Click on the ATV Rides... link above.
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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Sunday, May 29, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Since this picture was taken, on the morning of the 27th, the place has filled up. There are people camping in tents anywhere they can find a flat spot. This is the busiest weekend of the year here at Zion, and we are part of it!!
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Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I fought some serious feelings of feeling sorry for myself, thinking I had spent so much time planning that evening and spending a not inconsiderable sum for the shows and dinner, and I kept thinking what a disaster it what and how much I had wanted Andy and Chris to see the show, and how disappointed I was. And then, I began to think of the folks in the storms and how much they had lost and it didn't seem like the end of the world anymore that I wasn't going to get to see a show.
So, after it became apparent we weren't going to leave Dallas on the 25th, we began to take stock of the situation. We would miss the show, but if we did leave on the following day, that would still put us in Las Vegas on the day we were scheduled to pick up the RV. The sticking point on that was that the RV company required renters flying in from any distance to spend a night in Vegas before they were allowed to pick up the RV. A call to the RV rental company resulted in them allowing us to take possession of the vehicle the day we arrived. I called the box office and they agreed to refund out tickets in light of the extenuating circumstances. Then we asked American to put us up in a hotel, which they would not do, but they did get us a good rate in a very nice hotel.
Things were looking up. We checked into the hotel and got our bearings, then decided some grub would be nice. After inquiring about the locations of restaurants close to the hotel, we decided to walk to one about 50 yards from the hotel, PappadeauxPappadeaux's, I realized that the day had turned from a disaster into one I will actually cherish as a gem to be stored in my mind's vault, to be taken out and appreciated again and again.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Also Andy got the Spot Satellite Personal Tracker set up.We are not expecting to get lost or into trouble in the wilds, but in that part of the country, it is imperative not to depend upon cell phones, hence Spot.While we waited on the Spot to activate, I was introduced to Angry Birds. .
We rounded off the day with supper at Shane's, a local restaurant specializing in Louisiana cuisine. We had catfish, fries(chips), hush puppies, tomato relish, red beans and sausage with sides of crawfish pie and alligator bites. A quick stop by Ariel's after supper to say goodbye to Ariel, Aileen, and Caleb(and for Caleb to share a moment with Andy), and then we dropped Andy and Chris off at the hotel, with the goodbye of "See you at 6:30" As it is now midnight and I have to pack, I will sign off.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
This time tomorrow Andy and Chris will be in town. After the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, our little burg is going to seem pretty sleepy. I have spent much of the day preparing the garden for Anthea's extended absence, mowing, mulching and arranging hoses, mist lines, and timers in the hope that her green friends will be here, hale and healthy, to greet her return.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
In two days, Andy and Chris, two of my favorite people in the world, will be arriving, prior to all of us leaving two days later for our Great RV Adventure. Anthea is busy preparing for their arrival while I slack off and pretend to be a blogger. In the days ahead, I hope to keep a small record of our Adventure, with the hope that at the end of the three weeks, Andy and Chris will still be two of my favorite people.