Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Four States in One Day!

Even better...4 states at the same time!  You guessed it, Four Corners Monument.  This has been one of Tom's bucket list items so we took a drive to check it out.
left foot - Utah
right foot - Arizona
left hand - Colorado
right hand - New Mexico

Tom's in Utah and Colorado
Becky's in Arizona and New Mexico
Mesa Verde National Park - since we drove to Four Corners we figured while in the area (so to speak out in this vast part of the US) we would stop in at this National Park.  It's amazing to see how these people lived long ago.  Spruce Tree House - 90% of this home is in it's original state.

up to 10 people would sleep in an area like this which is below ground

Momma bear - 2 cubs and what appeared to be one teenager (not normal to have them together so we're not sure) - about 200 yards from the road - munching away and didn't seem to mind we were there watching
Capitol Reef National Park - we took a quick drive through this off-the-beaten-path National Park
They allow picking of the fruit in their open orchards - yummy apples!

getting the Jeep a little dirty on the off-roads

Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wildhorse Canyon - Goblin Valley had a very unique area of rock formations (goblin-like) which was very cool to check out and hike around.  Little Wildhorse Canyon was also very beautiful but you must beware of threatening storms to not be caught in the canyon wash (the ranger told us to be prepared to climb quickly if we heard something that resembled a freight train - Yikes!).

San Rafael Desert Loop Auto Tour - We were fortunate to stumble upon this drive which took us on 70+ miles of dirt road and magnificent scenery including a remote section of Canyonlands National Park (Horseshoe Canyon) as well as an active geyser.

Gemini Bridges - this is our first "official" off-road Jeeping near Moab.  I picked one marked "easy".  Yes, I'm chicken!  It turned out to be an incredible drive (yes, easy) with amazing views of the surrounding canyons and the natural Gemini Bridges.

Dead Horse Point State Park - This park has spectacular views of the Colorado river far below and the gooseneck curves.  Although it was cloudy and rainy, the views were still breathtaking.  

We will be in Moab, UT until Friday and continue to enjoy time in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.  Stay tuned for pictures from these incredible places next time!

Til Next Time...Happy Trails!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fun times with the Clarks in Huntsville, UT

We really enjoyed a 4 day visit with Joe and Barb Clark in the Huntsville/Ogden, UT area.  They are campground managers at Perception Campground which is one of 6 National Forest Campgrounds they oversee in the area.  Their park is remote and beautiful!  We were fortunate to see several of the local moose who visit the park on a regular basis.
Marty - after he ran out of the bushes and scared the heck out of me, he wandered a few feet away to have his morning breakfast and trim the bushes

Tom - testing out the manager role.   :-)

The host and hostess with the mostest!
Although they were working (very hard I may add!), we got to steal them away for a few short trips and of course to enjoy some ice cream at Dairy Queen (a favorite for the 4 of us).  Just a short drive up the mountain from their campground is a great spot for spectacular sunsets!

Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake - We found this remote spot in Reader's Digest Off the Beaten Path and come to find it's also in 1,000 Places To See Before You Die.  This counterclockwise coil (15 feet wide and 1,500 feet long) was built of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth and water.  It was conceived by an American sculptor and completed in 1970 but spent most of the time under water until it re-emerged in 2002.

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a 74,000-acre refuge with lush marshes at the mouth of the river where it flows into the Great Salt Lake.  Although it is very dry this time of year we still saw many birds in the area (but didn't get many close up pictures).  We can only imagine what it would look like when the waters are up and the migrations are in full swing.  A Middle Creek (times 100) in Utah (our PA friends will know all about Middle Creek)!

Tuesday we arrived in Green River, UT and we will be in this area until August 30th.  We plan to enjoy lots of sightseeing, hiking and kayaking around Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Moab.

Til next time...Happy Trails!