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North America » United States » Utah » Bryce Canyon April 14th 2020

Each of us have our favorite national park. Now that they are closed, perhaps we will appreciate them even more. Mine, as you may know, is Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. In fact, I was just there in November. Above are three of my photos from that trip. The national parks are a true American treasure. When we can travel again, I strongly suggest you place one or more on your travel plans. But Bryce is not in the top five most visited. What are the top five? 5. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 4. Zion National Park, Utah 3. Yosemite National Park, California (only about 90 minutes from us) 2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona Most visited: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee I am sure each of ... read more
Iconic entry
Sunrise
Colors always change

North America » United States » Utah » Springdale January 18th 2020

It is hard to convey, but not to understand, the girls’ disappointment that yesterday was our last day of rocks. I mean, who wouldn’t love a holiday based on driving around with two engineering parents constantly pointing out the rock formations, how they’d formed, the stratification, the changes caused by heat and pressure...it’s the stuff of dreams!! So, we really tapped in to that when we told them that we were going to a ‘special rock museum’ to spend some time looking at rocks. In fact, we told them that we’d arranged for a special tour where they’d get a personalised three hour tour, walking around, looking at rocks. The gullible and trusting souls that they are still hadn’t twigged when we drove past the massive sign saying ‘Best Friends Animal Sanctuary’, all the while making ... read more
 Very timid Annabelle warmed up in the end
Kalani found ‘her person’...
Hot Cocoa wanted some of that napping action

North America » United States » Utah » Bryce Canyon January 14th 2020

You know what they say, travel is all about learning. I think it’s fair to say we’ve all learnt something here at Bryce Canyon... ...the girls have learnt about patience - there’s nothing that tortures Australian children quite so much as driving through miles and miles of pristine fresh snow only to be repeatedly told they can’t get out and play in it because there was nowhere to pull over. ...we’ve all learnt about exhaustion - there’s nothing quite so aerobically challenging as hauling yourself through thigh-deep powdery snow at 9000ft. ...Geoff has learnt about zippered pockets and how they prevent you from losing important things. ...and we’ve all learnt a little bit too much about stress...when you combine items two and three above. A tip for all travellers - 3ft of powdered snow that you’ve ... read more
It’s all beautiful and pristine, til the Aussies come along
In it up to his knees!
Oh, there’s rocks here too!

North America » United States » Utah » Tropic January 13th 2020

Whose idea was it to stay in a ‘traditional hoghan’...oh, sounds very romantic. Oh, let’s be ‘one with nature’, let’s get spiritual and learn about Navajo culture, let’s take a wee in the port-a-loo outside when the ground is encrusted with snow and it’s in the minus! Ha, romance?!? I’ll take fire thanks! More on that later... The day began with a tour of Monument Valley with Navajo Spirit. The conditions were icy to begin with, and the whipping wind did nothing to improve the climate...lucky the car was heated!! We headed into the valley with our guide to learn about the valley’s inhabitants and its surrounds. And honestly, we were fascinated. You come to Monument Valley for the iconic vistas and the red rocks, but hearing about the inhabitants and their origins, as well as ... read more
Big hole, small family...’big hogan’
Drawings left by the Anasazi people
Big hole...mad children running down hill

North America » United States » Utah » Bryce Canyon November 13th 2019

What is a hoodoo? It is a pillar of rock, usually of fantastic shape, left by erosion. A hoodoo can also cast a spell. Our visit to Bryce Canyon National Park was highlighted by the hoodoos surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah. About ten million years ago, forces within the Earth created then moved large blocks known as the Table Cliffs and Paunsaugunt plateaus. Rock layers on the Table Cliffs now tower 2000 feet above corresponding layers on the Paunsaugunt. Ancient rivers carved the tops and exposed the edges of these blocks, removing some layers and sculpting formations in others. The Paria River and its tributaries still carve the plateau edges and steep slopes of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, on which lies the national park. Any photos you have ever seen, do not portray the hoodoos ... read more
Love the snow on the red rocks
Love the Hoo Doos
And a hiking paradise

North America » United States » Utah » Snowbird November 12th 2019

Growing up, all is knew about Utah was the Great Salt Lake, copper mines, and Mormons. Over the years, having done both business and adventure travel there, I have gained a better appreciation for the state, its people, and its incredible natural beauty. Their national parks are among my very favorites. So, let's get the trivia out of the way first. Salt Lake City-all three words have four letters. Utah (our 11th largest state) was acquired by the US in 1848 (in a treaty ending the Mexican War), right around the time of the Gold Rush. Utah has 11,000 miles of fishing streams, and 147,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs. The "Ute" tribe of Native Americans gave the state its name, Utah. Ute means people of the mountains. The Great Salt Lake is the largest lake ... read more
Famous pando
Snowbird, a great ski resort

North America » United States » Utah » Saint George November 11th 2019

Did they finally make a saint out of my dear Uncle George? He was my Mom's youngest sibling, and definitely, a real saint of a guy. He spent his life farming the very land my Mom and her older sister and widowed mother farmed from pre-Relocation days (WW2). The other St. George is located in southwestern Utah, about a 90 minute drive north of Las Vegas. I have been there numerous times, for golf outings, to visit friends, and most often, to spend the night at a fabulous resort, Entrada at Snow Canyon. I think for most people, the big draw is nearby Zion National Park, about an hour away. But do not underestimate the city of St. George and the surrounding area. Recreation opportunities are numerous, food options plentiful, and the scenery almost everywhere is ... read more
Native art
Entrada's red rock vista


In mid September, Anne and I traveled to Utah to hike in several areas in the south as well as one hike in the Uinta mountains in the northeastern part of the state. It involved a good bit of driving, but we got it all done in the allotted time. We flew into Salt Lake City on a Saturday, arriving around 2:00 PM, and then had a long, 250 mile drive to Cedar City. On Sunday, we drove about 20 miles south to the Kolob Canyon area of Zion National Park, a section not visited by nearly as many people as the main canyon to the southeast. This area is at an elevation of around 5,000 to 6,000 feet, and we wanted to get somewhat acclimated before the higher level hikes we had planned for later. ... read more
Kolob Canyon
Kolob Canyon
Side trail to the Kolob Arch

North America » United States » Utah » Moab September 10th 2019

Woke up early to another gorgeous day. Mornings have been in the low 60's for the past few days, then warming up to the mid 80's. There is almost 0% humidity in these parts, and were usually above 5000' above sea level, so everyone is drinking water like a camel. We're signed up for a private tour of both parks today, Aches and Canyon Land, and we arrived at Nav-Tec tours at 8:00. After meeting our guide for the day, Yancey, we took off in a Toyota Land Rover that felt like a tank. As we discovered later, it was good that it was built like a tank. Instead of heading into Arches NP through the main entrance, Yancey took us north, and entered the park via a dirt road. This quickly turned into a "technical" ... read more
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Dinosaur prints
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North America » United States » Utah » Moab September 10th 2019

After a great nights sleep, and a leisurely breakfast, we headed out for a scenic ride along Rt 128 which meanders along the Colorado River. During the first few miles it began to rain. Actually we were looking forward to a little rain to wash off the mud that was covering our van. Plus we knew it was only going to be a short shower and would not ruin our day. We stopped at a movie museum that was located at the Red Cliffs Lodge. It was filled with memorabilia from the hundred plus movies, and thousands of commercials that have been filmed in the Moab area. We were surprised to find that some of our favorites, like the Eiger Sanction and City Slickers had been filmed here. After finishing our visit to the museum we ... read more
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