Monday, September 24, 2018

2018 Utah Trip Ends

Our trip to southern Utah has ended. We visited 5 National parks - Zion, Canyonland, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and South Dakota Badlands.

We are now resting and hope to depart for Hawaii in late January. Thanks for your attention.

Public Flickr photos from this trip are available for viewing.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

South Dakota Badlands

We decided to use the camper one more night. The temperature is cool and the crowds were small so we decided to stop at the South Dakota Badlands

Wall Street Drug is the ultimate in self-promotion. Most people have heard of it, but are not certain if it actually exists. Sure enough, the tourist complex in Wall, South Dakota is real.

It took a while moving from one souvenir shop to the next, but I was finally able to locate the actual drug store.

I can also verify as advertised on the roadside signs, but they do sell coffee for a nickel.

Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches National Parks have well-deserved reputations for natural beauty. All are very impressive. All are also very crowded. I thought the experience in Badlands National Park was nearly the equal in beauty and far less crowded with the tinge of Fall that I really enjoy.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Vodka for the cold

We are on the way home and likely to stay in motels rather than campgrounds. The temperature differential from yesterday (Zion National Park) to today (Green River, Wyoming) was 50 degrees. A few hundred miles and back to fall. This will likely be our final use of the rPod for the year and it is time to take it in to have it winterized.

The topic of winterization came up when we were visiting our Russian friends in Colorado Springs. They suggested that I winterize the camper with cheap vodka noting that when Spring came it would be far better if our drinking water line filled with vodka than antifreeze. Okay - I agree that this makes some sense, but I am also wary of the possible practical joke that could await my asking the technician at the camper store whether he would winterize our camper with vodka. 

I did an online search and the use of vodka to winterize your camper is a thing. The topic is commonly discussed on camper blogs and discussion sites. It is a controversial tactic. Evidently, the remnants of vodka in your water line might be more pleasant than traditional antifreeze, but vodka evidently dries out rubber fittings possibly leading to leaks. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hairy Fellow

We tried Zion National Park again today. We got up early. Evidently, you must have to reset your Amazon Echo for a new time zone because the alarm (Beethoven's ninth) went off at 6 instead of 7. This would not have been an issue a week ago when my body was on Central time, but I adapt quickly and it was a bit too early to take on the heat of southern Utah.

You don't bring your Amazon Echo with you when you go camping? How do you get the morning news and time the meal in the magic pot or whatever that cooking gadget is called?

Anyway, we got to the park early enough to find a spot to park the car and take the shuttle. It was close and we were in the final third of the last parking lot with space. Maybe the Echo knew something we did not anticipate. That Amazon guy who is so rich is pretty bright.

We got in a couple of hikes about 5 miles in all. Pretty good for an old guy. We finally saw some wildlife. We each spotted one deer. This is about our average for driving out of our Wisconsin cabin driveway, but it is hot here and the larger animals must be hiding during the day.

We did see this fellow.

You have to look closely because these spiders camouflage themselves so well against a background of brown leaves and sticks. The image could have been better, but you can hopefully pick out the spider. This was the first tarantula I have ever seen in the wild. So this spider was a much better find than the deer which I must usually avoid rather than search out. On second thought, I would also avoid close encounters with a tarantula.  

Zion is kind of the opposite of Arches. With Arches you are mostly looking down into the result of millions of years of erosion that has cut out unusual structures such as the arches and hoodoos and spectacular canyons. With Zion, you are at the bottom of the canyon mostly looking up. Great hiking in Zion, better photos in Arches. This picture was taken just as the sun rose over the top of the canyon causing the bit of flair you see. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Desert Zen

Today was a day for laundry and relaxation. Tomorrow we want to get up early to head to Zion so we can find a parking place and try the shuttle to parts yet unexplored.

We did find time today to visit Snow Canyon State Park. It was a great experience and allowed the type of walking around exploration we enjoy.

This seems to be the region of the country where they seek energy from the vortices and do related strange things outside. Yes, I know this is someone striking a yoga pose (do you strike a yoga pose). Our daughters and daughter-in-law do this kind of thing and they tell me it is good for you. It was in the mid-90s so it must be something like hot yoga. I saw a van in the parking area from a nearby resort so perhaps they take interested parties to the pretty red rocks for an outing.

I tried to talk Cindy into posing with the mountains and maybe the setting sun in the background, but evidently, she did not think much of my photographic skills because try as I might she just ignored me.

I did take a few photos I liked so I guess I will just have to humor myself.