Las Vegas

We visited with friends and family for a week in Vegas. As you well know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! I have a few photos of the Hoover Dam as I took the tour, but the rest of the fun isn’t my story to tell. I will share that there were plenty of sights to see and a few I wish I could un-see. I know I am getting older because I was confused by quite a bit that I saw, thinking, why? more often than why not?

The giant Turbines I think there are several more , but one generates enough power to charge 130,000 cell phones for a year. Where the flag is hanging is a crane that they use should any of the turbines need repair or maintenance, 300 ton crane on top and sometimes they move the 2nd one down to help lift parts.
From the observation deck you can see the water leaving the power plant and heading downstream as well as the new bridge. Years ago the only way was to drive over the dam. Post 9/11 most traffic is sent over the bridge and your car is searched prior to driving over the dam.
The water at the dam is about 195 ft low as you can see by the exposed rock. It only has so many more feet before it can no longer produce power. This area of the country hasn’t seen much rain since May, Hence why the wildfires in CA are out of control right now as well as all the watches and warnings in this area.
The back side of the dam shows the depth of the canyon along with all the individual blocks of concrete it took to make this monument to ingenuity happen. They were in the middle of the depression when this was built. Workers made $4.00 per day and had two days off a year. built from 1931 to 1936. Spillways were tested in ’41 or ’42. and hadn’t been used again until 1983, thank goodness they worked like a charm. They ran the spillways in ’83 for 63 days straight and had no issues. If they hadn’t worked, the flooding and devastation downstream would have been catastrophic.

So it’s been a little bit.

The last group of big photos I took sat in the camera for awhile. I was feeling like the blog was becoming more like a job, than simply sharing our views and excitement. Below you will see a small place and wide open spaces outside of Washington, Utah called Little Black Mountain and then Zion National Park. We may be going back to Zion after Thanksgiving. Most of the year, you can only see part of the park in a private car. 20 years ago, you could see all of it in a private car all year long. Now, the park is so popular, they take people on giant tour buses and you hop off and on at different spots.

More Petroglyphs, one of our friends suggested that the indigenous teens weren’t much different from the youth of today, that this was their brand of graffiti. The Bureau of Land Management has their work cut out for them, there is plenty of land in this part of the country.
This was so linear in nature it seemed like a map to where the best hunting was at the time or just a way to pass time, no one really knows.
On the drive into the southern entrance of Zion National park.
The road in is a series of switchbacks offering different views, each as stunning as the next.
How’s that for some fall colors???
This guy, rooted in rock at an interesting angle and the colors behind him…I had to take his picture.
Makes me wish I were in better shape so I could hike wherever my eyes want to go.
every so often the rock washes away and leaves these eyes, my term, wonder if they will eventually, another 10, 000 years, become an arch.
This is checkerboard mtn in the park. You really don’t see defined marks like these on any other mountains here, so why here?
Taken out of the sunroof of the car. Safely seat buckled in, nothing to worry about.
Drink plenty of water on your adventures. The guys in this jeep were visiting from the US Virgin Islands.
We’ve turned around at the east entrance and are almost back to the beginning, the light changes and so do the photos, a little bit.
That’s one of the tour buses I wrote of earlier and they call the rest of the road we didn’t travel the scenic route. Views haven’t been subpar so far can only imagine at this point what we missed. I’ll let you know if we make it back to find out.
by the visitor center
Outside of Zion and back into the wide open spaces. This place is horribly ugly said no one ever!

Bryce Canyon National Park

Fair warning, I took 252 pictures in this park, I know some of them will look very similar to everyone by the time I am done posting. I was here once before about 20 years ago. The memory is a funny thing. I remember that I liked other areas better, but the first time I was here, I was also in charge of a 6 year old. I may have more appreciation this time around as well as more of a singular focus.

I’m not captioning many because, some you just need to look at the open space and breathe.
Usually I feel like pictures miss the color of the moment, but this one is pretty close. It felt like the rock was glowing like flames in a fire.
Every pull off, different angles of the canyon, the light changes and all of it wondrous.
Loner and a rebel.
There was a fire here about 10 years ago. Some areas have recovered better than others, but in no way do these burnt tress detract from the beauty of the place. In fact, it reminds us of all the seasons of life and how precious our moments are here.
Look at all the colors in this photo. I have a greater appreciation for those that purchase the glasses in order to see color for the first time. This is as close as I can get to imagining that moment for them.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the views. I will post again soon.

Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah

Let me start by saying our pictures and travel of Salt Lake City are very limited. There is quite a bit to see here and wish we were staying another, we got ahead of ourselves and booked another campsite near Zion National park for tomorrow night.

Inside the Tabernacle, the acoustics in this building are world renowned. We had an issue with our washer/dryer unit in the RV and missed the organ rehearsal by about a half hour.
This is the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Those that are not current members of the LDS community are not allowed in the Temple. There is a building adjacent to the Temple that has a model that is an exact replica that the public can view. The dome behind is the Tabernacle.
This view and the previous are taken from the 10th floor of the Hotel Utah, built in 1909 and opened in 1911, by the richest families in the area, from LDS, Catholic, and Jewish faiths. Salt Lake City was a Silver mining town and many of the families made their first fortunes here, like William Randolph Hurst. The tower mid shot is the air traffic control tower at SLC airport.
Facing East, from the Utah Hotel.
The Hotel Utah is now owned by the Church of LDS there are two of these fountains on the 10th floor. One in the south west corner and one in the southeast. note the carpet around this one.
This is the carpet around the south eastern fountain. Pretty ornate for something you walk on.
The foyer of the Hotel Utah, all original from 1911, the columns were done in a certain art style that no one knows exactly how to do anymore. They brought artisans from all over Europe, to create this hotel. It is famed to be the Grandest hotel west of the Mississippi, and was extremely formal, until the 1950’s women wore ball gowns and men in white tie to dinner here. We had a host at the hotel give us all the information I am passing on, I didn’t research any of this myself so, I wouldn’t quote me. He claimed, Will Rogers was refused service for not meeting dress code.
The main dining room, all original except the 4 chandeliers that used to be in the main foyer, they were moved here because they were to hard to clean in the main foyer.
One of the paintings on Burlap, in the main dining room. The room is surrounded by scenes like this.
Olympic Venue
Part of the luge or bobsled track.
Start house and more of the track. Lift to the top of ski jump too.
They even have a school up here now for ski jumping.
Imagine, you fly off the jump and if you look just to the left this is your view, with snow everywhere of course.

Again, Park City is a quaint ski town with coffee shops, eateries, and a very good distillery. Worth the time to see for yourself, about 35 minutes outside of Salt Lake City.

Crystal Geyser and Sego Canyon

We went a little off the beaten path today and saw some things. There is a geyser that isn’t predictable, one of the owners of the campground we are in, says he has seen it go off 3 times. Today it made a little noise, but was still interesting to me to see.

When we first arrived on scene, it looked to me like a toxic spill.
Beyond the geyser spray pattern, Jeff checking out this section of the Green River.
I found the ground patterns intriguing and it was wet, but almost crunchy, not slick at all.
The geyser is well protected on one side by the landscape.
The lighter colors almost mid photo looked more green to the naked eye.
Standing here is where I could hear it gurgling.
Don’t worry, we turned around in time.
On the way to Sego canyon is some Indian Art.
Thankfully this guy was patient with me and fortunately I had my giant telephoto lens on the camera magnification 210. We have seen very little wildlife so far, a few deer at Capitol Reef yesterday, and the western version of chipmunk, Marmot. So this guy was a fairly spectacular find.
If anyone is enjoying the trip more than Jeff and I, it’s this furry beast.
It’s a long way up from the canyon floor.
Every now and then you would swear the walls have faces.
Lots of washes, where rain water runs, and ATV’s go in good weather.
An old mine shaft
This one was closed by mother nature, see the boulder that crashed through?

That’s all for today, we will be heading up toward Salt Lake City in the morning so we need to straighten up the RV for another drive. Looking forward to what’s next!

Today, Capitol Reef National Park

I have taken about 99 pictures a day, more than I have in the last few years combined I bet. I love it, I see something I like and I take a shot. Some turn out, some don’t but I think it gives you an idea of this area of our country.

On the way to the park
The color variations fascinate me, the layers of rock as they are exposed by erosion.

Entrance to a slot canyon, named the Grand Wash.
Inside the wash where they let you drive to about here, only when weather is good.
Even photos through the windshield don’t look half bad.
This is on the way in or out of the area, it is a bureau of land management site that allows people to ride motorcycles, dune buggies on the mounds. With the erosion of other rocks in the area it looks like a bunch of sand waiting to be used in a concrete plant.

More pictures, less words

Canyonlands Nat’l Park, Monitor and Merrimack
Proof of Life photo for Jeff’s family and friends
Green River Overlook
Back side of Green River Overlook
Part of the Grand View, it really calls for a Panoramic picture
I again am in awe of the vastness and raw beauty of this country.
It was about 45 degrees all day and we could see for miles and miles, oh yeah!

7 days since our last post and it is amazing what you can see when you aren’t working!

Hi All,

We are off to a great start on our Adventure. We stayed until the 7th of October in Broomfield, Colorado. We visited and enjoyed friends and family and then off to Gleenwood Springs. Beautiful drive west, yet the weather had other plans for us staying another day to enjoy the city and a soak in the hot springs. We moved on to Green River Utah where we will spend yet another night, maybe more. We went to a museum the day before last that featured the trip down the Green River into the canyons, where it meets the Colorado River. Expedition spearheaded by Major John Wesley Powell. The man which lake Powell is named. One of his team kept a secret journal, his name is George Young Bradley. A good read if you feel like googling him. Yesterday, we visited Arches National Park and today we visited Canyonlands National Park. Must Sees if you are ever in the area. Before I post any pictures, remember, I am an amateur photographer. I feel that many we’ve taken just don’t do the locations justice. You really need to stand there and soak in the views. The depth and range of beauty in this area is beyond words at times. I found myself humming America the Beautiful and feeling like a spoiled brat for the opportunity. I am extremely grateful for the people that set aside the land thinking others need to see this too. As much as we fuss about our government, the national park service is something they absolutely have gotten right. All photos in this post are from Arches National Park.

Some of you saw the launch

For some reason, probably a format thing, I couldn’t post the video our friends took of us leaving. In less than a week, we’ve driven through, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and are now in Colorado to visit Jeff’s sister and family.

In West Virginia, we stayed in a little campground in Gauley Bridge. Twenty bucks, not a bad deal. We then headed to Loveland, Ohio to see Uncle Ray and Aunt Kathy for a night. They treated us to dinner, I had my first Impossible burger at a nice little restaurant and then the boys beat the girls at Euchre. The next day we landed outside of St. Louis, we didn’t stop to see The Arch, but oh well, who needs to go sideways in an elevator anyway?

Our next night was spent in Junction City, Kansas. Nice little campground. Only thing that was a bit unnerving was the tornado watch that turned into a warning. The campground told us the nearest approved shelter was at a car wash equipment room down the street. I got a “go bag” ready and thankfully the weather never turned nasty enough for us to leave. A neighbor camper said if the sirens went off he would take us, because of course, our battery was dead in the tow car. Rookies, we have since learned how to avoid that happening, charging it over night or running the car during a lunch stop or both.

Last night we stayed just in the Colorado border a small distance in Stratton. Small town but big enough for a night.

That’s one giant cross!
I couldn’t get my camera ready in time for Arrowhead Stadium, so the Royals will have to do.

More photos to follow, it takes a while to upload them with my internet connection at the moment. Maybe after dinner.

Great Co-Workers

I am very lucky to have worked with a great and kind group of folks. They surprised me with a cake and a fuel gift card!