Saturday, December 31, 2016

All road trips need a zoo

Because why not kill Part of the day in the Albuquerque zoo?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 23, 2016

Road Trip: Grand Canyon

Sorry for the delay, work is in full swing but the pictures make me so happy maybe it will encourage some future adventures and and happy reminiscing while I'm running in circles at work.

We drive to the east rim first, figuring we had a little time and how often do you go to the Grand Canyon? I had never been so it was pretty darn exciting. It was too close to dark for hiking and then we spent a solid 30 minutes watching coyotes which I don't regret one bit.

The trail was covered in ice, the buildings were closed and it was pretty frigid. Yet we still managed to see wildlife. My favorite part.

We drove the length of the east rim trying to catch sunset and still stay warm before finding a nice spot to sleep near the entrance to the west rim.

The next morning was still icy cold and full of tourists but this place is so cool.

I decided to go on my own hike and headed down the most popular route towards the Colorado river. I was still pretty chilly as I headed down thousands of feet but I felt like I was flying and having a fantastic time.

I'll admit it I was impressed by the Grand Canyon on the rim but felt no great desire to return. After actually hiking I can't wait to come back and see more.

An exhilarating if chilly day of climbing. Then on to the adventure of car troubles on a weekend into the middle of nowhere. We finally coasted out of the mountains crossing our fingers and staring at check engine lights. The Grand Canyon may be amazing but it has pretty much zero car fixing abilities on weekends.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Road Trip: sitting still

I woke up in the middle of the night and peeked out the window. The wind was howling and an inch or so of snow had fallen. Not going to lie, I was pretty thrilled to in a warm hotel. We were only about 5 minutes from the park and after breakfast and killing enough time for the ice to melt on the roads we decided to play car tourist with the snow.
Back to the amphitheater it was only a dusting but not a bad way to see a change.

I think I walked maybe a mile of the rim, still crowded with silly tourists. Running and of course sliding because yes it was 30 degrees and still icy. Common sense was in short supply. By the time my ears and nose had frozen I was ok with no more sightseeing. I think snow is beautiful but I'm happy as a clam living in a moderate climate.

Fairyland point was quiet and amazingly blocked by wind, a much more pleasant walk.

With predicted nighttime temps of 6 not including wind chill I had no problem heading back to the luxury of a bed in a real building for the night.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Road Trip Part Two: More Bryce

I apologize for picture formatting and other strange things, this site has been crashing and uncooperative so hopefully the pictures at least still appear.

It was great waking cozy in the back of the car. Tents may be great but they are nowhere near as windproof as vehicles. Although I'm starting to understand the trend of retrofitting vans and living on the road, it can be awfully cush.

We took our time warming up and hit the rim again. The plan was for about 6 miles, combining the two most popular trails in the park, the Queens Garden and Navajo loop and the Peekaboo loop to create a figure 8 taking us down and all around the base of the amphitheater.

the crowds thinned the farther we got from the rim. We had been warned it was a strenuous hike with a few thousand feet of elevation loss and gain, but with cool temperatures it was perfect cruising weather and the trails are in pretty much perfect shape.

The trail winds down towards the Queens Garden, getting up close and personal with the hoodoos. The tunnels are engineering feats in there own right. There is some major trail work down here.

We wind our way down and around, losing the crowds and looping onto the Peekaboo Loop. The wind is starting to pickup and I'm happy we decided to get a hotel room tonight. Snow is in the forecast and while the truck is nice sitting around for 2 days of sub 30 sounds less than fun. Tomorrow night is supposed to be down to 6, not including wind chill.

We take  break at the wall of windows, enjoying lunch and the view. I really just love Utah, although I'm not sure I'd be so happy in 90 plus temps.

Down and back we towards the finish of the Navajo loop. I keep stopping to stare and take it all, the towers and color.

Back up we climb and the crowds reappear.

We stop moving once we make it back to the top and the chill sets in. The wind has picked up and the clouds are starting to gather. Shorts and a t-shirt were no longer cutting it. Although we had been the only people the entire day in just shorts and t-shirts so who knows.

Instead of hiking more we decide to head to the very end of the park and drive to all the viewpoints. Its fun and absolutely freezing, I'm glad we aren't hiking anymore. Its a mellow afternoon and different way to see the rest of the park.

We head back to the car in time for dinner and hard out of the park. With the incoming snow and winter weather alert for driving it looks like the road trip is stalled and we will be spending an unexpected day off to regroup and figure out where to next.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone