Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Well, maybe not. While we are on the subject of technology, I have been very aware of how it could ruin a great vacation. It would seem as though a battery would quit, or a signal would disappear as a result of malicious forethought, leading to nearly missing what was around us or what we were doing because we couldn't capture it digitally.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I am going to try to wrap this up in the next day or so. I will probably load some pictures. If I can figure out how to do an album page, putting several photos in all at once, I will do that. Also, I hope to add a few comments, chronologically, just for continuty sake and I like it better that way. That may be , as my dad would say, too much sugar for a nickel, but we'll see. And, I will try to tie it all together with some closing thoughts.
Picture from: Anthea Brock
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I've never been struck so speechless as I have on this trip, and this morning's expedition was no exception. We were supposed to be watching the whales, but at one point, we were the ones being watched. A small group of humpback whales slicked through the water straight at our boat. Was it frightening? Not a bit, and then the lead whale seemed to roll just before the boat and I found myself (braced at the prow) looking into the benign eye of a gentle giant. My camera's battery was dead but I had my camera phone at the ready. Reviewing the pictures there is no record of that startlingly expressive face: the camera phone often needs to be manually operated onto the next frame, but I'm not too disappointed. It was a privilege to see those great creatures, to see them, and to hear their wild calls, and the swoosh as they spouted, and to watch the choreography of flukes arcing down as they began their dive downwards. Although I mumble and moan about the cold on a cool day in Louisiana, the damp spray and slicing wind didn't register when whales breached right in front of us. A diverse group, we would all quietly murmur our wonder when that happened.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Photos will follow when we get into mobile range, and later today or tonight when we get to a more easily accessible wifi signal. For now, today we are leaving Yosemite, and after a somewhat rocky(hmm, a pun, unintended), we have had a couple of excellent days.Again, more detail later, when we are in a warmer clime and when my fingers will obey out of gratitude for being able to feel once again.
Today we head for Oakland, our last night in the RV, and then we pick up a minivan on Wednesday to continue the adventure in San Francisco and southern California(can you say whales).
We have a couple of things we hope to do today in the park and then we are off.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
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Saturday, June 4, 2011
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It is the end of another remarkable day. It is very tempting to wonder how long can this go on. We got up this morning, some feeling a little the worse for wear digestively for our cowboy dinners the night before, and made preparation to leave. It has been a week that we have been traveling, and the days have flown by in a blur of activity and excitement. And for the second time in two days I have stood in a place where no sound made by man can be heard. On Tuesday, it was on the rim of the Grand Canyon, as I watched the sunrise. Now it is the opposite end of the day. It is night, actually, in the middle of the state of Nevada, and I am not sure what kind of landscape surrounds, us. I do not know if it is desert or brush land, or what, but we are on the Extraterrestrial Highway, pulled over on the side of the road to utilize the self-containment of the RV. We are literally in the middle of Nevada, under the most star-filled sky I have ever seen. We can see the Milky Way, and this is only hours after standing on top of a snow capped mountain in Utah. .
Friday, June 3, 2011
It is the end of another remarkable day. It is very tempting to wonder how long this can go on. We got up this morning, some feeling a little the worse for wear digestively for our cowboy dinners the night before, and made preparation to leave. It has been a week that we have been traveling, and the days have flown by in a blur of activity and excitement. And for the second time in two days I have stood in a place where no sound made by man can be heard. On Tuesday, it was on the rim of the Grand Canyon, as I watched the sunrise. Now it is the opposite end of the day. It is night, actually, in the middle of the state of Nevada, and I am not sure what kind of landscape surrounds, us. I do not know if it is desert or brush land, or what, but we are on the Extraterrestrial Highway, pulled over on the side of the road to utilize the self-containment of the RV. We are literally in the middle of Nevada, under the most star-filled sky I have ever seen. We can see the Milky Way, and this is only hours after standing on top of a snow capped mountain in Utah. .
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Click on the ATV Rides... link above.
When we arrived here on Sunday afternoon, the temperature was dropping rapidly, courtesy of a front and 50 mile per hour winds. The temp fell from 100 on the floor of the canyon and mid 80’s on the rim to low 30’s accompanied by snow. It is so easy to see how one could get in trouble out here. This is, in spite of all the people running around everywhere, wild country.
I am up early courtesy of the cold, and the various twinges and aches in my body. When we arrived Sunday, we strolled along a well-used trail on the rim, bringing us to several lookout points. For some reason the combination of the height, honestly you are just looking down for a mile, and the wind roaring, and roaring is the right word, really spooked me. It is hard to explain, but there it is. The others didn’t seem to mind so much, so they would happily ease out onto the lookouts and take pictures. At one point, I just had enough, and sat and waited for them. After a not so quick visit to the gift shop, we made our way back to the RV, having walked a couple of miles at altitude, a good warm-up for the next day, Memorial Day, yesterday. The only maintained trail to the canyon floor is the Kaibab Trail, and it is the one the mule rides use. A lot. One stretch required some very careful stepping, but there were several areas where one had to pay extra attention. While we are on the subject, we believe we saw Mountain Lion scat. There is nothing else big enough here to leave what we saw.
There are several natural stopping points on the trail, and folk usually pick one and hike down to it, then back. The rule of thumb is it takes twice as long and twice as much energy to come back up as it does to go down. Therefore you decide on how long you want to hike, perform a quick algebraic problem where a= hiking down time, 2a= hiking up time and x= total hike time, grab enough water and food for the trip and off you go. Going down is relatively easy, but can be a little sobering as you pass people coming up who look like extras from Night of the Living Dead. It is hard to describe why it is hard, but I have an idea that might give some perspective. We went down for 2 hours, and then Andy went on for another ½ hour while I accompanied the ladies back up. During that two hour descent, we dropped over 1000 ft in altitude, a 100 story building. Then we had to come up it. Imagine climbing stairs for 4 hours, and you have a pretty good picture of the walk and add the sun, drop-offs (some pretty good), rough terrain, sandy terrain, and did I mention mule poo, and you get the idea. I accompanied the ladies back, and Chris being the experienced hiker, led the way and set the pace. The keys to climbing are a steady pace and if you get out of breath, you are walking too fast. She set a great pace, and we managed the climb up in a little over three hours, in spite of stopping a couple of times to rest, drink, or eat. It was thoroughly satisfying. At one point of the hike, I was sorry we hadn’t done this 10 years ago, yet glad we were doing it now, because I am not sure we could do it if we waited 5 more years.
We expected Andy back around 7, as he had gone further, but that lad is stout, to use a Southern US colloquialism, and in light of the speed of our ascent, I expected him sooner. Anthea and I had just stepped out of the RV to go to get something, and lo, here he comes at 5, walking down the road with a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale in his hand! He has pictures to prove he got where he said he went. He was all alone at Roaring Springs, and he said he heard some noise in the bushes that indicated large wildlife. He said he thought, “If it is a mountain lion, do I grab a stick or my camera.” The girls said stick, but I opted for camera so we could at least see what happened to him.
After a supper of gumbo, we finished off the day with a trip to the dumping station. There are little gauges in the RV with little red lights that indicate the levels of the different fluids, i.e., gray water, black water, fresh water, and propane. The gray water said it was full, but we thought we would have some lee way, only to find the gauge was pretty accurate as the water in the shower began to puddle around my ankles and not go down the drain. We drove very carefully to the dumping station, emptied and refilled the respective containers, and were back at our prime camp site on the rim of the canyon in about 20 minutes. After chatting for a while, it was time to call it a day, and a Grand day it was.
I am finishing this from in front of the general store of the park, as my battery died on the rim. We are on the way to Bryce.
Monday, May 30, 2011
been advised wifi at store
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