Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sept. 12, 2015

Jacob Lake

First, Happy three month Birthday Gracie Sue!! Smile


We have spent last two days just kicking back at  a forest service campground at the Jacob Lake intersection where the road takes off to the north rim of Grand Canyon.  There is a small lodge and gas station across the road.  Very nice campground.  No hookups but large, level, gravel camp sites with lots of room between.  Our site is at the back of campground, away from road (which is not really that busy, dead at night) and looks out over nothing but trees.   Another plus (right now) is that the elevation is 8700’+.  Very comfortable days (85 degrees or less) and cool nights.  Clean air, blue skies by day and dark nights with lots of stars.  The rest of our trip will be at lower elevations and hotter so we have been watching the weather and extended our stay here ‘till lower temps forecast in our direction.  Today we took a couple of hikes.  Got in over five miles.







Some Kaibab Squirrels we saw on our walk.  The Kaibab Squirrel is only found on the Kaibab Plateau which is the land mass that extends from roughly where we are (Highway 89A on a map) south to the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Pointy ears and white tails.  Very different from any squirrel we have seen.  They are also very skittish.  Other squirrels will retreat to a safe distance and then watch you to see what you are up to.  Chipmunks and ground squirrels are even braver to the point of approaching you some times.  These guys head for a tree as soon as they see you coming and keep climbing.  Fun to see this rare animal in his environment.


There really is a Jacob Lake.  It is about a mile from the intersection down a gravel road.  The original inn and road were near here.  Historic ranger station is just across road behind where pictures were taken.  For several reasons the road and inn were moved to higher ground (nearly 100 years ago) leaving the lake alone in its peaceful setting.




Sept 10, 2015

Grand Canyon

Leisurely departure time for us as our goal camp spot had a 1:00 check in time and was only about 80 miles away.  First gas up then off.  Another pretty drive.  This time one of the key sights was the Vermillion Cliffs as well as crossing the Colorado River gorge at Lees Ferry.  Last time we will cross it this trip.  Lots of elevation changes We gained and lost 2000’ and then regained it and doubled that.  Reached Jacob Lake and checked in to campground even though we were early.  Lunch and then a 45 mile drive south to north rim of Grand Canyon.  Took pictures, wandered through lodge, talked to ranger for info, drove out another 30 mile long road to location with best views from north rim – much better than views from lodge.  Took pictures.  Back to carbus about 6:45.



View toward southeast from north rim Cape Royal



This is an area set up for weddings.  Picture taken from behind several rows of benches. Couple stand in area in front of rocks.  Looks like best time for wedding would be morning.  Much better light then.  Still an impressive backdrop.



Window rock



View of Grand Canyon through window



Looking southeast.  There is a reason south wall is more abrupt.  North rim is 1500’ higher.  More snow and rain.  More run off. More feeder streams. More erosion over longer distance before reaching Colorado River.

Speaking of the Colorado, it is in the picture.  Center of picture is a white bluff.  To the right of that is a dark green area on floor of canyon.  that is not the river.  River is brown area running diagonally down to left of green area.



Similar view.  River a little easier to make out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sept 09,2015

Rainbow Bridge

Boat tour to Rainbow Bridge. (With a 2 1/2 mile walk in the middle)  Amazing scenery the whole trip (which took seven hours Smile).  Pleasant, informative crew eager to share insights and answer questions.



Rainbow Bridge





One of our boat captains, ranger, and Sue

Sept 08, 2015

Travel to Page

Left Bryce just before sunrise.  Hour and a half drive to Kanab, location of visitor center that administers access to ‘The Wave’.  We filled out form to enter the lottery for tomorrows Wave permits.  Didn’t win (along with about 45 other people from all over the world).  Had no reason to stay in Kanab so on to Page, AZ, home of Glen Canyon Dam and access to Lake Powell.  Hooked up at Elks Lodge, to marina to make reservations for tour tomorrow, wash clothes, and chill out (@91 degrees).

Sept. 07, 2015

Bryce Canyon National Park

Last day and a half at Bryce.

First a note on getting here.  If you have the opportunity, take State highway 12 from Torrey south to Bryce.  It has an Americas Scenic Byway designation and it is well deserved.

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First time we have actually seen inhabitants of an open range


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Got to Bryce a little after noon.  Again the concern about space because middle of Labor Day weekend.  Lucked out and found several spots open in best campground for RV use.  Park and then off to see Bryce Canyon.  (Not really a canyon but it’s just a name)  What to say?  Will just post some pictures.



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You can not buy bottled water anywhere  in Bryce (and many- maybe all- other National Parks and monuments) or in nearby stores outside park.  They are happy to sell you a refillable bottle however and there are water stations in many places.



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Sept 05, 2015

Capitol Reef NP

Drove from Grand Junction west a ways on Interstate 70 and then south on more scenic smaller road.  Road goes along the east side and then turns west and goes right through Capitol Reef.  Amazing and constantly changing scenery almost every 100 yards it seemed.  Past the visitor center (very crowded) and a few more miles to the ‘town’ of Torrey.  More like an intersection+.  There are three RV parks (and a Subway Smile) in Torrey.  It was the beginning of a holiday weekend.  First two parks were full.  Third park (a very nice one) had space (we were there just after noon).  Settled in and then back to Capitol Reef visitors center.  Got info and then drove the roads and saw the sights of Capitol Reef.  Entrance to park is located near/at old Mormon settlement and homestead.  There are still functioning orchards with trees that must be pushing 100 years old.  Pick what you can eat on the spot otherwise 50 cents a pound.  Again, great views of the reef – but always manages to be different.

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