Saturday, November 8, 2008

National Parks!

SL260058 by you.

We entered and left Utah

We headed to Zion’s Oct 25. We got all the way to the entrance, and then we were denied. We are over 40 ft long. I really didn’t think we were, but the guy actually came out to measure us. Oh well I guess it is better to be turned away then to get stuck on roads that can’t handle something this big.

SL260052 by you.

Zions National Park, Utah

So we then turned around and went through Colorado City AZ. I showed my family some of the polygamist homes that my sis had taken me by. We finally ended up at Bryce Canyon National Park that evening. We checked out the visitor center and went to our campsite. The kids decided not to do the Jr. Ranger program there as they had done it before and already had the badge. So we road our bikes and had a nice peaceful evening around the campfire. We saw so many stars it was amazing!

SL260100 by you.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

SL260106 by you.

Steve Preparing the bikes for riding

SL260094 by you.

Bryce Canyon area

SL270129 by you.

Bryce Canyon

SL260073 by you.

Bryce Canyon

SL260090 by you.

Bryce Canyon

SL260111 by you.

Smores Time!!!

The next morning we headed for Capital Reef National Park. I would recommend if you have never been to Bryce to plan at least a few days. We have been there a few times and really wanted to get to a few of the parks we’ve never visited before. We took HWY 12 which was beautiful. I think we will come back and spend a lot more time in that area. It was interesting to me that the few tiny towns that we drove through had cool “little” organic markets.

We really fell in love with Capital Reef! It has the big beautiful red rock mountains, but the campground has these huge old oak trees and a nice river that runs through it. There used to be a small Mormon settlement there and they still have the blacksmith shop and little school and bakery there. The bakery is even open and they sell fresh baked breads and pies and all kinds of goodies. There are orchards there that are a “u pick” kind of deal, but we missed that by a wk or 2. They have apple, pear, peach, cherry, and apricot orchards. In season you just pick what you want and pay a small fee. The deer were EVERYWHERE! We rode our bikes all over. There is a great trail from the visitor’s center to the campground and another one along the river. They also had horses there that we stopped to pet for a while and the kids all “named” them. The kids all did the Jr. Ranger thing here and enjoyed it. This is a park we will definitely be visiting again!

SL270320 by you.

Capital Reef National Park

SL270333 by you.

Entrance to Capital Reef

SL270329 by you.

Capital Reef

SL270365 by you.

Bryce hiking at Capital Reef

SL280044 by you.

Original School house in Capital Reef

SL280024 by you.

Black Smith shop

SL280031 by you.

Bike ride through Capital Reef

SL280037 by you.

Jr. Ranger program for Capital Reef

SL280013 by you.

Coco and Shelter at Capital Reef

SL280017 by you.

Deer every where at Capital Reef

SL280020 by you.

Capital Reef

SL270001 by you.

Our view from the campground

SL280008 by you.

Homemade Cherry pie

We then headed to Mesa Verde CO. On the way we picked up some organic goat cheese and bread from a cool guy with a small organic roadside farm….yummy! Thanks again to our friends Anna & Matt that told us about him! We drove past Lake Powell on the east end. It was beautiful. We stayed that night at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Cortez Co because the campground in Mesa Verde was closed for the season and we are just too cheap to pay $45 a night for a parking spot. We spent all of Monday Oct 27 in Mesa Verde. It’s an interesting park as when you get to the fee station, you still have to drive another 20 miles to get to the museum (the visitor center was closed too). It’s a very windy steep drive up the mountains and it’s really not that pretty. But thankfully we found out it was well worth it! We saw a wild horse, that didn’t seem too wild. He stood right in front of the bus in the middle of the road. He wouldn’t move even when we yelled. I’m guessing he knows most tourist will feed him if he stands in the middle of the road. Steve finally got out and yelled and clapped his hands and the horse slowly moved out of the road….too funny! The museum was full of cool stuff from the Anizazi (basket makers). We saw a tarantula on a trail…yikes! We did get to tour a few of the settlements. The ancient architecture is amazing! They had pueblos (houses/ buildings) 3 and 4 stories high. These were built over 1000 yrs ago! They were made from mud, stone and wood. These were all cliff dwellings, built in these alcoves high up on the sides of the mountains, which made it interesting and very difficult to get to. One of the tours we went on, the Ranger said the kids could go as long as they could climb a ladder all on their own. We didn’t realize it was going to be hanging off a cliff! The kids all did a great job and thought it was so cool! They have the Jr. Ranger badges to prove it!

SL280055 by you.

Old pioneer house leaving Capital Reef

SL280070 by you.


SL280084 by you.

We feel this was lake powell before it was filled

SL280091 by you.

going towards Lake powell, Utah

SL280077 by you.

Matt and Anna told us about this place - AWESOME FIND!

SL280078 by you.

Where the bread is baked

SL280111 by you.

East side of Lake Powell, Utah

SL280122 by you.

East side of Lake Powell

SL270143 by you.

The following pics are going to Mesa Verda

SL270166 by you.

SL270181 by you.

SL270185 by you.

SL270217 by you.

SL270228 by you.

SL270230 by you.

SL270231 by you.

SL270262 by you.

SL270253 by you.

SL270296 by you.

SL270288 by you.

SL260061 by you.

SL280144 by you.

Entering Colorado

SL280147 by you.

This is the entrance to Mesa Verda, Colorado

SL280175 by you.

Bryce atop the fire look-out point at Mesa Verda

SL280186 by you.

Overlooking Cortez, Colorado

SL280180 by you.

Another view from the fire look-out point

SL290199 by you.

This guy crossed our path

SL290197 by you.

Watching the taranchula pass by

SL290209 by you.

Cliff dwelling

SL290212 by you.

SL290213 by you.

SL290217 by you.

SL290220 by you.

SL290221 by you.

SL290224 by you.

SL290229 by you.

SL290231 by you.

SL290234 by you.

The wild horse

SL290235 by you.

Conner and Winston

SL290237 by you.

SL290241 by you.

Kids climbing up to the cliff dwellings

SL290244 by you.

SL290248 by you.

SL290253 by you.

SL290275 by you.

The kids at the cliff dwelling

SL290280 by you.

These are hand and toe holes, where indians use to climb

SL290284 by you.

Bryce climbing out of Dwelling

SL290287 by you.

Steve climbing out of dwelling

SL290288 by you.

The cliff dwelling is down below us

We drove on that night. We got as far as we could and stopped in Santa Fe NM. We stayed in an Albertson’s parking lot. The next morning we found a local pool and had a great swim & hot SHOWERS!!! It was so cheap….less the $6 for all of us to swim. We really liked the town. It has the cool adobe architecture and looked like a place we’d like to explore more. We then drove on ALL day.

SL300003 by you.

We stopped off in Roswell, New Mexico (no UFO sightings!)

Conner’s Big 10!

We got to Guadalupe Mountain National Park and paid our $4 for camping. We made dinner and sat out and looked at the stars. You could see the Milky Way it was so amazing how many stars we could see, more then Lake Powell even! This morning we had a special chocolate chip breakfast for Conner’s b-day! My big boy is 10! He hit the double digits….yikes! We went to the visitor center so the kids could add another badge to their collection! We took a hike and saw some cool plants and found some neat fossils. We then ate lunch had b-day cake and hit the road! It’s an 8 hr drive (according to the ranger) to Austin.

SL310065 by you.

Conner's party at Guadalupe Mnt. National Park in Texas

SL300007 by you.

Conner's b-day breakfast

SL300022 by you.

Lincoln gave Conner his gift (Pokemon!)

SL300027 by you.

Conner and his new game shark.

SL310032 by you.

Bryce and kids at visitor center

SL310057 by you.

Kids being sworn in as Jr. Rangers at Guadalupe

SL310060 by you.

Conner had a Grasshopper jump onto his crotch (how exciting)

SL310033 by you.

Stick bug

No comments: