Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Trip in Pictures

Well, it took me forever to upload these pictures. So I am going to start by praying that Blogger doesn't crash on me........amen.

Well, by now you have the overview of our trip,
so I will just try to keep this to narration of the pictures taken by my husband.
If you get bored, just scroll ahead.....isn't that neat?
Not like Grandad's video of his and Grandma's roadtrip.

We flew in to Denver, but then immediately drove to Colorado Springs the next morning and went to "Garden of the Gods".

If you look very carefully,
you can see two rock climbers climbing up this knife-edge rock formation.

The kids climbed high enough for a picture.

Next, we drove across CO heading towards Mesa Verde.
I wanted a picture of the expansive vista.
Really, photography can't capture it.

We decided to make a side-stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison
before going to our hotel in Montrose (a nice little Days Inn run by Sarah Palin).
Good thing. It was Tyler's favorite place.
Most of the other Canyons are bigger but the Black Canyon is DEEP.
The straight drops really emphasize the depth of this canyon.

This is looking across to the other side.
It is amazing that people would farm the tops of these Mesas
(My husband says it's not a Mesa, well, mountaintop.)
Looking out over the tops of the Mesas made me think that it was an entire other civilization. There is such a cavernous (literally) divide between the valley and the top.

Here is Avanell ushering Elise away from the edge,
it was too nerve-wracking, even with the guard rail.

When we arrived at our campsite at Mesa Verde,
I had to make dinner, of course.
drizzle oil in pan,
place tortilla in frypan,
cover with sauce, cheese and pepperoni.

The next day we did tours of several of the cliff dwellings.
We decided that this heavy-set ranger was chosen for Balcony House because it was one of the most difficult to get to and if he could get to it, you sure could.

You had to climb very steep stairs

and crawl through very narrow openings

to get to the dwelling

designed to be virtually unreachable.

Here we are in front of another dwelling called Cliff Palace.
There are hundreds of cliff dwellings in the park and only a few are accessible to tours.

We saw lots of wildlife.
These mule deer bucks were grazing together by the parking lot in Mesa Verde.

And this coyote was looking for a handout IN the parking lot.
We stopped to take his picture and he trotted after the car.

Tyler caught a lizard in Zion.

We saw a herd of bison. I think this was on our trip out of Zion.

Brazen ravens in Bryce

and chipmunks (We did not feed him.
You are not supposed to. This man was just being stupid.)

Tyler tried to make friends.

Elise's favorite was the Stellar's Jay in all the forests.
One was in our Mesa Verde campsite the first morning.
He was loud and unafraid of us.

Steve got a pic of the Kaibab Squirrel.
This squirrel only lives in the Kaibab Forest at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
He said if he had known it was rare to see, he would have tried to get a better picture.

On our way to Lake Powell, we passed through Monument Valley.

We arrived at Lake Powell and drove around the area.
(That is Elise, I think in this little cove.)
The Lake was created by damming the Colorado River, a very deep and awesome lake.

The kids jumped off the cliffs (from a legal height, of course.)

I jumped too.

But mostly I drew.....(will post some sketches later)

and kept an eye on Elise.
Here she is making her way over to Steve and the other kids with me following her.
It looks more treacherous than it was!

Here are brothers in front of the lake (I think this is Lake Powell).

A scenic overlook on way out of the Lake Powell area.
The boys were too close to the edge here.

The kids actually got along pretty well.
Here are the boys being Sports' Announcers commenting on Avanell's jump off the cliff.
The commentary was hilarious.
Wish I could remember it.

Brother and sister stood on the precipice without pushing.
I wasn't here for this, but Steve tells me they were uncomfortably close to the edge
(this was in Grand Canyon).

They even joined in some goofiness together.

And carried a tired sister.

But don't think they're perfect. There was the usual sibling jibes and tiffs.

Elise pitched one when she had to sit in the far-back seat
(after being in the middle seat for over half of the trip.)
She marched to the edge of the parking lot at one scenic overlook and pouted.

She was cute. Poor thing. We laughed.

Next stop, North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Here are the kids outside the lodge.

A short hike from the lodge

to a precipice that overlooks the canyon. I love this picture.
You can see the rain falling on the far off mountains and we could see the lightning too!

We drove to another trail in the park.
We were all a little nervous here as Steve made us pose for this picture on the edge.
At least Elise is sitting down. We kept wanting to look behind us.

Then we hiked in to another location to take pictures of the sunset.
We stood there for an hour or so with some other couples and individuals
(that we didn't know) waiting for the sunset. It was really fun.

After that we drove to Zion National Park. I think Zion was my favorite.
I have less pictures of Zion because Steve did not take his camera
on a trip through the Narrows which took up a whole day.
I do have quite a few sketches though.

Above is a picture of the "Great White Throne" taken from the "Virgin River".
The contrast between the different rock formations and colors in Zion were beautiful.

Here is some mother/son bonding caught on film.
Aidan and I are both drawing in our sketchbooks.

Here's a few of Avanell's pictures in the Narrows.

That's Steve in the foreground.

and the boys.

After Zion was Bryce, not too far away but a dramatically different landscape.

Repetitive forms all over the place.
They are formed by water freezing and melting in the rock over and over again.
It is very cool at night in Bryce.
The temperature dips below freezing over 200 days a year.
It is desert though and so, it gets pretty hot in the day.....
I guess that can really stress a rock into doing funky things.

The kids found a side cave to hang out in.

The hike out of the canyon was brutally steep, especially at 8,000 feet.

Funny, though, Elise did not complain at all. She was a real trooper.

Here is Steve and I in Bryce. Did I mention this was our 20th Anniversary trip?

After Bryce we hightailed it to Denver, but the terrain got more and more interesting!
Change after change! but you will have to wait for my sketches!
For now, a parting photo.
We saw a real cowboy herding cattle across the road.
He was wearing a baseball cap. Steve said he was "all cattle and no hat."

1 comment:

  1. My husband is correcting my timeline. We did not go directly from Gunnison to Mesa Verde - we actually stayed in Montrose (at a Days Inn run by Sarah Palin....well, she looked just like her) overnight before driving to Mesa Verde.

    Also, the top of the Gunnison is not a Mesa - it's just the top of the canyon...but it is way up there!