RV Log Page # 0042
Wednesday - May 26, 2010
444 miles today.
Copyright - leDragonfly - All Rights Reserved
Approx. 8081 miles thus far.
Approx. 1364 miles to go.
Beautiful day here, with no wind as yet. We left at about 7:30 this morning and headed west toward Utah on I-70. It was a nice downhill drive and when then wind came up (as always), luckily it was on our tail.
We passed through many scenic areas with canyons and mountains, with little time to stop and appreciate it all.
Once into Utah we picked up US89 and headed south toward Bryce Canyon National Park. When we turned the wind was right on our nose and buffetting us fairly well. US 89 is a windy, 2-lane road with little traffic, and when we traversed it quite a bit of it was being repaved. One thing we are thankful for in this part of the country is that fuel prices are at about $3.14 (average) per gallon, with $3.09 being the least expensive so far. We finally turned east on UT12 and the KOA in Cannonville, UT was about 25 miles away.
We reached the KOA at about 4 o'clock and proceeded to set up for our 6-night stay. The 'boys' were excited to be able to get out of the 5th wheel and enjoy the sunshine, and it was nice for us to sit and relax without the scenery rushing by!
Planning! . . . with 6 days here, and so much to do around here, Shirlee is digging into brochures and handouts from the KOA office trying to make the best of our time here.
Thursday - May 27, 2010
We drove to Bryce NP this morning and stopped at a recommended shuttlebus area with the intent to 'preview' the sights prior to riding around on our own tomorrow. Hopefully the weather reports are accurate and the wind will, in fact, die down a bit. It's certainly doable on a bike in conditions like today (40+ MPH gusts), but it can be very hazardous if a cross wind catches you at a real bad time! Anyway, we rode a bus around the areas that they service and had a nice time taking in the awsome scenery here. We walked on a couple of the rim-hikes, with Shirlee going farther than me as I wanted to attend a geological talk that was going on at one location. We are planning on taking the bike on a ride to the southernmost part of the park at Rainbow Point. Once we have completed that ride we might head east out of the park on UT12 and, passing our campground proceed onto Kodachrome Basin State Park, which has a very interesting geological history. Be sure to follow the link provided.
One of the popular 'things-to-do' at the NP is the Night Sky Program that allows you to see some of the darkest skies in the U.S.
Even with 5 more nights here we can't see it all . . . there is just so much! Also, with the moon full at present, they have a 'Full Moon Hike' with no flashlights allowed! THAT sounds like fun (?)!
Friday - May 28, 2010
We got ready and hopped on Belle this morning before the winds came up and rode back to Bryce NP. We rode straight to Rainbow Point, which is about 17 miles south from the entrance on the north end of the Park. By the time we arrived at Rainbow the winds were very strong, and it was cold! Not enough clothes on for this area! So, we didn't stay there very long. Did I say that we were at an elevation exceeding 9,000 feet? That's over 3,000 feet from where we started out this morning. Anyway, the views cannot be adequately described, so I won't try, except to say that they take your breath away.
We headed back down the 'hill' toward the north entrance, warming back up as we descended, and stopping along the way to view what could be seen from the seat of the bike.
After leaving the Park entrance we headed back toward our camp, but stopping at a parking area for Mossy Cave Trail. It was a nice, easy hike up to the cave at .4 miles. We both agreed that the cave is a 'ZERO' as far as caves go. It's supposed to be really something when the trickling water freezes into huge ice sickles in the winter. We would NOT want to be here then though! The falls adjacent to the cave, however, are a pleasant view and worth the hike.
Saturday - May 29, 2010
Shopping Day! We drove west today about 30 miles to Panguitch, UT, where we had spotted diesel for $3.09 per gallon and to pick up some 'decent' catfood for the boys. The price for diesel around here is at $3.29 per gallon, so when you load up with 30 gallons it makes a little difference.
We returned 'home' with our groceries, and once we had them stowed we headed for Kodachrome State Park, just a few miles down the road. As it turned out we both missed the sign and continued on for 20 or so miles until we realized we were amiss, but not before going by Powell Point. Once we turned around, we stopped at Powell Point to have a look. It is a beautiful vista overlooking dinosaur fossil country, according to the readerboards at the turnoff.
On our way again we soon saw the signs to Kodachrome and turned there toward the Park, another 9 miles down the road. Once there we paid our entry fee and parked at one of the trailheads that went to the Shakespeare Arch and Sentinel trail. It is a 1.7 mile loop that was labeled easy to strenuous, and really not that difficult. The highlight of the hike was meeting another couple on the trail who were from La Verkin, UT, which is south of where we are toward Zion National Park. They are Larry & Lila Cotton and we spent the rest of the day with them hiking along the trail and returning to our camp for refreshment and lots o' gabbing. Larry is a lineman/service tech for the local power company in the La Verkin area and Lila is a Walmart Distribution Center Administrator. They both are approching retirement and are traveling around the country, sometimes sleeping in their SUV, trying to get a feel for what type of 'RV' life that would best suit them. We talked about our own experiences which have lead us to where we are. They had a kayak strapped to the roof of their SUV and were looking for some water to play in. We found them to be great people and offered them one of our big bunk beds in the garage if they needed it while we were here. We hope to see them again in the future.
The sun has now set and I (Bob) sit here quite sated from a great meal that Shirlee prepared - a salad which included strips of carne asada which we had cooked up previously. By the way, did you know that garbonzo beans are actually a legume and one of the oldest and healthiest staple foods known??? I didn't know that! More exciting discoveries await us tomorrow!
Sunday - May 30, 2010
Today we headed back to Bryce N.P. to hike the 'Queens Garden / Navajo Loop' trail, a hike of about 3 miles. We followed the advise of the Park brochure and did it in a 'clockwise' direction, and we are very glad we did.
The trail descends from the Sunrise Point and descends well below the rim of the canyon a drop of 550 feet when combined with the Navajo Loop trail. You drop steadily from Sunrise Point and pass 'Queen's Garden', a rock formation that looks surprisingly like Queen Victoria. You continue on, traversing some of the Navajo Loop, which is closed after a certain distance due to recent rockslides (darn!).
After about 2 miles of general descent we reached the bottom of the trail and started a gradual climb. Let's see now . . . 2 miles of descent with 1 mile to go on a trail that ends higher than where we started. That doesn't sound healthy. Sure enough the last .6 miles averaged a 40 % grade to the top at Sunset Point. There were many switchbacks on that final section and they did offer areas to step aside to catch your breath. Of course there were the young 'kids' that were - at times - running up the trail. It would have been real unfortunate for one of them if my walking stick had 'slipped' in front of them. I showed GREAT restraint! If anyone slipped and fell over the edge, it wasn't MY fault!
Anyway, we plodded on and reached the end of the hike at Sunset Point. All 'kidding' aside, it was a good choice for a hike today, the weather beautiful with little wind - just enough to keep us cooled off.
We walked back along the canyon rim to Sunrise Point, where we had parked our truck and had a tuna sandwich lunch, that Shirlee had prepared that morning, at a little visitor's center there. THAT was one tasty sandwich! Actually, Shirlee preferred a slice of pizza from the visitor's center and offered me her sandwich. Such a deal!
Soon we returned to camp to rest and relax. We met a couple of mid-twenty passers-by from Holland that were staying at the KOA and struck up a friendly conversation with them. They are Jerome (Jeroen) and Wendy, who are from a region of Holland on the Belgium border and they were familiar with Colijnsplaat, Zeeland, where Shirlee's family emigrated from before the 1900's. They joined us at our camp site for some refreshment and more lively, fun and interesting talk about similarities and differences between the U.S. and Holland, and about RVing here. They had rented an RV (class C) and were trying to see all they could during their 2 week stay in the States. We had a great time with them.
We are now winding down and planning our day tomorrow. Weather permitting, we want to head east on the bike to see what we might see!
Only 2 more nights here. Time truely flies when yer havin' fun!
Monday - May 31, 2010
Happy Memorial Day to all!
Hopping on 'Belle', we rode east toward Boulder, UT. Mostly, the ride was more of what we had seen before, some of it a bit routine. About 15 miles west of Boulder the terrain got interesting, with beautiful sandstone cliffs eroding away into fantastic formations. We didn't stop for any photos - as there are plenty of pictures on the links here - except at one place we came upon, the Kiva Koffeehouse. We stopped on the way back from Boulder. It didn't look like much from the pull-off, and even into the parking lot. But down below it sits, kinda carved into the hillside, a small restaurant/coffee bar and two cottages they rent. It was really cute. We had cold drinks and then proceeded west toward 'home'.
This is our last night here so I will get the bike and the cat cage loaded up late this afternoon. That part of it done, it's a relatively easy job in the morning to get ready to travel. Seems like we've done it dozens of times before. Hey . . . I guess we have! 31 times so far, to be exact! AND . . . only 4 more times to go (3 arrivals - 4 departures) 'til we get HOME !!!
The bike & cage are all loaded up and we just finished one of Shirlee's great meals. I overate, but it WAS salad. That's OK . . . right?
We are preparing to have a toast for the 'last state sticker application' for this trip - Utah. We hit Nevada much earlier on (Vegas) and we've been through Idaho before, but not on this trip. This'll make it official!
'Nurse Jackie' is on tonight and as soon as that's done it's off to bed for an early start tomorrow.