Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cedar City, Utah

While picking up some groceries in Cedar City yesterday we decided to check out one of the snow capped mountains on the edge of town. We found a mountain road easy enough, but it was closed. There wasn't a gate or anything to stop us so we kept going. The steep windy road had plenty of switchbacks and soon we started to see snow after about 5 miles.

Near the top we found a community of beautiful homes.

End of the line! After 6 miles the road was impassable unless you had a snowmobile.

View of Cedar City from the mountain top.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More Zion Hiking

We didn't know today's hike meant we would have to cross this creek. After 2.5 miles of hiking we had crossed the stream 22 times.

At first crossing the stream was challenging. With some experience, it became easier and we looked forward to each crossing. The Yucca hiking sticks we made in Arizona were indispensable.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zion Park

Tonight we welcome new followers, Doyle & Terri Johnson. We are pleased to share our travels with you and appreciate you following along.

We've both seen photos of water falls like this, but to see and hear the real thing is awesome.

The Virgin River in the lower, wide part of Zion Canyon.

Everything's starting to blossom.

Here's a smaller water fall we hiked to.

Starting to climb under the falls was wet and slippery.

Directly under the falls looking up. Fun and wet!

More spring wild flowers along the canyon trail.

Driving on the left side of the road? A construction zone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vegas to Utah

This evening we welcome new follower, Heather Streaman. We are happy you've joined us and appreciate your support.

While we thoroughly enjoyed Las Vegas, one week was enough for us. Yesterday we left the city noise and hot, hot, hot afternoons behind and headed for a higher altitude and the canyons of Zion. We had hoped to camp in the National Park but found out they are booked solid through September. This was a surprise this early in the season, but I guess anything but the dead of winter is prime time there. To get space there we would have had to make reservations months in advance. This would never work with our impulsive travel-style since we don't have an itinerary or schedule. With a little internet research however, we were able to find a nice spot just a short drive from Zion and Cedar Breaks as well. As is often the case, sometimes things work out better by chance. So, we went from our largest RV park ever (400+ sites, urban) to the smallest (< 20 sites, rural) RV park that we've ever been in. All we now hear at night is a rooster, and this morning it snowed. What a difference 160 miles and 3000 ft. makes.

Coming into Utah we had to go through a 9 mile mountain pass. They need to put a few of these passes in Connecticut. Nothing will break up a monotonous trip like driving a 15 ton vehicle through 9 miles of sweeping curves and steep mountain grades.

The roads in Zion are red, all of 'em!

A Pinyon Jay.

We washed the car and RV in Nevada, so we have to get a pic before we go off on some dirt road and turn it red.

Signs of spring, everywhere.

This is only the Kolob portion of Zion, tomorrow we'll visit the main event.

Here are a couple photos of the rural, farming community where we're parked:

Almost everybody out here has a horse. 'wish I could have a horse.

Our neighbors across the street.

Absolutely gorgeous, isn't it?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hoover Dam

Damn big dam.
The Colorado River below the dam.

Another tidbit of information: The volume of water in Lake Mead would cover all of Connecticut to a depth of 10 feet. Funny, when we visited Death Valley, the park is said to be as big a Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Nice to know little old Connecticut isn't forgotten out here in big sky country.

Lake Mead is more than 100 feet below normal due to a ten year long drought. Lake Mead is literally the life blood to several western states providing municipal water, electricity and water for agriculture.

This is only one bay area of 110 mile long Lake Mead. That's actually two very large marinas on the west side of the lake.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Recycled Percussion Show

We just got back from The Recycled Percussion Show.

I did not upload this photo up-side-down! When the curtain rose the four members of Recycled Percussion were suspended above the stage hanging up-side-down, each playing trash cans, laundry baskets, 5 gallon pails and other recycled stuff.

Part of the show included this construction van when they also made music with step ladders and power tools, including a chain saw.

Before we entered the theater we were given drum sticks and asked to select a recycled item to make music with. Martha chose a small sauce pan while I picked out this cool colander. This show has more audience participation than any other show on earth.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Vegas Strip

'First thing we did is buy an $18, giant Margarita to share while walking the strip. Yep, it's OK to stroll along the sidewalk here with any beverage you like. They even sell beer and Margaritas at McDonalds'.

After the sun sets and the lights come on, WOW!

We felt a little homesick here. 'Wish I could include the screams coming from the roller coaster above, which twists and turns throughout this version of NYC.

Yes, we found Elvis, and his twin brother.

This was nothing to look at until the sun went down; then it was beautiful.

Did we gamble? We threw a few dollars into some slot machines to see how they worked but that was it. It's obvious, at least to me, when I see all these elegant buildings and expensive real estate, the house always wins. It reminds me of the book: Where Are All the Customers' Yachts? by Fred Schwed.

You never know who will beam down to the streets here.

All the casinos offer breakfast. It's said that people who enjoy gambling can loose all sense of time in a casino. I can see why, day or night, they look about the same inside.

The fountain show at The Bellagio was our favorite free show. We went back twice to see other shows with different music.

The Sirens of Treasure Island was another free outdoor show we liked.

You can watch the show here: The Sirens of Treasure Island

The blast of fire that appeared right after this mock ship was fired upon was incredible. Even 100 feet away we could feel the intense heat.

This is the show Martha wanted to see. Maybe if her girlfriends were here I could see that happening. We did buy tickets to see Recycled Percussion at the Tropicana later this evening.