Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fairplay,CO to Colorado Springs, CO.

September 24, 2014

So here we are in the middle of the woods near Fairplay, CO.  What do we do for fun before we go to "the Springs".  I know! Let's go up to the Hoosier Pass.  Surprise.  It is higher than Monarch Pass we went over yesterday. 

We also visited a reservoir near by.  It was one water source for the city of Colorado Springs 100 miles away.

Note the water level in the reservoir.

Can't say that this was the most exciting day we had, but we did see mountains with snow on them.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Montrose, CO to Fairplay, CO

September 23 2014

We finally got up in the world - 11,312 feet above sea level to be exact.  US 50 took us through Monarch Pass and across the Continental Divide. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Moab to Montrose and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

September 21 and 22, 2014

The route from Moab, UT to Montrose, CO took us through scenery like that of a national park. Stunning. The side trip to Telluride took us about an hour.  It was kind of a wasted hour (and 30 miles) but the ride through the canyon to get there was beautiful.  We ate our brown bag lunch in a county park along a river in the canyon. 

Our room at the Red Arrow Inn in Montrose was not ready for us when we arrived about two o'clock so we drove the 14 miles to the Park.  The rangers in the visitors center gave us tips on the best hikes and car trips.  Hikes took place on 9/22. 

This canyon was different from all the other ones we had seen.  Phil ranked it as one of the most impressive of them all.

That river made this big canyon wearing it away at a pace of one human hair per year.
In a contest between water and rock, water wins every time.

It's huge. 
Gunnison River in Black Canyon

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Arches National Park

September 20, 2014

Arches is beautiful but not the most scenic one we have been in.
The geology of this area is really fascinating.   We have sat in orientation films in all the parks we visited.  The one in Arches was the best one of them all.  The visitors center had a great explanation of how the entire Colorado Plateau was formed over hundreds of millions of years.

It took a 1.5 mile hike to see this arch. It is the longest one in the park.
It's over 100 yards long.

There are over 2,000 cataloged arches here.

Delicate Arch

Balanced Rock

Friday, September 19, 2014

Canyonlands NP.

September 19, 2014

Canyonlands National Park has scenery we had not seen in any of the other parks.  The area is huge.
The Green River flows into the Colorado River in the park. .  Both rivers have cut deep canyons.

We are staying in Moab, UT for the next two nights.  Going to Arches NP tomorrow.

Phil and Dirk contemplating parasailing off the cliff

Very distinct erosion.

Phil checking out an arch in Canyonlands

A trail marker (carin) made of stones.

Utah Route 12. Panguitch to Torrey. Capitol Breaks NP

September 17 and 18 , 2014

Utah 12 is called a Scenic Byway.  It lives up to its label. It spans a route of 124 miles, and travels though some of the most diverse, remote and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country.  It is home to two national parks, three state parks, a national recreation area, a national monument, and a national forest.  I, Phil, discovered this road on a bike tour in 2010.  I resolved to get back to see it again.  (Another bucket list item checked off.)

We stopped at visitors centers at Red Canyon, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM Escalante, and Capitol Reef.  There were so many very scenic turn-outs, we got sick of stopping.  Lunch was at a small restaurant in Boulder, UT - again where we had stopped in 2010.  Dave Gabrielse could not stop talking about that experience for the rest of the bike trip. (Five dollars for a glass of orange juice he thought was outrageous.)

The evening visit to Capitol Reef paid off with a ranger talk about wilderness, and a star gazing experience. .  Its very dark here.

On Thursday,  Sharon, Jan. Dirk and Phil hiked 500 feet up the side of a mesa, then into a canyon.  It was a unique experience to see a canyon up close and personal. The trail started to go down hill again so we turned around. The total trip was 2.5 miles, not far, but it took us abut 3 hours.

In the car again for a ride along the scenic drive. After having already visited Mesa Verde, Cedar Breaks, Zion Canyon, and Bryce Canyon we thought we had seen all the canyon formations we there were.  Wrong.  The ones in Capitol Reef were unique and utterly stunning.  In fact we (make that Phil) enjoyed the scenic drive there more than the one in Bryce Canyon and it rivals the one in Zion. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bryce Canyon Day 2

September 16, 2014

We were told to experience a sunrise at Bryce Canyon.  Up at 5:30 AM, traveled 24 miles to Inspiration Point, watched the sun rise at 7:11

Sunrise over Bryce Canyon
Morning sun on the canyon walls.

Breakfast at the Lodge.  Then  a hike to the bottom of the Canyon among the Hoodoos.
The distance was only about two miles but what a trip.  What beauty.  Amazing rock formations. Our minds cannot fathom the millions of years God spent creating this landscape.  What goes down has to come up.  We were in deep sweat by the time we reached the top again.  It was worth it

In the car again driving the 17 mile car road with its beautiful vistas.  Want to see the next 100 pictures we all took.