Thursday, 22 August 2013

218 Zion National Park

Tuesday 20th August 2013-08-21

Miles Today 186 Total  18,133

We sat and ate a proper breakfast for once at the same restaurant as last night. Eggs, sausage bacon etc. Delicious. Then Karen decided to photograph one of the 250 humming birds that frequent the restaurant area. They do this because of the red nectar that is in the jar.
There were dozens of these all over the place These are my favourite little birds.

We then set off towards Zion National Park. It was a 60 odd mile trip with nothing of note on the journey. On arrival at the park the scenery changed dramatically. 

This chap ran across the road in front of us.

Karen looking after Wallace in Zion Nat Park

It was then hot foot to Lake Powell and the small town of Page.  Lake Powell is the largest man made lake in the USA and is a dammed section of the Colorado River, which eventually flows through the Grand Canyon.  Page only exists due to the Dam and as such is a very young town. It was established in 1957 so it is the same age as me. (Well almost)
After finding a motel we went for a walk to get some food and drinks for tomorrow’s trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

(Karen)  I am about Canyoned out, however we still have the grandaddy of them all to go.

We intend to hire a car for the day to give me a break from the bike and give Karen a bit of driving time.
We also booked a trip to Antelope Canyon for Thursday. Unfortunately it is on an Indian reservation and they are getting their own back on the European settlers by only allowing escorted trips to it and hence charging £30 to see it. Although I believe it is worth it. Those of you familiar with Windows 7 screen Aero wallpapers will have seen a picture of it already.

Wednesday 21st August 2013

Miles Today 370 Total  18,503

We set off at around 9am to hire a car from Page Airport about a mile away. We collected a bright red Chevrolet Impala. A very quick car. We left Wallace at the Motel and set off for the North Rim only to come to a detour sign on our route. Apparently an earth quake had taken the road out. The posted detour would have increased the journey from 140 mile up to 230. Doh!
We found a better one at 160 miles and back tracked on yesterday’s journey by 75 miles. There are not that many roads around these parts.
The lake was loosing water at around 2" per day

The journey was pleasant enough until we entered the National Park whereupon thunderstorms set in for the day. Before the rain though, we came across a herd of Bison.

About half of the parks Bison

And a little cute baby one

Then it rained....  heavily.

However, in some respects, it made the Grand Canyon come to life.
 An odd feature of the North Rim of the canyon is that it has a different climate to the south rim only 1 mile away. Firstly, it is a lit higher, about 1200 feet and it has around double the precipitation. For example, the south averages 5 feet of snow a year and the North has 12. As a result, the North is lush forest and the south is desert.
This has its downsides. The lightning effects the forest in the North. It strikes trees at random with devastating results. It is odd to see single devastated trees in amongst live forest. Although we did not quite see the strike, we did see the live aftermath of it:

This tree is on fire having just been struck by lightning

Trees are struck at random and destroyed

In some places, like on high ridges there are lots of them.

Anyway, the canyon. We took loads of photos as the passing storms would allow. The Vid at the bottom of this lot is cool.

We also saw our old friends the vultures...

Hey Flaps, What do you want to do. I dunno, what do you wanna do. Dont start that again. (Jungle Book !)

We also saw loads of deer and a huge squirrel the size of a small cat. It ran across the road in front of us but fortunately we missed it.

This one was stuffed on a wall. We did not run over it honest.It is a Kaibab Squirrel and not to be confused with Squirrel kebab.

As we exited the park we saw a lot of birds of prey but as we have posted many before we did not include them.
Then it was the long wet drive back to Page. Sometimes it’s nice to be in a car
(Karen). I really enjoyed the driving,but I had forgotten what a fidget Ray is, and I had to set side of the car boundaries. Ray says I'm being harsh, you decide!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. love the lighting vid, am jealous of all the storms your getting to see :-(