Gold Canyon, Az

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

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Moab - Arches National Park

Left Zane Grey just before 8:00 and pulled into Spanish Trails RV Park at 4:00 including losing an hour to the day light savings time change crossing from Arizona into Utah.  Lori says that you gain an hour cause the clock jumps ahead and I say you lose an hour cause you never get to use that hour.  We have had that debate for years.  Lori is wrong.  

Spanish Trails was recommended to us by Mark/Jan and its a nice little park but located right next to the highway and our spot is closest to the highway and the front entrance.  Hwy 191 is the only highway for miles and all the traffic comes through here.  Cars, Trucks, RVs, and lots and lots of highway tractors.  And all of them seem to use their exhaust brakes despite a sign telling them not to.  A big sign at the entrance advertises free Wifi.  Guess you get what you pay for cause the wifi is all but non existent at our site.  I have found that the lounge in the office does have a good connection so any posting I do will be done from their big comfy chairs. 

Day 1 we headed through Moab north on 191 about 5 miles to Arches National Park.  Must have been an accident somewhere on the north end of town cause it was stop and go traffic and took us almost an hour to get through town.  

We bought the Annual National America the Beautiful pass for $80. which is good to the end of April, 2020.  We plan on visiting Arches one more day and then on to Canyon Lands which is also a National Park plus we can use it next year so we should get our money’s worth.  Senior US Citizens get to buy the pass for $80 but its a lifetime pass.  Thats up from $10. in past years.  Canadian Government should take note.   

The nice thing about Arches is that the main road traverses the length of the park with pull outs, viewpoints and side roads leading to short hikes and points of interest.  Most of the hikes we went on today were a mile or less in length and most fairly easy to navigate.  2 days should allow us to navigate most of the hiking trails and see most of the viewpoints.  

The scenery is of course amazing.  So many great views packed into a small area and the snow covered peaks of the La Sal Mountains provided great contrast for all the red rock, sand and desert greenery.  

The drive from the visitors centre up into Arches
Looking into the park you can see the snow covered mountains in the distance
This little guy just caught his dinner

Lots of arches
A number of years back my parents were here and had a similar picture taken.
I think the actual arch they were at was the Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.
We hope to get there later this week. 

Same picture with 2 different effects.
Mystic above
Below B&W with a little blue added back into the sky

I left the people in this pic just to show the massive size of the arch.
A double arch. Note the little figures at the base of the arch.
Look like ants

Delicate Arch.  We were some distance away.
It was late in the day and we were too tired
for the 3 mile round trip hike up to the arch. 
A shot from the front of our trailer.
Its a great view out back too.
I will try to get a shot of that in a later post. 

It was a great day and I am looking forward to Day 2 which will be a visit to Dead Horse Point State Park. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Lunch in Cottonwood and another hike.

After the death defying hike of day 2, day 3 was a laundry day and a trip into Cottonwood for lunch.  We stopped into Crema Craft Kitchen & Bar which makes it our 3rd visit.  Quaint little outside patio with great food and cappuccino’s.  

Day 4 it was time for another hike but with Lori’s quad muscle still giving her problems we needed a hike that wouldn’t entail too much climbing.  Given that we had lost our faith in the ratings provided by the various hiking guides we decided to take a hike that we had done previously.  The Bell Rockway and Courthouse Butte pathway provides a series of trails that we had taken before and knew it was easy to navigate with great views.  A $5. Red Rock pass is required and can be purchased at a vending machine at the trailhead.  The trail was as we remembered.  It was about 4 miles and took us about 2 1/2 hours with a stop for lunch on the trail.  

Not a lot of flowers out at this elevations
but these ones were quite showy

It was a cloudy day and these poppies hadn't opened yet.
Still very pretty.
These flowers decided to form a ring around one of the trail markers. 
A striking contrast in colours
We had let Charli go as we navigated down a steep part of the trail.
She got to a wash and took off.
No amount of calling would bring her back.
The smell of fresh horse manure in the wash led her on.  Scrumtous.
One of the side trails

Thats about it for Camp Verde.  Saturday we will be up early for a long drive to Moab, Ut.

Devils Bridge Hike

Day 2 we planned to hike to Devils Bridge just outside Sedona.  So many beautiful hikes in the Sedona area it can be hard to chose. This made the Top 10 list and was said to be a moderate hike.  We started out and it was a beautiful trail.  Wide, easy to navigate with not a lot of elevation change and only 4 miles out and back.  That all changed at the end of the trail.  It was basically straight up with a rock staircase to navigate.  One misstep and it was going to be a very painful bounce down the rocks.  The youngsters on the trial were hopping up the rock steps with no fear.  Us not so much.  

We had Charli with us and at one point I let her go as I didn’t want to get tangled in her leash.  When I got to one of the plateaus there was no Charli to be found.  I wasn’t sure if she had gone up the second tier of the rock ladder or had bounded off the plateau into oblivion.  After calling her for a few minutes she came bounding back through some trees, happy as can be.  

Lori and Charli stayed put as I navigated the second tier.  I’m not sure that was the wise thing to do but I was told we were almost there.  I did get to the top, took some pictures and then it was time for the even more perilous trek down.  Much of that was on my ass, sliding from one rock to another.  A father behind us kept telling his 8 year old to slow down and not rush the old people in front of them.  Ok he didn’t actually say “old people” but I knew what he meant.  We did stop for lunch on the trail and picked a nice quiet spot on some rocks.  Turns out the spot we picked was also the natural route for the bikers, who also use the trail, to climb out of the riverbed up to the level trail above.  We got some nasty looks but we were too tired to care. 

Just the usual views in Sedona.  Ho Hum.
Trails complete with road signs.
The trails are all pretty well marked with rock cairns  

Some hikers make building the cairns a competition
Lori and Charli after ascending the first rock ladder.
Thats as far as they went.  
The view was fantastic.
Devils Bridge.  This is what we risked life and limb to see.
I was surrounded by hikers taking pictures of their partners on the bridge.
I managed to get this shot between people doing silly poses. 

On our way back to the trail head.

That was it for day 2.  It was time to get back to the camp site, open a beer, pour a glass of wine and be thankful we were still alive.  Lori managed to pull a muscle in her leg and days later she is still feeling it.