Thursday, October 23, 2014
The last stop on my big trip was Page, Arizona. Here is a picture of Lake Powell as I headed towards Page from Southern Utah.
I planned to hike two "slot canyons" while in the area, both on Navajo lands. The first slot canyon was called Antelope Canyon, and you could only access it by going on a tour with a Navajo guide. This was a very popular destination, and it was absolutely packed with people. Although I got a few decent photos using my tripod, it was like "combat photography" with all the people there. I don't know how many times my tripod got bumped while taking a picture. Here are a few shots from that trip.
Before I went to the second slot canyon, I hiked to an overlook looking down at a place in the Colorado River known as Horseshoe Bend. That was an absolutely breathtaking sight!
After all of my hiking the previous days (54 miles in 4 days), my big toes were getting swollen and red, and the toenails were dying. I decided I had better have them checked out before I hiked any further. The emergency room there at Page said that my toes were severely bruised and that I had an internal infection from all of the bruising. They gave me antibiotics, told me to ice them down 4 times a day, and told me no more hiking for awhile. The next day, they looked a little better, so I went ahead and did a 2-mile round-trip hike to the second slot canyon - Water Hole Canyon. While the descent into the canyon was a little scary, once I was down there, I had the canyon all to myself! It was definitely worth the $12 permit I had to get from the Navajo. Here a few pictures from that canyon.
It was a great hike. In the evening I took a few more pictures of the beautiful rock structures at sunset. I really liked the way they came out.
I had a great vacation and came back home refreshed. While I didn't eat as healthy as I should have, I definitely got my fitness in! By the way, the toes are much better. I'll probably lose the toenails, but the toes were good enough to go hiking a week later in the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas. That will be another blog soon...
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
After I left Bryce Canyon, I left for Page, Arizona (on the Arizona-Utah border). As I drove, I made several more hikes along the road in Southern Utah. Close to Bryce Canyon, a hiked for a short period in Red Canyon, Utah. Here are a couple of pictures from that area:
On the way to my next hiking area, I took a few pictures along the roadway.
My next hike took me down a dirt road (supposedly county-maintained) to a place near the Paria River where some very old Westerns (directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne) were filmed. The road was very bad, but I was able to finally find a place to park and do some walking. Here are a couple of pictures from that area.
After I finished hiking around for an hour or so, I started to drive back. Unfortunately, my car got "wedged" on the road coming down a steep embankment!! I tried digging out the sand and rocks for about an hour when a German couple happened to come along. We used 2 jacks and jacked up the front of the car, putting rocks under the front tires. With this, I was finally able to get out! I was beginning to think I was going to have to pitch a tent for the evening. Oh well, no one can say my life is without adventure.
After that, I stopped at a place to hike to some "toadstool" formations. This was a beautiful hike with lots of great scenery. Here are a few pictures from that area.
After this, I continued on to Page, Arizona - the final destination of my trip. Since I'm leaving in another day for a 5-day camping and hiking trip with the local adventure club, I'll post the final installment of trip pictures when I return. They will feature a couple of great "slot" canyons and some incredible scenery from northern Arizona.
Take care, everyone!
Monday, October 13, 2014
I just got back from a fantastic 2-week hiking vacation in Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona. Today I'll share some of the stories and pictures from the first stop - Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. I met my son and his family there for a few days of challenging hikes.
The first day it rained very hard, so it wasn't good for scenery pictures. We went on two 5-mile hikes, however, and got some great wildlife pictures. Here are a few of the better ones:
None of the above pictures were taken with a very long lens. The bear, in particular, just popped up about 30' in front of us! After looking at us for a few seconds, it took off. What a day for wildlife viewing!!
The next day, we (myself, my son, his wife, and my 7-year old and 5-year old grandsons)planned to do a 20-mile hike. It was supposed to snow in the morning, but warm up and get clear in the afternoon. We all trained for this hike all summer. It's too bad the weather forecasting wasn't a little more accurate. We had mostly snow and cold all day. My step-daughter and her youngest child turned around after 7 miles (for a 14-mile hike), while my son, the 7-year old grandson, and I continued on to Lake Solitude. Below are some of the pictures from that hike:
Here is my son and grandson at the destination - Lake Solitude.
On the way back, my grandson made it fine until the last 5 miles are so. His feet were so bruised from the hike that my son had to carry him over the rocky areas from then on. We started at daylight and finished at dusk, but what a hike!! We were prepared, though, - I even had flashlights in my pack in case we didn't get back by dark.
The next day, the weather cleared off as I was about to head out to Bryce Canyon in Utah. Before I left, I took a few more pictures.
On my next blog, I'll show some of the scenery at Bryce Canyon!
Friday, August 29, 2014
What a week! I went to the ranch this week to get in three days of work. When I arrived, I discovered that lightning had burned up my cell signal booster, my DirecTV receiver, my DVD player, my television, and my coffee pot. And that was with the power off at the breaker box! In addition, hogs had destroyed one of my gates on the property and mice had decided to use the air intake system on my Kawasaki Mule as a storage for corn.
So in addition to fixing the things I could, I cleared brush for 4 hours, put 1,000 pounds of feed in feeders, spent 8 hours mortaring stone under the cabin, and spent 4 hours participating in a night-time spotlight survey of the deer along 21 miles of road to help determine the average deer population on the overall ranch this year. If that wasn't enough, we were notified by the county than an Anthrax breakout has killed 68 deer so far (and that's only the ones found by people!). Not a good week, and I am tired. At least I got a lot of fitness minutes in...
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