Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Too Funny

Yesterday we decided to run some errands before we leave for Nevada tomorrow.  We think we are going to be rather isolated at our next location so we stocked up on food and supplies in case we’re far away from shopping. 

As we pulled out of the campground, we had to stop because the road was full of sheep.  That’s a new one!  It appears sheep dogs and horses have been replaced by trucks and ATVs.  There were two pick-up trucks and one ATV herding about 100 sheep down the main road.  I’m not sure where they came from, but they were being herded down the road and turned onto a side street.  A few were straggling, but as soon as the ATV came up behind them, they got right back to the group.  Too funny!!  I didn’t have my camera so I had to use my cell phone camera.  This is the best picture I could get.

Sheep Herding in Utah

The sheep are on the left in front of that truck and also on the road in front of the truck on the right.






Today is football watching day.  Kevin’s Packers won so he’s one happy camper.  I can’t just sit and watch football so I did laundry, washed the windows on the outside and have been messing around on the computer.  Supper is cooking in the crock pot, so what more could we ask for :)

Tomorrow marks the six month anniversary of our full time RV life.  So far, so great!!

Now that we have six months under our belt, I have a few observations.  Financially, I think we’ve been doing a good job of being frugal but still enjoying the things that we want to.  Kind of the same as we have always lived.  I do think it will cost a bit more than I had expected. 

There really is very little I miss from our old life.  I miss seeing family, but we talk often, and the boys are coming for Christmas in less than two months.  I also miss having a dishwasher.  It’s really the only convenience I wish I still had.  I know they now have them for RVs and maybe someday I’ll have one again. 

I’ve also determined that doing laundry in commercial laundromats is more economical than using the campground laundry.  The washers are about all the same in performance and price.  It’s the dryers that are much better in the laundromats.  All of the campground dryers we have used don’t dry nearly as well.  So, we will be doing laundry in town as much as we can.

So those are my great words of wisdom after six months :) 

The weather is gorgeous today, around 70 degrees and sunny.  I hope everyone is having as great a weekend as we are!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zion National Park Revisited

In July of 1996 we visited Zion with our kids.  We spent a day riding horses through the canyon and hiking.  Yesterday we went back for another look.

One of the best changes that have been made since our first visit is there is now a shuttle into Zion Canyon.  Cars are no longer allowed.  The buses were great running every 6 to 8 minutes and even included very interesting narration as you drove from stop to stop.  Too bad some people were too rude to stay quiet so I couldn’t hear all of it.

In Zion the main road is at the bottom of the canyon which gives you a very different perspective than at most other canyons.  This section is called Towers of the Virgin (the Virgin River carved the canyon).  The mountain on the left is the tallest in the park.

Zion Nat'l Park Towers of the Virgin

The park got its name from early Mormon settlers who named it using the biblical reference of Zion.  Many of the landmarks in the park have biblical names given by the Mormons and a Methodist minister.

Zion Nat'l Park Court of the PatriarchsThis area is called Court of the Patriarchs.The peaks are named Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The entire canyon was carved by the Virgin River, rain and snow.  There is no evidence of any glaciers.  The power of running water is amazing.

Zion Nat'l Park Virgin River

The Bridge Mountain Arch is 1,000 feet from the floor of the canyon.  There is a trail to it, but you have to bring 150 feet of rope to rock climb up part of the trail; not for us :)  The arch is in the center of the picture and looks like it’s vertical.  Can you see it?

Zion Nat'l Park Bridge Mountain Arch 

Zion Nat'l Park Upper Emerald Pool 1We hiked along 3 mile Emerald Pools trail.  There are three pools, the lower, middle and upper pool.  These trails required some climbing, but the pools were beautiful.  They’re created by water running down the sides of the cliffs.  Here’s the water falling over the rocks at the Upper Emerald Pool.

Another amazing spot is the Weeping Rock.  Water seeps out of the sandstone and makes it seem as if rain is coming out of the rock.  There are hanging gardens in these areas created from the water flowing out of the rocks.

Zion Nat'l Park Weeping Rock 1

Zion Nat'l Park The Great White ThroneThis is called The Great White Throne and is white Navajo sandstone.


Zion Nat'l Park Rock Climbers 1Zion is the second most popular extreme rock climbing place in the country, second only to Yosemite.  These guys were about half way up.




Zion Nat'l Park Rock Climbers 2Here’s a picture of the entire wall for perspective.  The climbers are a little to the right of the small light colored rectangle in near the center.  Everyone who saw them agreed it was crazy!


Zion Nat'l Park Fall ColorsMany of the trees still have their leaves.  I like how you can see the red sandstone wall through the red leaves.





Zion Nat'l Park Mule DeerThis young mule deer was grazing along the side of a river trail.  His mom wasn’t too far away in the bushes.  He must be pretty young because he still had the spots on his back.

I was really surprised to see that the campground was full for the weekend this late in the season.  Zion’s elevation is a bit lower than some of the other parks and is in the very southwest corner of Utah.  They don’t get as much snow or cold as other parts of Utah.  Coming from the east you have to drive down a very windy road which includes a mile long tunnel.  There are strict height restrictions and certain vehicles have to pay a fee for an escort through the tunnel.  I would recommend anyone wanting to camp at Zion come in from the west entrance.  It’s a much easier drive.  Then definitely take a drive to the east entrance.  It’s an amazing scenic drive, just not while towing.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zion National Park Kolob Canyon

Kolob Canyon is on the north side of Zion National Park.  The majority of visitors only go to the south section.  The last time we visited Zion was in July, 1996, and we weren’t even aware of this north section.  So today we checked it out.

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Overlook 1This is the  view from a distance.





Zion Nat'l Park Kolob 1Here’s the view as you begin the drive up the five mile road.


At the end of the road is an overlook of the canyon.  For an even better view, there is a 1 mile roundtrip trail.  Here’s the view from the top of the trail.

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob 3

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Kev & Ev

A nice lady took our picture up there.




I saw this bird at the overlook.  I’m thinking it’s another Western Scrub Jay although the park brochure said there are Western Bluebirds up here.  Hopefully, Judy can identify it for me :)

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Western Srub Jay 1

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Western Scrub Jay 2

One of the trails is a five mile roundtrip trek along Taylor Creek.  It takes you back into one of the canyons past two old cabins to an amazing double arch alcove.  I really enjoyed hearing the sounds of the rustling fall leaves and the trickling water.  There is still quite a bit of fall color in the canyon. 

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob 7

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob 8

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob 9








Zion Nat'l Park Kolob 10


Both of these cabins were built in 1930 by two colleagues at the Branch Agricultural College, Gustive Larson and Arthur Fife.  They stayed here off and on during the summer for several years. 

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Fife Cabin

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Larson Cabin


At the end of the trail was this double arch alcove.  This cave is the beginning of the creek.  The water seeps through the rock to form the creek.  The canyon is a beautiful place and I can see why someone would build a cabin here.

Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Double Arch Alcove 2 Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Double Arch Alcove 1 Zion Nat'l Park Kolob Double Arch Alcove 3

When we got home, I contacted the RV Park we want to go to next.  We now have a reservation at the Longstreet Casino RV Park in Amargosa Valley, Nevada for the month of November.  It’s on the east end of Death Valley so we’ll have time to explore and relax.  I’m ready for some time at the pool.  Average November temperatures are in the 70s.  The best part about this place is the price.  The monthly rate is $10.14 a night for a full hook-up site, electricity included.  It’s pretty remote so we’ll be stocking up with supplies this weekend in Cedar City.  I hope the place lives up to my expectations!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

We drove along a Scenic Byway to Kanab, Utah where there is one of four visitor centers for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 

Utah Scenic Route

Along the scenic route.





Navajo Lake Navajo Lake is located along the scenic drive.  It was formed by a volcano.  There were numerous fields of black lava rock in this area which was an unexpected sight in the mountains of Utah.


Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was established in 1996 by President Clinton and is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.  It encompasses an area of 1.9 million acres.  The area is an outdoor laboratory allowing scientists from many countries and specialties to explore and research.  New species of dinosaurs, insects and reptiles have been discovered here. 

It’s called Grand Staircase because of the rock layers, red rock, white limestone and a pink layer above that making it appear to be steps.

Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument 3

The red rock layer.





Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument 2

The white rock layer with the pink rock in the distance.


Gunsmoke Set Along the way was the original set of the TV show Gunsmoke.  It’s not in very good shape anymore.

We took a different scenic byway on the return route which actually went through part of Zion National Park.  Here’s the entrance from the east.

Zion East Entrance

We’ll be returning to Zion later in the week.

I found out an interesting fact about the small town of Kanarraville we are staying in.  It was the first town in the country to have an all women’s fire department.  This town only has a population of about 240.  Way to go girls!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Time to Get Out of Dodge

Well at least Marysvale, Utah.  Yesterday was a cool, windy and rainy day.  That was fine; we enjoyed a day of football and leisure, and we knew we were leaving this morning.  The winds picked up overnight and were really howling.  I didn’t get much sleep.  Early this morning we had some thunder and lightning. 

We got up this morning and got ready to leave.  As we were packing up, it started to snow.  We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  Kevin actually had to wear long pants.  This was the view out of our window.


The snow wasn’t sticking to the ground, but we could see it on the mountains and foothills all around us.  Our trip today was about 100 miles.  There was snow on the sides of the road for the first 50 miles.  Luckily, the roads were fine, just a bit wet.

We are now at the Red Ledge Campground in Kanarraville, Utah.  This is a small Passport America campground with about 20 sites.  Our cost for a week is $15.75 per night.  We have a full hook-up 30 amp site with free wi-fi.  They’re having problems with the wi-fi so it’s limited right now.  The campground is small, but very well maintained and clean.  Gail in the office was very nice and helpful.  Here’s our spot.


And here’s the view across from us.  There’s a cute llama, some horses and chickens.


I want to welcome new reader, Janet and thank her for the suggestion of for making collage pictures.  I was able to create this picture using Picasa2.  I’ll check out the picnik site, too.


I haven’t figured out how to get rid of the gray border, but I like having the option to create collages.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Capitol Reef National Park

On Saturday we drove to Capitol Reef.  This area is located on what’s called the Watermark Fold which is a 100 mile wrinkle in the earth’s crust.  It looks just like the sandstone walls were thrust out of the earth.  As you look along the horizon, it looks kind of like large ships lined up.

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park 1

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park 2

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park 4

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park 5The road travels along the bottom of the cliffs.  There are some dirt roads that branch off the main paved road.  The lady at the visitor’s center told us the dirt roads were safe for cars so we thought we’d have no problem with the truck. 

The truck did fine, but I didn’t like bumping along over rocks and through potholes.  This entire state of Utah  is full of off-road trails with Jeeps and ATVs everywhere.  I definitely don’t think it would be my cup of tea.

In the late 1800s the Mormons established a community in the valley and named it Fruita.  They planted fruit trees, many of which are still bearing fruit to this day.  There is a historic home to walk through.  They sure had a nice view, didn’t they.

Capitol Reef Nat'l Park Fruita

This park was very beautiful, and I loved looking at the scenery as we drove through it.  I think Kevin and I are pretty done with rocks, though.  As he said, after a while they all look the same.  So we only spent a few hours driving through.  The ground was pretty wet, so we didn’t do any hiking.

As we’re been driving all over Utah, I’ve noticed a lot of animals out grazing.  It’s been mostly cattle, but I’ve also seen horses, sheep, llamas and even a bison farm.  When we drove from Colorado to Utah I also saw several Elk reserves.  Hunting must be a big business in both states, as I’ve seen signs welcoming hunters on many of the businesses.

I want to thank those of you that have been leaving me such great comments.  My goal is to keep some balance in my blog.  I try to keep the pictures to a minimum showing you the highlights of the area we’ve visited so your computers don’t take too long downloading them.  I’ve also tried to keep my descriptions brief giving you a general idea of what we’re seeing, but not asking you to read a novel about it.

It’s rather windy and cool today so we’re just chilling out watching football and doing a little laundry.  I’m playing around with Picasa trying to figure out how to do a collage.  If I’m successful, I’ll show you.

Tomorrow we head further south in Utah.  The snow in the mountains is beautiful, but it’s time to find warmer weather.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nature’s Castles

In July of 1996 our family took a trip out west.  One of our stops was Bryce Canyon National Park.  I remember we went on a guided horseback riding trip into the canyons.  We had a great time, and the scenery was beautiful.  Here are the boys back then.

Bryce Canyon Korey Horseback Riding

Bryce Canyon Eric Horseback Riding








Since we have the annual park pass, we decided to go back for another look on Friday.  Our weather luck finally ran out.  It rained Thursday night but the forecast said it would end by late morning.  We got there at 11:30 a.m. and it rained pretty much all day.  Even so, it was more breathtaking than I remembered it.  I actually think the clouds made the colors in my pictures more vivid.  Sun sometimes seems to wash them out.

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Rainbow Point 1 We drove to the end of the road which is the highest elevation at 9,000 feet.  I took this picture at Rainbow Point.


Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Rainbow Point 2 A minute later this was all you could see.  The fog or maybe it was clouds were rolling in. We hopped into the truck and headed back down.  At one point, it was actually sleeting.  At about 8,000 feet, we were below the fog and could see again .

The rock formations are called Hoodoos.  Here are just a few of the amazing views!  Do you see the castles?

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Bryce Point 2

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Inspiration Point 1

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Natural Bridge

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Sunrise Point 2

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Sunrise Point 7

Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Horse TrailThey still offer the horseback trips.  Here’s the trailhead.





Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Mule DeerThese mule deer were not too far off the road.




Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park Bryce Point Kev & Ev 2We found a young man kind enough to take our picture.  As you can see by my attire it was raining and in the 50s.  Kevin will probably be wearing shorts until the snow flies.  Hopefully, we won’t be around when that happens.



The sun’s back out today.  We’re headed to Capitol Reef National Park.  The sunrise above the mountains this morning was awesome.

Utah Sunrise 1

I’d like to thank Judy for giving me the correct name of the blue bird in my last post.  It was a Western Scrub Jay.  I know very little about birds, and only have a very small reference book.  I have been intrigued with some of the different types of birds we’ve seen since leaving Wisconsin.   Judy, please correct me anytime :)

Merikay noticed the bikes on the back of our camper and asked if we ride them.  We do enjoy riding, but have not had the opportunity since we left.  We’ve been rather busy sightseeing, and there are so many mountains everywhere!  We definitely plan to ride when we get to some level ground.  I am not good at riding uphill.  I end up walking it, so we’ve been hiking instead.  There are a lot of people out here who do ride bikes.  You wouldn’t believe some of the places we’ve seen them.  I know they’re all serious bikers because they’re wearing the “outfits”.  We don’t have bike riding clothes :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!