A Travellerspoint blog

Red Rock to Blue Water

Grand Canyon to Lake Powell and beyond.....

sunny 87 °F

Travelling along we are. The Four Corners area is truly a wonder for all to see. After 'leaving Las Vegas' we returned to Zion for one more evening. Zion is home to some of the coolest hikes and rock shops:). Leaving out on Thursday morning, September 17th, we headed towards the Grand Canyon. This day was also Captain Keith's birthday, and in his own words, "I can't think of a better place to end up", we arrived safely at the truly GRANDEST Canyon of them all. We thought we'd seen big, but this place is ridiculous!! Another great place to hike, we tackled a 3,000 ft. descent into the Canyon. The ascent was pretty challenging, but when we met the 40 or so crazy people who were going from the South Rim to the North Rim in one day (some 17 miles or so with a steep climb of 5000 ft on the North), we decided it wasn't so bad. We finished the climb behind one of the last of those 'crazy people' and they welcomed Shane into their victory tunnel of cheers, what a great finish! They even offered us a cold beer!! Thank you fitness nuts of the Grand Canyon!
The dry, red rock landscape is endless here. I didn't think desert could be this pretty, or interesting, to look at for hours on end. Every cliff has a different, yet similar look that changes with the moving sun. We set our course for the Glen Canyon/Lake Powell area and hoped for an open campsite. We settled into the campground, set just above Lake Powell, and dreamt of a boat ride we hoped would pan out. Luckily, business was down and the boat rental prices were too. So Captain Keith led us from asphault to blue waters and boy did it feel good!

Posted by kbs 08:04 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Red Rock Land

Hoodoos to the Grand Canyon and Beyond....

80 °F

[/u] Our plans to do weekly uploads of pictures and blogs has sort of fallen to the wind...... You'd think a family of three on vacation could find the time to sit down at a computer and tap out a few words...... Our ability to tell time and read a calendar has been seriously affected.... Most days we have to ask Shane (the time keeper) what day it is. Vacation is great.
We'll pick up where Shane left off, in the Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. What a far-out place, really felt like you were in some ancient, arid, land a couple thousand years ago.
A couple more hours west lies Zion Nat'L Park. We were under the impression it would be similar to Bryce and were ready for more hot, dry, red rock formations.... Being a few thousand feet higher in the sky, we were pleasantly surprised by cooler weather, actual trees, and some amazing rock and water. The Virgin River carved out some amazing canyons and chasms and is still hard at work here. We found a 'suitable' campsite just 1/2 mile away from the park entrance and right in the adorable town of Springdale. There was a shuttle, so Keith got a break from the unhooking, driving, rehooking, the RV business. By the way, Keith is an amazing captain and may have a future in tour bus operating:).
Hikes we did here are some of our favourites so far. #1 The Narrows, follows the Virgin River into a narrow canyon for miles. You hike in and out of the very cool, flowing river, sometimes up to our bellybuttons (Shane's shoulders). The canyon walls were staight up and down, rising so high we felt like we were in N.Y. City. #2 Hidden Canyon, a hike that leads you far above the river and back into a, well....hidden canyon. Once the trail ended, it was a free for all scramble onto rocks and a sandy wash in between two walls of rock....we felt like we were the only ones there. #2....tough to decide, was Angel's Landing, a serious climb into the sky. We made it past the first set of chains bolted to the cliff side, but couldn't quite justify the last 1/2 mile. A narrow spine of rock with 1,000 feet of sheer drop off on either side, we made the decision to save it for Shane to do when he returns with a little more mass on his body.
We had a little side trip Las Vegas from Zion, hello civilization. With a night or two in a hotel, a ride on the monorail, the dancing lights of Bellagio, and a big gelato....Shane was ready to collapse. To Hoover Dam! What an amazing sight that is. The Dam tour was great, and Shane thought the whole Dam thing was pretty cool ( and fun to talk about )!! Thank you Las Vegas.

Posted by kbs 09:15 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Glaciers to Hoodoos

SHANE'S THOUGHTS............

sunny 82 °F

Hi everyone!!!!! Today is 9/8/09, our one month anniversary on the trip!!! First I'm going to start with Glacier NP. Since the RV was being repaired in Great Falls, Montana, we rented a car and went to Glacier in it. Because we didn't have the RV, we had to go tent camping. Also, our tent was to small for all three of us so, we had to buy another tent. When we reached Glacier, we had to find a campsite. When we found one we had to find a site suitable for us. After we found one, we set up our tent on our site and went on two or three hikes. The day after that we did some hikes, one of which I rounded a corner and found a Mountain Goat and her baby standing not 15yd away[the hike was called Hidden Lake]! The next day, we did an extreme hike called THE KRYPT in the Canadian side of Glacier. One of the obsticals was a tunnel. When I went through the tunnel, I felt slightly cold, and like Indiana Jones, only I didn't have the hat then, and my heart was beating quickly. The tunnel was small, cool, and rocky, on the edge of a steep gravelly cliff. The scariest part of THE KRYPT was when we had to hold onto a steel cable or drop 1,500ft to our sheer death. The next day we left to go pick up the RV, then started to Yellowstone NP. When we got there, we drove on a senic drive and did a hike. The other days in Yellowstone we saw geysers, like Old Faithful and we went on some other hikes. When we went to Grand Teton NP we saw elk, huge mountains, and swam in a freezing cold lake. Now, we are in Bryce Canyon NP, home of the Hoodoos, odd landforms left from erosion. They were called 'Legend People' by the local Native Americans and look like big stone, red and gray people with gray hats. SEE YA'!

Posted by kbs 17:37 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Great Falls....

And again...Great Falls.....

sunny 75 °F

It's Friday, August 28th, and we are still in Great Falls, Montana. After a tire blowout early Tuesday morning, we've been experiencing a few 'road blocks' on our way to Glacier National Park. The blowout was followed by an alignment followed by a brake issue..... which.....you get the idea. Ulmers Auto Service, offered their expert advice and made a few calls to get us on the right track. Without the help from Greg, we'd have been stranded. They, McCullough's, and City Motors are examples of how businesses should be run in America: Honest, upstanding, and caring.
After the first night at the Ohaire Motor Inn - famous for the aptly named Sip-N-Dip Lounge, we got up, packed our bags, and waited for City Motor's courtesy van to take us to our RV and get back on the road.......One phone call later, we unpacked our bags, hopped on the city bus, and ended up at the Lewis and Clark Museum. When in Rome.....or the Lewis and Clark Trail....
The next morning was pretty much the same, only this time we were offered a car and headed to Giant Springs, one of (if not the) largest fresh water springs in North America. We stood exactly where Lewis and Clark stood some 200 years ago and marvelled at this amazing sight.
We are waiting news for today, and hoping......
Despite the snag in our 'schedule' we've enjoyed the local experience, they have treated us like old friends and renewed our faith in the American spirit. We won't forget Great Falls and all the wonderful people who have helped us along our way.

If you are ever here in Great Falls, and need car repairs or advice on the area, head to ULMERS, in business since 1945.
O'haire Motor Inn is the place to stay. The SIP-N-DIP Lounge is world famous for its mermaid show behind the big glass window of the pool, and you can jump in too! Shane did!
Dinner/Lunch/Breakfast: Fifth Street Diner, Bert-n-Ernies, or Clark and Lewies
Don't miss the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Museum.

Posted by kbs 08:34 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Captain's B.Log Star date 8.24.09

"The worst of all fears is the fear of Living" Teddy Roosevelt


Teddy Roosevelt had it right! As we are looking out at the Badlands of North Dakota at T.R. National Park, it is amazing as we travel across america. The trip has been fantastic, the highlights from the captain's chair has been Lucifer Falls in the finger lakes, seeing the work of the conservation corps in the 30's brings to mind what we should be doing now. Travelling up to New Hampshire, sad we were not able to connect up with our friends the Thacker's or Anthony's in Vermont, but know that will have to be a separate visit. Hiking the Basin in New Hampshire with the continueing waterfalls following the path being the favorite. The trek up to montreal after that was good, the city is probably more suited for an adult weekend, but Shane was a trooper. He has done great with all the hiking, biking, dune climbing. During the long travel days getting his school work done that doesn't involve Mother nature is working out well. From Montreal we adjusted our plan and headed through Ottawa after being told how Old world the capital is. Ottawa and its sister city Gatineau were everything we had heard, unfortunately it is not an city conducive to RV's so didn't get to spend as much time there as we would of liked. Leaving there heading through Canada to enter Michigan from the top side has plenty of great lakes,streams, camping that could be a whole other trip. Roads there need some work though. Travelling to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore about 2 hours south of Mackincac Island was another great tip from friends. The first day riding our bikes to Lake Michigan and swimming in the crystal clear water was heavenly. The other highlight was hiking the steep dune which was extremely challenging. For every 3 steps back up the dune you would slide back 2. The weather had been good during the day with rain at night time beating on the RV. Sleep was good.
Heading west from there has been the long trek in the RV with us now having 3500 miles under our belt. One of the great parts of this is being flexible, we were leaving Wisconsin going into Duluth Minnesota saw a boat festival on Lake Superior. We stopped, enjoyed the festival, rode the bikes for several hours and got back on the road. There we changed our plans again and decided to stop at Teddy Roosevelt's Nat. Park instead of taking the route 2 north route to Glacier national Park. Driving West seeing the landscape change, and the several hour long sunsets makes the road travelling worth it. Heading to Glacier national Falls next!!!.

We miss everyone, thanks for keeping in touch.

Posted by kbs 09:41 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

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