Friday, September 18, 2009

Short on words, long on photos

After a much needed long overdue visit we headed back towards the Great Lakes...

actually near THE BIG great lake but this time decided to take a southern route. Once you get past Nevada (sorry) you wander eventually into the canyon areas of Utah etc. Until you go visit any of these canyons you think.. oh I will take just a couple pictures.. that should be plenty. After all it is just rock formations and how many photos can you take after all?

Well folks let me tell you. I took tons.

(you can click on any of these photos to see them bigger if you want...
just hit the back button when you are ready to return to reading)

You have to take a lot of photos because every time the sun drops a little, or rises a little the entire face of the rocks surrounding you changes. You get colors, and shapes, and shades you have never seen on rocks before. It becomes a little like watching the clouds move overhead and trying to make out different animals... vegetables.... minerals....

For a brief period I could even see a shadow off of the rocks above that reminded me of Bugs Bunny in a dress.
David could not see it.

Anyway... I will get back to that.. first..
Hawthorne Nevada.

We stayed at a nice RV park that is noted for having a 'Big flag"... we promised our brother-in-law Jeff that we would be sure to take a picture of it because he and David discussed it and they both were sure that since it was mentioned as a landmark it must be quite a sight.

Well. It was quite a sight.

And then did you know that the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center was in Hawthorne?

Me neither.
But that was probably a good idea... considering the last time I looked at a map it was landlocked. But that sign shows what appears to be water surrounding the state. Must have been in the olden days. Either way... the Navy must have got tired waiting for the tide to come back in over the Sierras so now the Army is in Hawthorne. I guess they are hiding hundreds of not so secretly hidden piles of arms out in the desert there.
Not those kind of arms... these kind:

glad to see those say 'empty' on it...

and check it out! You see those white round things in the background! Those are mines! Kind of like the one that washed into the lagoon at Gilligan's Island!

Watch this! I wonder what this button does...


Nevada is well known for it's interesting commerce.
No folks not the cat houses and gambling casino laundrymats...
I am talking about Fresh Alien Jerky.

Just Kidding... I know it says Alien Fresh Jerky.
I am sure that makes all the difference in the world.
Did not mean to confuse you.

Well, hold tough Nevada-ites. You got your revenge. Along the way out of the state I was tossing out some of Delta's water and the big honkin' spectralite /labradorite / moonstone whatever it was kind of stone got sucked right out of my ring and is lying somewhere on the highway there.

That is what I get for making fun of Nevada.
I'm talkin' Karma my friends.

In any case, we stayed the night in Hawthorne and headed on through Nevada towards Utah.

First on the list of canyons was Snow Canyon State Park in Utah. I have to tell you I think this was right up there being one of my favorites. It is MUCH smaller, much more accessible and it is a stunner! You are driving a long in a fairly nondescript landscape and blammo. You round a corner and there it is.

Then we were going to go to Zion but as the big National Parks now are charging a $25 cover fee... yes $25 to walk through the gate for each park. That is not one of those one time fee things where you can go to a couple different parks if any nearby. It is a one time shot. Sure you can return to THAT park for a few days with your pass but.... well... why? Also, that 25 buckaroos does not include camping fees if camping is even available... so we decided if this was going to be a one park day we would go to Bryce.

And speaking of Bryce Canyon..............

et voila'

and below is a "close up" of a hoodoo.
Hoodoo the voodoo that you do so well.
Well... that is actually phrased 'who do' but you get the idea.

Then on to Newspaper rock for a little prehistoric tagging

and then Canyonlands National Park. I think I took the most pictures of the sunset and sunrise at that park. We had the best spot for a sunset. (Campground A) People on our side of the park just pulled the chairs out to the end of the camp driveways and watched the sun go down on the rock faces, enjoying the change of colors.

It was similar to fireworks... you would expect to hear "oohs and aahhs" but instead people enjoyed the show in near silence just gesturing towards different formations, shadows, and colors... letting nature do the talking.

We split first thing in the morning and headed through Utah
(which I have to tell you in some spots rivals Nevada for... beauty)
and then cut the corner into Colorado and down into New Mexico.
Stopping of course at different spots along the way.

Those Anasazi musta been pretty compact folks.

Then finally onward to our next destination...
Taos, New Mexico.

I liked Taos a lot. The old town... center of town of course is where all the shops are as well as the historical area of town. When I say old this area is like New England old as far as non-native settlements. Apparently, Taos was established as a town/city in about 1615 by those adventurous and rather persistent Spaniards. However, there were pueblos here in the area for who knows exactly how long before that. The streets are very small and close together and the buildings are nearly all adobe. That architecture suits the surroundings well.

Kit Carson's home and a museum is there just off of one of the main streets. Pretty nondescript and was built in the adobe style with a center courtyard for daily living. David has been reading a book about Kit Carson called Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by a man named Hampton Sides so it was apropos that Taos was on the list of places we planned on visiting. David has been to Taos before on a motorcycle trip... or two... but he had a bit more of the history in place during this visit because of the book he is enjoying.

We actually stayed in Taos a couple days and then headed diagonal mostly through the country to da U.P.

The visit in California was great as was our trip home.
We sure miss this rather serious looking fellow though:

Now we get back to the business of selling our house!
Spread the word...
If anyone is looking for a sportsmans/sportswomans family retreat on a lake...
hunting fishing atv snowmobile year round use surrounded by national forests...
we gotcha covered!

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