Friday, October 26, 2012

 Grand Canyon
Oct. 26th, 2012
by Bill (the less wordy one)

Driving towards the Grand Canyon, we kept seeing signs for “Mexican Hat”.  Thinking it was a town up ahead, I ignored them, then we found a sign pointing at a rock formation . . . well what do you know.  Gotta take a picture!  By the way, you really need to click on a picture, let it get large, then scroll left and right with your cursor keys.  Gotta see the detail!

Mexican Hat - what else?
Later we stopped at a Navaho jewelry stand where Sheila basically made this guy’s day.  The man has an iPhone, a credit card reader attached to it so you can pay by credit card, and a dirt floor in his shack.  Sometimes the contrasts just get to me.

High tech with a dirt floor.

We arrived at the Grand Canyon to find that winter had beat us here.  I’ve been to the GC six times before, but never when it was this cold and windy!  If in any of the pictures it looks like we’re freezing, we are!

Later, Sheila added her winter coat over this ensemble.
(I, Sheila), did my hair that day, I really did, it looked pretty good before the wind got a hold of it!
A lady walked up to Sheila at one of the viewing areas and wanted to know if she was from Ohio.  Sheila had a “Bolte Insurance” shirt on and this lady went to school with the owner.  Reminds me of when (1975) I stopped at a little gas station in Wyoming on my first trip out west.  A guy walked up to me and asks, “Did you go to Central Michigan Univ?”  Or the time we ran into Kane and Fran Campbell on a glacier in the Canadian Rockies.  Small world.

We're not in the Arches NP, but we keep seeing arches!
And Arches in the process of being created.

How you can tell you aren't in a National Park: The locals see nothing wrong with\
 painting a sign for their gift shop on a huge rock wall!

The guy kept telling us to "back up" but we weren't buying it.

Gourmet breakfast!  Cooked by me!

The zig-zag in the background is the Bright Angel Trail which Kyle,
 David,  Megan, Justin W. and I hiked in 2003.

See the guy on the peak?  Shows the scale.

I love the layers in this shot.  You can see near, far away, and farther away.

This sign points out that the farther peaks are actually 60 miles away!

Sturdy rails so the wind doesn't blow you into the canyon.
(The rails were my (Sheila's) friends -- I am afraid of heights, gave me
some comfort, I didn't get near as nervous! 

The river - a mile away.

The Colorado River.  Doesn't look it, but it is actually a football
field wide on average.

A quote from Psalms on a post at Hermit's Rest

Holding a cup of delicious hot chocolate, and Sheila's trash.

Last stop on the west side of the rim tour.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 22 – 24, 2012

Sunday morning we decided we could not leave until we had seen more, experienced more.  However, Bill wanted to move to another campground, so we pulled up stakes, drove the motorhome to the Visitor Center and then took the car to church.  We thoroughly enjoyed the service at the small Church of Christ in Moab.  They were so friendly and invited us to stay for their potluck.  We almost took them up on it but I had hit my wall.  We grabbed lunch at a local grille, found a new campground and I crashed.  We were staying another 2 nights.  Bill took the opportunity to catch up on laundry and I did nothing at all.  How blessed am I?  I really needed the “down-time”.

Devil's Garden Trail, leads to the Landscape Arch

The entry to the "Easy" walk to Landscape Arch
Monday morning we were up and ready way before the “crack of noon” (our usual start time) and headed to the “Arches”.  The Landscape Arch was an “EASY” hike, (according to the brochure) just a little over 1 mile round trip. The terrain was too rocky for “Ruby” but I figured as long as I took LOTS of breaks I could do it.  Bill was a little hesitant but I talked him into it. 

See, I did take breaks, elevation was high, air was thin, I tire easily!
Gorgeous View!!
Young couple from Auburn Hills, MI --- sweet!
Mule Deer, right up near the path, they were not frightened of us at all,
that is until Bill said, "Don't worry, we won't hurt you." Then the little one ran off.

This is what the sign should have said for the trek --- "Caution - Primitive
trail - Difficult walking.  LOL

Okay, in my defense, my doctor said, “If it’s easy, do it.  If not, don’t”.  Well I can get them for false representation but I believed them when they said it was an easy, mostly level trail.  NOT.  Well, probably for most people, but not me.  And I did take lots of breaks and I was exhausted when we got out.  Was it worth it??  You bet it was.  It was glorious.  It was beautiful.  It was so good to be walking (even though intermittently) on the trail to the Landscape Arch.  


Our first view!  You can't quite see through here.

We got closer --- Now you can see the sky through the arch!

See --- we made it --- I was not photoshopped in.  It may have taken us 3 times as long as anyone else but I have lived to tell the story!  Thanks for Bill's patience in taking it slow --
we were able to enjoy our surroundings longer that way.  LOL

Bill walked farther along the trail to get an even better view & picture.
I restrained myself, sat on a rock and waited.
This was a double window arch even farther along the trail.  I could kind of
see it from where I was sitting.

Bill was intrigued by the different cacti!

View on the return -- the sun had come out and was showing off!
Another break -- on a gnarled tree this time -- the wind was really kicking up!

The ravens are huge and very noisy!


We left there and headed to the Canyon Lands National Park --- another wonder.  It is so unique and different.  At the “Arches” you are on the bottom looking up, way up, and up some more!  At the “Canyons” it is the opposite.  You are on the top looking down and out at these huge open, rugged areas.  I was so excited about both these parks that Bill said we might as well go home, the Grand Canyon was going to be a disappointment.  Then he assured me that the “Canyons” in Moab were a taste of what I would see at the Grand Canyon.  Seriously, if we had had to leave and go home right then I couldn’t have complained, I had seen so much of God’s creativity and diversity.

I thought this was a neat little bush -- very prickly!

We saw a lot of these trees -- I call them gnarly ones.  They were each
very unique and really cool.  I found them interesting,

This one really shows the "crater" like gorges, almost like fingers.

The sun was starting to set in this direction.  You can see the Colorado River.

There was another “EASY” walk to an arch in the Canyon Lands.  I really had to talk Bill into this one but I had rested for many hours since the last hike … and again it was worth it.  So cool!  This arch, unlike the others we had seen, you could climb up to and look into the Canyon and see the sky too.  Super cool.


This one made me nervous --- there is nothing on the other side of this
 arch to keep you from falling all the way to the bottom of the canyon.
Bill was very brave, I was very nervous.
I couldn't watch him get there or get back!

That was it! We were both spent by then.  Headed back to camp.  Tomorrow, yes tomorrow, 2 weeks and 3 days since we left home for the Grand Canyon and we will be there tomorrow.  The journey has been wonderful!