Monday, October 31, 2005
What a cool looking dracula dog
We always thought she was a princess --- now we know for sure.
Cowboy dracula meets princess .... now that could be an interesting movie.
The Hoover Dam
The generaters on the Nevada side of the dam.
Yes, the towers are on a angle.
The intake towers and Mead Lake
Sunday, October 30, 2005
We spent a couple of days doing regular life stuff and Ed has started sorting through the more than 9,000 photos he took for the video slide show he wants to make. We decided it was time to see the “strip”, so Colin, Margaret, Ed and I drove to Freemont Street – the “old strip”. We wandered through the casinos, played a few slot machines, bought a couple of 99 cent margaritas and watched the show on the street. As far as gambling goes Margaret is the “wild” one, she brought a bag of nickels and lost them all — must have been 3 or 4 dollars. Colin is next as he also had a stash of nickels that he lost — he got smart with his dimes and spent them on Margaritas! Ed lived on the edge — he gambled 2 dimes he had plus 2 nickels I gave him. I lost $2. The casinos aren’t going to make much off of us!!! The light show was great — there is a screen made of thousands of light bulbs over Freemont Street and they show a 10 minute video every hour during the evening. On the way back to the trailer we drove down the “new” strip — it looked just like it does on TV. — we’ll have to go back and have a good look around, maybe even gamble.
A view on the "old strip"
The lightshow on Freemont Street
The Luxor Casino
Thursday, October 27, 2005
It’s Official — We’re Retired
Today went much better than yesterday. The power was turned on at the monthly site just before noon so we moved in without any hassles. Later we went out and ran a couple of errands, came back and made dinner, then went and had a soak in the hot tub. I think I’ll be able to handle retirement.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Viva Las Vegas
We decided that we needed to go out for dinner and there were a couple of casinos just down the road from us ..... there’s a casino just down the road from everything in Vegas. We picked one and went in to check their buffet out — $6.99 and it looked good. The waitress informed us that if you signed up for the players club you would get a coupon that gave you one free dinner when you purchased second dinner. That peeked Colin and Ed’s interested, so guess who are members of the players club now! First night at a casino and we didn’t even gamble a quarter!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Back at the RV park, Ed took Zaph for a walk. A group of parents and kids from Indiana had arrived — Zaph happily joined the group of kids for pets and a walk down to the river. Guess who went in!
Now that's a neat rock.
Another neat rock.
One of the many interesting canyons along the road.
The view walking into one of the canyons.
Even though it was warm the leaves were still changing colour.
Another interesting rock --- they were all different.
Zaph and Frances enjoying the view.
One of the many intersting mountains.
The rock structures were facinating --- at least to us.
The trail went under a huge overhang --- that's Frances standing under the rock.
The trees were very gnarley.
A view of the canyon. If you look closely you can see the road windy down the mountain.
The "Crawford Arch" though it really is a natural bridge. We saw a fabulous photo from the 1930's that should a man walking on it.
Monday, October 24, 2005
At Bryce Canyon you were on top of the plateau looking down into the canyon, at Zion you are on the canyon floor looking up. There are a lot of hiking opportunities here but as we only planned to stay 2 days we stuck to the short trails. The animals are pretty use to people — we saw a buck, a doe and 2 fawns. They were quite happy to go about their business not far from the path. A squirrel almost ran over Ed’s foot.
Zion does have one trail that you can walk dogs on — it’s not in the main canyon but does follow the Virgin River and the highway that goes across the park. Zaph needed a walk anyway so we decided to do this trail — a nice 4 mile walk (including the ½ mile to and from the campground). I was pretty beat by the time I finished this trail — it would have been easier on me if Zaph could have hiked with us during the day.
The three patriarchs --- Abraham, Issac and Jacob
Another inch and I'll reach the itch.
Hmmm, I wonder if this is a miniature dinasour.
The weeping rock.
A view of the Virgin River.
Sunset view of the cliff.
Another view in the park.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
The drive to Zion was pleasant with a lot of downhill — good fuel economy. The “interesting” part of the drive was the mile long tunnel followed by several hairpin turns. The tunnel through the mountain was built in the 1930's when vehicles were smaller. Large vehicles (all RVs) needed to have an escort through the tunnel at a cost of $15 (the alternative route would cost more than $15 in fuel). We didn’t actually get an “escort” — there are two park rangers, one at each end of the tunnel and they stop traffic so large vehicles can drive down the middle of the tunnel. The tunnel itself is pretty amazing and there are several large openings that give you views of the canyon but of course you can’t stop to enjoy the view.
On the edge of the park is the town of Springdale (tiny but cute) where we found a campground.
Walking down the Navajo trail -- Can you find Margaret and Frances?
The tall trees in the canyon.
Looking up from the bottom of the canyon.
the "twin" bridges
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The grottos at Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon's Amphitheater
"Natural Bridge" although it is not a bridge but an arch
Friday, October 21, 2005
Zaph meets the Ravin
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Dinosaurs Were Here
When Ed and Colin checked into the RV park they asked the woman what there was to see in the area. After listing the national and state parks the woman mentioned some “nice drives” and the a spot where you could see dinosaur foot prints. As we had spent the last two days in national and state parks, we decided that it was time to see some of the other sites. The drive to the dinosaur foot prints was nice — we saw a several “castles”, a number of canyons, a small town and several farms. The drive climbed up to a plateau and we stopped when the road turned to gravel. After wandering around for a few minutes we found them — large three toed prints in the rocks and as it had rained a couple of nights before there was water in them that made them easier to see. We continued the drive climbing higher up the plateau and eventually ended up back in Moab.
As it was after 1pm we headed back to the trailer park and moved the trailer into the new site (yeah it was vacant!). Next item on the clipboard of fun was Potash Road and the Indian Petroglyphs on the rocks. This road has the Colorado River on one side and sheer cliff on the other side. Along the sheer cliff there were a number of pull offs and in each pull off was at least one group of climbers — these cliffs seemed very popular with the climbing crowd. Anyway amongst the rock climbers were two areas where there was Indian Writing, pictures carved into the rocks — very neat. At another spot along the road we stopped to view some more dinosaur foot prints. These ones you viewed through a “pipe” mounted on the side of the road (the piped just made sure you looked in the correct spot on the cliff). A little further down the road was a trail to a couple of arches. As we were not in a national park Zaph was able to do the hike with us. Zaph and I didn’t make it all the way to the arches though — I’m going to have to teach him how to climb rock walls with carved foot holds and ladders! We were able to see Bow Tie Arch and Corona Arch from a distance but Ed was able to walk up to the arches (he can climb rock walls with foot holds and ladders better than Zaph).
The day had been clear and sunny and I had told Ed if we had a clear evening I would hike into Delicate Arch (in Arches National Park) with him to view it at sunset (it was a 3 mile round trip). The parking lot was full but we grabbed a spot when someone left — I guess a lot of people had the same idea. The hike was mostly up hill (at least going back would be easy) with the last part of the trail following the edge of the hill as you climbed to the top. There it was — Delicate Arch and about two hundred people sitting and milling about waiting for the sun to set. The rock turned a warm golden colour as the sun set — nice but not spectacular.
A Dinosaur foot print a standard business card is to the right for size comparison (about 22" overall length)
Petroglyphs along potash road
The Corona arch
The bowtie arch
The delicate arch at sunset
On the way to the Corona arch we passed over this railroad track, would not like to meet a train in there
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
More Canyons, More Arches
Down the road from the state park is the much larger Canyonland National Park. This park is divided into 3 sections and we visited the one called Island in the Sky. The “island” is joined to the rest of the land by a narrow “neck” of land. The views of the canyons are beautiful, you can see the Colorado River and from one point the Green River. The most interesting spot in the park was a place called Upheaval Dome — white / grey rocks were pushed up from underneath forming a dome (the top of the dome has eroded into a bit of bowl) — a real contrast to the red walls around it.
The map showed an alternate route back to Moab and after checking with a ranger and learning that they recommended a four wheel vehicle with high ground clearance (our truck is four wheel drive with reasonably high clearance) we decided to take it. The first section of “the road” involved driving down from the high plateau. The road was very narrow, had sharp hairpin turns, was extremely steep and had a surface composed of broken rocks, some bits of gravel and sand as well as some deep ruts and washouts. Of course there were 2 vehicles coming up the hill while we were going down — we saw them a couple of hairpin turns ahead so we stopped when we reached one of the few wider section of road and let them pass. Driving in the bottom of the canyon was breathtaking. It’s one thing to look down into the canyon but it’s a totally different feeling to look up at the walls and rocks. At one point we looked across the valley and saw a Hummer sitting on the plateau overlooking the Colorado River — it reminded me of a TV commercial.
the Canyon below dead horse point
A mule deer buck alone a park road side
The famous two headed mule deer
A view down into the canyon and a very interesting road
Same road, going across bottom of canyon and to the potash salt drying lakes in the distance
That road again
No one said this was going to be an easy road to drive on, let alone meeting anyone
Part way down, the view is great
At the bottom, and the river
The Potash salt drying lake at the bottom of the canyon makes a nice reflecting pond
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Arches, Arches Every Where
note: I got a bit carried away on the photos.. sorry but there was so many
our trailer park
more of arches NP
Balanced Rock at Arches NP
The Double Arch at Arches NP
Frances climbing the rocks in the Double Arch
The Turret Arch at Arches NP
The Skyline Arch
close up view of tops of the rock formations at the Fiery Furnace
Fins near Skyline arch
The Sand Dune Arch
Near Sand Dune Arch
The Broken Arch from a distance
The largest of the arches, the Landscape Arch drops a large section of rock in 1991, resulting in the NPS closing the trail under the arch to hikers
Walking along the top of fin with a very deep canyon to the right
The Double O Arch
Scaling the slick rock
No one said this was an easy hike
a view of the valley from the Partition Arch
the final one of the day... The Navajo Arch
Monday, October 17, 2005
Canyons, Canyons Every Where
After we settled at the campground (we have full services and internet access), Ed and I drove around. I don’t know if it’s just because we haven’t seen canyons like this in our travels so far but the scenery here is spectacular. The rock is very red and the formations are amazing.
Interstate highway in Utah
a castle outcroping in Utah
The colorado river at Moab
an arch in the Entrada sandstone along the edge of the Colorado river
about 20 miles north of Moab on the Colorado river the valley increases in size
"Castle Rock" near the Colorado river
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Where are we?
After all the driving through the different states the popular question for the day was “Where are we?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Titanium Trailers are Getting More Plentiful
On the road in Montana
Near a fuel stop in Montana just north of the Idaho boarder
Need some beer??
Friday, October 14, 2005
On the Road Again
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Off to Lardeau
Today we headed for Lardeau — the town (there’s about 20 homes there and not much else) where Rick and Bonnie own a lot and are planning on building a log home (the house in Boswell has been sold and closes at the end of the month). The trip included driving 30 kms to the ferry, 35 minutes on the ferry, and then driving 60 kms to Lardeau. All this and we are still on Kotenay Lake just on the other side at the other end! Rick and Bonnie currently have a travel trailer sitting on the lot and we had hoped that the 2 fifth wheel trailers would fit as well. Unfortunately, Ed didn’t think the spot set aside for us would work very well (not flat enough — most of the lot is on a slope) so we drove down the road about 5 km and parked in a very nice provincial park. As it turned out, after October 1st it was free to stay in the park — now that was a nice surprise. It wasn’t very busy so we got a lakeside site with an absolutely fantastic view.
Over the next couple of days we drove around the area checking out the sites that included a hydro dam, a fish spawning area, the town of Nelson and one of the muddiest roads I have ever seen — Ed didn’t argue when I suggested we turn around.
Kootenay Lake from the lost ledge Provincial park looking south
Kootenay lake from the park looking north
Kootenay lake at Kaslo
At Ricks and Bonnies trailer
a duck on Duncan lake just north of Kootenay lake
fish spawning near Duncan lake
Sunday, October 09, 2005
The Werners celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday the 9th with a nice crowd — Rick and Bonnie’s three children and their other halves, one grandchild, another couple from Ontario (Rob and Cathy), Colin, Margaret, Ed and myself. Bonnie prepared a very nice dinner while Margaret and I made the yummy deserts including pumpkin tarts, butter tarts, chocolate brownies and blackberry crisp. Monday’s breakfast was also very good — left over deserts! The rest of the day was spent relaxing (and recovering from eating too much the day before).
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Back to in the Boonies
We’re back in Boswell and doing what you do in the boonies — not a lot. I read a book, took Zaph for a long walk, cleaned and rearranged cupboards in the trailer (well it was raining and they needed rearranging!), I drove to Creston and did laundry (Ed let me take the truck with Zaph as co-pilot). Ed read some magazines, fixed a few problems with the trailer, drove to Creston with Colin to do internet and help Colin buy some electrical stuff, as well as going with Rick and Colin to Rick’s new building lot on the other side and other end of the lake. It amazing the things you can find to do.
The Osprey 2000 - the ferry that cross Kotenay Lake.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
It’s Cold Out There!
Zaph's first motel stay.
An oil well.
Intersting fence post toppers.
Zaph found some snow to play in.
Zaph, me and the Titan 33-19
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Snow in October!
near Crowsnest Pass
Windvane near Crowsnest Pass