnace set at 60°F & it cycling off & on, I still was at 85% at 6:00AM & the solar system had me back to 100% by 7:30AM.

After leaving the park I stopped at a gas station in Burney to fill the tank & to post yesterday's page. I forgot to post the Jon's Journeys page at Blogspot, so I'll have to do two pages tomorrow.

I stopped at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park since it is my second favorite waterfall. My favorite is Chittenango State Park in NY, but this is a very close second. The biggest problem with Burney Falls is the lighting. It is difficult to find a time of day that the shadows are light enough to work with the highlights of the water. Since there was an open site for the night I decided to stay in the park. There were still last night's campers in the site so I drove to the end of the park road & Lake Britton while waiting.

The campsite is about the tightest I've been in, both this & last year's trip. With the trailer bumper against a tree there is only a couple of feet ahead of the trailer tongue, and barely enough room to park the RAV4 next to it. I'm glad there wasn't any traffic on the road in front of the site because I had to block it to unhook the trailer, and with the weight distribution hitch, that takes time.

The price went up $5.00 from last year, making it $35.00 for a no hook up site (and a $.50 / 5 minutes charge for showers). It is less expensive to stay in most full hookup sites! Still, it is a very pretty park. I did have to spend 10 minutes picking up the previous camper's trash - cups, wrappers, band-aids, etc. In any case, I'm settled in. I may drive to a near by town to get something for dinner - while the spaghetti last night worked out OK, I'm not ready to use the rest of the jar of sauce to make more tonight.

I found a Safeway in Burney & they had salmon on sale so dinner was grilled corn on the cob & a very nice grilled salmon fillet. Morning will be interesting - the tree above my RAV4 has dripped a shower of sap across the windshield. The Windex Wipes take it off with lots of scrubbing, but it is a mess!

There is no Verizon here at the park, at least in the campground so this won't get posted until tomorrow.

Since I'm posting this on Thursday because there was no cell coverage at the park, I'll say till later rather than till tomorrow!

Lassen National Park, CA

Lassen National Park, CA

Tuesday, June 26 - Lassen National Park, CA - 162.1 Miles Today, 8,786.4 For the Trip

I made a short stop along CA 89 at Indian Falls. Not only got a photo of the falls, but they had signs along the way identifying trees & plants. I finally got to see the difference between poison ivy & poison oak.

As you can see by the title of the page, I finally made it to Lassen National Park, sorta... While the road into & through the park is open, the campground I wanted to stay in was not (even though the ranger at the entrance station suggested I stay there). Neither was the Bumpass Hell trail, the hike suggested by a number of people as a great hike. So, if I really want to see the park, I guess I'll have to come back in August! There is still lots of snow on the ground - I even have a photo of a picnic table that isn't quite ready to use.

As to the rest of the photos, they are at stops along CA 89 as it runs through the park. I'm at the Summit Lake South Campground (I wanted the Summit Lake North, but it is still closed). Nothing but a parking place and a near by vault toilet, but you can't beat the price $5.00 with the Senior Pass.

Dinner will be spaghetti & meatballs. I'll put the stove/grill in the bear box since the grill still smells of Bubba Burger & I'd rather not have one of the park's Black Bears trying to pry open the front storage box on the trailer! I won't be able to post this or the "Jon's Journeys" page for today until tomorrow - there is no cell or WiFi available here in the park.

It's tomorrow & I'm just outside Burney, CA & posting from a Shell Station. I'll stop at Burney Falls because I can't pass up my second favorite waterfall, but if I stay I probably won't be able to post - last year there was no Verizon coverage in the park...

Till Tomorrow -

Monday, June 25, 2012

Clio, CA & the Plumas-Eureka State Park

A Blacksmith's Shop at the Plumas-Eureka State Park, Graeagle, CA

Monday, June 25 -Rivers Edge RV Park, Clio, CA- 194.3 Miles Today, 8,624.3 For the Trip

I spent most of the day driving up US 395 with a short stint on A15 & CA 89. Rivers Edge was recommended as a pretty stop & it is. I'm in site A12 & got a discount for being a RVN vet. Tall trees & a quiet stream wandering by the edge of the campground. While I didn't find much to take photos of on the way to the campground, after setting up I drove to Graeagle & the Pulmas-Eureka State Park. This is a park built around the mines on "Gold Mountain" or Eureka Peak. The park has a museum with both indoor & outdoor exhibits, a gold panning trough, the Eureka mine building (which is currently off limits) and a campground. Like most California State campgrounds, it has no hookups & seems a bit over priced at $35.00 per night. In any case, I did take some photos, more of which are at today's LakeshoreImages Post.

Dinner, for those interested and I'm not at all sure why you should be but I keep putting it in the post, will be a Bubba Burger, left over macaroni & cheese & mixed vegetables.

The plan for tomorrow is to continue up CA 89 to Lassen National Park. I've tried to see the park twice before; both times the road was closed due to snow. This year I'm a couple of weeks later & it has been a dry year so I expect it will be open. I'll probably stay in Mill Creek, at a commercial RV park outside the National Park.

Until then -

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lee Vining & the Jane Lake Loop

Slot Machines Sunk in Jane Lake?

Sunday, June 24 - Lee Vining, CA, Day 3 - 36.2 Miles Today, 8,430 For the Trip

Another quiet day. Well, quiet isn't quite right - it is very windy, the trees are shaking & the trailer rocking. I did drive the Jane Lake Loop which is a little south of Lee Vining off US 395. There are a bunch of small communities & many campgrounds scattered along the drive. These are the only photographs for the day...

A steak, steamed sugar snap peas & macaroni & cheese for dinner.

Till Tomorrow -

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Yosemite National Park

Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, CA

Saturday, June 32 - Lee Vining, CA, Day 2 - Yosemite National Park - 222.8 Miles Today, 8,393.8 For the Trip

I'm not sure where my weather app is getting its information, but although it predicted a low of 37°F last night it only went down to 53°F. My electric blanket was overkill!

After breakfast I decided that since I was fairly close to Yosemite National Park, I should visit. Of course, close is relative - I managed to put 222.8 miles on the RAV4 (without the trailer) just driving into and around the park. The last time I drove through Tioga Pass was in 2004 and while I'm sure I could pull the trailer through the park on CA 120, I wouldn't (and wouldn't be allowed to) take it up to Glacier Point, my favorite viewing area. As usual, I always seem to hit Yosemite on a weekend & it was as crowded as usual. No hikes today, but a number of stops for photos. The close up of half dome shows people walking around on top. Photos at LakeshoreImages, Day 52.

After getting back to Lee Vining, I decided I didn't want to cook so I bought a pizza in a pizza place in town. It was interesting - Barbecued Chicken with a barbecue sauce rather than traditional tomato sauce. Different, but I don't think I'd order it again.

Till Tomorrow -

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lee Vining, CA & Mono Lake

Mono Lake, CA

Friday, June 22 - Lee Vining, CA -171 Miles Today, 8,171.0 For the Trip

I did go to the Chinese restaurant for dinner; not the best I've eaten in, but not the worst either. It stayed pretty warm overnight, down to 61°F. I expect it will get a lot colder tonight here in Lee Vining - my weather app predicts 36°F tonight & 34°F tomorrow night. I'm in site 40 at the Mono Vista RV Park, right next door to site 41 where I was when Don, Anne & I stayed last year. The same great view from the back window of the trailer.

I drove to a section of Mono Lake that I haven't been to before for a couple of photos. I still feel the South section is the best. There was a group pulling invasive plants out of the ground along the walkway. While they were tough plants & it was hard work, they looked like they were having a good time. A lot tougher than we had along Lake Ontario pulling garlic mustard! There were lots of flies along the shore of the lake. I don't remember them from last time, but it was colder & earlier - maybe they weren't out yet. In any case, you can see how thick they were in the photo of the gull. They don't seem to bother people, but the gulls sure love to eat them!

I did stop along an interesting section of NV 208 for a photo of the RAV4 & Trailer as well as the stream running along side the road. Actually, the entire drive along US 95 alt, NV 208 & CA 395 was very pleasant to look at. I did do some climbing, up to 8000', back down to 5000', back up, etc but the RAV4 did OK, even with quite a bit of crosswinds. It looks like the wind was pretty bad earlier along the upper part of US 50 alt - lots of branches & even a couple of trees down along side the road.

I also did an experiment - I'm teaching a class on long exposure photography at a rally in Oregon next month, so I'm collecting images to use. This was a long exposure of some grass in the wind. Nothing to write home about, but something different. As usual, photos are on today's page at LakeshoreImages.

I'm hoping we will get some good looking skies & cloud cover for sunset. So far, all my photos of Mono Lake are pretty boring skies. If things work out, I'll add some more photos this evening.

Till Tomorrow -

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fernley, NV

Site 2, Fernley RV Park, NV

Thursday, June 21 - Fernley, NV -283 Miles Today, 8,000.0 For the Trip

Another "not so exciting" day of cruising west on I 80. Parts of the concrete sections of the road between Elko & Frenley are bad enough that I'm surprised that all my fillings are still in place. I'm glad to be off the interstate & back on secondary roads. Tomorrow I'm heading to Lee Vining, CA to spend a day or two at Mono Lake so there may even be some interesting photographs. There certainly aren't today - all I have is a photo of the car & trailer in site 2 at the Fernley RV Park, a concrete, treeless (well, shadeless, there are a few small trees) oasis. They did have inexpensive washing machines & driers which I definitely needed.

I'm not sure what dinner will be - I found a Chinese restaurant & I'm a sucker for them!

Till Tomorrow -

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Elko, NV

Bonneville Salt Flats, NV

Wednesday, June 20 - Elko, NV -242.4 Miles Today, 7,717.0 For the Trip

I stopped for a break at the rest stop near the Bonneville Salt Flats & took a couple of photos. That's about it for scenery although I also have to include the usual site photo - I'm in site 51 at the Double Dice RV Park. Not much more than a place for the night - not even a picnic table! I'll probably eat in the "Double Dice Sports Bar & Grill" (probably why there are no picnic tables!) They do have fast WiFi, which is good since Verison here at the campground is pretty slow.

Till Tomorrow -

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Salt Lake City, UT

All I Have is a Campground Photo

Tuesday, June 19 - Salt Lake City, UT - 209.4 Miles Today, 6,874.6 For the Trip

Not a lot going on today. Only photo is the trailer at site 162 at the Lagoon Campground. It is next to an amusement park - nosier than I'd like, but maybe it will calm down later after the roller coasters stop for the night. I did get my camera sensor cleaned but all the RV repair places were booked for weeks in advance, so I'm not going to have electric on my refrigerator for awhile. I also stopped at a Target & replenished supplies. Unfortunately, none of my favorite authors have new paperback books out. I'm down to two left which is not good - I usually go through 2-3 per week.

I did manage to finish Andrew Gross's "Eyes Wide Open" even though it got soaked at the Zion River Resort. While I was in the shower the lawn watering system came on. I had left the book in in my chair, which was filled with water! Only good thing about low humidity & 90°+ temperatures - it dried out fairly well, although it ended up twice as thick as when new.

Dinner was a Bubba Burger, left over rice & steamed snap peas.

Till Tomorrow -

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fillmore, UT

Kolab Section of Zion National Park Under Poor Lighting

Monday, June 8 - Wagons West RV Park, Fillmore, UT - 161.9 Miles Today, 6,665.2 For the Trip

I didn't make it all the way to Salt Lake City - While it would have been possible to get there around 4:30 or so, that was too close to rush hour for me. I'm in site 10 at the Wagons West RV Park in Fillmore, UT.

I called Forster's Camera Service, the people who cleaned my sensor last year & they told me they could do the job in a couple of hours. There is an RV repair place in the same general area so I'm also going to try to get the refrigerator electric fixed. It would be nice to get both done in a day, but it may take longer...

I stopped at the Kolab section of Zion National Park on my way up I 15. Looks like it would make great photographs in late afternoon; unfortunately, I was there in the morning, shooting into the sun and the quality of the images shows it. I guess I'll have to plan on shooting it on another trip.

Since Forster's wants me to take the battery out of the camera overnight, that is it for photos, not that there is too much else here worth shooting.

I do have a word of advise - If you like to nibble shortbread cookies here in 90°F temperatures, be sure to read the fine print on the package. If it says Caramel Striped that means after a couple of hours rather than individual cookies, you have a glued together stack of a row of six. There are two ways to eat them - while hot, peal one from the stack, covering your fingers with warm caramel, or, wait for them to cool, at which time it takes a chisel and hammer to separate one. Of course you could just eat the entire stack as one cookie, but it would be tough to get your mouth around it!

Till Tomorrow -

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Leaving Zion

My Next Door Neighbors at Zion

Sunday, June 17 - Zion River Resort, Virgin, UT -20.9 Miles Today, 6,503.3 For the Trip

I didn't get back up the canyon - discovered my new trail running shoes were not too tight - I had a blister on the inside of my right big toe. The banging around in the Narrows rock bed combined with the less than perfect fit (I have wide feet and finding shoes that fit is difficult) ended up giving me my first blister in years of hiking. So, I relaxed. While hanging around the campsite I discovered neighbors - a bunch of ground squirrels living in my shade tree. I have no idea how many are in the tree - while the most I saw at one time was 3, only 2 let me take their picture.

I also decided that I wanted AC. While sitting outside in a light breeze in the shade was bearable, the inside of the trailer, even with the fan going full blast and all the windows & door open was hotter than I liked. So, I headed out to Virgin, UT & site 103 at the Zion River Resort. A nice place with all the amenities, and, for a resort, the surprise that the utilities were all in the right place!

Around 4:00 Alice from St George, UT stopped by to see the Escape Trailer. She brought a delicious lasagna which I had for dinner. While I'll show off the trailer to anyone interested, dinner and good conversations are a wonderful reward! So, I'm sitting is a 75°F trailer with nothing to do tonight. The plan is to head towards Salt Lake City to get the camera cleaned. I don't expect to get there in one day, but since most of the driving will be on Interstate 15, who knows...

Until Tomorrow!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zion National Park & The Narrows

Traffic Jam at the Narrows

Friday, June 15 - Zion National Park, UT - 0 Miles Today, 6482.4 For the Trip

While I didn't make the first shuttle up the canyon at 6:00AM, I did catch one a little before 7:00. Since I had picked up my water sox, canyon shoes, DSLR dry bag & hiking stick yesterday evening, I didn't have to go into Springdale. The shuttle was full, but most of the people got off at stops along the was with the majority heading for Angel's Landing. The cool of the morning is the only time to make that hike this time of year. There were 2 couples ahead of me on the Narrows Hike. Since they were both faster than me they were soon out of sight & I had clear photos. Probably not as good as they would have been with the Nikon D700; I chickened out and took my back up D200. I missed the additional width the full frame D700 produces, and it has a better dynamic range.

In any case, I hiked for a little over 2 hours, and started back a little after passing Orderville Canyon. While there were only 2 couples ahead of me on the way up at 7:30AM, the way down was a different story! The river was filled with everything from little kids that were not tall enough to ford the deeper pools to a woman I talked with from India who was walking barefoot & in a saris. She decided to turn back at the first deep pool!

Anyhow, there are a bunch of photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page that are pretty much in the order of the hike.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do after posting this - I do have to take the hiking stuff back to the Zion Adventure Company (which, by the way I do recommend - I've hiked in streams before & their boots are superior to any I've worn; not all that comfortable for the 1 mile hike into the start of the Narrows, but great in the river.) Returning the gear sounds like a great idea - the car has AC! After that I'm going to as little as possible until it is late enough for a picture run up the canyon.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zion National Park & Almost Cedar Breaks National Monument

Site 47, South Campground, Zion National Park

Friday, June 15 - Zion National Park, UT - 214.3 Miles Today, 6482.4 For the Trip

Actually, today's drive from the Kaibab Campground to Zion was only around 70 miles, but after setting up in site 47 in the South Campground, I decided to spend the afternoon at Cedar Breaks National Monument. Only problem - the road to the monument is closed about 15 miles from the entrance. I probably should have asked at the Zion Visitor Center about Cedar Breaks & saved a 150 mile round trip, but I assumed that with the limited amount of snow this winter it would be open. Snow wasn't the problem - last October a landslide took out a 1/2 mile section of UT 14. While a sign notes that it is open from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM and weekends, I arrived at 4:00 PM on a Friday. Oh well, I have tried to see the place 3 times so far- maybe I'll have some luck next time.

The site is nice - I have my very own stream (well, I share it with the other campsites in the area) running across the entrance to the site & The Watchman hanging out in the background. As expected, it is Hot.  Expected high for tomorrow - 102°F!

I hope to hike the Narrows here in Zion tomorrow morning. I'm renting shoes & a dry bag for my camera. Not sure how far I'll get & still haven't decided whether to take my tripod. Since I want some "silky" water shots, I probably will.

Dinner will be simple tonight - it is 96°F in the trailer at 5:00 and just starting to cool down for the day.

Till tomorrow...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jacob Lake & The Grand Canyon North Rim

Rock House Along US 89 Alt

Wednesday, June 13 - Jacob Lake, AZ, Day 2 - 204.5 Miles Today,6268.1 For the Trip

I spent much of the day driving up US 89 Alt & south on AZ 67 to the north side of the Grand Canyon. I did make a stop along the way at Lee's Ferry. The campground there is nice, however I wanted to get a bit further along towards Zion for the day.

It's funny what you remember from older trips. We stopped at the north side of the Grand Canyon on a trip in 1996, and I rather than the grand view I remember the meadows on the way down AZ 67. I guess it was because they were unexpected. Unfortunately, I remember it was a lot clearer view in 1996. I also remember the rock houses along US 87 Alt.

Since the campground at the canyon rim was full, as expected , I stopped for the night at the Kaibab Camper Village, Site 83.

More expensive than the Forest Service campgrounds in the area, but they have electricity, which will be nice - I'm at 8000' and the electric heater will be handy as well as a good Verizon signal. I know, I'm never happy! Yesterday is was 100°F and now at 4:00 is is already down to the mid 70's. Given a choice, I'll take today, but since I'm heading to Zion, it will be back in the heat.

Till Tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Page AZ & the Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ

Wednesday, June 13 - Page, AZ, Day 2 - 16.4 Miles Today, 6063.6 For the Trip

The rolls were fine & I'm now down to one Bubba Burger left; looks like a run to Walmart! Tonight is a Turkey Pot Pie cooked outside in my toaster oven.

I spent the morning touring the Lower Antelope Canyon. Telling time in this part of Arizona is interesting. On the Navajo Reservation they follow Daylight Savings Time. In Page, they don't. So, you have to be careful of where you are if you are on a schedule. Of course even planning doesn't always work. I showed up at the gate for the lower canyon at 7:50AM, DST for an opening schedules for 8:00 (Reservation time.) The Navajo crew showed up at 9:00AM. Not a big problem - I always have a book with me.

There is another advantage to being early - I was the first one in the canyon which gave me a open shot most of the time. During the entire 2 hours in the canyon I only saw 4 other people, a big difference from the upper canyon. Other differences - it is much steeper and narrower, at least in sections. They have added stairways at the steepest parts of the canyon. Other differences - not so many "streams" of light as the upper canyon, and sections where there is quite a bit of sky in the image, washing out the color. It is very much worth doing both sections of Antelope Canyon. While is was almost completely empty when I went through, there were tour groups going in as I came out at 10:30AM (DST).

I have many more images on a separate page: Lower Antelope Canyon

I actually got back to the campground in time to check out, but since I signed up for 2 days I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the day. I was hoping for some interesting skies to catch a new image of Horseshoe Bend, but unless that happens tonight or tomorrow morning, I'll stick with last year's photos. I stopped in Blair's Trading Post to look at Navajo flutes. I definitely can't play one but I'd like to try. If nothing else, I'll hang it on my wall!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Page, AZ

Flowers at Coral Pink Sands State Park, UT

Tuesday, June 21 - Page, AZ-195.8 Miles Today, 6047.2 For the Trip

I'm back to long drives after a bunch of short ones. I started out heading south on UT 12, passing through another beautiful part of the route - The Red Canyon. It is as if they put a main road (well, two lane) through the middle of Bryce Canyon. Great views as well as two short tunnels. After that I switched to US 89 and headed towards Page, AZ.

I made a couple of stops - Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT where I took a few photos & the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a place I've heard about & driven by a couple of times. Not what I expected, but it was a short drive off US 89.  As usual, more photos at the LakeshoreImages page for today.

I'm in site 36 at the Page-Lake Powell Campground. It is in the middle of Page, full sun (at 97°F a change from the last couple of days) but convenient to the Lower Slot Canyon I'm planning to visit tomorrow morning. The next closest campground is Wahweap Campground, 5 miles west of Page, more expensive, but with a nice view of Lake Powell. I'm here for 2 nights since mornings are the best time to photograph the lower Antelope Canyon. I stopped & checked - you can start at 8:00AM & as long as you have a "serious" camera & tripod, you do a self guided tour.

I also made a trip to Walmart (the first one I've found in quite some time) to replace the welcome mat that blew away a number of campsites ago. I am trying a rubber one this time - a little heavier and it may be easier to clean. I also bought a new pair of trail running shoes (not that I'm planning to run on trails!) since my current ones are getting a bit worn.

Not sure what dinner will be tonight - If the rolls aren't mouldy is will probably be a Bubba Burger; if they are I may make spaghetti & meatballs. All serious meal planning goes out the window on a trailer trip. It is really too hot to do two pot cooking, so I sure hope the rolls are OK!

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT

Shakespeare Arch, Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT

Monday, June 11 - Kodachrome Basin State Park - 29.1 Miles Today, 5852.0 For the Trip

Previous Page

A short drive to Kodachrome Basin State Park. I'm in the campground host site next to the entrance building. It was the only site left with electricity, and while I might not need it, having dropped about 2000', last night at Bryce it his 34°F and I was glad I had the electric heater (and I did plug in the electric blanket!). The gas furnace works fine at keeping the trailer warm, even at 20°F, but it is noisy.

After setting up the trailer I drove out to Chimney Rock and Shakespeare Arch. I've been to the rock before, but not the arch. I love the photo they have of the arch on the sign at the parking area, but I sure don't know where they took it from. Well, actually I can figure it out, but it is from an area you are not allowed to walk in. In any case I got a few photos with blue skies rather than mountains behind it. I also took a few tree photos. If you look close, you can find the moon over the branches on one of them.

Photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

After going back to the trailer I decided to find a grocery store to buy some bottles of iced tea & something for dinner. I stopped at the Mossy Cave & Waterfall on UT 12, part of Bryce Canyon National Park & added some photos. Since there is no cell coverage at Kodachrome Basin State Park I stopped by Ruby's where there is a strong Verizon signal to post this page. If I shoot more photos (and I plan to) I'll have to wait until tomorrow to add them.

Till Next Time -

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Sunday, June 10 - Bryce Canyon National Park, UT - 134.6 Miles Today, 5822.9 For the Trip

I had a great drive along UT 12, another one of my favorite roads. Also reached 9600', the highest of the trip so far. The RAV4 had no problems, although since the temperature was in the high 40's, I'm sure that helped.

I'm staying at Rubys Campground tonight, site 154. While expensive at $45.00, I need to do laundry, and at 7500' will appreciate the ability to run my electric heater overnight. Last night it got down to 53°F at Capitol Reef; a big change from the past few days.

So, it is off to do laundry. I'll head into the park towards sunset for some photos.

The laundry is done, I did a little shopping in Ruby's General Store (as little as possible - they sure know they are the only one around!) then went into the park. I don't know why, but I cannot get a photo of Bryce that I like. The Hoodoos are unique, and are wonderful to look at, but for some reason, I cannot capture their impact. I've tried different times of the day, but I have to admit that I've always been here at about the same time of the year. I know a bit of snow on the formations would help. Anyhow, I took a few photos from the rim, then took a short hike on the Navajo Trail, one that makes a loop to the bottom of the canyon. Going down was easy, coming back up - well, I was huffing & puffing! After finishing the hike I drove over to the North Campground to check it out. I hope to go to Kodachrome tomorrow, but if it is full I'll try for a space in the park. I took a photo of a herd of deer nibbling around a tent in the campground.

I stayed in the park until dark to take a few star photos - there is very little artificial lighting in the park so it is a good place for them. On the other hand, at 8000', it gets cold fast. By 10:00 is was already in the 40's and the prediction if for close to freezing tonight. I packed it in once my fingers were getting numb working the camera. Probably should have stayed longer - the sky was not really all that dark when I left.

After driving back to the trailer I quickly dug out the electric heater which quickly brought the temperature up to 68°F, and made a cup of Tangerine Orange "Zinger" tea. I may even plug in the electric blanket tonight - Ah, the luxuries of a trailer over a tent!

Till Next Time

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Capitol Reef National Park, UT

Pectol's Pyramid

Saturday, June 9 - Capitol Reef National Park, UT - 99.9 Miles Today, 5688.3 For the Trip

Some of today's mileage was within Capitol Reef - it is only about 70 miles from Goblin Valley State Park. While I had thought about staying another day at Goblin Valley, the amount of sand the wind blew around was too much for me. It was in my eyes, nose, teeth, etc as well as coating every part of both the trailer & the RAV4. While the fan in the trailer does a fairly good job of keeping the temperature inside equal to the outside temperature, to do that you have to keep the windows open. The screens are no match for the fine dust! Finally found a reason for the AC even when it isn't too hot - you can keep the trailer closed up & still run the AC.

Anyway, I left around 8:30 heading down UT 24, a very picturesque road. Maybe picturesque isn't quite the right word - it is difficult to capture the beauty of the scenery in a photo. In any case, a great drive. I decided to try for a stay in the park campground - I'm in site B27. Again, no hookups, but less wind & dust, lots of shade, and you can't beat the price - $5.00 with my senior pass.

I took some photos of the Gifford Homestead, some not yet ripe fruit in the trees in the Fruita Historic District, then hiked up to a viewpoint for Hickman Bridge & Pectol's Pyramid. As usual, more photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

After that it was back to the campground for a Bubba Burger & left over rice. I found the best way to warm up left over rice (without a microwave) is to use my vegtable steamer. A bit difficult to clean, but it doesn't burn it or dry it out.

Depending on the cloud cover & color, I may go back for another couple photos of Pectol's Pyramid around sunset.

I put together a rough schedule for the next two weeks - probably won't follow it, but it is a month until the first day of my reservation in Oregon, I have many places I still want to visit, so a little planning is in order.

I won't be able to post tonight - there is no cell service (AT&T or Verizon) here in the campground, or anywhere near by.

6/10/12 - I reached Bryce & found a good Verizon connection, so I finally get to post yesterday's page.

Till Next Time

Friday, June 8, 2012

Goblin Valley State Park, UT

Thursday, June 7 - Dead Horse State Park, UT - Day 2 - 119.7 Miles Today, 5588.4 For the Trip

I did manage to get a couple of night time images, some from the point and the rest from the campground. Neither was dark enough for showing the milky way, but at the campground I did manage to include a couple of shooting stars (I have to call them that because I can never remember the official differences between Meteors, Meteoroids, and Meteorites.) Photos at LakeshoreImages.

I arrived at Goblin Valley State Park around 10:15AM and all that was left were a couple of tent sites. The ranger at the entrance sent me to look at them - since each tent site has two parking spaces, it might be possible to put the trailer in one & the RAV4 in the other. Very tight, but it would work, so I headed back to the office to make the reservation. When I got there the spirit of my late wife must have been looking over me. When ever we traveled, if Carol was in the car there was always, if necessary, a parking space. The ranger told me I was in luck - someone had left early while I was driving through the campground and a standard RV site (Site 24) was available for the night! Like all the sites at Goblin Valley it is a dry site, but at least there is room for both the trailer and the RAV4.

I drove to the "Valley" (about 1 mile from the campground) and made a panorama. The lighting is too harsh this time of day for good images, but it will show you what the place looks like - unreal. I hope to shoot more later in the afternoon & tonight. By the way, the wind is very strong; I had to fold up my awning and the fine dust is blowing everywhere.  Not a good place to change lenses!

The Verizon internet is very slow so I'm not sure I'll be able to post more images until a better connection, but the small version of the panorama is today's photo.

Until Later or Tomorrow!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mesa Arch & Hummingbirds

Mesa Arch at Dawn, Canyonlands National Park
I managed to wake up 3 minutes before my iPhone alarm went off (at 4:27AM) and quickly dressed & headed to Mesa Arch. Unlike last year, I was the first one there, although a couple showed up within 5 minutes of my arrival. I set up where I wanted to, feeling a bit guilty since I was in the middle of the arch, but it was the only way to get both the arch & the towering formations in the valley beyond. I felt even more guilty when a group showed up later in the morning & complained about my location, but since i had to choose second place last year I stuck to my location.

Actually, as soon as I got the shot I wanted, I moved out of the way to let others in. I moved to a bunch of different locations - this year there were far fewer photographers so there was room for all of us to get the shots we wanted. I have to be honest - the images with the -Edit in the ID were Photoshopped to remove or at least cut down flare. Shooting into the sun with the Nikkor 24-70 lens is tough. Since I don't get the chance to shoot this location I took a bunch of images - more on today's LakeshoreImages Page.

After getting back to the campsite around 8:00 I decided to get another couple of hours of sleep, then made a bacon & eggs brunch. I noticed a couple of hummingbirds while cooking & set up my feeder, hoping to get a couple of photos. I did get a couple of interesting ones of a pair fighting over the feeder:

So, I'm relaxing for the rest of the afternoon. The sky looks clearer than yesterday so the plan is to head out to the point at dusk & try for some photos of the stars. Actually, I could probably do some right here at the campsite, depending on the other campers. While there are streetlights all over the campground, they are not turned on. Fairly dark skies with the exception of the bathroom, and, in the distance, a drill tower that has very bright white lighting.

Until Tomorrow unless I add some star photos later tonight!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dead Horse State Park & Canyonlands

False Kiva, Canyonlands National Park, UT

Wednesday, June 6 - Dead Horse State Park, UT, - 96 Miles Today, 5422.8 For the Trip

As you can tell by the title of today's post, I made it into the campground at Dead Horse State Park. Beautiful views of the canyons from the campground. I'm in site 13. Like all the sites, it has 50/30/20 amp electric, but no water or sewer. Since they have to truck all the water for the park, I can understand why they don't provide it. No problem for me - I don't use all that much & I have plenty in the fresh water tank.

Lots of photos today. They start with a site photo, of course, then show part of the set up for a bicycle race taking place today. After that I drove to Canyonlands. The plan was to visit a number of locations, then head to False Kiva in the late afternoon. I wanted to photograph a particular granary at Aztec Butte, but the trail to it was closed. I did photograph one at a smaller butte along the trail, but it was not as impressive as the one that was closed. I'm including a photo of a trail carin just in case someone doesn't know what they are. Simply a pile of rocks thet are either left by others or ones you build yourself to remind you how to get back. I really got to False Kiva too early for great photos, but I have this exaggerated fear of having to walk back in the dark. If you saw the "trail" going up from the ledge below the site to the flat part above False Kiva you would understand! Actually, it was easier this year than last. A bit cooler, and, of course, I'd been there before. Still, it is quite a hike, the most difficult of the trip.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

False Kiva is hard to describe. It is a beautiful place to photograph, but it is far more than that. The feeling you get sitting next to a structure likely built 1000's of years ago that has a magnificent view & incredible serenity is well worth the difficult hike. You spend a lot of time just thinking about the history of the place. Anyhow, I got back well before dark. I was hoping to shoot some night time star photos at Dead Horse Point, but the clouds have rolled in. They are thick enough that we may not even get a sunset. I'll check it out after dinner.

Tomorrow I hope to get up early enough to reshoot Mesa Arch. Last year I couldn't get the position I wanted because there was already (at 5:00AM) someone set up in my spot. Hope to do better this year. I have two days to try for it.

Until Tomorrow!

Arches National Park

The image of Venus Crossing Between the Earth & The Sun

Tuesday, June 5 - Moab, UT, Day 5 - Canyonlands - 85.1 Miles Today, 5326.8 For the Trip

I spent my last day at Riverside Oasis catching some of the parts of Arches that I so far missed, at least on this trip. First I walked the Park Avenue Trail. Photos don't do it justice - the scale of the rocks on both sides is amazing. After that watched Venus track across the sun, a once in lifetime event, at least for me (and most of us since it doesn't happen again until 2117). They set up viewing stations at Panorama Point & Sand Dune Arch.

After that it was back to the trailer for an early steak dinner since the plan was to hike to Delicate Arch around sunset. As usual, I got started early and stopped to take a couple of photos of Wolf Ranch & the Ute Petroglyphs at the bottom of the trail, and reached the arch around 7:30. While I could have waited until sunset, the wind was bad enough that I only stayed for about 20 minutes. It felt like shooting during a hurricane. In fact, it probably was close since 60mph winds were predicted. You had to move carefully to keep from being blown off the cliff during the peaks.

After that I shot a couple of images of Skyline Arch and Balanced Rock at sunset. As usual, the rest of the photos are at today's 2011 Trip Page at LakeshoreImages.

Tomorrow I'm heading out early for Dead Horse State Park. If I don't get a space I'll head for Goblin Valley & try there.

Till Then!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Canyonlands National Park, UT

Canyonlands National Park, UT

Monday, June 4 - Moab, UT, Day 4 - Canyonlands - 122.1 Miles Today, 5241.7 For the Trip

Unfortunately, I'm still in Site 16, Riverside Oasis (although there are far worse places to be). I called Dead Horse at 8:00 & they informed me that there were still two sites, but since the people in them were still asleep they didn't know if they were going to stay. I took a chance & drove out (you have to do the paperwork in person, not over the phone.) When I got there they told me one of the sites decided to stay & there was already someone waiting for the other site. They told me the best bet was to shoot for Wednesday - as on now all 4 non-reservable sites are expected to be open.

I did drive into Canyonlands & took a few photos, (A couple more at LakeshoreImages) then back to Moab for a haircut. I spent the rest of the day doing nothing except baking in my chair. I'm hoping I'll adjust to the 98°F weather, but so far it still feels like an oven!

Until Next Time -

Arches National Park, Day 2

Another Sunset at Arches National Park
Another hot day in Moab. I didn't do much of anything - filled the gas tank, picked up a few supplies, and sat around and read until late in the afternoon. I did watch a lizard attempt to eat a caterpillar half its size, but that was about it until I went back to Arches. I was hoping to shoot some full moon photos (Yes, I know it won't be full until tomorrow, but close enough!) Anyway, it was not to be. Too many clouds. There was another interesting sunset, but only very cloudy photos of the moon. I did go early enough to take a short hike (although it felt about 1/2 as long as the climb to the actual arch) to the high viewpoint for Delicate Arch.

I'm not at all sure where I'll be tomorrow - I talked to another ranger at Dead Horse State Park, and was told that all the drive in spaces were filled, and unless someone leaves tomorrow morning, no luck. They suggested calling around 8:00AM. If I can't get a space, I'll try to extend my stay here - I want to hit some locations in Canyonlands, and while not as close as Dead Horse, it isn't too bad.

Until Tomorrow!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Moab, UT, Day 2 - Arches National Park

Sunset at Arches National Park, UT

Saturday, June 2 - Moab, UT Day 2 - Arches National Park - 83.9 Miles Today, 5065.9 For the Trip

I'm sure glad that my web page is back up because I have lots of photos today. While Glacier has always been my favorite national park, both because of the Going to the Sun Road & the variety of things to do, Arches is my most photographed. There are so many different arches & views of them that I take far too many. You can see the rest of today's photos at my LakeshoreImages daily page.

I spent most of the day at the Devil's Garden area and much of the rest in the Windows area. As you can tell, I went back around sunset for the last couple of photos. I was hoping to get a good shot of the almost full moon, but it was covered with clouds at the time the light was balanced between the arch & the moon. By the time the clouds thinned, the moon was overexposed, but I included a couple anyway..

I also added a campsite photo since I didn't take one last night. By the way, I really like the last two campgrounds I've stayed at. The Blue Mountain Campground in Blanding had the cleanest restrooms & showers of the trip, and the site was great. Here in Moab I much prefer the Riverside Oasis to Arch View, where I stayed last year. Much cleaner, more friendly staff, and closer to town.

It's now 10:22, and again, I'm beat. Lots of hiking today; around 8 miles all together, and my feet feel it. Diner was easy - a stop at the Chinese Buffet.

Until Tomorrow!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Needles Overlook & Dead Horse State Park

Tree & Moon at Dead Horse State Park, UT

Friday, June 1- Moab, UT 247 Miles Today, 4982.0 For the Trip

It is great to have the web page back in action. The blogger site works OK, but it is easier to post more & larger images here.

I started the day driving from Blanding to Moab. I made reservations at the Riverside Oasis Campground in Moab because Moab is usually crowded, particularly on weekends. I'm in site 16, a full hookup back in just large enough for the trailer & RAV4. Since it was only about 75 miles to Moab from Blanding, I decided to drive out to the Needles Overlook at Canyonlands. While I did visit the Needles section of Canyonlands last year, I bypassed the overlook. It is well worth a stop. Great vistas 2000' above the Colorado River.

On the way back towards Moab on US 191, I stopped at Wilson Arch, one of the few that you can park in front of. Of course I had to take a photo of the trailer! More photos are at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

After stopping at the overlook I continued on to Moab, arriving around 1:00. Moab was as busy as usual so after setting up I drove out to Dead Horse State Park. I shot a bunch of photos, but with the high sun none were very useful. I'll call it a scouting trip for going back after dinner, which is exactly what I did. Much better light, although more dramatic skies would help. 

I also shot a couple of panoramas. I checked on the campground at Dead Horse, and they have 4 first come, first served sites. All the rest are reserved well into the future. I'll try for one of the first come sites on Monday morning. As long as someone doesn't take them over the weekend & extend their stay past Monday, the chances are good that I'll get a site.

I stayed at Dead Horse until well after sunset, but decided not to wait until the stars came out. It will be an easier nighttime drive 1 mile back to the campground that the 30 or so miles to Moab!

Until Tomorrow