Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Time to head home

We had hoped to get a few more hiking days in at Zion but the weather and some trailer maintenance  has kept us at the RV Park.  Today we took a drive to Springdale which is a little town just outside the gates of Zion and did a little browsing at the various galleries and gift shops.  Ended up with a nice sample of Utah Sandstone for the mantle back home and had a fabulous lunch at Oscars.  Thanks to Mark and Jan for recommending it.

We aren't quite sure just what route we are going to take home.  Over the next few days there is a weather system going through the Rockies and hauling 13,000 pounds down 7% grades over potentially icy roads doesn't sound like fun.  Temperatures are forecast to be just above freezing with rain and snow.  Took a look at some of the traffic cameras on I70 through the Vail pass today and it wasn't a pretty sight.  The route further north through Evanston, Wy doesn't look much better.  That leaves heading back south to Flagstaff and over to Albuquerque before angling northeast to Winnipeg.  That will add a day onto our trip so we have decided to leave a day early on Thursday morning.  We will decide that morning after looking at the weather and viewing the highway cameras which direction we will head.

Communication may be dicey whatever route we take so this may be it until we get home.  I will do a  recap once we are settled in at home but overall this has been another amazing experience.  We plan to do a little less traveling next year and will spend 4 months in Gold Canyon and see how we like that.  We will probably still take a few weeks to get down to our destination and a few weeks to get home which will allow us to see more of Utahs great National Parks.   We are just a little burned out this year after what will be 11,000 miles and almost 9 months in the trailer.

Oscars Restaurant.  I had the Oscar Burger.
Lots of Garlic with Pastrami on top of a juicy hamburger patti.  Yummm.

The view from the Patio. 

Thats it for now.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A day hiking Zion

Friday morning we headed off to Zion National Park for a day of hiking.  We had been told to get there early as Spring Break is on in full force and with Zion being the second busiest National Park in the US you are never alone on the trails.   We set the alarm for 6:00 but it was dark and very cold, about 2 degrees C.  We hit the snooze button a few times and snuggled deeper under the blankets,  finally emerging from hibernation about 7:30.

We got to the park before 10:00 and still got a good parking spot and got on an almost empty shuttle.  The shuttle has 9 different stops within the park, each one having different trail heads and attractions.  We got off at The Grotto and took the Kayenta trail which took us to the Upper Emerald Pool trail with a combined length of 3 miles and an elevation change of 350 feet.  They are both rated as moderate trails.  We have done lots of walking the past month or so, particularly at Disney, but hiking on trails with even moderate elevation changes left us huffing and puffing a few times.  On the way back we took the Grotto trail along the road to Zion Lodge.  That was a pretty easy walk which had a reward at the end.  A gift shop in the Lodge.  From there we took the Sand Bench Trail along the river to the Court of the Patriarchs  The Sand Bench Trail is primarily a horse trail which meant we had to be extra cautious where we stepped and at times hold our breaths until we passed a recent deposit, if you know what I mean.  Then we took the Shuttle, which by mid afternoon was standing room only, back to the Visitors Centre.

Lori's Fitbit said we did 21,000 steps and 13.5 km.  All things considered we felt pretty good once we were done.  We plan on heading back next week for a few more days on the trails.  One trail we will avoid is Angels Landing which is labeled as Strenuous and after seeing a video of the trail I would say its is absolutely suicidal.  In fact 7 people have died on this trail since 2004.  The final part of the trail involves walking along a narrow ridge, only a few feet wide, to the summit holding on to a chain guide rail with sheer drop offs on both side.  Not my cup of tea.

Saturday we met up with Mark and Jan who were our neighbours in Gold Canyon.  They have just started their full timing life and they have some pretty exciting plans over the next few years to tour America.  We plan to meet up with them again next year at Gold Canyon and may even join them for a few weeks in the summer of 2018 as they traverse the American mid-west.

Now for some shots of Zion.

Over a few million years the Virgin River has cut quite the swath in the rock. 

The Lower, Middle and Upper Emerald Pools are fed by waterfalls like this

Some great lookouts along the trail.
As the day progressed more people joined us on the trail.
At times we felt like it was a race.  Not sure why everyone was in such a hurry. 

The waterfall filling the Upper Emerald Pool.  Quite the drop.

Come back in a few hundred years and those rocks will be turned into sand. 

The Virgin River makes its way through the canyon

The shuttle on its way to the next stop.
We never had to wait more than about 10 minutes for the next shuttle.

Lots of Mule Deer hanging around just off the trail or
walking across the trail right in front of us. 

These two were engaged in a staring contest.

It was hard to get pictures that showed the size of the rock walls of the canyon.
In most case they were so high and so close I'd get dizzy looking up to the top. 

The Lodge would be a pretty nice place to stay.
Right in the middle of the Shuttles route and nature all around. 

At some point this rock split in half.  The sides were very smooth. 

This wild Turkey was on the trail in front of us but hightailed it into
the bush before I could get a shot.  He was huge.
Reminded me of the large turkey legs that they sold at Disney. 

These mountain peaks were named by a Methodist minister in 1916.
From left to right; Abraham Peak, Isaak Peak with Jacob Peak the white
mountain peak at the far right.  Between Isaak and Jacob is Mount Moroni.
Thus the name Court of the Patriarchs.  

Lori took this picture just at the entrance of the park.
Nice effect with the fence and trail running into the hills.

A few more days in Hurricane and then we start back for home.   Hopefully one more report with some more hiking experiences before we head back.  

Till Then

Appliances are installed.

Just got some pictures from our Real Estate Agent with the results after the installation of the appliances.  Everything fit.  I'm just a bit relieved about that.   Lori is real happy with the way the Kitchen turned out and our Agent says that it looks even better in person.  I'm stoked as well although for a different reason.  I got the ok from the boss to blow the budget (actually the budget is so blown already) and sent my request in for a 65" 4K TV.  And yes, size does matter.

By the way.  If anybody in the Winnipeg area is looking to buy new appliances I would highly recommend Bains Appliances.  When we remodelled our kitchen in our last house we searched all around town.  Hit all the usual Big Box and Appliance stores and as our last stop after a frustrating experience at Midland Appliances, talking to yet again another commissioned salesman who knew less than us about their products we popped into Bains and talked to Conrad.   A pretty small, nondescript store but its family owned and they know their products and provided us with the best prices.  This time round we did the same thing.  Went to all the Big Box and Appliance stores and ended up just as frustrated as last time.  You'd think we would have learned.  Talked to Conrad again and again he provided us with the best solutions to what we wanted and for the best price.  He gave us a further $500 off when we agreed to write a cheque rather than pull out the plastic.  We told him we needed to make the purchase now (that was in September) but wouldn't want delivery till March and he said no problem.  They would simply keep the items in their warehouse and deliver when our builder called them.  We got a call from them the other day saying that they were trying to get a hold of our contact at the builder to ensure someone would be at the house when they delivered the appliances.  It was news to us but Bains informed us that our contact person was no longer employed at G&E.  After a few frantic phone calls by us we arranged for our Agent to meet them at the house and take delivery.   Took a few more days for us to receive a new contact for the builder and she is now getting up to speed.  Having a house built from 2000 miles away does come with a few challenges.

Next up some pictures from our first day of hiking in Zion National Park.