Saturday - November 29, 2008

Last night didn’t go below freezing so it didn’t get as cold as forecast – gotta like that. Today was a nice sunny day, with highs in the high 40’s here in Panguitch, but it was much colder at Bryce Canyon (just a couple of degrees above freezing) with a brutally cold wind.

Our Spot At Hitch-N-Post Campground

What a beautiful drive again today, to get to Bryce Canyon we had to go through Red Canyon then had a beautiful view of Table Cliff Plateau – and the best was yet to come.

Red Canyon

Table Cliff Plateau

Our first stop was at Bryce Canyon Visitor’s Centre and was it busy – we have been used to the quiet Visitor’s Centres at Arches and Canyonlands so today was a real change, guess it is because it was the weekend as well as the Thanksgiving holiday. From the Visitor’s Centre we took the scenic drive along the top of the canyon but because of the snow the road was closed at Ponderosa Canyon (elevation 8904’) so we couldn’t go to the end. We drove out to Ponderosa Canyon then stopped at all the scenic views on the way back. There was lots of snow – what, didn’t we leave Ontario to avoid this!!! At one point we stopped at a pullover that wasn’t plowed and John got out to take some pictures and the snow was well over the tops of his shoes – thank goodness for gortex lined shoes!!!

I was really disappointed that there was no hiking today as it would have been neat to hike down around the Hoodoos, but all the trails were snow covered and I wasn’t about to tackle them and end up slipping and falling so we had to make do with the overlooks. With the cold temperatures (about 35F) and the wind it wasn’t really nice to spend a lot of time outside anyways, guess we are just wussies.

I hope you aren’t terribly bored with pictures of rock formations as there are a lot of them today. Bryce is know for its Hoodoos, which are rock formations that at one time were fins, which developed windows, that later collapsed to form Hoodoos – a very brief description of how they are formed.

Natural Bridge

Snow On Trees

One of Us Was Smart Enough to Bring a Touque

And More Hoodoos

And We Saw This Pretty Bird

It was another pretty drive through Red Canyon on the way back home. When we got back we stopped at the one and only grocery store in Panguitch, pretty sad and pricey, took a drive through town and then came home and warmed up after our day in frigid temperatures.

Red Canyon On The Return Trip

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and exploring more of this part of Utah, do come back and see what our day was like.

Friday - November 28, 2008

Today was very overcast and cloudy when we got up but at least it wasn’t raining. We were on the road by about 9:30 and it was still overcast,

View When We Left Spanish Trail RV

and we had a lot of traffic heading out to I-70, which was about 30 miles. Once we got on I-70 the traffic was reduced to almost nothing and the sun finally came out after about 15 minute on the Interstate.

Our First Peek of the Sun

It was an interesting drive – we saw lots of rock formations along I-70 and there were about 5 scenic lookouts with beautiful views. At one point we hit a high elevation and were enveloped in total cloud cover with limited visibility – thankfully that was short lived!! We also hit a couple of areas where there were all kinds of warning signs – Icy Roads, Watch for Fallen Rocks, and Deer and Elk Crossing – I didn’t like all these warnings!!! We then hit the flatlands with lots of cattle farms and crop farming. When we turned off I-70 to Panguitch we ran between some mountains then were into a valley with again lots of farmland, cattle and horses. All in all, it was a pretty drive.

Views Along the Way Today

We are now at the Hitch-N-Post Campground at Panguitch and from here will spend a couple of days exploring Bryce Canyon. This park certainly does not have an “it” factor, but, it is open for the winter and has full hook-ups as well as Wi-Fi so it will do and it’s not like we are planning on spending a lot of time in the park itself.

The weather forecast is for sunny days with highs in the low 50’s and lows of 22 – 24 at night – think we will be glad of the electric blanket for the next few nights.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow and exploring Bryce Canyon. Do come back and see what our day was like.

Thursday - November 27, 2008

Last night on our way out for dinner we noticed the office was open signing in a new trailer so stopped and settled up for another day – we are really glad that we made the decision to stay one more day as the weather today is pathetic – rain all day long!!

Today is my sister Pat’s birthday – Happy Birthday Pat. I know it is not the greatest birthday with her broken wrist but hopefully it wasn’t a total write-off.

As I said, rain all day long was it for today, there was such a low cloud cover that we couldn’t see the La Sal Mountains, nor did we have a good view of the rock formations surrounding us as for the most part they were also hidden in mist, sure glad we decided to stay here for another day.

As you can imagine it wasn’t a very exciting day, at one point I thought we could go back to Arches National Park for a bit but it never got nice enough to do that so we had another quiet day, lots of surfing on the internet etc. I have spent some time trying to figure out my I-Pod Touch, right now John is trying to set up my e-mail for me as I can’t seem to get it to work.

We had a turkey breast with all the trimmings for dinner and now are looking forward to a quiet evening.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow, even though it will probably be a travel day.

Wednesday - November 26, 2008

Today was a very quiet day for us. It was kind of sunny this morning but clouded over this afternoon and was fairly cool with a high of about 50F (10C).

Last night I had a call from my sister, she retired from teaching at the end of October and yesterday she went skating with a friend and fell and broke her right wrist – what a bummer!! She needs surgery on the wrist but because she is on blood thinners she has to get that adjusted, so is not having the surgery until next Monday, then she will be in a cast for 6-8 weeks. She is right handed, and like me has lymphedema in her left arm, so is in a bit of a mess, we feel so bad for her.

This morning I did laundry and cleaned the trailer and then this afternoon we went out and got some groceries, what an exciting day! Tonight we are going to go across the road to the Branding Iron for dinner – I’m looking forward to it.

We were going to leave here tomorrow but the weather forecast is so dismal for where we are heading that we have just decided to stay until Friday – we don’t really want to drive in rain and perhaps snow showers! There are storm warnings for southern Utah which is where we are heading so one more day here is probably a wise decision. Have I mentioned that the nice part of this type of travel is that plans are made in jello and easily changed! We really don’t like traveling over Thanksgiving but hopefully Friday won’t be too bad. John went over to the office to pay for the extra day but they are closed and are closed tomorrow, guess they will see we are still here and let us straighten up with them.

No pictures today, I didn’t even take my camera out of it’s case. We want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow, even though it will probably be a very quiet stay at home day.

Tuesday - November 25, 2008

Today started out overcast but by noon the sun was starting to peek out so we had a nice afternoon, weather wise. The high I saw today was 54F (12C) so it is getting a bit cooler.

Yesterday I jinxed myself by telling John that I was sleeping so much better here and not even getting up during the night, then guess what, last night I woke up sometime during the night and was awake for quite a while (I didn’t look at the clock so don’t know what time it was but I was awake for at least an hour – bummer!).

This morning I wasn’t quite so eager to get up so slept until 9, then got up and was on the computer for a while checking e-mail, my daily newspapers, etc., a lazy morning.

When the sun came out around noon we headed out for a drive along the Colorado River on a scenic by-way with Fisher’s Towers the point where we would turn around. As usual the views were fabulous with lots of fascinating rock formations and the Colorado River is so pretty with some fairly peaceful looking spots and then spots with lots of little rapids, not a river for swimming in me thinks! The road to Fisher’s Towers, off the main road, was very rough but the view at the end was worth while. Again a very nice, scenic drive.

Nice Rock Formations Along the Highway

Fisher's Towers

The Colorado River

Animal Footprints Along the River Bank

When we got back John went to the Shell station across the road and filled the propane tank that went dry last night so we are now all set with two full tanks. This is the first empty tank since leaving Waterloo so that is pretty good, with the electric heater and the little Wave propane heater we don’t use the furnace a lot and the hot water has been on electric since leaving home so it all helps cut down the use of propane.

Tonight John is cooking Cajun Catfish for dinner then a quiet evening is planned.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow, right now I know I tomorrow is laundry day, but what else we do remains to be seen.

Monday - November 24, 2008

Today was another beautiful sunny day but cooler than it has been, the high today only reached about 54F (12C) but we aren’t complaining – we didn’t have snow like at home!

Today we did the Needles area of Canyonlands National Park, another beautiful drive and awesome scenery - it is amazing what Mother Nature has done over the last number of millions of years!!

There are two roads out to view the Needles and we took both of them. The first road was 22 miles out to the end and it was a fairly boring drive with just scrub land, then when we got to the end of the road the view was fabulous, the only problem was that the sun wasn’t in a great spot for taking pictures. We walked a couple of the trails to different outlooks and here are pictures of the view.

We then drove the 22 miles back out and took the highway to the next road in to the Needles overlook and it was a totally different landscape. The road out to the overlook was about 34 miles and the scenery along the road was beautiful, lots of flatlands then we drove through the floor of the canyon and the rock formations were fascinating. About 14 miles from the main highway we came to Newspaper Rock, a very large rock with many petroglyphs dating back thousands of years, very fascinating. From there we crossed a large area of grasslands with a very large ranch and lots of cattle, then we were into the rock formations for a long ways.

Newspaper Rock

We stopped at the Visitor’s Centre, which is located about 7 miles from the overlook, watched a video of the area and how it was formed, then continued on to the overlook where the scenery was again fabulous.

On the way back out we saw a Big Horn Sheep walking along a ledge, but he was too far away to get a picture, then a couple of minutes later we came across 4 Mule Deer crossing the road, unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture. A little later we came across a Mule Deer just standing by the side of the road, I do believe his mother had taught him to stop, look and listen before crossing the road! Again we were past him before we could get a picture.

Some of the Rock Formations on the Way Out

On the way home, on the main highway, we stopped and took some pictures of Wilson Arch, we had stopped on the way by in the morning but the sun wasn’t good for taking pictures, thankfully it was perfect on the way back.

Wilson Arch

An Interesting Fin at Wilson Arch

Tonight is very cold, already it is at freezing so I think it will be a cold night. John has taken in the hose and we will use the fresh water tank and pump for the rest of the night then hook back up to the camp water system during the day tomorrow.

And so ends another great gift of a day and we are looking forward to tomorrow, right now the plans are for another short scenic drive so do come back and see what we discover.