Lost in the Sonoran desert in Arizona, but delighted to find a stream to follow home.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Spectacular scenery of the American Southwest en route to our grand adventure hiking the Grand Canyon!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Getting out of Wisconsin for a week in February always seems like cheating old man winter, but I didn’t feel bad about bright sunny days, blue skies, and temps in the 80s a couple weeks ago!
Saguaro National Park has two parts with the city of Tucson, Arizona in the middle. The Saguaro cactuses there are striking as they punctuate the arid landscape. Growing up to 70 feet tall and living over 100 years at times, these cacti are worth protecting. Their range is quite small as they only grow in the Sonoran Desert of northern Mexico, southern Arizona and a small area of southeast California. Thanks to the conservation efforts of laws that prevent harming a saguaro, their numbers are not threatened.
Saguaro National Park has fine trails which take you up close to the saguaros and other desert plants like the barrel cactus. It was nice to have utter wilderness just a short distance from the amenities of Tucson.
No, I didn’t miss winter at all for a few days!
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Rainbow Bridge is the crowning glory of the Lake Powell boat tour. A short mile-long walk from the National Park wharf in Bridge Canyon gets you to this natural wonder. It is so much bigger in person than in any picture I’ve seen. That was one surprise.
The other unhappy surprises were that you are not allowed to go anywhere near it because it is a sacred Native American site. Also, I would have really loved to get around the other side of it and see what it looks like from the other view. Also not allowed. Oh well, sometimes with such an impressive sight you have to just take what you can get.
Do you know what the difference is between a bridge and an arch? A bridge is formed by water flowing under it and an arch is formed by shifting earth below causing rock to fall out. So don’t call this an arch!
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In Page, Arizona, at the visitor’s center, we discovered that there is a boat that will take you 100 miles up Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge. We signed up for it for the next day. Early the next morning we sloshed down our breakfast to get to the Wahweap Marina by 7:30 a.m. This was going to take all day, something like 6 or 7 hours so it started early.
It was cold and windy up top of the boat, it was October, afterall. But none of us wanted to go downstairs even though the boat had large windows and a more comfortable temperature down there. These views out in the fresh air, though, were spectacular!
It is amazing to see how Glen Canyon was filled by damming the Colorado River in 1963. It took 11 years for the water to rise and fill up this canyon. Now this body of water serves as a valuable reservoir.
This day it was beautiful to watch the landscape whiz by as we motored through.
We had a side trip too, through a narrow side canyon. That was tricky maneuvering for our captain and, at one point, we did scrape the wall. But it was fun to get into a narrow slot like this.
I didn’t know if I’d like a whole day on a boat and it was pretty tiring. But it was so beautiful, I was glad to see it. It was our last day so we squeezed in more of Antelope Canyon AND Horseshoe Bend as well before hitting the sack.
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It boggles the mind that a creature could have trod so long ago on this very spot! Something with 3 toes! The American southwest is full of delightful surprises like this. It makes me feel small and insignificant in the vast scheme of time. But Christmas reminds me that I am a child of the King of kings. I was important enough for God Himself to step down from His throne to become a human baby; to come to all of us to save us all from our self-made miserable little lives. Merry Christmas and thank you, thank you to my heavenly Father for the best gift of all, Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Traveling with a sister
What joy to slip
Between the slot canyon walls!
Pictures snapping all around
The colors, the lines, the space
We are amazed.
We took on some of the stenuous trails at Arches National Park last month. These involved some scrambling over enormous rocks, balancing on top of very tall ridges, and squeezing through some narrow spots. It was so much fun!
The rewards for our efforts were that we got to see a lot of the arches which are only visible by hiking to them and we escaped a lot of the other visitors. It’s a popular park, easy to get to and full of amazing structures so any time of the year there are quite a few visitors. We were happy that late October had greatly thinned the crowding of summer, but it is still nice to feel you’ve gotten into the wilderness somewhat.
Hiking at Arches was a great warm up for the big Grand Canyon hike we were about to tackle but it was equally awesome in its sights.
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Swift as an antelope
I’d want to be
When the mighty waters
Rush these walls.
How can such utter
Lines of light
Reflect the sun
In surprising ways;
Colors the eyes can’t even see.
Quiet canyon now;
Stop and listen
As the mind searches for sound.
Still silence, moving walls.
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