PRESCOTT TO FLAGSTAFF - SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2012
Woke up to a cloudy morning and the wind is picking up. It looks like rain and it is cold. Winter clothes today I think. The sun did come out and the temperature rose. We did some food shopping and then headed up to Flagstaff.
We got half way there and it started to snow.
We decided to book ourselves into a RV Park with hook ups so we could have the heating on as they forecast -16 this evening. We went into the restaurant on the park called Black Barts and there was a big open fire which was very welcomed. The highlight was having singing waiters and a pianist. The restaurant was very quirky - saloon like and the food delicious. I wished I had taken my camera.
FLAGSTAFF TO THE GRAND CANYON - MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2012
It was very cold when we woke up in the morning but it hadn't snowed any more. Took some photos of Black Barts from the outside.
We made our way to Williams and then on to the Grand Canyons.
The canyon was amazing but of course full of people.
Richard drove a few miles from the Visitor Centre and stopped and then we hiked a couple of miles through a pine forest and came to the Shoshone Point.
It took me a long time to walk so close to the edge. There is nearly 7500 feet of canyon underneath.
It was beautiful. Over 7000ft with sheer drops down into the canyon and there was no people. Magical. We stayed there for over an hour taking in the beauty that laid before us.
We then drove down Desert View Drive stopping at all the view points and taking photos. When we got to Desert View I climbed the 85 steps to the top of the Watch Tower and got a 360 degree view.
Inside the tower the walls and ceiling was painted Indian style. We parked for the night on some waste land a few miles outside the park and had a BBQ supper before going to bed. I am shattered.
THE GRAND CANYON TO HURRICANE - TUESDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2012
Was up early and watched day break and then went for a walk to see what is known locally as the little canyon. I took plenty of photos especially of the desert that we will be driving through today.
It was cold first thing but the sun is out now and the temperature is rising. We had bacon butties using some warm freshly baked rolls that Richard has just made and this is slumping it!! We bought a dream catcher for the RV that was made by an Navajo Indians.
A Navajo Village
We headed towards Page and this must be the most beautiful road we have travelled. The mountains are amazing - so colourful.
Just before Page we turned west towards the Vermilion Cliffs.
We stopped at the Navajo Bridge and I took a photo of the Colorado river.
Richard stopped to show me my new abode - a stone house with a great view.
Unfortunately the North rim road to the Grand Canyon was closed because of the snow so we headed to Fredonia which is over 7500 feet above sea level. There was quite a lot of snow and it looked so pretty as we went through Kalibab National Forest.
We stopped at Colorado City as I wanted to see the town as all the females wear long dresses and wear their hair the same style. It was interesting.
We carried on to Hurricane and decided to park on a piece of waste ground. We are having BBQ chicken tonight.
HURRICANE TO ZION NP - WEDNESDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2012
We entered Zion National Park at 11 am and it is a cloudy and sunny morning.
I quote Richard's words when describing Zion, "Its intimate - raw beauty. I have taken so many photos and in a way it is a good job the park is quite small otherwise it would take me hours to download all the photos. We had to go through a tunnel which is 1.1 miles long and it is so narrow they had to stop the traffic coming through the other side so we could pass. It was so exciting. There was three holes in the tunnel and I managed to get a view out of one of them while we drove through.
The traffic being held back until we come out of the tunnel.
There are lots of view points to stop and take photos.
As you can see Zion is amazing.
Can you see the checkerboard design on this mountain?
We headed towards Bryce and again the scenery is stunning and so varied.
This is Bryce were we are going tomorrow providing it doesn't snow.
We have parked on a disused road and this is the views from the RV.
ZION TO BRYCE NP - THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2012
We passed through Red Rock on our way to Bryce and the rocks were so beautiful.
We arrived at Bryce just after 8am and was so pleased the park was opened.
We were hoping to spend a couple of days here as Richard wanted to walk a couple of trails but all the trails were closed due to the snow. Most of the view points were open and we did Sunset View.
and Bryce Point
but it was cold and very windy and the clouds were bubbling up so I suggested we went to the farthest and highest point in the park and work back. We went to Rainbow Point which is 9115 feet above sea level and we were lucky as the sun came out.
The views were amazing. We tried to walk Bristlecone Loop Trail at Yovimda but only the path to the view point was cleared of snow so we decided against going any further.
We stopped at Black Birch,
Agua canyons, Naturual Bridge,
As we came out of the park we saw some deer.
Thought you might like to see Old Bryce Town.
We travelled through Tropic of Cancer to Escalante and the road was very pretty.
We booked ourselves into Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. We have parked along the shore of Wide Hollow reservoir which is frozen at the moment and has a line of cottonwood tree along its shore line.
Just as it was getting dusk four deer walked passed the RV on their way to the lake. Unfortunately we didn't see the golden eagle who is usually spotted most afternoons flying just above the mountains. Still it has been another lovely day.
ESCALANTE TO CAPITOL REEF - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2012
Up early and walked the Petrified Wood Trail which was steep but well worth the effort. There was a variety of different coloured petrified wood.
We could hear the lake resonating with booms and whooping noises - I found it eerie. We thought the road from Escalante to Capitol Reef would be a bit boring but we were pleasantly surprised that Highway 12 could offered us such amazing views.
Every bend offered an amazing photo shot.
We reached over 9600 feet above sea level
Once in the park we went straight into the camp site and apart from two men camping in tents we are the only people here. We are parked by Fremont River and Richard made a start on cooking BBQ ribs slowly - takes 5/6 hour. The sun was shining and I fell asleep in a chair and when I woke up I had six wild turkeys grazing by my feet. Richard took a video and it is hilarious.
He built a fire and we stayed outside till the crescent moon came out. The sky was so bright with stars. We came indoors to eat the ribs which were absolutely delicious. It is going to be a cold night and I am glad I am not camping out in a tent.
I am so lucky - another amazing day.
CAPITOL REEF NP TO BLANDING - SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2012
Another sunny day and we walked part of the Capitol Gorge Road as it was too narrow for the RV.
The rock formations were amazing and it was a lovely start to the day. We travelled through the park and stopped to see the Petroglyphs.
I took some photos of the drawings - afraid this is my best attempt. Luckily Richard is a better photographer and his photo is below,
The park was very beautiful and I have taken lots of photos again.
We passed Powell Lake and crossed the Colorado river several time
A cyclist getting a ride up the hill by holding on to the car.
We journeyed down to Blanding which is a dry town so no wine tonight.
MONUMENT VALLEY TO ARCHES - SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2012
Up very early to get to Monument Valley as they forecast a snow front for Monday and we need to be up north before it hits us.
The sky was very watery but it was still worth the journey to see the Mexico Hat and also Monument Valley.
We stopped off at Bluff so I could take a few photos of the wagon trains. They are a lot smaller then the one you see in the films.
We headed back to Moab and it is amazing how different the road looks going back.
When we got to Moab the sun was shining so we decided to go to Arches National Park.
It is amazing and I took the most photos today - 400 of them.
Richard suggested we walked Devils Garden.
The walk to Landscape Arch was easy. The trail beyond became more challenging. It has sloping surfaces, goes across or on top of sandstone fins and in close proximity to drop-offs. I thought I was going to die. How I got up and back down again, I will never know but I was exhausted when I got back to the RV.
We headed back to Moad and Richard treated me to supper in Moab Brewery. Had salmon with raspberry sauce - delicious and of course I tried half a pint of local brew. We are hoping the weather holds out as we want to go back and see some more of Arches National Park.
ARCHES/DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK/CANYONLANDS/GREEN RIVER - MON 27 FEB
We went back to Devils Garden in Arches NP and walked to Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch.
Pine Tree Arch
Then we drove to Delicate Arch Viewpoint and decided to walk the upper track to see the arch in the distance.
The clouds were bubbling up so we headed to Dead Horse Point State Park.
The park towers 2000 feet above the Colorado River and provides a breathtaking view of Canyonlands sculptured pinnacles and buttes.
We then drove into Canyonlands and down to Grand View Point Over look.
We saw three desert big horn sheep. I managed to get a photo of one of them.
It is so big, canyon after canyon that stretches as far as the eyes can see with the Colorado weaving across the horizon. It is hard to comprehend the depth and the vastness of the vista which lies before you.
We stopped to look at Green River and then on to Upheaval Dome passed the whale stone. Unfortunately we were both too tired to walk the track to see the dome.
It started to rain so we decided to make our way back up north before it starts to snow. We have made it to Green River. Another lovely day.
GREEN RIVER TO MALAD - TUESDAY 28 FEB 2012
The first time in our trip we were woken up just before midnight and asked to park else where. We found a trucker park a 100 yards down the road. I was surprised to find Richard up early. He said he wasn't feeling too good. The sky was very dark with snow clouds and the radio said snow had fallen in Bryce and Blanding and it was heading our way so we made an early start. We managed to to get to Price but then it started to snow on the road to Spanish Fork.
Luckily it wasn't settling.
We were relieve to reach Highway 15 which was very busy with traffic heading into Salt Lake City.
The wind that had bought Salt Lake City Airport to a halt first thing this morning had died down and when we passed through the sun was shining.
We have been ahead of the snow front and we wanted to stay that way but Richard got tired after driving 8 hours non stop and we finally parked up down a country lane in a small town called Malad. I cooked a very early supper and Richard was so tired he was in bed by 6pm. It will be another early start tomorrow but at least Spokane is now showing in the top left hand corner of the road atlas although the weather forecast is not good.
A department shop in Malad.
MALAD TO BUTTE - WEDNESDAY 29 FEB 2012 - LEAP YEAR
Woke to snow when a snow plough passed by the RV so we made an early start to Butte in the snow.
When we got to Pocatello it stopped snowing and the road was clear to Idaho Falls.
Unfortunately our luck ran out and the road from Idaho Fall to Montana State line was hairy to put it mildly. It was hard to see the road. You can see the storm in front of us.
Once we crossed into Montana the sun came out and there was no snow and we made good time.
We were about 20 miles from Butte when we came across another front.
We got into Butte and it has stopped snowing. We are going to stay here this evening and see what tomorrow brings weather wise. The sun is shining at the moment.
Butte city centre.
BUTTE TO SPOKANE - THURSDAY 1 MARCH
It hasn't snowed over night but it is very cold and we have frozen up. We are hoping we will get to Spokane today.
We were lucky as the roads were all clear and we didn't have to put on snow chains. Even Lookout and the 4th July Pass were clear and we got into Spokane around 3pm exhausted.
It has been an incredible seven weeks and we have travelled over 6000 miles and seen some beautiful places. Thank you Richard for inviting me to share this amazing journey with you. Memories I will treasure.