Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier, BC, Canada

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fun time in Moab, UT...Arches and Canyonlands NP, Dead Horse Point SP, Whitewater rafting and Biking

After we left Heber City we headed to Moab, UT. IT's close to Arches and Canyonlands NP. We had a reservation at OK RV Park on the south end of Moab away from the hustle and bustle. The park was a gravel site on the end of a row. There was no shade until late in the day and very hot. We were able to maintain a cool temp inside if we got the A/C on early in the day. The good thing was it did cool off some at night.

We started out with getting groceries and checking out the downtown. Then we made our plans to go to Arches NP. We went to the Visitors Center and got our date stamp for the Passport Book. To enter the park you go up a steep road with switchbacks and then you drive to different view points.

Balance Rock

Double Arches

The landscape is diverse with nice rock formations and of course, lots of arches. Due to the heat and the crowds of people we decided to make our visit an abbreviated one. We didn't go to the other more famous arches like Delicate Arch. We did however see the Windows section near Double Arch and we hiked part of the trail to Devil's Garden. I guess you could say it was more of an auto tour.

The heat really made our visit more limited. We just couldn't see doing things that might be dangerous to our health. The park even had heat warnings on their website. So we decided to book a whitewater raft trip. We reserved through Moab Adventure Center in town. They're probably one of the more popular outfitters with rock climbing, rafting, rappelling, jeep tours, etc. We booked a morning 1/2 day trip that included 4 nice 1-2 class rapids. Sorry I don't have photos because I didn't want the camera to drown. Take my word for it, it was a lot of fun. I even jumped into the Colorado River and it was very, very cold. I regretted not jumping in the river when we were with our friends Faye and Dave at River Island SP in Parker, AZ. We had rented a pontoon and Dave jumped in and I didn't. Of course I was piloting the boat. That's my excuse. :-)   Anyway, back to the story.

We were with a family from UT on the raft and they all jumped in so I had to do it too.

Unloading at the put in spot

Where's the whitewater?

Amanda our guide

I got wet and it was cold

UT family

Bon Jovi Rock...ask me

Whitewater in the I could do to get a photo

Most of the time we were just floating between rapids and Amanda our guide had some fun facts about the rock formations and the river. The last couple of rapids were pretty good ones and we sure got wet. Always wanted to do that and we did.

The next day we got up early and loaded our bikes in the truck and drove to Lions Trail Hub along Route 191 through Moab. 191 also goes by Arches NP entrance. We parked, unloaded and rode across a pedestrian bridge to the bike path. It was about 2 miles to the Arches NP entrance and then the path continued on past and up an incline around the mountain. We continued to ride about another 2 miles or so until we had enough uphill. Fortunately we had a tailwind up and a nice downhill on the way back.

up and up

Arches Visitors Center

Red rocks everywhere

When we arrived back at the Trail Hub we took the bike path along the Colorado River about 2.5 miles until it ended and you would have to ride on the side of t he road which was very narrow and lots of traffic leading to the put in points for the outfitters up the canyon.

Lots of green along the river and we found a couple of BLM campgrounds there too. They were full and one or two sites might have been able to accommodate our rig size. All in all it was a wonderful time. So far we're getting a lot done in a short time.

Next it was time to check out Canyonlands NP and our friends Steve and Mona Liza from The Lowe's RV Adventure told us we needed to also check out Dead Horse Point SP about 4 miles from Canyonlands NP.  Well that's what we did. What a beautiful park with stunning views. The Colorado River is about 2,000 feet below our viewing point where a gooseneck bend in the river can be seen.

Gooseneck in River

See the black dot in the left center?

I zoomed in and this is what I saw 

Glenda at the view point

Info on the Colorado River

At the Visitors Center they have a food wagon with sandwiches and wraps. It was near lunch time so we got a wrap to share and a couple drinks. The Visitors Center has a nice patio off the back and a couple of hummingbird feeders. We were entertained by several hummingbirds while we ate our lunch.

After eating we continued our drive to Canyonlands NP and again had some spectacular views of the surrounding canyons and landscape. Interesting that the landscape is very diverse with rock formations and grasslands.

Grand View Point

Shameless Selfie

The grasslands

The Rocks

You can see forever

While at the Visitors Center we met a young couple from The Czech Republic, Andreas and Sarah. Very sweet couple. We had a nice conversation about their occupations and what they were doing in the US. They told us if we ever traveled outside the US we should go to Prague where they live. Not sure we would ever go there but we now have a contact if we do.

Andreas and Sarah

We drove to the Grand View Point and enjoyed the Canyonlands landscape. Then on the way back out we stopped at the Mesa Arch and I walked the 1/2 mile to take a couple photos. It was hot so Glenda waited in the truck. Beautiful formation.

So glad we decided to stay out west this spring/summer and share some time with our granddaughter and experience some places and things we never had a chance to do in the past. Looking forward to many more opportunities like these and sharing with friends and family.

Well now we've been to 7 National Parks in the last 3 months since leaving the Phoenix area.

Enlarge the photos for better viewing
Joshua Tree NP

Death Valley NP

Zion NP

Bryce Canyon NP

Arches NP

Canyonlands NP...Panorama

Rocky Mountain NP...more to come in a later post

Next post is Grand Junction, CO where we spend time with friends
Steve and Debbie from Down the Road

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Visiting friends in Heber City UT....Jasmyne had to go home

We have been so busy. After we visited Zion and Bryce Canyon NP's with Jasmyne we headed to Heber City, UT. We have friends there and in Salt Lake City. IT's been a long time since we saw Ruth and Kelly and Aaron and Susie. Kelly and I went to Chiropractic College together and went our separate ways after graduation. We haven't seen them since 1977. Aaron and Susie lived in Bloomington/Normal, IL and we knew them from church. They moved away a few years ago to Maryland and then relocated to Salt Lake City. So we made our travel plans so we could see both couples and have a convenient way to fly Jasmyne back to her family in Indiana. We stopped at the Mountain Valley RV Resort for our visit. It's a pretty new park with great amenities and perfect for our visit. We first booked a zip line activity for Jasmyne and I at Zipline Utah on Deer Valley Lake. They have several Zipline tours and we chose the Flight of the Condor. You start at the top of an 80 foot tower and Zipline to 3 other stations. We had a great time. I highly recommend if in the area.

Start up there

Zip across

Jasmyne looks professional

After our Zipline fun we contacted Ruth and Kelly and they made dinner for us at their home. Unfortunately Glenda was feeling under the weather again so just Jasmyne and I went. After dinner Kelly took us for a drive around Park City, Jordanelle SP Lake and we stopped at Dairy Keen for some dessert.

Kelly and Ruth

We had a great time and saw a lot of sights. The weather had been very hot while visiting Zion and Bryce Canyon NP's but the elevation in Heber and going up to Park City was a welcome relief. Kelly gave us a wonderful tour and we saw the ski resorts of Deer Valley, Park City and Heber Valley.

Stein Eriksen Lodge is a very upscale resort where rooms can go for $5000 per night during the ski season. Stein Eriksen was an alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist from Norway.  Following his racing career, he was a ski school director and ambassador at various resorts in the United States.

Park City is a beautiful place with cool shops and galleries along Main St. It just so happened that we were going to have dinner in Park City with our other friends Aaron and Susie the next night.

Aaron and Susie came to the RV park in the afternoon and saw how we lived in 400 square feet. They liked the rig and the park.

After the tour and catching up some we headed to Park City and our dinner reservation at Vinto Pizzeria on Main St. The pizza is a California thin crust style. Very tasty and nice atmosphere.

After dinner we walked around Main St and visited a few shops and galleries even with some light rain. No photos in the galleries but a few of Main St and our friends.

Aaron and Susie

Rainy Main St

Interesting restaurants

Park City in the Clouds

Group shot

It was so much fun getting back together again. Their great folks and so glad we took the opportunity to make the connection. Hope we get to see them again next year.

Then we had the sad duty of taking Jasmyne to the SLC airport early the next morning. We got there in plenty of time and made sure she got through security and on the plane. We said our goodbyes with hugs and tears. Jasmyne was a perfect traveling companion and we miss her. Can't wait to see her and the family again in July.

We had another opportunity to visit with Ruth and Kelly a couple days later and Glenda was feeling much better. We planned a picnic and a tour of Cascade Springs Park and Sundance Ski Resort.

It was a drive up and up on a gravel road to the park but the drive was worth it. Beautiful views and landscape with running streams and waterfalls.

Mt. Timpanago

After our picnic at Cascade Springs we drove to Sundance Ski Resort. Very famous place with spectacular scenery. Can't imagine what it's like there in ski season.

Gift shop

Photos on wall for sale

Sundance Resort

They have a cool gift shop and I got a hat. :-) Anyway, we again had a wonderful time and after our drive we headed back to their home to hang out and then another trip to Dairy Keen. They have great shakes, sundaes and food. Very popular place in Heber City. No photos but you can check them out HERE.

Well we said our goodbyes with hugs and see you later's. I know it won't be almost 40 years like this time until we see them again. Heck I don't think I'll be here in 40 years so we'll make sure to do it again soon.

Next up our time at Moab, UT.