Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rocky Mountain High

Both my kids were born in Colorado, but grew up in southern California. Recently, my daughter, Debbie, moved back to the Denver area. It's been great being back here after so many years. I've always said that Colorado is the most beautiful place I've ever lived.

Debbie and I spent the weekend in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park (RMNP). The hiking was very good, of course.

I get a kick out of hiking in snow in the summer.

There was a lot of snow on the hike up to Dream Lake, some of which was a bit treacherous, but it was worth it.

If you've been to Rocky Mountain National Park, you know that the Elk own the place. There were 7 or 8 of them in the campground, enjoying the grass in the meadow for a few days before continuing their journey to higher elevations. They didn't pay much mind to people or cars or RVs.

We drove through Estes Park on the way to RMNP. We checked out the famous Stanley Hotel while we were there. It's where Stephen King got the idea for "The Shining."

A couple days is just never enough in our beautiful national parks. I look forward to visiting RMNP again soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Colorado Nat'l Monument

I don't know that I've been to a national monument before now. (NOTE: Yes I have - Bandelier last year in New Mexico.) This one is a treasure.

The view from my campsite was similar to the following. How would you like to wake up to that view?

Due to lots of snow this winter and warmer than usual weather for a few days or more, the Colorado River was running over its banks in sections. Part of the highway, I-70, was closed the day before I passed through and it wouldn't surprise me if it's been closed again since then with the warm weather.

I should have taken pictures of my friends Jae and Leo who are rangers at Colorado Nat'l Monument, but you know how I forget my camera or just plain forget to take any pictures. It was great visiting with them and meeting new friends. I hope to visit again before too long.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Another quick trip through a national park. I really, REALLY liked Canyonlands. I visited the north section only, Islands in the Sky. My first impression was that this is the Grand Canyon on steroids!

Not the greatest day for taking pictures. The sky was hazy due to smoke from Arizona fires. 

Still, the landscape was breathtaking.

I was particularly impressed with the lack of barriers on the paths along the rim in places. It was a very windy day so I kept a good distance from the edge. Not everyone was as cautious and I heard, "Get away from the edge right now!" on a few occasions.

I camped at one of the BLM campgrounds nearby. It was hot during the day and took the rig a little while to cool off after the sun went down, so I climbed up on the roof and enjoyed a gentle breeze while staring up at the most phenomenal night sky I'd ever seen. I love the desert and have enjoyed the night sky there many times. Here, in addition to there being little light in the area from cities and towns, due to the elevation, the sky is that much more clear and the Milky Way was brilliant from horizon to horizon. It was magnificent! Never occurred to me to take a picture though. Maybe next time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Arches National Park

I didn't have a lot of time to spend at Arches. I just couldn't drive past it without a peek, however. So figured I could at least do a quick drive through as a preview of the time I'd come back and spend a week or so.

I took only a few pictures.

Lots of red rocks in all sizes and shapes. There are parts of the landscape that appear to be what I imagine the surface of Mars to look like.

Well, if not Mars, then some other alien planet.

I plan to return in autumn or winter to do some hiking. Diana has done a great job of documenting hikes in Arches, one of which is here. I especially look forward to that hike.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Capitol Reef

Driving here on Hwy 12 was magnificent. No pictures of that - at least none that would do the landscape justice. Once I arrived, I picked one of several available campsites and made myself at home. Here's a picture taken with my back to the campground. Doesn't it look serene?

The campground here is SO pleasant! I really liked staying here. There are orchards nearby where you can pick apples when they're in season. There are several hiking trails that leave from the campground or nearby. The hiking here was as good as just about anywhere.

This is another place I'd like to spend more time in the future.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bryce National Park, UT

When visiting Zion in April, I had planned to scoot up to Bryce for a day or two, but it was snowing at the time. Fortunately, I was able to make it back there now.

This place is awesome! Here's a famous view of the place from the rim.

As impressive as this is (moreso in person), getting up close and personal hiking through the hoodoos is the BEST HIKE EVER!

Southern Utah is now my new favorite place.