BRYCE CANYON

Utah- March 2017

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Talk about an amazing canyon! The crazy towering rock sculptures, called hoodoos, left us speechless. It looked like a spear made of rock was pushed out through the center of earth. The elevation of Bryce canyon is between 8,000-9,000ft. So as you can imagine, in the beginning of March , it was still pretty snowy. During the day the temperature wasn’t to bad though.

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We were having a good laugh at how we started our day in Grand Staircase, topless at noon, and in the snowy canyon of Bryce by the evening. It its pretty crazy to go from such different climates. A lot of our travels in Utah have been that way so far. We once overheard someone talking about how it takes ten years for a person to climatize to cold weather. Hilarious, I know, but that has been our inside joke every since we heard it. Now we joke that we are never going to be able to climatize with all the different climates we experience in a single day.

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Bryce canyon was a short stop for us because of the snow. We really couldn’t do any of the hikes. When we stopped at the visitor center and asked what hikes were accessible this time of year the ranger told me, “ Honey, do you have any type of cleats for your shoes? Because it is really icy right now.” He recommended one hike that we could do. Of course, as we usually do, we did what we wanted anyway. There was a spot called Mossy Cave that we really wanted to check out. It was actually before the park entrance but still part of the canyon.

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This hike was gorgeous. James talked me into hiking up to a spot that had holes in the rocks to take a picture. It was such a steep hike. Coming down was a bitch, but I made it! There was only one spot on the trail that was a little icy and we were glad we had our hiking poles. Once we got to the cave we were astonished at how awesome it was. It was not mossy, but icy. There were huge icicles hanging down from the cave and also “growing” up from the bottom. You could hear a consistent plop, plop, plop as water dripped into a puddle that had formed.

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Bryce canyon was unlike anything we have ever seen. We had no idea a place like this existed. It truly is amazing. It made me think we were on a different planet. And the color of this canyon had so many variations of orange. The touch of snow on the rocks made it that much more beautiful.

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GRAND STAIRCASE NATIONAL MONUMENT

DINOSAUR TRACKS
Utah- March 2017

 

The weather was really cooperating with us today. You can tell that Spring is on the verge of breaking through. I’m not going to lie, I had expectations for this spot. I really thought we were going to come across some giant T-Rex track! Sadly that wasn’t the case, but it was still cool.

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We drove down a dirt road, for what seems like a lifetime, trying to figure out the correct turn. This spot was on the little map we had but it was not marked at all after we got on the dirt road. After taking a right on the first dirt road we traveled about five more miles down another dirt road and finally decided to stop and do a little drone investigating because the road was starting to get a little hairy and wet. The drone helped us decide that we weren’t on the right track. James maneuvered the van in reverse for a long way before he found a decent stop to turn around. On the way back out we see another dirt road turn off that was only about two miles in. Guess what? That was the road we needed.

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So we turn down that road and find a tiny, crappy sign that marks the dinosaur track spot. It also only stated that they were on top of the rocks straight in front of us. It took a little scrambling up the rock face to get to the top. Xander is really getting good at this! Once up top, we wandered around wondering how we were supposed to find these tracks. Looking back where we had already walked I finally saw them. It took looking at the big picture instead of trying to see one track. You could see the actual path of tracks. After we figured that out we saw tons of tracks all over. Crazy how tracks that old can still be seen in the rock. Why haven’t they eroded like all other rocks over time?

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The weather was go nice that we took our shirts off for the short walk back to the van. We enjoyed soaking up the sun and having some lunch outside. The sun felt so good on our skin. It was warming our bones.

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We had a great time trying to find the dinosaur tracks. Wrong turns aren’t always wrong! We even found a cow with some pretty funny markings, it looked like she had a mustache. Finding the tracks was a great walk thru time (even though it wasn’t T-Rex).

GRAND STAIRCASE

Calf Creek- Bolder, UT
February 2017

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This National Monument is huge. There is one highway that cuts through the north part of it. We didn’t get a chance to do much research on where we wanted to go in this monument. We didn’t have any cell service for a couple days before we came here. There also wasn’t any kind of visitor center either. So we had to wing it! This monument defiantly required more time. It seemed like a lot of it was driving on dirt roads and doing long hikes.
Our first stop was Lower Calf Creek Falls. This was a beautiful small waterfall. The hike was six miles round trip. James decided not to do this hike. I really wanted to see the falls so I went on without him. I was really upset with him for not going, but looking back I shouldn’t have been. Its ok to opt out and just chill, plus he has to be careful of his knee. He took this time to do a few errands on the van and then he just enjoyed the time to himself. He laid down on a bridge that had Calf Creek running under it and dozed off for awhile. I’m glad he enjoyed his time.

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Meanwhile Xander and I forged on to the waterfall. This trail was easy but sandy. I kept Xander on leash most of the time because the trail was narrow and I wasn’t sure how many people we might run into. As you all know by now, Xander is an asshole to people! On the way back I did let him run free for a little while. He had a blast running around like a mad dog in the sand.

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We came across a bird wing on the trail. I’m not sure what kind of bird but it was definitely a bird of prey. Shortly after that I smelled the very distinct and heart stopping smell of a skunk. I kept saying to myself, please no, please no, please no! Good news, we never saw a skunk! Can you imagine James’s reaction if Xander and I both came back smelling like skunk?

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As we got closer to the falls you could hear the load roar of the water plummeting over the rocks into a small pool. The air started to change as well. The temperature dropped a lot and you could feel the moisture in the air. As we got even closer you could feel a light mist on your skin/fur. The waterfall was perfect. It was just Xander and I there. I decided not to torture him by trying to get a selfie with him. I did manage to snap a good picture of him by the fall though. He is really good at dodging pictures. The falls were great but it was getting cold so we headed back “home”.

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On the way back we were almost to the end of the trail when Xander and I heard a noise off to the side of the trail. He immediately barked his big loud bark and I jumped. My heart dropped. I thought we had come across a mountain lion. Turns out it was just another hiker out with her dog! Thank goodness. We both scared each other and had a laugh about it. As we approached the parking lot James said that he was just about to come looking for us. He always has good timing like that. Some how he always knows when I should be finishing. We decided to camp there at the campsite.
There is always something so calming and peaceful about a stream. It was nice camping right there. Although we both wished it was a little warmer so we could sit outside the van and enjoy it even more. While it was hard to find much info on what to do at this monument it was off to a wonderful start. Next up, dinosaur tracks!

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