Road Trip with stop at Valley of Fire State Park

It was time to make my annual visit to the Dr. in Salt Lake City the vascular surgeon for a check of my carotid artery following my stroke of a couple years ago. So the plan was to leave the camper in Kingman and make the 500 mile drive up to Salt Lake, so I decided since I pretty much had to drive right by Valley of Fire to break the trip up into 2 segments and stop at Valley of Fire and check out a new trail to a section I have been wanting to see. They call it the "Fire Wave" and it resembles the rock coloring in the "Wave" in Arizona another place I want to visit. So my plan was up early and drive to Valley of Fire and spend a couple mid-day hours hiking and taking some pics, then move on towards Salt Lake and spend the night at about the half way point in St. George, Utah.

For those who really give a shit - the Ultrasound results were fantastic - no change since last year, increased blood flow and no sign of any further restrictions. So Doc says I am doing well, letter off to the USCG and they will be happy to know I shouldn't have any problems and be good until next years check again!

So up early and awoke to a wonderful sunrise!

Then on to the trail to the "Fire Wave"!

Creative trail marker - although this is how I felt on the way back!

Finally at the "Fire Wave"

The rock coloration is amazing and worth the .6 mile hike one way to see it. Although I would like to meet the park Ranger that measures these trails, seems further to me!! The color is almost identical to pictures I have seen of the "Wave" in Arizona although that is a bigger formation and you need a special permit to get in they only allow 12 people a day. I have applied like 6 times for a permit, maybe next year!

I returned back to Kingman from Salt Lake on Thursday and now will be busy finishing up some work for the Lodge and making final travel plans for the long drive to Alaska, plan on leaving Kingman on April 8th and starting North! Hope the weather breaks soon up that way!

Stay Tuned for the adventurous trip to Alaska!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Grand Canyon - Wednesday March 13th!

Finally took the drive from Kingman over to Grand Canyon National Park the South Rim. It was about a 166 mile drive! I guess it would have been worth it, if I had never been there before, but I have been there before and so quite frankly it was a disappointment. It really is just a huge hole in the ground and since it was past March 1st you have to ride the shuttle buses to several of the better viewpoints...and I am not much of a ride the bus type person. So rather than stand in line with all the tourists, I saw what I could see and left.

It is very difficult to get a decent picture that really shows the expanse of the canyon anyway. Besides, once you have rafted it and seen it from the bottom, you pretty much have been spoiled. Years ago did a raft trip and rode a mule back up from Phantom Ranch and that was a true experience, so looking over a railing at the deep hole, just didn't cut it!

I did manage a couple pictures so here we go!

When I left, I decided to stop in Williams at the drive through animal park again to see if I could get some better pictures of the Canadian Lynx and I did, but that is for tomorrow!

If you have never seen the Grand Canyon and have no desire to raft it or hike or mule ride to the bottom, then I guess the view is worth the trip. However, you can go to Deadhorse Point State Park in Utah and see pretty much the same thing and much less crowded. Or raft through Cataract Canyon or even Labyrinth Canyon and experience the feeling of the depth of the canyons and see just as good of scenery! Of course that is just my biased opinion, but it is my blog, so tough!

Stay tuned, more tomorrow!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest

Sunday Road Trip - March 3rd, 2013

With all the work on the computer and around the trailer, I was anxious for a good weather day and needed to get out and shoot some pictures, so all day Saturday I worked on planning a Sunday Road Trip. I have been anxious to make a trip to the Grand Canyon and was interested in seeing the western side of the Grand Canyon, since I had never been there yet. But after a couple hours of researching the Skywalk and reading a zillion negative reviews and looking at the entrance fees, I decided that I needed to find somewhere else to go! sadly Saturday evening I got pretty sick, so slept in on Sunday and had to make sure I was feeling good enough to travel and be away from the bathroom long enough to get where I wanted to go. Several weeks ago I have done some research on Williams, AZ and a tourist trap there peaked my interest. It is called Bearizona and is one of those drive through animal parks with quite a selection of animals, so that is where I headed. I was not disappointed although this is the off season and they have a fair amount of construction going on, but the price was reasonable and they have a senior discount and also since the construction was going on, they knocked a couple extra bucks off the entrance fee, which was nice.

Anyway - on with the pictures! There are quite a few!

The park consists of a 2 mile drive through various areas with different animals and it is pretty interesting. The animals were pretty close and easy to see. Then after the drive there is a parking lot and an area to walk through which was very nice and they had a "petting zoo" for kids, but great animal viewing in a fairly natural environment.

It was worth the $20.00 and I would go back and may do so before I head North.

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest