Archive for July 2015

Utah – Day Four: Driving, Goblin

Finally nine hours of sleep…and it felt great!!  We woke up in Castle Rock, just outside of Torrey this morning, a town smaller than Doniphan.  It amazes me how unpopulated Utah is and how what little they do have available closes at 5:00.  There are no stand alone fast food restaurants, they are included in gas stations, and most are Subway’s.

We grabbed coffee and scones at the Castle Rock Coffee and Candy, very pleased with my Chi Expresso and Kirsten did a Carmel Machiatto.  The scones were very good…hit the spot as we headed out.

Our first stop was in Capitol Reef National Park, where we stopped and looked at Petroglyphs on the rock walls, etched by the Fremont Indians.  We also meet a nice gentleman who freely gave history on the THOUSANDS found in New Mexico, and how they are depictions of Aliens.  Luckily an unsuspecting family came up to where we were and KJ and I slowly made our way to the back of the group and walked away.

Our next stop was at Goblin State Park. Many movies are filmed in this area; such as Star Trek, Lone Ranger, Galaxy Quest, McGuiver to name a few.  This park allows you to get down and hands on with the hoodoos.  It was fun until we had to climb out and we couldn’t breath.  I thought I was going to call 911 for oxygen and was thinking I DEFINATLY have to start an exercise program when I get home…then I realized some of it has to do with our elevation difference.  My lungs/body is used to working/operating at 400 ft, we were at 5760 ft.  The other day at Bryce we were at 9,000 ft.  I know I need to get in shape but this realization made me rest a little easier. <LOL>

From Goblin we headed out and made it to an Interstate where we had cell service and radio stations!!!  And made it to our next stop Dead Horse Point Park.  It wasn’t what I had pictured from previous photos I had seen…pretty sure July has baked it to a nice brown blah.  I was tired and ready to crash out, so we headed to our motel.

Hit a local pizza joint for dinner, it was actually good.  We’re staying in Monticello, and heading to Arizona tomorrow.  The desk clerk of our motel is from Kansas City, he was excited about them getting fiberoptic Internet and cable service in their town.  We’re from a small town/area, but I’m amazed at the desolation here.  There is nothing for miles, poor cell service, and no radio.  There’s no place to even buy a book… Kirsten is starting to have withdrawals since she finished her one she brought.

Our motel looks like one from Psycho, at first I was wondering what I got us into.  Making reservations online is always a gamble.  But the desk guy was super nice, it is very clean, and they have Disney Channel (which since tonight is Decendents on Disney, KJ was happy).  I personally think it’s better than the Days Inn we stayed at last night.

Until the journey continues…ERM

Utah – Day Three: Bryce Canyon National Park

Day three…I’m still on a Central time zone night shift mentality.  Sleep for 4-5 hours and wake up, no going back to sleep after 5:30…the sun is coming up.

Last night I had to raid the breakfast nook for salt packets…my calves and feet seized up making walking around the room difficult and I looked like a cowboy that had been on the range for 30 days straight.  KJ just laughed, shook her head and went back to her book.  I of course found sweet relief in 5 salt packets!!

Yesterday at Zion they had a faucet that claimed “spring water” I personally think it was tied into the tap in the bathroom…but it was cold and tasted good. :-)

They have free roaming cattle here.  Along with the deer crossing signs, they have cattle crossing signs too.  And speaking of the free roaming cattle, I saw one today and got very excited that it was a bear. I was sadly disappointed!!  Since there are free roaming cows, when you go onto and off of interstates, and driving along randomly they have cattle guards in place.  Interesting concept.

Today we went to Bryce Canyon National Park.  We opted to drive through ourselves instead of riding the shuttle.  Was so glad we did.  The shuttle only went to the lower view areas, we were able to drive all the way to the end and stop at leisure, in less populated areas.  The closer to the exit we got the more crowded it was.  I don’t do crowds very well, so we skipped out on some of those view sites and headed out for lunch.

The park was AMAZING!!!  We were headed to our next destination and took Highway 12…it was a very scenic route.  There were switchback curves and places when you would stop and see the road below you that you would eventually be on.

The best quote overheard today while looking out over Bryce Canyon and nothing but rocks, and very few shrub like trees was stated by an enlightened gentalman when he said: “I really love the green back drop here, it adds a lot”.  He was serious…as he and his friends ‘oh and awed’ about how much better this viewpoint was over the others. ?

Made it to our motel room to kick back and relax.  My forehead is a little red, I forewent the sunblock today because we had georgeous weather (70-80 degrees).  I said “I got more sun than I thought while we were walking”, KJ said “It’s probably the ever 5 seconds you got out of the car to take a picture”.  She is right…I was stopping a lot to take pics, but there is just SOOO much to see!!!

I’m disappointed in the food options, we’re lucky to find a restaurant of any kind…nothing to call home about.  There’s no Wal-Mart for MILES, we’re lucky to find a general store.  It’s very sparcily populated.  I opted out of stopping at a sketchy looking gas station and luckily ran across a camp site that had a bathroom.  Kudos to Utah Park service, the bathroom was clean and supplied with toilet paper.  The cell service and radio is hit and miss, KJ thinks we’ve left civilization. :-)

Until tomorrow…ERM

 

Utah – Day Two: Zion National Park

First things first….Utah needs more pit stops.  If a person has some extra Johnny On-The Spots and some free time to set them out, many a traveler would appreciate it…believe me!!

This morning we got started a little late due to not getting to our motel until 1:00 am (Moutain Time).  Of course my internal Central Time clock had me up at 6:30 (this time), but I survived…and went for waffles.  I let KJ sleep until it was almost time to check-out; we had a very long night.  We packed the car and hit the road.

It’s beautiful here, around every corner is a different mountain, vivid colors, and something new to see.  Hard to drive and take it all in…but there are several pull off areas so you can stop and take pictures or just soak in the view.  Which is a good thing!!

With the late start, Zion National Park, was out of parking so we had to go back and park in the town prior and were shutteled into the park.  Inside the park they have a bus that takes you to all the different stops.  The buses run every 15 minutes (or closer together), which gives you the opportunity to do the hike and then come back and catch the bus.  It also made it easy to see the whole park and not walk your feet off.

Side note:  it’s interesting to sit on the bus and listen to the hearing impaired elderly decifer what the guide said through the overhead speaker system.

The park was beautiful!!!  We went for lunch and then headed to our next destination, Panguitch.  I ended up driving about 35 miles out of my way because I was unsure if the road I wanted to take was a drive through for vehicles…next time I will ask.  Crashed out in the motel to catch up on some rest and get ready for Bryce tomorrow.

Until later…ERM

Utah – Day One: Flight (2015 Vacation)

Well, it’s that time of year again for me to head out to see what I can find and add states and experiences to my “I did that list”…also known as vacation.  This year I went West!!  I’ve been to California and Washington state, but none of the in-between states.  I saw pictures of Utah and the National Parks…and it became my destination pick for this year.

My travel partner in crime this year is Kirsten, Peyton went to Ireland so was nixed from the party list (we would have rather of went with her); and Simeon wasn’t ready to be away from home for a week – Kirsten is questioning the time frame.

Day one was spent traveling…or I should say sitting in an airport.  We arrived to STL on time parked our car, made it through security without a hitch and even boarded the plane….to find out our pilot decided not to come to work and failed to let anyone know.  Therefore we got to unload from the plane, was given $25 for dinner, and told it would be 8:00 pm before they could get a pilot there from Chicago…and to enjoy our wait.  Therefore we spent our first day at Lambert Airport!!! Yay!

The pilot arrived, we boarded and got to fly to Vegas.  The little snafu put us about five hours behind…my OCD of list and scheduling was sorely tested, BUT we were able to see Vegas all lite up from the sky and missed all the traffic on our way to our first destination – Hurricane, Utah, and Zion National park.

The desk clerk at our lovely motel was not excited about checking us in at 1:00 am…but hey, it wasn’t my fault.  So after three four states and three time zone changes….I’m ready to get this party started!!!

The adventures of KJ and ERM will be found here this week…stay tuned!! :-)

Later…ERM