Archive for the ‘Utah’ Category

True beauty

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Provo, Utah is nestled against the most beautiful mountains.  Our site at the Elks Lodge is just a parking lot near major commercialism but when you look out the window all you see are these spectacular mountains.  I went to the mall nearby and from the food court that was less than spectacular the view from the dining area was of the same mountains.   I could sit there all day looking at the landscape.

Provo is home to BYU and the downtown area is full of fun spots to hang out along with lots of parks and spots to sit and enjoy what is going on.  I think I have found paradise within a big city.  I love the energy of this downtown.  The scenery is amazing and the recreation in those mountains is limitless.  I am starting to think I have found a spot that I might like better than home without the beach, then I find out they don’t even have a Starbucks!  Being dominated by the Mormon Church they don’t do Coffee and so the nearest Starbucks is 4 miles away in nearby Orem.  Hmmm.

Timpanogos Valley view

But the beauty is unforgettable.  We took a short  drive to Timpanogos National Monument to see the caves.  The drive out of Provo is very short and very quickly you are driving on a single lane road right through these steep mountains.  There is a small river and so much beauty.  Our first stop was the caves where you take a 1.5 mile hike straight up the mountain to the entrance of the 3 caves.  The hike is free, if you want to go into the caves it is $8 and I think well worth the money.

Looking down the canyon to Provo

     Looking down the canyon to Provo

 

One of our many rests going up the trail

One of our many rests going up the trail

It is a short hike on a paved trail but uphill, gaining 1000 feet in elevation.  I made it to the top in less than 1 hour which was slow but the beauty was worth all the stops.  At the top you are met by a ranger that takes you into the cave.  Paul didn’t go into the cave as we did not have reservations and the earliest time we could get was 3 hours after we arrived.  Paul found a guy that had an extra ticket so I got to tour the caves while Paul rested outside.

I love caves and am most amazed by those who found them in the first place.  One of the three caves was discovered in the early 1900’s by two 14 year old boys who kept it secret for many years.  Climbing the paved trail was strenous, I can not even imagine climbing these steep mountains, finding a hole and climbing in.

TimpanogosCave4

Heart shaped

                             Heart shaped

The caves are very much alive and the tour took us through areas that were very tight to navigate and exciting.  We toured 3 fairly small caves in comparsion to other caves I have been in but the beauty is very close up and lovely.

TimpanogosChipmunk

This little guy was scurrying around near one of the many benches along the trail and was not happy that I wouldn’t move away.  He was frozen on the rock while I snapped many shots.  As soon as I stopped he proceeded with his day.

Lunch

                                                                                

We made it down the mountain much more quickly than our assent but my muscles are aching from trying to hold myself back from tumbling down the steep grade.  Then it was off to find somewhere to enjoy our lunch.  Picnics are one of my favorite things about being in these great places and today we found a perfect spot right along the small stream.  The road through the park was quite close by, but the sound of the stream drowned out the constant traffic and we couldn’t see the cars so it felt like we were truly in nature all alone.

Birch or Aspen?

                                           Birch or Aspen?

Traveling through the park we reached the summit and saw so many groves of these beautiful trees.  Paul says they are Birch and I’m thinking we are close to Colorado so maybe they are Aspen.  We are definitely not experts neither do I aspire to be.  It didn’t matter which they were, but we are starting to see some color changes!  Fall is coming fast.

Bridal  Veil Falls

                        Bridal Veil Falls

Right along the highway returning to Provo is this very tall waterfall,  Bridal Veil Falls.  At one time there was a restaurant on the side of the cliffs that you reached on a tram that ran straight up the walls!  It caught fire and the local agency’s let it burn because they thought it was too dangerous and the business at the top was failing anyway.  It was a nice stop and fun to watch the kids climbing the rocks up to the lower falls.

A beautiful day for touring, amazing caves, waterfalls, nature but no Starbucks!  I will continue my search for the perfect place.

 

Zion NP

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Zion National Park

Zion National Park

We spent our last two official days of vacation in Zion NP.  This park is beautiful and has lots of hiking trails so you are able to really see the canyon.  I think it might be my favorite because it has WATER!  Our first day we drove into the park and then drove out the eastern entrance through the tunnel that was built in the early 1900’s for access to Bryce and Grand Canyon.  They stop traffic if you are more than 7.5 feet wide as the tunnel was built before we had SUV’s!

Waterfall

Waterfall

Our second day we did a 3 mile hike up the canyon and then a 2 mile one into the canyon where it starts narrowing.  It was raining and cold or I would have been right in there walking in the river upstream until you can’t anymore.  The water falls and pools are not spectacular like Yosemite however this park has something Yosemite will never have and that is quiet!  We hiked to the top of the water fall to the Emerald Pools and at the top there is a small pool, no view but it is so beautiful here and even though you are not alone you feel like you are.  It is beautiful.

Canyon narrows

Canyon narrows

 

View of the Canyon Walls

View of the Canyon Walls

We left Zion late in the day and made our way from amazing nature to amazing Lights!  Las Vegas is always the same, lots of people, noise, traffic, lights and energy.  I always really want to go to Las Vegas and then when I get there I am exhausted by the crowds and Paul was not impressed so who knows when I will get there again, probably with my girlfriends!!

Paris

Paris

Bryce Canyon National Park

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

 

bryce1

Grand Canyon is spectacular; Arches National Park is interesting; Bryce Canyon is brilliant.  What a beautiful Canyon and the park is also really nice.  Much smaller than Grand Canyon and definitely less traffic than Yosemite but this Park has the most beautiful formations to look at.  We just kept saying this is perfect.  I think the biggest reason I say it is better than Grand Canyon is you can actually get up close and personal with the HooDoo’s.  HooDoo’s are the rock formations formed from millions of years of nature. There are no more words for this park, just enjoy the photos and wish you could be here with us!

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bryce

 

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Walking among the HooDoo's

Walking among the HooDoo's

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bryceantelope
stephaniebryce

Hole in the Rock

Saturday, June 6th, 2009
FDR carved in the front of the house!

FDR carved in the front of the house!

If you ever get to Moab Utah take the 10 mile drive south and see this roadside attraction.  It is very cheezy but worth the trip and the drive is beautiful also.  There is so much stuff here that is right out of the Route 66 days that you feel like you have stepped back in time.

Made from Irons

Made from Irons

Patio Furnishings for Rock Home

Patio Furnishings for Rock Home

Some guy actually dug out this rock and built a 5000 sq. foot home for him and his wife, then he died 2 years later!

Arches National Park

Friday, June 5th, 2009
Amazing rocks

Amazing rocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather is working in our favor; it is cool, only 70 degrees and it could have been 100 easily.  This is definitely desert landscape.  This park is really spread out and has lots of opportunities for hiking and photography.

 We took two 1.5-mile hikes to get closer views of the arches.

archeswindows

 These arches were called North and South Windows and you could walk right up and under them.  Very cool and the view into the valley was beautiful, no smog here!

archesbudda

The rock formations were pretty impressive and the colors were spectacular.  I thought this one looked like Budda, no one else agreed – you decide!  We didn’t see much wildlife although we did get the pleasure – NOT of seeing a large snake cross the footpath right in front of us.

It is a SNAKE people!!!!

It is a SNAKE people!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was definitely not one of the ones trying to get a photo, Paul was.  I was busy backing up until I tripped on a rock and realized that my bum could not take another fall so I turned around and walked further in the opposite direction of the snake.  Paul did get a photo but I was too terrorized to even publish it.  He says it was pretty, 6 feet long and bright yellow with strips – I did get enough of a glimpse to burn the image into my brain forever.  Did you get that I hate snakes!

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch

 The Landscape Arch was what we got to see after 1.5 miles and the snake – pretty cool!  You can’t walk under it anymore because a few years ago while people were sitting under it a huge chunk fell off- they got away safely as it made an incredible noise like thunder and started crumbling, giving them enough warning to run for their lives!

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

We chose to not walk the 3.5 mile hike to get up close to this one.  We walked uphill about 1/2 mile to see it across a ravine.  
Those aren't benches

Those aren't benches

All this fresh air, beauty and exercise I guess they needed to rest.  Or, maybe they were tired of waiting for me to take pictures!  I hope you are enjoying my photos as much as I am.

Moab, Utah

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

We left Golden early and decided to put some miles on our trip so that we can be in California on time.  We are in Moab Utah and it is still cold!  Not as cold as Colorado but colder than I expected for the desert.  The 350 miles went pretty well except for my bum hurting!  It is a good thing we have a motorhome cause I could move from the chair to the couch and stand up often also. Moab is a really cute mountain town that is definitely set up for the tourist.  I picked an RV park out of the Good Sam listings and when we arrived there was no pool which I was hoping for and they said they were dog friendly however I find this hard to believe.  After we checked in the nice lady handed me an additional red sheet with the pet rules!  No dogs on the lawns; don’t let your dog pee on the lawns or the rose bushes; and no barking!  How are you suppose to keep your dog off the lawn I asked the lady cause the lawns are between each site.  She says “Just don’t let them pee or poop on the lawn” Ok???  Duke was fine however later in the evening I was sitting on our lawn and some people were walking their dogs and one of them was barking in greeting to other dogs.  The lady comes out of the office and tells them to keep the dog quiet or they are out of the park!  Whoa – It seemed like a really nice park and quiet however I will in the future ask about the pet policies before making the reservation.

One of the most interesting things about this park was we went to town and returned to new neighbors.

How do you fit all your stuff?
How do you fit all your stuff?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were really friendly, but mostly kept to theirselves.  My only question is how do you fit the VODKA in?