Casa Grande Arizona

PCR-12

We are finally settled into our site in Palm Creek RV and Golf Resort and are surrounded by Albertans arriving here for the winter. We are going to play a lot of pickle ball and learn more about this game of golf. We both signed up for 4 lessons at Mission Royale Golf Course from the pro, Ryan. Most days started at 7:30 am with challenging games of pickle ball with Thor, from BC, and Chris, from Seattle. Then onto golf in the afternoon, either a lesson or the driving range. Trying to get better at golf so I can keep up with Alex and Karen Currie, great golfers, when they came to visit us for the day. After playing golf with Alex and Karen on the Par 3 golf course in Palm Creek I realized that I have a long way to go before my golf is up to their standard.   Continue reading

Weekend wit Eric in Columbus, Ohio

Eric

Cheers!!

On Thursday, Oct 15th, we arrived in Casa Grande, AZ and parked the RV before setting off to the airport in Phoenix to fly to Columbus to visit Eric. We arrived late but Eric was there to pick us up and took us back to his house where we had a great sleep. It was a beautiful fall day in Ohio, and Eric drove us to the Hocking Hills State Park, where we hiked to the Rock House. A ¼ mile trail leads to an opening in a cliff face with gothic-like windows and awesome views. Hocking Hills State Park is unique with so much to see, waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs, deep recess caves and forestland as far as the eye can see and there was not enough time to see it all. We headed back to Columbus where we picked up Lauren Martorano, Eric’s girlfriend, and went out for a drink. Continue reading

Sedona Arizona – Birthday Celebration

“Happy 70th Birthday Bruce Kahn!!”

Bruce BDay-16

Home of the Moscow Mule

We arrived in Phoenix on Monday, October 5th, staying at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort & Country Club for a week. The timing worked out perfect. As we are so excited to be able to help Bruce celebrate his 70th birthday in Sedona. We drove D Beast (jeep) to Sedona on Saturday and met Karen Moyer and Bruce for lunch at Tlaquepaque(pronounced T-lockey-pockey) Arts and Crafts Village. Nestled beneath giant sycamore trees on the banks of the Oak Creek, Tlaquepaque is the most distinctive shopping complex to be found in the Southwest. Then we drove to the house that Bruce rented for the week to spend his birthday with friends and family. What an exceptional house set on a hill with wonderful views looking west over Sedona and the red rocks. We started the weekend off with Moscow Mules sitting around the pool and hot tub with Karen, Bruce and their friends, Rick and Barb Johnsto. Then we ate a wonderful home-cooked dinner sitting outside watching the sunset. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

North Rim of Grand Canyon

North Rim-15

Mt Hayden-Grand Canyon

The North Rim offers a serene and enthralling Grand Canyon experience, more remote and less developed than the South Rim. It was a 2 hour drive from our RV Park in Virgin, Utah to the North Rim and it’s 40 miles from Jacob Lake to the North Rim Visitor Center. After we arrived we hiked to Bright Angel Point, a one mile round trip hike with a grand view of the canyon. We ate a wonderful lunch at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge with breathtaking views of the canyon from our table. The Lodge was built in 1927-28 with the Main Lodge  building, 23 deluxe cabins, and 91 standard cabins. It was constructed of native Kaibab limestone and peeled Ponderosa pine logs, designed to harmonize with its rocky and forested setting. The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only complete surviving lodge and cabin complex in the national parks. I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful, peaceful and remote setting in a magnificent park. On our way out we drove to Point Imperial, at 8,803 feet, it is the highest of the North Rim overlooks, with different panorama views of the Grand Canyon. Great views of Mount Hayden, and Boundary Ridge and Saddle Mountain to the north of Imperial Point. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar-Intro

Dixie National Forest

The Zion Park Scenic Byway (SR-9), is the road in and through Zion National Park, which never closes, except when we arrived because of a huge rock landslide. RV’s and buses must only travel this road when escorts are present due to the two tunnels and six tight switchbacks. Finally the road opened and we were able to drive the scenic byway up Pine Creek Canyon and through the tunnels. After the tunnel the highway continues through impressive scenery, past the Canyon Overlook and the unique Zion landmark, Checkerboard Mesa. The 25-mile long Zion-Mount Carmel Highway was built from 1927 to 1930 to connect Zion, Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon, at a cost of $1,896,000. The tunnel by itself cost $503,000, and today they are a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.

We arrived at the  Zion Mountain Ranch, an authentic western lodge and a unique home of a roaming herd of buffalo, around 4 o’clock, too early for dinner. We made reservations for later and continued up the highway to see spectacular fall colors and to visit Cedar Breaks National Monument, a miniature Bryce Canyon. We were amazed at the brilliant colors of the Dixie National Forest surrounding Cedar Breaks providing lush alpine meadows clustered with ponderosa pines and quaking aspens as we drove along the road. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Narrows Hike – Zion NP

Narrows

Entering Wall Street

The north fork of the Virgin River, called “The Zion Narrows” is probably one of the most legendary canyons to hike in all of Zion. This was our next hike we chose to conquer in Zion but first we had to rent water boots, neoprene socks  and a walking stick to be able to hike up the Narrows in the cold water. We did the day hike from bottom and back, 6 miles round trip.  We started early to catch the first shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava, and began the hike at the end of the Riverside Walk Trail. Hiking is done largely in the river, because the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall, with vertical sandstone cliffs on both sides, and there is no way of keeping your feet dry. Continue reading

Zion NP and Angels Landing Hike

Top-of-the-landing

Top of Angels Landing

We are staying at the Zion River Resort and Campground in Virgin, about 10 miles from the entrance to Zion NP. This is a beautiful park and we are excited to be here for two weeks while we explore the Park. First, a little history about the Park, which has become one of our favorite Parks. In 1909 President Taft named the area a National Monument, and in 1918 the National Park Service changed the Park’s name to Zion. The US Congress established the monument as a National Park on November 19, 1919, Utah’s first national park. Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the US. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Cody, Wyoming

Cody Museum

Cody Museum

We had heard so much about Cody, WY and its namesake “Buffalo Bill” Cody, that we had to take a drive there to see what it’s all about. We drove through Yellowstone NP stopping for pictures along the Yellowstone River, to the East entrance. President Theodore Roosevelt called the stretch of highway between Cody and the East entrance to the Park, “the fifty most beautiful miles in America”. The East entrance’s ranger station was built in 1934 for visitors entering the Park from Cody. The road is named the Scenic Byway of Highway 20, wedged into a valley shaped by the flow of the Shoshone River. The Buffalo Bill Reservoir Dam was well worth the drive. Cody was established in 1896 by Wild West showman, William F Cody, “Buffalo Bill” and a group of investors who realized the potential for tourism since Yellowstone was only 50 miles west. Continue reading

Beartooth Scenic Highway

Redlodge_Beartooth-29

The Beartooth Scenic Highway opened to automobile travel in 1937, and is a National Scenic Byway, 68 miles in length winding through southwest Montana and northeast Wyoming. We left West Yellowstone early to avoid the traffic in Yellowstone and drove through the Park to the northeast entrance at Silver Gate where we stopped at the Log Cabin Café for a fabulous lunch. Then on to Cooke City where we went through the Cooke City Montana Museum that opened in July, 2014. It presents permanent exhibits on the history of the three communities of Colter Pass, named after the famous mountain man John Colter, Cooke City, and Silver Gate as well as exhibits on the Beartooth Highway. Not much else to see in Cooke City so we drove on over Colter Pass where we happened upon a black bear by the side of the road. Then we came to the sign marking the beginning of Beartooth Highway, it has been called “the most beautiful drive in America”, and the pass is usually open each year only from mid May through mid October, because of heavy snowfall at the top. Continue reading

Heart Lake Loop Trail, Yellowstone NP

We were able to get our backcountry permits ahead of time for a small fee but at least we didn’t have to wake up early and stand in line, not knowing if we would be able to get the permits that we wanted. We did purchase 3 nights hiking around the Heart Lake area located in southeast region of Yellowstone. We drove 2 hours before we reached the Trailhead and began our hike around 10 am.

Day1

Now that’s a rack

The first 4 miles of the Heart Lake Trail,  we passed through dense lodgepole forests and small wetland meadows, and it was a gradual uphill to a high vantage point on Factory Hill with views across Heart Lake toward Big Game Ridge and Mount Hancock. The massive summit of Mount Sheridan rises along the western edge of the lake to a height of 10,305 feet, we were hoping to climb it if we arrived in camp early. Then we descended into the Heart Lake Geyser Basin where we enjoyed the thermal features along Witch Creek, taking time to dab our feet into the warm water of the creek. Along Witch Creek are numerous sulfur vents, these small vents, are called fumaroles, and do possess enough water in their craters to become hot springs or geysers, but below the surface, water boils. As the trail nears the lake we passed directly in front of the Heart Lake Patrol Cabin which was originally built in 1924. The cabin was locked as the Rangers had left the area for the season. Heart Lake is the fourth largest body of water in Yellowstone and lies within the Snake River drainage. It was named by Captain John W Barlow, one of the first men to lead an expedition to this area in 1871, believed it was the shape of the lake that should determine the spelling (heart) and this became its official name. Continue reading