Monday, September 26, 2016

Zion - East Entrance and Mt. Carmel Highway

 Our travel to Zion was from the Bryce area so the GPS showed us again having a very interesting route.   The scenery was impressive along the way and then came the "tunnel"..... amazing!   In the early days of travel through the tunnel cars were permitted to stop along the way and take photos through the gallery windows..... no more, however.   It is much too crowded to allow that to happen and frequently the traffic is only one way due to the size of the buses making the trip. The only photo that is MINE in this collection is of our actual GPS....
Entrance to the Tunnel

View of the Galleries from the Outside

Our GPS to Arrive at Zion From the East
Checkerboard Mesa
Checkerboard was part of the route before the tunnel if you are traveling from the Bryce area to Zion.

Below are two vintage photos of the gallery and some horseback riders going through the tunnel.  According to the literature the tunnel shortened the route to Bryce by 80 miles.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Some of the photos that did not make it elsewhere in my posts...... 

Brochures From Our Trip

Birthday Dinner - MeMe's Cafe in Springdale

Local Craft Beer in Salt Lake City Area

Amidst the desert there are still scenes of greenery and water...

Zion Mountains as Viewed from Springdale

Upholstery in Bryce Canyon Area

Available for Lodging in Capitol Reef

Experiment with a Filter - Mesa Arch

This opening in Monument Valley has the appearance of a Native American with long dark hair to the right of the photo and the nose to the left........

Part of the Display in Gouldings Trading Post Museum

Gouldings Museum - Monument Valley 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Zion - Hiking Trails

We began before 8 at this 1 mile walk to one of the most famous sections... The Narrows. Beautiful scenery along the way... Despite our good gear one typically hikes the narrows in neoprene socks, watertight boots and a dry sack.  We went as far as we could without getting shin deep in water. The temperature at the time we were there was around 58 degrees....The Riverside Walk, however, is quite accessible with pleasant views along the way..... it is paved, so we even saw some folks with strollers when we were leaving. 

Hiking the Riverside Trail

Beginning of the Narrows Hike

Beyond this point you will be wet... Just a matter of how much .... We heard enough tales yesterday of slipping on rocks and being COMPLETELY wet that we ended our walk here...still had a mile back and it was early.  The description in the trail guide is "The river itself becomes the trail." For those who do want to hike this trail, the equipment needed can be rented right near the entrance to the park.  By just afternoon this scene would have looked completely different..... crowded with people. 

The walk to weeping rock was just under a mile,  but had some steep inclines..

Our last hike was to see The Court of the Patriarchs...three large peaks named by Mormon settlers. They are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Just a short walk to some elevated views..... 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Zion National Park

Zion was less than a two hour drive from where we were in Bryce.....we approached by the East entrance so we drove  through a long tunnel under some of this sandstone.... The tunnel had several openings that were once lookouts,  but with the crowds that now visit there is no stopping allowed.  Later in the park, one of the rangers told us that on Labor Day weekend (Sunday only) there were 47,000 people who rode the shuttle.

The View from the Human History Museum of Zion

Our photo was taken by current residents of the Villages who were from Danville.... always interesting to see who you meet along the way....

Excellent talk from a ranger complete with visual aids...

This is the largest information area of any of the parks we've driving on the scenic loops... Shuttle  transportation only.  It turned out, based on our timing (early morning and late afternoon) that the shuttle system actually added to our enjoyment of the park..... no jostling for parking spaces or dealing with giant tour buses on the scenic loop. Avoiding midday shuttles was key to this system for us..... the lines were immense on the one weekend day that we were there.... and according to the Springdale shuttle driver, the crowds were NOTHING compared to what he has seen during summer months.  The park is the closest to Las Vegas and gets plenty of visitors on day trips from there.

This is a photo of Checkerboard Mesa from our drive in from the East Gate.
It's not my photo since we were driving some pretty severe switchbacks least this time they were paved!
These deer appear to be regulars on the lawn in front of the historic Zion Lodge. 

Last Ranger Tour - Reservation Required - Well Worth It

Somehow the Ranger talk managed to make the geology portion of their talks VERY interesting.....
Vintage Poster

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Red Canyon Trail Ride-Bryce Area

A first for me today..... A trail ride in the Red Canyon near Bryce....great scenery, interesting trails, superb guides...knees, back and legs are saying "take a break, already!"  

View from the Highest Point of the Ride

According to guide Justin, we were at 8000 feet elevation and actually climbed around 700 feet during the ride!

John.... more comfortable on his horse than I was on mine......

The riders in our group....