Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Colorado for a few weeks...

We finally made it out of Utah and are now in Colorado until we decide it's time to go to Wyoming. We spent 4 days at Grand Junction and then moved to Gunnison where we are staying now at Blue Mesa Recreation Ranch for about 17 days.

We have tried several times to post pictures but we are in a valley between two large hills so do not get very good Internet connection. We have pictures of Colorado National Monument and the Mesa National Forest at close to 11,000 feet to share. Please be patient and we will get going again soon. We will just have to take the computer to town and get them posted for you.

If you want to reach us please send us an email and we will find a hot-spot and give you a call.

So for now we sill sign off only... be continued

Friday, July 9, 2010

Still in Utah

Another day another day trip to see more of southern Utah. This time was to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park where most of the sand is blown in from more red rocks. There is a pink hue to the sand but hard to photograph.

Most of the park was set aside for playing with 4 wheel rigs like the Oregon coast dunes but a small part was set aside for walking. There was a nice half mile loop, hard walking, but nice views with lots of descriptions of the plants there.

A minute after taking this shot about 10 buggies came roaring over the top of the dune. Looks like fun but sure breaks up the silence of the park.

Not sure how the Yucca plat continues to survive as it is buried completely under the sand except for it's flower.

Wow, yellow flowers growing out of the dunes. Must not need much water as there isn't much here.

The winds keep moving the sand over this dune so nothing is growing here.

Pink, green, yellow and blue add a unique color pallet to this photo combined with the slope of the dune caught Dick's eye.

On another day, a few miles down the road just outside of Kanab there is an old cave that was used in the late 1800's and early 1900's as a gathering and party place for the local kids. It was purchased by a Mormon family who cleaned it up and turned it into of all things a bar and dance hall in the 1950's.
After 25 years of drunks and fights the owners closed it down and turned it into a tourist spot with a museum and gift shop still operated by family members. The original owner had quite a collection of artifacts, native American, rocks, and dinasaur tracks he had collected all over the southwest.
The entrance was revamped with stone and glass with exterior walls to add some southwest charm to the exterior.

A closer look at the entrance shows the fine detail that was added to an old cave.

The cave is all natural except they added dirt and cement to give a level floor and painted the ceiling to cover the graffiti from years of abuse. We could only see 3 large rooms and not sure if there was more. Looking into one section of the museum with lots of Native artifacts.

And another day we drove the 80 miles to Cedar Breaks National Monument. It was over 10500' of elevation and what a welcome relief going from 105 to 65 deg. temperature, and yes, we brought our sweaters. The drive up there was beautiful and included checking out a private campground on the river. Driving from 4000' to over 10500' and back, we saw many different landscapes, all beautiful.
This area to us was a little like Brice Canyon but still very unique and beautiful. Did we mention that the white you see here is.... yes it's snow.
It's interesting how the forest comes right to the edge of the canyon.
We had a lovely lunch (packed earlier in the day) at the picnic area by the campground. We were able to take CC with us this time as it was cooler, and she enjoyed watching the wildlife (deer, squirrels) while we ate.

Just another view looking deeper to the bottom.

Wish we had the time and youthful energy to hike and camp down at the bottom but maybe during our next life time. (smile)

More snow and hoodoos to tweak your imagination on how they are formed. Do love our new lens.

To be continued...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bryce Canyon National Park with new glass

While here at Zion we have now made two trips to Bryce Canyon National Park, about 80 miles away and still want to go back but will save that for another trip back to this area of the country.

We hiked the rim trail and every few steps had to stop so Dick could take more pictures. This Park must be one of the most beautiful places on earth. This is one of the first pictures taken during the first stop on the trail.

A warm day, blue sky and fluffy clouds give a backdrop to the red hoodoo's that fill the canyon.

A little closer look will show some of the trails down in the valley.

You will have to blow up this picture to see the hiker in the lower right just about ready to go through the arch. This gives you some idea of the scale of the area.

Had to get a shot of the two of us again standing on another edge.

A view of the hoodoos through an arch in the upper layers of sandstone.

Another area of the Canyon but showing the amount of erosion at the top of the rim. Like the Ranger said "the seed for the tree was not planted 18" above the ground. We find it amazing that trees can continue to live with their roots exposed like that.

Dick finally ordered and received his new glass (lens) for his camera and has been trying different things with it. Today was the first time that he was able to get out in the field and take some pictures with it.

The new lens is a Sigma 70-300mm, F4-5.6 fully automatic with Macro. The next shot of a hoodoo was taken at 70mm, and...

showing the trees growing at the top at 300mm. Just like you are sitting there.

Here are some of the last shots for the day using both lenses. The old lens at 18mm. Can you see the two little trees on the top white rock in the center?

Now lets zoom again with the old lens to 55mm.

With the new lens set at 70mm...

and finally at 300mm, a little overexposed but you get the picture (pun intended). Dick has also used the new lens shooting wild flowers and wild game here at Zion but will have to save that for another time.

I must say this was the most difficult series of pictures to just pick out a dozen or so to share because there are so many awesome shots that Dick took. That new lense is just so fun!!!

Are you getting tired of red rock yet? We aren't. In fact, when we came back into Zion after the trip to Bryce, we both commented about how beautiful the trip is (even with the road torn up and very uncomfortable!).

On a closing note please be advised that we have locked this blog from receiving direct comments due to spam from a foreign country. Please continue (or start) to leave comments and one of us will have to approve it before it gets posted.

Thanks for understanding and...

to be continued...