Saturday - November 22, 2008

Today was another nice day here in Utah although not as sunny as we would like – oh well, I guess we can’t ask for brilliant sunshine every day!! The weather here certainly beats the weather back home (Southwestern Ontario) so we aren’t complaining!! It sounds like we got out just in time as a couple of days after we came through Indiana and Illinois they got major dumps of snow and southwestern Ontario has got major snows in the last few days – can only say WE DON’T MISS IT!!!!

Today we were “touristed out” so we decided to have a lazy day at home. I worked on my blog and just did a bit of this and a bit of that and John did the same. This afternoon we took a run into the grocery store as I was out of fresh fruit and veggies and that was about the most exciting thing we did all day – how’s that for boring?

Today I had an e-mail from Ron & Dee, a couple we met at Green Acres last summer, they have been following our blog - it’s so nice to hear from people who are following it as it makes it seem worth while to do.

Tonight we had Chicken Casear Salad and garlic bread for dinner – yummy. Once I get this posted I will see if there is anything on TV worth watching, if not will read for a bit.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and to see how the day unfolds, right now the plans are for a return visit to Arches National Park.

Friday - November 21, 2008

Today was another beautiful day with highs in the low 60’sF (15C) but it was hazy off in the distance.

We decided to visit Dead Horse State Park and Canyonlands National Park today and for a change I drove to give John a rest (I think he enjoyed being able to watch the scenery). Dead Horse State Park is a really nice park and the scenery was beautiful. At the Visitor Centre we walked a trail around the canyon rim and there were some awesome views into canyons.

Nice Rock Formations

Dead Horse Point is a peninsula connected to a large mesa by a narrow strip of land. At one time, in the late 1800’s, cowboys captured wild mustangs by driving them across the narrow neck of land onto the point, then closing them in by building a brush fence made of Junipers and Aspens behind them. They would then cull the horses and take the better ones. One time they forgot to take down the fence after the cull and the horses they didn’t want were trapped over the winter and died, they could see water 2000’ below but of course couldn’t get to it – hence the name Dead Horse Point. From the rim there was a panoramic view of the canyon country and the Colorado River.

View of Solar Evaporation Ponds Used for Mining Potash

More Rock Formations

View of Colorado River from Dead Horse Point

John By Juniper Tree Covered in Berries

We drove through the campground at Dead Horse Point and it looked really nice with very large, private sites and they all had electric. There was one large 5th wheel trailer in there and that was it, certainly not a busy time of year here!!

From there we drove to Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park. The “Island” gets it name from the fact that, with the exception of the narrow route across the Neck, the huge mesa is isolated from the canyons below by towering cliffs. At Grand View Point we could look out over Monument, White Basin and the White Rim. It was good for taking pictures here.

White Rim


More Neat Formations

From there we went to the Green River Overlook where the view included the White Rim, Green River and Orange Cliffs. Because it was getting late in the afternoon it was impossible to get good pictures at this stop.

We then stopped and hiked the Mesa Arch Trail to see Mesa Arch. It was about the same type of trail as we did yesterday to see the Window and Turret Arches, lots of stair up! When we got to the point where we could see the Arch I stopped as the trail turned a bit tricky and so John went ahead and I stayed and enjoyed the view from where I was. Fortunately, I didn’t have to stop and “retire” (see my English teacher daughter’s comment on yesterday blog) my shoe today.

Mesa Arch

Large Raven in Parking Area for Mesa Arch Trail

From there we went to the Upheaval Dome but it was another trail to get there and we wanted to be out of the park before dark, which happens around 5:15 p.m., so didn’t have the time to do it.

Tonight is another quiet evening, and I am getting tired so won’t post this until tomorrow.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and to see how the day unfolds.

Thursday - November 20, 2008

Today was another nice day but kind of overcast, not the clear blue sky that we have been having, which was a disappointment for taking pictures at Arches National Park. The temperature only got up to the mid 50’sF today, around 12/13C, so it was also a bit cooler.

Today was the day to do Arches National Park and we started with a stop at the Visitor Centre and watched a film on how this area came to be which was very interesting. We then drove into the first area and stopped to see Park Avenue.

Park Avenue

Interesting Formations

Three Gossips

Balanced Rock

After that we decided to drive the 18 miles to the end of the road at Devil’s Garden, which is also the campground and then stop at all the different areas on the way back.

It was a pretty drive but it soon became clear that most of the arches are only visible by walking on a trail to see them. There was a picnic area at Devil’s Garden so we enjoyed our lunch at a picnic table there, then after lunch we took a drive through the campground. Most of the spots are too small for our trailer, there might be one or two that we would fit into. There were only a couple of people camping there, pretty quiet at this time of year. Apparently from March to May it is almost impossible to get a site in there. There are a number of arches in the area but we didn’t have time to start hiking out to them.

After there we drove to the road to Delicate Arch, which is a free standing arch that is 45 feet high and 33 feet wide. There were two views of Delicate Arch, one right off the parking area and the other was about a 0.5 mile hike. We were going to do the hike until a man said to me that it was a pretty tough hike so I stayed behind while John went. When he came back he said he was really glad that I didn’t go as I probably would have had a really hard time with it and also that the view wasn’t as good as the one right off the parking lot.

Delicate Arch (My View)

Delicate Arch (From John's Hike)

From there we drove to the windows section to view the North and South Windows and the Turret Arch. The sign there said it was a 1 mile gravel loop trail with a gentle incline, well I sure didn’t think it was that gentle! There were steps all the way up and down so my hip got a really good workout. At one point I needed to retire my shoe and John was ahead of me so I made the mistake of sitting on a step to tie my shoe, well the step was so low I suddenly realized I was going to have a hard time getting back up, I had to turn over and brace my hands on the step to get back up – thank goodness there was no one around to see me or they would have had the laugh of their lives!!! My biggest fear still is stepping on something and twisting my ankle and falling so a walk like that is a bit nerve wracking for me, I still need to get my confidence back. I did buy a pair of walking sticks the other day but want to get used to them on flat level ground before trying them out on a walk like that.

Double Arch is in the same area but we didn't have time to hike out for a good picture.

North Window

South Window

Turret Arch

North & South Windows (Can Only Be Seen Together from Turret Arch)

Double Arch

Another View of La Sal Mountains

Tonight we went to the Moab Brewery for dinner, the special tonight was any hamburger for $5 so I had a Swiss Mushroom burger with French fries and John had a Jack Daniels burger with onion rings – they were very good!! Their beer special tonight was a pint for $2.50 so we both had a pint, then I told John I would drive home if he wanted a second one - he thought that was a good idea – surprise, surprise!!

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and another day of beautiful sights, do join us again to see what the day unfolded.

Wednesday - November 19, 2008

Today was another beautiful day in Moab with clear, sunny skies. We did a mountain loop tour today so it was a bit cooler in the mountains with temperatures in the low 50’s so we don’t know what the high here in Moab was, but all in all it was a nice day.

Today we did the Colorado Riverway and La Sal Mountain Loop Road, we probably did it backwards from what the guide book says but we were closer to the La Sal Mountain Road to start than the Colorado Riverway. It was a beautiful drive through the mountains, at one point we were high enough to find a bit of snow on the road and a couple of icy patches, fortunately it wasn’t much as the road was very twisty and turny with VERY steep drop offs and no shoulders or guard rails. Needless to say I was holding on tightly for a fair bit of the drive – now what good would that do if we did go over the edge–LOL!!!! The scenery was beautiful and when we came down along the Colorado River we were in beautiful Castle Valley surrounded by mountains.

La Sal Mountains and Views from Mountain Drive

We pulled off at one overlook and they had a big board up showing where a huge forest fire had decimated a large are of the La Sal Mountains in August of this year, shortly after we came across an area where all the trees were blackened skeletons due to the fire. Yesterday the fellow at the Visitor Centre mentioned that the Dewey Bridge, which was one of the scenic spots listed on this particular tour, was no longer there as it had burned this summer, guess it was one of the casualties in this large forest fire.

At the end of the loop there is a new walking bridge over the Colorado River which opened in May of this year, we stopped and walked about ¾ of the way across and got some pictures of the river.

On the way through town, heading home, we stopped at the Post Office and the Kokapelli Gallery, which had some beautiful Indian jewelry, pottery etc., then did a quick run into the grocery store.

And so ends a great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and another day of beautiful sights, do join us again to see what the day unfolded.

Tuesday - November 18,2008

Today was another beautiful day with a high of about 68F (19C) and last night the low was 35F (2C), nothing to complain about.

This morning I figured out I can get on the internet in the bedroom, I don’t really want to have to sit in there for long but at least we can get it from there. This morning was laundry morning, I went over to the Laundromat (which was sparkling clean!) and got the laundry done and used the internet while there to check the e-mail, post yesterday’s blog, get caught up on the blogs I read and the news. Then I came home and did a real good cleaning. John sorted out the truck this morning and got it all re-organized – how can it get so unorganized in a week????

After 6 days on the road we weren’t really ready for another full day in the truck so this afternoon we did a short (about 2 hours), scenic tour along the Colorado River – what a beautiful drive with wonderful scenery, we sure do like this part of the world! The rock formations are fascinating and I think “you haven’t seen nothing yet!” probably would be very true.

Today's Tour:

On the way back we stopped at the Moab Visitor’s Centre as I wanted to ask about a drive we are thinking of doing tomorrow. They had some neat T-shirts there so John and I each got one and I also picked up a few postcards.

It is now time to think about getting dinner ready and I will try to get this posted tonight along with some pictures, then we will spend a quiet evening reading or watching TV.

And so ends a great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and a day of beautiful sights, do join us again to see what the day unfolded.

Monday - November 17, 2008

Today was another nice day weather wise with a high of about 15C (60F) but last night the low was -4C (26F) – not nice! John disconnected the hose last night but as he said it is hard to blow out 50’ of hose so this morning the hose was frozen, fortunately by the time we were ready to leave it was thawed out.

This morning we went to Wal Mart to stock up as I have no idea when we will see another Wal Mart so it was almost noon before we left Grand Junction.

The drive today from Grand Junction CO to Moab UT was pretty boring – good highway and not a lot of traffic and other than some mountains the scenery wasn’t great, BUT coming into Moab that all changed and the scenery changed to pretty impressive – can’t wait to explore.

Scenery on Today's Drive

An Interesting Rock Formation

After we got set up we went into town to the state liquor store as we had no wine left, then went to the grocery store – could have done my shopping here after all as the local grocery store is a Kroger’s, which I like, and the prices aren’t much more than Wal Mart was. We did pick up a couple of things on sale so we are pretty well stocked up now.

We are now at the Spanish Trail RV Park and will be here for a week. It is supposed to have wi-fi but I am not able to get it here so hope I don’t have to go to the office for the next week to get on line – that would be a real grrrrr!!

And This Is the View from Our Living Room Window

And so ends a great gift of a day, please do come back to see what Arches National Park and Canyonlands are like – from the little we have seen we know it will be an interesting week.