Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Vacation 2012: Day 3

On Sunday, we woke up at the Best Western in Ogden (F on the map). It was cold all of a sudden! The weather had been in the 90s ever since Canyon de Chelly and it was quite a surprise. I think it was in the 50s when we woke up. I had to put on thermals (keep in mind that it was around 102 when we left Phoenix). After packing up our things, we headed out on the road toward the grand Tetons (G on the Map).

Utah reminds me a lot of Arizona, just greener.
 So, I've decided that Idaho and Wyoming are beautiful. We drove through a small corner of Idaho and this is what it looked like.
 Apparently a good part of the route we took to the Grand Tetons was actually part of the Oregon Trail. There is a historical marker at this spot that talks about it. Of course, all I can think about is the computer game we played in elementary school and how I always died of cholera, dysentery, or when my oxen were trying to ford the river.
My car still looks kind of clean!
 Wyoming. We took this beautiful route through farmland and mountains. It was ridiculous. I would totally want to live here if it wasn't covered in snow for most of the year.
 While we were driving, Bill suddenly pulled the car over to take pictures of these birds. I'm not sure what kind they are.

 It's so amazing when you're from Arizona to just see water everywhere!
 I was too cold to get out of the car for this shot. I wasn't wearing all of my layers lol.
 Bill taking some pictures.

 The same flowers from far away.

  It started raining right before we reached the Grand Tetons, which gave us a great opportunity for some foggy pictures of the mountains. In this picture, most of the mountains are covered by fog.
When we reached the Tetons, we met up with Bill's cousin and his family and found a campsite. After setting up camp, we walked over to Jackson Lake (just a camp site away) and took some pictures.

I thought this cloud formation was cool.
I love this flower.
A squirrel near our camp.
 The three kids modeling their stylish ponchos and accessories.

 The view from the boat launch area.

An awesome shot that Bill got from the dock.
 At sunset, we took a drive up to the summit of Signal Mountain (right by our campground).
 The view was awesome!
The sunset. Most of it was hidden by clouds.

After watching the sunset, we had dinner and went to bed. Bill and I were warm and toasty in our mummy bags!

Check back to read about Day 4!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Vacation 2012: Day 2

On Saturday, we woke up in Moab (D on the Map) and went for breakfast at the Moab Diner. It was fast and tasty. I had a classic breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I would highly recommend it. Then we headed out for some geocaching. 

One of the spots we found on our geocaching expedition was a pretty park along the Colorado River called Lions Park. The rocks in the picture below are the beginning of the boundary line for Arches National Park.

Bill taking a walk over the river.

The view from the bridge.

After taking in the view at Lions Park, we drove around the corner to Arches National Park. Arches is an interesting spot. It is full of tourists and seems to be a popular family destination. It's not that big compared to many other National Parks. It is 120 square miles in size, whereas the Grand Canyon is 1904 square miles and Yosemite is 1200 square miles. It's very pretty, but definitely hot, windy and sandy. I spent a lot of time with my hat over my face to keep from breathing in sand. Too bad I didn't have a bandana or I could have done it cowboy style!

One of the "windows."

There were some awesome dead trees at this park.

Here's me taking that picture. :)
Another one of the windows.

The windows again.

Bill in the wind. It was very gusty that day! In the video below, you can see how strong it was.

We took a hike around the back of the windows to get away from all of the people.
This is a good illustration of how much sand there was and how much it blew around. Many of the plants were half buried, including the prickly pear.
This is delicate arch, from the Utah state license plate. In order to hike up to it, you have to take a strenuous hike on slick rock with no shade, so we opted to take a look from the viewpoint.
The people in the picture give a good idea of the actual size.
We drove over to the campground to take some pictures. Can you believe people camp right next to this? Definitely a cool spot if you aren't using a soft sided tent.
A new arch in the making!
The building below this arch is part of the camp area.
Bill taking pictures.
The shoes! They look surprisingly clean considering the sand everywhere.
Bill looking like a rock star.
On our hike to landscape arch, we walked next to some large sandstone rock faces. This is the view from my point to the top.
The particular spot we were walking through was a wind tunnel and blew sand into a pile between these rock faces.
The rocks after we had walked through them.
Me, hiking along!
Landscape arch. This is the longest natural arch in the world. It spans approximately 290 feet. This arch is slowly thinning out and will eventually collapse. Since 1991, three giant chunks have fallen off of the arch. The largest was 70 feet long. In 1991, people were allowed to hike under the arch. A photographer was able to photograph one of the pieces falling while others scrambled to get out of the way.
A better view of the arch. All of the pieces that have fallen have been out of the thinnest section. I think the next part is going to fall out of the left side.
Some cool rock formations that can be seen from the road.

After hiking to landscape arch, we headed on our way to our hotel in Ogden. It continued to be very windy. We went by some really interesting mountains:

Sunset on our way to Ogden. It finally started to get cold outside!

Check back tomorrow to hear about Day 3 in Grand Teton National Park!