Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bryce Canyon National Park

Of the 5 National Parks of Utah, Bryce Canyon was our last to explore. To reach Bryce Canyon from our campground at the edge of Panguitch, UT, we drove through the scenic Red Rock Canyon.  There is a system of trails through Red Rock, but that will have to wait for another stay.2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1002

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From the moment you get your first view of Bryce Canyon at Bryce Point, you are overwhelmed by the canyon’s immenseness and stark beauty.  It is literally comprised of thousands of acres filled with rock formations.2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1026

The valley, created by erosion, is constantly changing and emerging.  Over time, tall thin ridges called fins emerge.Bryce Canyon Hike -111

Fins erode into arches, then into pinnacles and spires called hoodoos, that weakening and eventually falling, add their colors to the hills below.Bryce Canyon Hike -128 As with many of the areas of the West, the ancients had their own explanations for the formations.  An elderly Paiute explains:  “Before there were any Indians, the Legend People lived in this place.  They were of many kinds, birds, animals, lizards,and such things – but they had the power to make themselves look like people.  For some reason, the Legend People were bad, so Coyote turned them all into rocks.  You can see them in that place now, all turned to rocks; some standing in rows, some sitting down, some holding onto others.  You can see their faces with paint on them just as they were before they became rocks.”

The scenic drive through the park stretches a little over 20 miles.  If you do not wish to drive, a shuttle bus  makes stops at all the overlooks in the area called Bryce Amphitheater.  We were told at the Visitor Center, that the largest majority of visitors never see the park beyond the shuttle route of the Amphitheater.

We decided to drive the length of the park, stopping at the major viewpoints.  Our first stop was the popular Bryce Point, elevation 8300:2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1011

Looking across to Sunset Point: 2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1014

Here, cave-like grottos have formed in the walls.Grottos

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I could hear a steady, rhythmic sound, and finally, with the help of the zoom lens,located the source:     2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1025

We drove the length of the park to begin working our way back.  At the end of the road lies Rainbow Point and Yovimpa Point, one of the highest points in the park at an elevation of 9115.  The view at these points, on a clear day, can extend 90miles away into Arizona and New Mexico. 2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1045 2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1047  2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1062

Ponderosa Canyon shows off its multicolored hoodoos framed by the pine forests.2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1071Amazingly, there are even trees growing on the top of that tallest hoodoo.  2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1072

Natural Bridge is not a true bridge at all, but rather an arch.  Bridges are carved by running water underneath, while arches are formed by rain and frost erosion from the top.2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1085

The view from Inspiration Point has been named Silent City. 2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1094

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Although another formation is named The Poodle, I think I found one here also:2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1105

Fairyland Point’s view is highlighted by the Sinking Ship, upper left center of photo:2010-09-20 - UT, Bryce Canyon National Park - Park Overlooks - 1108

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As mentioned above, most visitors never see the southern end of the park.  Far fewer decide to venture into the canyon on one of the many hiking trails.  We decided to take a 3 mile hike that would cover parts of both the Queen’s Garden trail and the Navajo Loop.  If the views from above seem outstanding, hiking through the formations is better described through pictures than words.  Join us on the hike by clicking on the collage:

Hike collage

Moab to Panguitch