A Travellerspoint blog

Zion to Grand Canyon to Holbrook

July 25 - 27

July 25 – We woke up at 7:00 and were out of the campground by 8:30, headed to Grand Canyon. Phil decided to go out the way we came in – through the LONG, NARROW, Short (not tall) tunnel. Then we took Hwy. 89A and came through Marble Canyon. There were many ups and downs and curves, but it was a gorgeous drive (see photos). It took a little more than five and a half hours to make the trip. My favorite part was seeing and hearing Hayden when he got his first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. He was really surprised and amazed! It made our day!
After we set up, we ate an early supper and headed toward the Desert View and the Watchtower. Hayden climbed to the top three times!!! That boy is always full of energy! Phil and I made it up to the overlook terrace. I wondered if there are forest fires in Arizona because the view was pretty hazy. We stopped at all the overlooks except one on the way back to the campground. We also rode through Tusayan to check on the price of gas ($4.29 a gallon for 87 octane – YIKES!!!!). We comforted ourselves with a hot fudge sundae from McDonald's. The cost the other two times we have gotten them has been a dollar or $1.29. Here, three were $8.01.
We will be taking the shuttle tomorrow. We also rode through Mathers Campground where we stayed in 1984 with the children. I do not think they have upgraded the road, nor the bathrooms. Also, the road is very curvy with a lot of trees right beside the road. They bear a lot of missing bark from being hit by campers. We could not have stayed there because our camper is longer than allowed now.
We get no TV reception, and Phil is too tired to mess with the satellite, so early to bed we go.
Lights out! Good night!
July 26 – Actually, we are on Pacific Coast time, but we are not changing our clocks or adjusting our routines because we are heading east after this stop. Because of that, we got an early start for our day of shuttle rides from stop to stop in the Grand Canyon. We had a great day with weather and getting on shuttles. By the time we ended our day, the lines for the shuttles were so long that many would be waiting for the second or third shuttle. We just don't have much patience for that!!! The beauty and HUGENESS of the Grand Canyon is striking. We continually thank God for His beautiful creation that He has allowed us to see this summer. I think the Grand Canyon has more foreign visitors than any place we have visited. Most of the time, you could hear at least five languages from the people.
We learned that normally on a summer day, the visability is 94 miles, but while we were there, it was only 39 miles. There was a lot of haze that prevented the best photos.
Every summer we are amazed at the number of foreigners we see. A Grand Canyon shuttle bus driver told us the foreigners were the majority of the business now. That is a sad statement on the economy. We could not believe the number of foreigners with young families. Imagine the cost of taking children elementary school age and younger to Europe for weeks.
After supper, we put on a DVD of the Little Rascals (the 1930's version). Hayden LOVES the Little Rascals. He was still watching when we went to bed.
July 27 – We rode to Williams and got on I-40 to begin the trek home. We arrived at Holbrook, AZ, for two nights. We will see the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest tomorrow. Phil wants to go see the Wigwam Motel that was popular on Route 66 and has been restored for business. Phil is intrigued by Route 66 stuff. We passed some old stores on I-40 and one that has been restored for a Navajo business.
After Holbrook, we head to Albuquerque for two nights. We are not racing back....

Posted by KayHorton 13:28 Comments (0)

Hurricane, UT, and Hayden's and PopPop's Hikes

July 24

Phil and Hayden were going to take the shuttle to hike the Narrows Trail (not all the way, though), but a flash flood warning for the Virgin River came up on my phone right before they were going to leave. We decided to go to Hurricane to Walmart and get groceries for Grand Canyon, since there will be no major grocery stores nearby. We got back, and ate our big meal since the clouds were keeping the camper nice and cool. About 1:00 Phil and Hayden took the shuttle into the park. I caught them on the cellphone while they were still in range, and told them I saw two huge red blotches indicating big storms that seemed to be tracking toward Zion National Park. Since Phil and Hayden would be hiking along the Virgin River, and the chance for a flash flood was there, they changed plans and went on two shorter hikes to the Weeping Wall and the River Walk. I was very glad to see them return safe and sound. They did not experience any problems, nor rain. When they got back, I went with Hayden to the pool until supper time.
Tomorrow it is off to Tusayan, AZ, for two only two nights to give us one day to see the Grand Canyon. We will have to cram a lot in that one day! I hope it will be enough. Our time is zipping by, and two weeks from today we will be back in Townsend. We have been on the road for eight weeks today. I hope Hayden has really enjoyed our adventure. He sure has seen a lot!!!!

Posted by KayHorton 18:20 Comments (0)

Springdale, UT, and Zion National Park

July 22 and 23

July 22 – Today is Karsyn's birthday! She is eight years old!!! We plan to Skype tonight and wish her a Happy Birthday. We did cake and party before we left.
It was another gorgeous drive from Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park! They are so different from each other! In my opinion, Bryce Canyon was more interesting, but Zion is fascinating, too. You are not looking down so much as you are looking up in Zion. The colors are beautiful and the layers cover 650 million years of earth's history.
The scary part was as we were approaching Zion via Hwy. 89 and then 9, as Gypsy, our GPS lady, told us to do. As we approached the park, there was a sign about tunnels and restrictions for vehicle heights. We caught that sign out of the corner of our eyes, so we had to drive miles before we could find a turnaround spot to go back and read the thing carefully! The deal was that if your rig was less than 13' some inches and no longer than 50 feet, you could pass through the tunnel with an escort (after paying $15 escort fee). They stop traffic coming from the other direction, and we drove down the middle of the 1.1 mile tunnel. If you had asked me how long the tunnel was, I would have bet the bank it was at least five miles. It seemed to last forever!!!! God was good, and we made it through OK. I mapped another way out of here, but it will add at least an hour's drive time. Soooooo, we will probably go up, up, up to the LONG, NARROW tunnel to get out of here Wednesday.
Did I say it is hot? We do not head West/Northwest for no reason! The sweat today has reminded us. The thermometer in the sun got to 124 degrees before the sun started setting. With the air conditioner on in the camper, it got up to 90 degrees. Yeah, we went out for pizza! If I cooked, we'd all have been cooked!
July 23 – We walked to the shuttle stop to get a free ride to the Visitor's Center to board the shuttle through Zion N.P. We stopped and hiked the lower Emerald Pool trail. The Emerald Pool was not emerald, just muddy. The hike was labeled easy. Not for me! The heat (even though it was morning) was awful and the constant up and down was rough on my knees. We made it and rode on to the end of the road through the park before turning around and stopping at the Human History Museum to watch a video about the park and see some exhibits. Then we returned to the Visitors' Center and bought a couple of things at the gift shop before catching the shuttle back to the campground.
Phil had put the truck window insulator in our back window of the camper. That helped keep the heat of the afternoon lower. I cooked. All survived. Shortly after finishing the dishes, the temperature started dropping. Ahhhhhh! Tomorrow we will head to Hurricane to do some grocery shopping for the Grand Canyon stay. tt is hard to believe that eight weeks ago today, we spent the first night in the camper before leaving Townsend for our adventure.

Posted by KayHorton 14:35 Comments (0)

Bryce Canyon National Park

July 21

Beautiful place!!! Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the smallest national parks and very, very small in comparison to Zion and, especially to the Grand Canyon. One of the things that makes this park spectacular are the colors and the hoodoos. It is very easy to see all the view points in one day. We were really blessed to easily find a parking space each time we wanted to stop. We would park in one place like Sunset Point and walk half a mile to Sunrise Point. Then we parked at Bryce Point and walked to Inspiration Point. The shuttle only covers those places. We rode the 18 miles to Rainbow Point and stopped at the pullovers on the way to get photos. The natural bridge was very close to one of the pullouts. We really enjoyed touring this park and look forward to going to Zion tomorrow. Phil and Hayden are at the pool while I am doing this. God bless PopPop!!!

Posted by KayHorton 14:08 Comments (0)

Vernal to Richfield to Bryce Canyon

July 19 and 20

July 19 - A beautiful drive was in store on our drive from Vernal to Richfield on Hwy. 191 to Hwy. 10 to I-70, except for the 4 and a half mile, 8 percent grade. We do not like going down that steeply and that longggggggg! God was good, and we made it safely. Richfield had a Walmart, so we stocked up on a few groceries because we do not think we will be seeing another Walmart for a while. The campground was lovely with lots of mature trees.
July 20 - The drive to Bryce Canyon was pleasant and the ever changing scenery made the trip seem very short. We pulled into Ruby's Inn and RV Park in Bryce Canyon, UT. My dad and mom camped here a good many years ago. The shuttle bus driver said Ruby's Inn is now in its fifth generation. Bryce Canyon, UT, incorporated in 2007 and is the youngest town in Utah. We rode the shuttle on its route to get a feel of Bryce Canyon National Park. Phil and Hayden walked around the town a bit, and then we went to the visitors' center in Bryce Canyon N.P. to see the video and look around the museum and gift shop. Tomorrow we will drive (and see if we can get parking spaces) to the view points and take some photos. The shuttle only goes to four view points. I asked the shuttle driver if driving to the end (18 miles) would be worth it. She said it would, so we will do that tomorrow.

Posted by KayHorton 17:59 Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 34) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 »