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2018-09-24 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 37 – Driving to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

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We had an uneventful drive from Grand Canyon, back to Jacob Lake, and on towards Lake Powell, just outside Page, AZ.

As we left the grand canyon National Park we had a few more glances of the canyon…

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As we neared the exit to the park we saw some wild turkeys…

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More Aspen showing their fall colors…

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We were soon down in the valley, traveling towards Vermilion Cliffs National Monument…

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We drove along the Vermilion Cliffs for quite a while.  We came by a sign that said, “Cliff Dwellers”, but all we saw was a motel – The Cliff Dweller Motel.  About one mile further we stopped at a curious sight:

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There was no information on just what we were seeing here, but it was interesting, authentic or not…

Moving on…

We stopped to take pictures at Navajo Bridge – The Colorado River, again…

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Then we passed through Page, AZ, and we drove over the Glen Canyon Bridge.  We will be back here tomorrow to tour the dam…

We caught a few glimpses of Lake Powell as we arrived at the RV Park…

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We checked into the campground and we parked with the other Airstreamers…

This evening we enjoyed a BBQ dinner with the rest of the gang at the campground picnic area…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-23 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 36 – North Rim of the Grand Canyon – First sighting of the Colorado River…

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Slightly less vigorous day today… We drove, along with another caravaner, to another plateau, surrounded by more cross canyons.  This is in the eastern portion of the park.

We saw a meadow with a watering hole used by the wildlife in the area.  And a 19th century log cabin used by early settlers to store grain and salt for their cattle…

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We stopped at many overlook areas viewing east across and down into the canyon.

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We walked down a canyon to a spring, with water seeping out of the sandstone walls…

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The big payoff was Angel’s Window, an arch in the sandstone… (note the people standing atop the arch… )

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The valley below was quite green…

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We also walked atop the arch…

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And we went out onto Cape Royal to see the main portion of the Grand Canyon… And we could finally look down into the canyon and see the Colorado River far below – the river is about one mile below the rim of the canyon…

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That’s it – about five miles away and about one mile down…

The other views from Cape Royal were also spectacular!  Way better than Uncle Jim’s Trail yesterday…

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We returned to the lodge and enjoyed lunch in the dining room…

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We walked back to the campground via the Bridle Trail.  We enjoyed happy hours and had a quiet evening in The Villa…

We had our Drivers Meeting to discuss our drive to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, home of the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-22 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 35 – North Rim of the Grand Canyon – 12 mile hike…

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We woke up early this morning – it was still dark.  We quickly got dressed and we were out the door before sunrise.

We walked the Transept Trail to the lodge.  Transept is the name of a cross canyon that leads to the main Grand Canyon.  The trail winds along the rim of the canyon.  We were generally walking south, looking west, watching the sun light up the east facing canyon walls across the way…

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After arriving at the lodge, (1.5 miles) we again walked out to the end of Bright Angel Point… (+.5 miles = 2.0 miles)  Not to many teenagers risking life and limb this morning…

We bought coffee at the lodge, then sat on the terrace and watched as the sun continued to rise and paint the canyon walls…

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Finally we went to the dining room and had a late breakfast of Pancakes and Eggs Benedict…

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We then needed to do some more walking.  We walked back towards the campground along the Bridle Trail…

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Then we continued to the trail-head for Uncle Jim’s Trail. (+3.0 miles = 5.0 miles)…

We walked the entire loop of Uncle Jim’s Trail.  (+5.0 miles = 10.0 miles)  Pro-Tip:  Don’t bother – views were less than overwhelming, and the trail contained many trip hazards – roots, rocks, pine cones, and mule poop…

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We walked so far I thought I spotted the ocean on the horizon…

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No, it was only more of this hole in the ground surrounded by rocks… And a hazy view at that…

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More trails, with more obstacles…

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After returning to the trail-head we walked back to the Villa.  (+2.0 miles = 12.0 miles).  Other Airstreamers were having happy hours, sitting around campfires, and going out to dinner.  We took off our shoes, drank a few bottles of water, and went to bed before dark…

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And a tiring time was had by us…

2018-09-21 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 34 – Traveling to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

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We started the day by realizing that we might need propane.  We are headed to a campground at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon; there will be no electricity (or any other hook-ups) and it will be cold at night, so propane becomes pretty important.  So rather than having a leisurely morning and leaving at the indicated time, we hitched up and headed to the town of Kanab…

According to Yelp, there are 3 places in town that offer propane.  The first one we came to had a giant sign that said, “We’ve Moved”.  So we traveled on.  The second place was closed.  No signs or anything – just no one there… The third one looked good – large lot, lots of activity going on.  We pulled in and I walked to the office to see what the procedure was.  I was told, “Sorry – our RV propane guy is not here today…!”  I asked where else I could go, and the nice lady told of a nearby gas station that has propane.  So the fourth time was the charm and we topped off our tanks.  (It turned out we were getting bad readings from our gauges and we really weren’t that low…)

So we headed south, across the Arizona Strip…

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Our intermediate destination is Jacob Lake, a really tiny lake, campground, and lodge.  It gave us a nice break and a chance to stretch our legs.  When we arrived there were 5-6 Airstreams already here.  By the time we left, there were 20…

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We decided to stay for lunch with another caravan couple…

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After lunch we continued on south.  The scenery changed along the way…

We are traveling to a much higher elevation – about 3,000 feet higher…

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We soon were treated to the Aspens changing colors…

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This meadow is called Grass Lake… there are many similar meadows.  At one of them, there were several Bison in the distance… we just didn’t get any pictures of the bison…

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As we approached the campground we found ourselves in the forest…

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8,827 Feet!

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It doesn’t take long to set up when there are no hook-ups…

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We had been sitting all day, so we went looking for a hike (really a walk…).  We have 8:00 pm reservations for dinner in the lodge tonight, so we have some time to kill, too…

We walked the Bridle Trail from the campground past the Lodge to Bright Angel Point.  It was late afternoon and the sun was about to be setting, so it was lighting up the cliffs across the canyon…

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Out on Bright Angel’s Point some people are braver than others…

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The drop off into the canyon below is steep!

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More brave (or crazy) people…

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More steep canyons…

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Lynda was brave enough to walk across this bridge to get to the far point…

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She didn’t look down…

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More sun-lit canyon walls…

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More crazy people…

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We returned to the Lodge…

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And watched the sunset…

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The Grand Lodge is a spectacular pile of stone and wood.  It looks exactly like what you would expect for a National Park Lodge.  The Front of the Lodge:

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The Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and was finished in 1928.  Native stone and timber were used to make the lodge with much of the main lodge featuring Kaibab limestone that makes up the cliff at Bright Angel Point.  The stonework makes it appear to grow right out of the cliff!  Very “organic”!  Frank would be proud!

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They built 120 cabins surrounding the main lodge then later added 20 more in 1928. The lodge was initially owned by, financed, and run by the Utah Parks Company, a subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad, who also did the same in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

The lodge flourished after it was initially opened, but a devastating fire that began in the basement nearly destroyed all of the main lodge and two of the cabins.  In spite of this setback, in 1936 the lodge began being rebuilt.  While the original stonework was reused, the lodge was scaled back to ensure it could withstand the strong winter snow that comes to the North Rim. For this reason, the original second story and the third story observation tower were not rebuilt; however the main Dining Room and Recreation Rooms were reconstructed with higher roofs.  It officially earned designation as a National Historic Landmark on May 28, 1987.

The Lodge is great fun and it has many places just to hang out.  After our viewing of the sunset we headed to the Saloon for a drink while we waited for another caravan couple who would join us for dinner

 

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We went to dinner in the Dining Room… Dinner in the grand dining room was much fun.  Food was OK, as expected in a remote location like this, but the service was good (most servers (and other employees) live here in the National Park, in dormitories…).

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Our friends gave us a ride back to the Villa (walking 1.5 miles on a dirt trail in the dark didn’t seem like a good idea…).

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-21 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Special Note

We will be traveling into the wilderness again today… We will be dry camping at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and we will have little electricity and little internet access…

Stay tuned!  You should hear from us again when we are at Lake Powell…

 

2018-09-20 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 33 – The Arizona Strip

2018-09-10 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 23 – Travel Day to Torrey, Utah and Capitol Reef National Park

Another travel day… We took our time packing up and hitching up, and left the RV park about 10:00 am.  We drove past Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and soon we were heading west on Interstate 70.   We were quickly reminded that we are not in California anymore…

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As we drove we were accompanied by several other caravaners…

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We pulled off into the little town of Green River.  Not surprisingly, the Green River passes through here…

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The Green River originates in the high plains of Wyoming, and feeds into the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park, near Moab, Utah…  We stopped here to see the Powell Museum…

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The museum commemorates the journey and explorations of John Wesley Powell, who, in 1869, took several men and boats down the Green River and into the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon… We watched a video of the journey and saw many exhibits of the trip.  Very interesting!

We continued our journey west, then south.  This part of Utah is not covered in rocks…

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But, course, soon we did find more rocks…

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The road south went straight south… For miles and miles and miles…

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We soon came to Capitol Reef National Park, one of the country’s newest National Parks… We saw many of the same type of rock formations that we had seen before…

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One difference is that we were much closer to them…

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We did not stop – there will be time for that tomorrow.  Soon we arrived at the RV park in Torrey, Utah…

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We enjoyed dinner at the Cafe Diablo, dining outside amongst the trees, with another caravan couple from New Jersey…

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We were soon treated to a brilliant sunset…

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And an enjoyable Time was had by all…

2018-08-17 – Traveling East – Day 2 – The Grand Canyon

Exciting day ahead!  We are in Williams, AZ, and we are boarding the train bound for the Grand Canyon!  I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the Grand Canyon, or about the train trip…!  (Full disclosure:  I saw the Grand Canyon in 1961 when I was 10 years old… I was not impressed with a big hole in the ground…  On the other hand, Lynda has not seen it, so this will be a first for her…)

The day began with a corny “wild west” shootout…

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Then we boarded the train; we were seated in the full-length dome car.  We thoroughly enjoyed the panorama view of the beautiful countryside…

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What’s better than a train ride!

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We arrived at the Grand Canyon.  Yep – it’s still a big hole in the ground…

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We did enjoy the various rock formations…

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And the buildings are certainly worth looking at… Above is the El Tovar Hotel…

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And this (above) is one of the many gift shops, and it is also a great place to take photos…

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We even tool pictures of the picture takers…

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We had lunch at the El Tovar Hotel, with a lovely scenic view…

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After lunch we walked and looked at more rocks…

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And then, just like that, it was time for the return trip on the train…

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This time we were seated in the parlor car, at the very end of the train; it even had the outdoor viewing platform.

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Riding backwards was a great pleasure – watching 270 degrees or a panorama of the mountain landscape…

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Also, from the observation platform we could get a good shot of the entire train…

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As we approached the station in Williams the train made a “Y” turn so that we could back into the station.  Standing on the open air observation platform was a lot of fun – we could watch the conductor step off the train and throw the switch, then we proceeded to back into the station…

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So we returned to the Villa and enjoyed Happy Hours.  We turned in early, because tomorrow is another long travel day…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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