Here's how it went.

Discussion in 'LOCAL CALIFORNIA TALK' started by plumbertom1, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    It seemed to me that getting out of town on Friday evening Sept. 7th was a good idea, so I headed down to Riverside, Ca. to pick up my traveling companion, Donna. I thought we would get away around 6pm or so but it turned out she was off work by 1pm and said she was all packed and ready to go. We rearranged my packing to give more space and loaded up her gear, a quick stop at the market for some staples and we hit the road about 2pm.
    The drive up I-15 to I-40 was uncrowded and I was speculating that most people had made their way out of town the previous long weekend, not that I minded the light traffic mind you.
    Anyway, we drove across the desert to Needles and turned north to Laughlin Nv. where we stopped at The Colorado Belle Casino for a very good seafood buffet for dinner and a little playing of the slots. After dropping about $40. each we got back on the road and drove to Kingman Az. where we stopped for the night and rented a room.
    After a good nights rest I was up for a drive before breakfast so we headed back out on I-40 for a few miles. When we came to Seligman Az. on old historic U.S. Route 66 we stopped for breakfast at The Roadkill Cafe (good food, reasonable prices) and visited one of the souvenir shops before getting back on the road.
    My intention was to take Az. 64 to the south rim of The Grand Canyon and find a camping spot. Hah!
    While discussing this with Donna, she chose this moment to realize she had forgotten to bring her sleeping bag. Not good seeing how the nights were getting down to the low 50's and she gets cold feet, so we made a detour into Flagstaff Az. and hunted down a Wally World to get her a bag. We also found some adjustable walking sticks that came two for $14. Now if you plan to visit any of our National Parks, these walking sticks are well worth the small price for them.You'd be amazed at the difference they make.
    Now Flagstaff is located right at the juncture of the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests and our drive north to The Canyon was mostly through forest lands. It was bow season in Az. and there were many hunters out in the woods as evidenced by the number of pick-ups that were parked everywhere and the occasional hunter we spotted leaving or returning to their vehicle. And no wonder, as we were driving along the highway it seemed every tree had the bark rubbed off of it within 4'-5' of the ground, many of them fresh from this season.
    We stopped in Tusayan just outside the park and visited the Navaho stalls that were set up and watched some small girls in traditional costumes perform some dances. We also browsed the stalls for gifts.
    On into the park where we were assigned a ADA (handicap) campsite by a considerate park ranger. It was late afternoon by the time we set up our tent and got the camp arranged so we didn't go to see The Canyon that evening, instead we attended a demonstration of the Native American flute. It was very entertaining and quite informative as the flute player was also a historian on the Native American flute. After that we walked back to camp for a quick camp meal and hit our bags for the night.
    In the morning we had a breakfast of cereal and drove up to one of the parking lots for the free shuttles that run all through the park. While waiting for the shuttle I decided to take a walk along the rim to the next shuttle stop. It didn't look like much of a walk on the map. What you don't see looking at the map is all of that up and down along the trail. By the time we got to the next stop I was more than happy to wait for the shuttle to take us the rest of the way out to Hermits Rest. I got off in several places to take photos but just walked back to the shuttle stop afterward.
    We spent the rest of the day seeing other spots around the Grand Canyon Village area and Yavapai point before returning to our camp for dinner and the night.
    When the sun came up I climbed out of my bag and made coffee and heated water on my camp stove so Donna could have her oatmeal while I had Cheerios for breakfast, also so she would have hot water to do the dishes with. We packed up our camp and continued along Az. 64 (South Rim Drive) toward the east entrance to the park stopping along the way to see the overlooks and the tower at Desert View, then on east to Cameron and U.S. Highway 89 where we turned north to Page Az. and a stop at The Glen Canyon Dam that backs up Lake Powell where we passed into Utah.
    Just across the state line you enter the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area which I think will one day become a new national park. We drove on along Hwy 89 to Kanab Ut. where we stopped for lunch and a little rest from riding. Just 17 miles up the road we came to St. Hwy. 9 and turned off to Zion National Park. When entering Zion Canyon from the east you drive through a tunnel that is about 1 mile long and twists and turns along the way with a few windows cut through to the outside to provide light and air. It's quite an experience.
    We made our camp and bedded down for the night.
    One cold morning it turned out to be. I had a hard time convincing myself to get up but finally did. After morning meal and packing up our tent, we caught the shuttle and rode up the canyon with a few stops along the way at places like the Hanging Gardens, Weeping Rock, a walk to the Emerald Pools and the Temple of Sinawava where Donna walked up the Riverside Walk trail about a mile one way.I stayed behind at the shuttle stop and waited, my sciatica was starting to act up and I couldn't make that walk. We rode the shuttle back to the parking lot and left the park behind driving back through the tunnel and to Hwy 89 north.
    About 45 miles up 89 you come to St. Hwy 12 and the turn to Bryce Canyon. Before you get to Bryce, you pass through Red Canyon which while not in the park is in Dixie National Forrest and is very impressive in it's own right.
    At Bryce Canyon you can drive the canyon road and make your own schedule, stop where you want and ignore what your not interested in. We did exactly that.
    When we were finished with viewing the canyon we headed for the campground where the camp host set us up in an ADA campsite within the area reserved for RV camping so we would be close to the restroom. Very considerate of them as we only had a tent.
    Next sunrise after the morning packing and meal we were back out to Hwy 89 and headed north again.
    I guess I should mention that U.S. Hwy 89 is a very scenic route through the middle of Utah. It passes through or skirts the edges of 4 national forests before joining I-15 just south of Provo Ut.
    where we checked into a motel for hot showers and a chance for Donna to do some laundry.
    Onward in the AM. Up I-15 at Willard Bay on The Great Salt Lake, Hwy 89 parts company with I-15 and heads NE where it crosses into Idaho at Bear Lake.
    Bear Lake is a huge lake that is almost exactly half in Utah and half in Idaho. Hwy 89 overlooks it from the pass just south of Garden City Ut. then drops down to run along the western shoreline before turning east north of the lake into Wyoming. About a hundred miles from the state line on 89, you come into Jackson Wyoming. Now, as long as I can recall, when someone speaks of there they always say "Jackson Hole" Wyoming. But the city itself is called simply Jackson, Wy.
    Just North of Jackson Wy. is the valley that is Jackson Hole and most of it is taken up by Grand Teton National Park. We found that arriving on Thursday at Yellowstone is not the best time if you hope to get a camp in the park so we got a camp in Grand Teton National Park on the shore of Jackson Lake between the lake and Signal Mtn. Friday morning we drove up to Yellowstone and partway up the west side of the park. A very long drive seeing how the speed limit in both parks and the J.D. Rockefeller Parkway that connects them is 45 mph. So Saturday we decided to explore Grand Teton Park. Don't under rate this park. It is an amazing area and even more so when you add in the unbelievable majesty of the Teton Mountains. Pictures do not do it justice, if you get the chance see it for yourself.
    Sunday morning we drove back into Yellowstone and up the west side again as far as Mamouth Hot Springs where we had lunch and visited the Hot Springs Terraces. On the ride back We stopped at a camp ground next to the Norris Geyser Basin and found an empty Camp spot next to the restroom so we registered for 5 nights and set up our large tent to show the spot was occupied.
    Then we drove back to Teton for the night and in the morning packed up our camp and moved to Yellowstone National Park for the rest of our stay. When we returned to Yellowstone we drove up the east side along Yellowstone Lake and through Lake Village and Canyon Village before returning to Norris campground to finish setting up our camp. Once there Donna set up my small tent as an escape annex to get away from my snoring.
    We spent the next three days driving the roads in the park and walking a few of the easy trails. We drove out of the park in the NE to Cooke City, Montana for lunch one day and to Gardener, Mt. for lunch another day. All the while stopping along the way to see the amazing geology and the flora and fauna of Yellowstone Park. I was disappointed that I did not get to see a Moose and Donna never saw the Grizzly she was hoping for but she did get to see a black bear with its cub so she was happy.
    Friday morning early we packed up our camp and headed to West Yellowstone to Leave the park behind. We stopped for breakfast there and drove out Hwy 20 to I-15 and turned south for home.
    Along the way we stopped in Idaho Falls, Idaho for a look at the falls and found an outstanding sculpture in the middle of a traffic circle.
    We followed I-15 back to Donna's house in Riverside with one overnight stop in Provo again, a stop at Donna's sons house for lunch in Mesquite Nv. and an overnight stop in Victorville just because I was too tired to drive the final 9o miles to Donna's.
    Now I have avoided descriptions of what we saw because I don't think I could do justice to it with my words. These National parks in the west are something that everyone should try and see if they can manage it.
    Photos of our trip can be seen at: http://picasaweb.google.com/plumbertom1
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  2. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    C'mon Tom... don't be yankin' my chain... you scanned some postcards dincha?:big_smile: Those are some fantastic shots. Thanks for sharin'.
    __________
    America is the only country in the world where the poor have a parking problem.
     

  3. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Nope. All with my little Cannon Sure Shot.
     
  4. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
    Tom.... Thanks for the pics.....many of your trip... and glad that you had a great time.... Think that I may use google for display of my photos too.

    Bayrunner Ray
     
  5. Love Them Cats

    Love Them Cats New Member

    Messages:
    454
    State:
    Vinita, Oklahoma
    Sounds like you guys had a good time?
    Thanks for the story and pic's.

    Ken
     
  6. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    Thanks for the pics Tom.....AWESOME! love your stories......
     
  7. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Thanks Robb. I've been lookin for the disc that i have the pic's from the "DeltaLover" gathering on and when I find where I put it I'll add those to my web album.
     
  8. Sharkaddict

    Sharkaddict New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    California
    Tom, I just saw you pics. Amazing photos!!!
     
  9. Jedi007

    Jedi007 New Member

    Messages:
    74
    State:
    Chino Hills, California
    Nice Pictures. Thank you for sharing. I have never been. Is it just me? Everytime I saw water I started wondering if there were any fish...or thinking I would fish right here or right there...maybe it's just me.
     
  10. big taz

    big taz New Member

    Messages:
    43
    State:
    california
    PT wonderfull photo account of your journeys. Beautifull pics and your narrative was on the mark. Had me hanging waiting for your description of the fishing but it never came.. I can understand with all that scenery.. :smile2::big_smile:

    Corey
     
  11. Sharkaddict

    Sharkaddict New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    California
    I always keep an emergency fishing pole wherever I go. That is torture looking at that scenery and not fishing it.
     
  12. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    Threr were flyfishermen all over the park except in the closed to fishing parts. I even saw a few guys fishing with spinners. I didn't see any fish caught though.
    I wanted to fish Yellowstone Lake (three day permit $15.00) but with so much else to see there I never found the time.
     
  13. Sharkaddict

    Sharkaddict New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    California
    I dont know how you did it. I would have been on all over it like white on rice.
     
  14. Jedi007

    Jedi007 New Member

    Messages:
    74
    State:
    Chino Hills, California
    When I went to Newport a couple of weeks ago I ran into a guy that was about as fanatic about fishing as I am. He was in town from Alabama. He bought an extra pole of another guy right there on the pier in order to get a little fishing in before he had to head back to town. I was thinking to myself..that sounds like me...
     
  15. plumbertom1

    plumbertom1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,902
    State:
    Eugene, Or.
    I'm not that crazy about fishing for trout anyway. Besides the fact that the Cutthroat is protected and must be released, there are a lot of rules to follow in the park like single barb-less hook and closed areas. Also I don't fly fish and that seemed to be the preferred method of fishing. All of that plus so much to see. I didn't miss it at all. Now, if I had seen a few people actually catching fish that may have prompted me to give it a go.