Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vacation Update - Day 12 and 13 - Indian Petroglyphs & Zions

After Antelope Canyon - Day 12 was kind of a bust. We drove from Page for the day over to Kanab area and went to Coral Sands State Park. Although this may be a good place to go 4 wheeling in the sand dunes, there is not much there to see, so the morning was kind of boring...except Pat had picked up a map to a series of Indian Petroglyphs that she was determined to see. As I read the map I felt it may be fun, although there was a warning that it required a 7 mile drive on a very sandy 4 wheel drive trail, with the last two miles very narrow and rugged and in fact it even described the trail as "paint damaging" due to overhanging scrub oaks along the trail.

I decided what the hell and figured if we got stuck, we got stuck and since my truck is a 1997 with plenty of nicks and dings, how bad could it be?

Little did I know...

This is where the trail narrows and the going gets pretty rough. At this point we had traveled about 5 miles on a very sandy and unimproved road, the next two miles would prove to be challenging. The 4 wheel drive part was a requirement with some very steep, sharp turns on a very narrow trail, lined with plenty of scrub oaks to rearrange the paint on your vehicle. The sand was deep and tough going, but we had no problems.

After we arrived at the trailhead, the short moderatly strenuous hike turned into a major climb down the 1.5 mile round trip had a 1600 foot drop and then climb back up, so I went about half way and Pat continued on down.

This is Pat on her return where I waited for her. Of course she was not happy I was taking her picture after the climb back up!

This is just a small sample of the new pin-stiping on my truck, it was on both sides!

Here are a few of the Petroglyphs she got to see!

Then it was 7 miles of bad road again and more paint damage back to the highway! She claims it was worth it, but I am not too sure, but if she is happy, I am happy, she assures me that is the case!

We returned to Page and the campground for the night then hitched up the next day and headed to Zion National Park, one of my favorite places!

Now some great scenery shots around Zion.

And now one of my favorite pictures of Pat by the River in Zion.

And her attempt at taking a picture of me by the river!

We had a wonderful vacation, sadly this was the last adventure day as we departed back for Salt Lake City and her departure the next morning. 14 days of traveling and exploring Southern Utah came to a wonderful close.

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vacation Update - November 4th - 6th - Antelope Canyon

After the River trip - Oct 30 through Nov 2, we stayed in Moab another 2 nights to rest up and do some laundry and get ready to continue our adventure.

Sunday November 4th we broke camp in Moab and made the long drive to Page, Arizona, via Monument Valley. We stopped at the Burger King in Kayenta Az, since we had heard they had a great display about the Navajo Code Talkers and they did, so we had a milkshake and explored.

Then on the way to Page from Kayenta we took a small detour to the Navajo National Monument to see some old Pueblo style Indian Ruins. It was worth the 9 mile detour and comes highly recommended.

There was also this wonderful fossilized Dinosaur Track!

This is a distant shot of the ruins, you have to go on an escorted tour to visit the actual ruins and they were not offering it when we were there.

After our days drive we settled into a campground in Page and made plans for our next days adventure to Antelope Canyon. This should not be missed and in fact you should make plans to go there as soon as you can. It is amazing. If you can only do one of the canyons, choose the lower canyon as it is far better and more dramatic than the upper canyon.

Antelope Canyon!

In the Lower Canyon there is an Arch formed by the water and I made Pat stand in it to give you an idea of size of this place.

There are many very tight turns and alcoves.

The lower canyon has many steep drops, it descends about 230 feet overall and they have nice stairs and ladders.

The climb out of the Lower Canyon at the end is an Adventure! This only shows about the first half of your ascent!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11th - Vacation Update.

OK - You can stop emailing me to update the blog. I have been super busy for the past two weeks and was a little negligent in keeping everyone updated on my whereabouts. Sorry!

For those of you who are regular followers, you know that I had a fantastic vacation planned from October 26th through November 9th. My girlfriend flew out from Ohio and joined me in the camper for a two week tour of Southern Utah and a little bit of Northern Arizona. The trip included a 4 day float trip down the Green River for some fantastic scenery and wonderful remote camping along the river. We used a local Moab Rafting company called NAVTEC Expeditions and they were fantastic. Great hosts with nice equipment a fantastic guide. The weather for the entire journey was fantastic with clear blue skies and warm weather for the past two weeks.

We arrived back in Salt Lake City for her flight home in a winter storm and the past two days has seen about 20 inches of snow where I am in Salt Lake. Since Pat left, I have been busy processing some of the photos I took on the trip and I now have some from the first couple days and will provide a brief description of where we were and some of the photos from our trip. In the next day or two I will continue the journey with text and photos.

Here is a great picture of Pat for those of you who have asked.
This was actually on the raft trip, so it is a little out of sequence.

Pat at the entrance to Arches National Park which was where we visited first!

One of about two pictures of us together.

The Windows or also called the "Spectacles"

Pat and I made a stop after Arches at Deadhorse Point State Park, near Moab!

Ready to leave on the raft trip!

Pat at the Raft Launch site, ready to go!

On the River!

Here we are breaking camp on the float trip!

Old high school friends joined us on the float trip. Greg Lantz and his wife Katrina.

Here is Greg pulling the raft in for our first camp!

Some fall scenery!

Greg trying his hand at the inflatable kayak!

The Green River scenery!

Some evening campfire fun!

On a hike!

Look for updates of the remainder of our trip in the next few days!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest