Thursday, August 25, 2016

A long way to Arizona, Part 4

After leaving Arches National Park we soon found ourselves in Arizona and at Canyon de Chelly.

It was our first trip back since our first in 1981.  Spider Rock where two canyons converge is still spectacular.

This beautiful canyon has been home to many peoples and the Navajos still farm and live here.

The ribbon of green shows where the stream flows.

Parts of ancient homes are still visible in the canyon sides.

It is a magical place.

But also one of sadness as Navajo Indians were rounded up here and driven to Fort Defiance in what is now New Mexico back in 1863.

It was their own "Trail of Tears" but is now known as the "Long Walk."

There are drives along both the north and south sides of the canyon with many overlooks.

We had just enough time for the south side as we still wanted to make it to Hubbell Trading Post before it closed.

Next visit we plan on taking the jeep tour through the bottom of the canyon for a different view and for the stories told.  In a bit of a spoiler we were very disappointed to see that nearby Chinle looked so neglected.  There were pan handlers, flying trash, and a drug deal going down at the service station where we stopped.  It looked like it was struggling.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A long way to Arizona, part 3

We woke up in Moab to a beautiful day.  We got an early start and that was a good thing as we had a very short line at the entrance to Arches National Park.  When we left a few hours later, the line seemed to be a mile long.  Our first stop was a hike which leads to an overlook of Delicate Arch.  It was a bit steep but not long.

A few last rock stair steps and there it was, an iconic rock formation.

I loved these hardy flowers in the pathway.

There are many beautiful rock formations through out the park.

Park Avenue is also a must see stop.

Once again some hardy flora.  We enjoyed our early morning hours in this beautiful park.  Upon leaving, we still had many miles to go before arriving in Arizona.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Long Way to Arizona, Part 2

After leaving Utah and Dinosaur National Monument, we traveled east to Colorado and then south on the western side of the state.

The mountains were green and beautiful and we found ourselves on a very high pass before coming down into the Grand Junction area.  We entered I 70 and turned west towards Utah.

A short time later, we exited I 70 and took Highway 128 south at what used to be the town of Cisco. It is pretty much deserted now but used to be a location where trains were serviced.  We soon found ourselves driving along the Colorado River.  The Dewey Bridge was built and finished a hundred years ago in 1916.  It was the second longest suspension bridge west of the Mississippi at the time.  The Colorado River is joined by the Delores River near this bridge. The Delores River is formed by run off from the San Juan Mountains and the Colorado Plateau.

These are closeups of the plaques which memorialize the bridge which is a National Monument.  The bridge center burned in 2008 as a result of a wildfire.

The highway follows the Colorado for miles through beautiful landscapes.

We had no idea that one could follow along the river for such a long distance before reaching Moab.

Fisher Towers rise majestically from the floor of Professor Valley.

We elected to take the dirt road for an up close look and walked up to the Towers along the trail.

We soon encountered a snake!

The Fisher Towers were beautiful and majestic.

A shot with Glen to prove we were there.

Truly lovely.

This was our beautiful view looking back at the Colorado River from whence we had come.  We continued on our way south enjoying every minute of our drive along the Colorado River.  We would spend the night in Moab.  The next day we visit beautiful Arches National Park.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The long way to Arizona, Part 1

The day after Memorial Day we began the long way to Arizona.  We drove up Spanish Fork Canyon, past Strawberry Reservoir, on past Starvation Reservoir, and then through Duchesne to the Utahn Cemetery.  We wanted to check out a couple of things.  Number one, had the iris bulbs we planted made it through winter? And number two, had the weed killer worked?

The answer to both was "Yes."  Glen cleared off the dead weeds and I gave the iris plants some water and told them it would be okay to bloom next year.

Utahn Cemetery is basically a sand hill so had to share this little survivor.

I am proud of this man who is trying to watch over this sacred space.

Before leaving Duchesne we took a couple of photos.  I hoped to read this later.

Unfortunately even with a close up I could not make out the words.

This is one of the first homes built in the area and it sits along with the above monument on the lawn near the new high school.

We drove on east through Roosevelt and on to Vernal.  I was excited to see this small temple which was a precursor to the Provo City Center Temple.  It, too, began as a tabernacle but was then remodeled into a temple for the members in this northeast corner of Utah.  In this photo the temple is facing east.

I loved the red brickwork.  This photo was taken from the south.

And this is a view of the temple facing west.

After getting gas and food we headed for Jensen, Utah.  It is a small farming community near the Dinosaur National Monument.  It is beautiful farm land with a great source for water.  This picture is not a lake but the flowing Green River.  It explained all of the green fields surrounding us.

The highway heads north out of the crossroad that is Jensen and runs along the Green River.

The sun shines on the Dinosaur National Monument in the distance on a beautiful day.

The rock formations seemed to have emerged from the earth at a slant.

In no time at all, we were at the visitor center.

After viewing the film we jumped aboard the trolley taking us up the hill to the viewing center.

In the early 1900's, this hill had been slowly chipped away as dinosaur bones were extracted and then shipped to museums around the United States.

Now it is possible to see them in the uncovered hillside.

There was a section where one was allowed to touch them.

It was fascinating to see and read about the discoveries made here.

It was and is a gigantic dinosaur graveyard.

We drove east and came upon the Green River where it is joined by the Yampa River.

There were beautiful camping sites and rafting is popular.  Jensen had several raft outfitting business.  On our way out of the National Monument area we saw a beautiful ranch set up that had been in place for over a hundred years.  Beautiful country!