Saturday, May 30, 2009

94. Capital Reef National Park

On to the next National Park - Capital Reef. More crazy rock formations and stormy weather.

This one is called The Castle.

We're camping at 1000 Lakes Campground in Torrey, UT, about 7 miles from the National Park. The CG is nice and we have a great view from our site (which I would love to show you, but I'm told that the photos didn't turn out). Our first night here we signed up for what was billed as a Cowboy Cookout with your choice of meats served with dutch oven potatoes, cowboy beans, Morman scones with honey butter, ice tea. lemonade or water. We both pre-ordered the rib eye. It was either that or the ground buffalo patty. Expectations were high. And that should have been our first clue that we were building this up far too much. The food was bland. The scones? Not exactly scones. More like pillows of state fair elephant ears without the sugar sprinkles. The "famous" honey butter tasted like watered down, chemically treated, bit of honey margarine. But oh how they were proud of their scones, refilling your plate every chance they had. I'm not sure what was "cowboy" about the whole event. Certainly wasn't the music - Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA followed by Wham's Careless Whispers. We did manage to find beers - Coors. It was beautiful.

Friday, May 29, 2009

93. See, It's Good For You.

Turns out that it's not just an obsession. Knitting is good for your health.

And can save your life.

Or at least keep you entertained while you await rescue.

It's also a great way to pass the time while you're driving and driving and driving some more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

92. Petrified Forest State Park

From Cannonville, we drove for, oh I don't know, maybe 20 minutes to a cute little state park still in Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. I keep asking the Mr why it's a monument if it's so big. Shouldn't it be an area or zone or something like that? The campground is small and sits on a pond (resevoir, whatever) surronded by cottonwood trees. Weather has been fantastic - beautiful mornings, stormy afternoons, beautiful evenings and cool nights.

Yesterday we took a little hike up into the Petrified Forest where they have, you guessed it, petrified trees. No photos, but I can tell you that the logs look like rocks. Rocks made up of checkerboards of pink, blues, greens, whites and grays. The hike was steep and I thought I was going to die.

Today we drove out on the dirt Hole in the Rock Road to hike to Devil's Garden.


It's on BLM land, so Lucy was off leash and out of her mind with joy scampering around with us. Aside from her obvious height issues, she's a total hiker. It was a fun day for all of us.


Monday, May 25, 2009

91. Bryce Canyon National Park

We've been at Bryce since the 21st. Once again, the park campgrounds were full, so we're at a KOA in Cannonville, UT. It's a little expensive for an RV park, but it has full hookups and is well situated near Bryce, Kodachrome and Escalante. Aside from the KOA, a BLM Ranger Station and a church, there isn't much more in Cannonville. I grew up in a small town and can tell you that Cannonville is tiny.


The weather has been hit and miss. Afternoon thunderstorms that bring wind, rain and colder temperatures. I love it. I'm happy in jeans and a sweater. And since the weather hasn't been great for hiking, we took a couple of long drives. The first to Bryce along the rim road, stopping at a number of looks outs. Phenomenal scenery. Wind, water, erosion have created these alien like hoodoos.

Bryce Hoodoos

The next day, Saturday, we took Lucy into Escalante Town to try to get a cell signal to make our calls and reservations. More rocky, mountainous formations along the sides of the road. I wonder if after a while you take all of this for granted and don't notice the color and texture changes.


Afterwards, we drove to Kodachrome State Park. We wanted to tour the campground, but couldn't without paying the entrance fee, so we took a map and were on our way. We got enough of a view of the colorful rocks from the road on the way in.


Yesterday, the Mr went mountain biking while Lucy and I stuck around camp. My vertigo is back a bit and I was hoping that a day out of the car would stop the ground from spinning. No such luck. I thought I'd get some knitting done, but by the time we picked up the Tango, went for a walk and then showered, he was back.

Today, we hiked in Bryce, getting really lucky in between thunderstorms. It's a whole different view from inside the canyon. I really wanted to scramble up the sides, but we stuck to the trail. Down was cake. Up, not so much. Elevation was 8115 and I felt it. After the hike, we had a mini picnic with our PB&Js (transports well while hiking, protein) and then drove into Tropic, UT to buy a few groceries. Tropic is just a bit bigger than Cannonville, but kind of cute. Then back to Lucy and the Tango, put the groceries away, changed out the ice trays, took a shower, shaved my legs, have a Murad mask on my face, feeling kind of girly and am about to try to watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy online while it storms outside. It's been a good day.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

90. Zion National Park

Zion is stunning. As you know, I'm not exactly Nature Girl. Sure, I've pretended at times. And I can do it for a while, but really, I'm not. Zion, though, is a place I could really get into. I like rocks and the rock formations are just amazing. You stop, stare and just wonder how the hell that happen?

The park campgrounds were full, but we were able to sneak in before the holiday at a private RV park. Perfectly located in Springdale, UT, a short walk from the park entrance with full hook ups. The desk staff was not friendly, nor helpful and actually almost rude. Which is unusual for an RV park, but I guess when you've got a monopoly on the situation, you don't have to be nice.

Unfortunately, we only had two nights here, which really isn't long enough. I would definitely come back. Even if it was just to take the crazy drive down the canyon, through the skinny, dark tunnel. I shot a little video which is posted on the Mr's blog. 25mph never felt so fast.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

89. Page, AZ

The plan was to overnight at the Wal-Mart. We'd been told that as far as staying over at a Wal-Mart, this Wal-Mart was a good one - quiet, not a lot of traffic, safe. And I know what you're thinking. Sleeping in a Wal-Mart parking lot - WHAAT? It's sort of a right of passage. Most Wal-Mart's don't mind since they get the business, you can re-stock, and it's just a stopping over point when you can't drive any further. We didn't stay over in the parking lot. It's hot in Page. Too hot to not have A/C so we stayed at the Page-Lake Powell Campground.

It was fine. Full hook ups. Gravel, so Lucy wasn't a total dirt bag. Did some laundry. $1.25 a load. Cheap. Had a nice little chat with two women from Tampa, Florida. I'm not usually super chatty, but we were all wearing the same shoes and I'm working on being a friendly camper. (In that same vein, I've also started waving at people on the side of the road. It's funny how many wave back.) So the shoe thing was a good opening. They had sons who lived in Seattle so we talked about that. And a daughter who was going to school somewhere. And, of course, the grandkids. And they were curious about us (once again, we don't fit the profile of the typical RVer). But the most important thing we talked about was how to fold fitted sheets. And before you discount this conversation, let me just tell you that what I learned was revolutionary. You start with one corner and basically tuck the other corners either under or over the first. And then I googled it. And as it turns out, it's not all that revolutionary at all. Martha has been doing it forever. Figures.

Monday, May 18, 2009

88. Grand Canyon

It really is spectacular. Photos just don't communicate the vastness of it all. The Mr has more photos posted at with a link to his flickr account.
Of course, for me, equally as entertaining as the rim hikes, were the other tourists. You can always tell the Europeans from the Americans by the shoes. No European would ever dream of wearing the dark socks / sandals combination. I loved the southern women tripping over themselves, ya'all this, ya'all that. I couldn't tell if they were drunk or just wacky. Regardless, funny to watch.
We're overnighting it in Page, Az before heading to Zion National Park in Utah. Very excited about that. Full hookups! More later.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

87. Working With What You've Got

We all do it. Make the best of what you've got. In Kingman, AZ they have Route 66 and are milking it for all it's worth...


I took these while driving through Old Town yesterday. Just a sampling of the many, many, many Route 66 signage.