Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dancing toward Wyoming 2012

      After the usual packing of the Motor Home and "summerizing" of the 5th wheel, we were ready to head North.  We left on May 5th and drove through Phoenix (getting the worst part of the drive over on the first morning has some advantages), toward Flagstaff.   There is an area where the Saguaros are really thick, just before we climb higher and out of their growing zone.  It's as if there's one last chance to bid them good-bye.
     From there we climbed to Flagstaff, and at 7,000+ feet it is a climb.  When we stopped the temperatures were cooler and we looked forward to sleeping with blankets once more.  We decided not to use our usual stop at the Page Elks, but to instead investigate a new place we'd read about called Lone Rock Beach.  It's on Hiway 89, just across the state line into Utah.  Camping is allowed on the beach for $10 a night, but with our Senior Access Pass, it's half price.  There are restrooms, water, and dump available.  You can see our rig parked on the beach.  This was the night of the "Super Moon,"

and was it ever
beautiful, shining
bright over Lake Powell.  For those not aware, the moon was closer to Earth than usual and
appeared much bigger and brighter than usual.  Along with the others, we enjoyed a campfire on our beach.  With many small fires up and down the beach, it was quite a sight.   While unhitching the car, Katy suffered some muscle spasms in her back as she bent over.  There was no traumatic injury, but the spasms in the unusual position apparently resulted in a few pulled muscles.  We decided to rest a second day, hoping that would be enough to cure it.  Two weeks later, we know it's going to take a little longer.  It is getting better slowly but surely.  The good news is with the painful back, I don't notice the bad ankle nearly as much.

     From there, we headed further North, driving through Red Canyon and past Bryce National Park, where we visited a couple years ago.  We followed Utah Hiway 12 from Hiway 89 all the way East to Torrey, Utah, over the next several days.  We've been told it is one of the prettiest drives in the Western US and we are believers.  The first night was spent at Kodachrome State Park, just outside the town of Escalante and completely inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

 There are many sand spires or chimneys throughout the park and campground.  One of the theories on their formation is that they were geysers that solidified and then the outside softer rock, wore away leaving the spouts frozen in time.  I don't know if that's the most accurate theory, but it's the one I liked best.

 Driving about 10 miles outside the park, but still inside the monument, we visited spectacular Grosvenor's Arch.  If you look closely at the picture taken from a distance, you can see Gary standing at the bottom, wearing a brown jacket.  that gives you some idea of the huge scale of the Arch.  It's really magnificent.  I also included a more close up shot of the double arch at the top.

    Driving out of Escalante the next day, we came across this old pump, with an appropriate sign.  While it was red in color, surrounded by petrified wood logs, I couldn't resist playing with my camera phone to produce an appropriate toned picture for the time.

       The next day we headed for the Burr Trail.  One of the most intriguing areas is the drive over  "Hog's Back."  This 1/4 mile two lane stretch of road falls away on BOTH sides to spectacular drops offs .  Wouldn't you know it, someone in their infinite wisdom had placed a geocache there.  Gary was a lot more sure than I was, that there was room to pull over and park, just before we started over.  The stop gave us a chance to look at it closer, (not sure that was a good idea).   It was hard to take a picture of it, as I could only get one side or the other.  One of those things you just have to see in person.  Trust me, it was beautiful, although a little nerve-wracking.  Here's a shot of one side to give you an idea.

       We spent the next night at Duffrey's Mesa, a dispersed camping area on the Burr Trail.  We spent one afternoon exploring that area, although it would take much longer to really see it.  The next morning we visited the Anasazi State Museum in Boulder. After that we headed along the side of Boulder Mountain up to 9,600 feet and then down into Capital Reef National Park.  Of course there were some more geocaches along the way.  One particularly interesting one was placed by a photographer at a spot where there was an especially good photographic opportunity.  The container was an old Polaroid camera. 

     Capital Reef is a National Park we had been all around, but not visited.  It is beautiful red rock country with lots of vistas and a nice campground that is full most of the time.  We lucked out the day we arrived and got one of the last spots.  If you visit make sure you try some of the homemade pies for sale at a restored farmhouse in the park.  Later that night, several deer visited us.

     Finally it was time to head for Goblin Valley, where we were to meet Gary's sister Pam, and her husband Jim.  They had made reservations there several months ago.  It's a very popular park and difficult to get into without reservations. There is a lot of dispersed camping available about 10 miles from the park. 

    The next day we visited the Goblins, a valley full of spherically shaped rocks, many resembling mushrooms or ET.  Your imagination can run wild here, and create all sorts of meanings to the shapes.  Yup, there are geocaches here too.  This picture is of Gary, Pam and Jim returning from a hike through the Goblins to claim a geocache on the other side of the valley.

     While we were there, Jim and Pam wanted to show us an old cabin they had discovered.  Although we were assured there was a "good" dirt road, we took a more scenic route (at least I'm assuming that's why we followed the cow path for several miles), coming out on the correct road just a 1/4 mile from the cabin.

     After four days with Pam, Jim, and the Goblins, it was time to head further North to Price, Utah.  Gary had wanted to play the golf course there last year, but it was too hot at the end of June.  The last time he played there (1957), it was a nine hole course.  55 years later it is now an 18 hole Country Club.  He had a fun afternoon and shooting a 72 didn't hurt.
     One more night, and we headed for Evanston, WY.  Most of you know this is where we lived for many years and started our fulltiming adventure from in 2000.  Our daughter and son's families are still there, along with six grandchildren.  Our other four children, along with 12 more grandchildren live in the Salt Lake City area, only 75 miles away.  Gary has several great-grand children there as well. We are looking forward to two high school graduations in a couple weeks, as well as end of the year concerts and banquets.
     Gary has started playing pool with his buddies at the Senior Center and I've visited with quilting friends and signed up for a class next month.  I'm also looking forward to joining the senior water aerobics and water yoga classes as soon as my back feels better.
     If you are in the area, either Wyoming or Utah, give us a call.  It's easy for us to drive to Salt Lake and we'd love to see you. 
     Dancing in Wyoming for the summer................................
     Hugs, Katy, Gary, Rusty and Spicy