Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grand Canyon - Final post for this trip

May 9 & 10, 2011

Well we arrived at the Grand Canyon and ran in a weird mix of weather.  Lake Powell was warm and sunny.  Temps around 75.  As we drove to the Canyon the sky became partly cloudy and the temp had dropped to approx 50.  We were able take some photos and check in at the El Tovar Lodge.  Beautiful old place, rustic yet elegant. Just after we checked in the sky turned dark and it started hailing, then snowing.  Didn't last very long, just enough to accumulate somewhat.  Sun came out later and it melted.  Overnight the temp dropped to 22.  The next morning we took a short walk to shuttle bus stop.  There were a few steps down to the bus stop; however, there was black ice on the step.  My foot slid out and down to the next landing.  I heard a pop and knew that I had broken a bone.  Sue called 911 and an ambulance took us to the clinic at the Grand Canyon.  They confirmed that I had broken the tibia and fibula in three places.  I was then transported by ambulance 75 miles away to Flagstaff hospital.  I was operated on in the afternoon and I now have a plate and 9 screws in my left leg.

Hopefully we will be flying home on Thursday May 19th.  Not exactly the way we planned on ending this trip, but we plan next year to pick up where we left off.

Enjoy these pictures of the Grand Canyon.

This is the Colorado River taken with my telephoto lens.

This is the hail.  It came down pretty good, as you can see.

This was taken just after dawn the morning of the accident.  It was really cold, but awesome!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lake Powell

May 8, 2011
States/Territories:  NJ, DE, MD, VA, TN, AR, OK, NM, AZ, UT, AZ(Again)
Miles Driven:  4,262

 I am beginning to sound like a broken record but this day has been amazing.  We left Zion National Park and drove 2 1/4 hours to Lake Powell.  The ride, as usual, gave us spectacular scenery.  We drove through a mile long tunnel and along the cliffs of the canyons.  We had booked a 2 1/2 hour boat tour of the lake.  We wanted to get to Rainbow Bridge, but that tour left at 7:30 am.  Our tour took us to Navajo Canyon and Antelope Canyon.  Both beautiful but different.  Navajo Canyon is wider with unique rock features.  Antelope Canyon is much narrower and stunning.  Unfortunately the sun was behind clouds while we were in Navajo Canyon but it came out in Antelope Canyon.  The weather today was warm, near 80 but very windy.  Tomorrow we leave for the Grand Canyon and what a weather change.  A front is coming through and the high tomorrow at the Grand Canyon will be 44.  Tuesday, the high is expected to be 41 with am snow showers.  We certainly are experiencing extreme variances in temperature.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Zion National Park

May 6 & 7, 2011
States/Territories:  NJ, DE, MD, VA, TN, AR, OK, NM, AZ, UT
Miles Driven:  4,056

It was a relatively short distance between Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park and once again the scenery was spectacular.  I've come to realize that each of these national parks is like members of a family.  There are similarities yet significant differences.  Zion is quite different than the other parks we have visited.  In the other parks you are traveling along the rims of the canyons and take trails down to the bottom.  In Zion, you travel through the bottom of the canyon and take trails to the top.  Other parks allow you to drive and park at various scenic locations.  In Zion there is one main road through the park with very few parking locations along the way.  Most of the journey starts with parking your car at the visitors center (which is crowded) and taking a shuttle bus to various locations which are only accessible to the shuttle bus. This has been the busiest park we have been to,  even lots of children.  Why aren't they in school?  I can also say that approx. 75% of the visitors are foreign.  Lots of French, German, Japanese and Chinese.  This is great for our economy.  Sue is even getting used to walking on cliffs.  I think Cinque Terre would be a piece of cake for her now.
Tomorrow we leave for Lake Powell.
Sorry the picture did not rotate.  Notice the waterfalls.

This a rock climber I caught in my telephoto lens.  The next photo is without the zoom.

Again, sorry he picture did not rotate.  The climber is the little dot just to the left of the branch on the right.

Watching the waterfall from under the overhang.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bryce Canyon - Day 2

Today we got up at 5:30 am to go watch the sun rise over the Bryce Canyon amphitheater. The temperature was 29 degrees with a slight wind blowing.  I thought I would be the only crazy to get up this early to do this but I was wrong.  The overlook was filled with other crazies.  I guess that makes me feel more normal.  As the sun rises the composition of the hoodoos keeps changing.  It was so very memorable and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The Bryce Amphitheater before sunrise.

Bryce Amphitheater just after sunrise.

Cold, but enjoying the view.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bryce Canyon - Day 1

May 4, 2011
States/Territories:  NJ, DE, MD, VA, TN, AR, OK, NM, AZ, UT
Miles Driven:  3,919

Today we left Moab, UT and took a scenic 6 hour drive.  We went through really remote back country, small towns that couldn't have had a population more than 100, high mountains and eventually winding our way through Capital Reef National Park and Grand Staircase Escalante National Park.  Every part of the drive was fascinating, very unique and forever captured in our memory (thanks to all of the pictures I took).  We got to Bryce Canyon National Park around 2:00 pm and took the scenic drive to the end at Rainbow Point.  What a beautiful country we live in.

Part of the scenery on the way to Bryce Canyon.

Welcome to Bryce Canyon.

This is the Natural Bridge although it is technically an arch.

These structures are called Hoodoos.