Archive for April, 2010

Mary, Mary…

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

The rocks abound, They multiply when I’m not around,

I have to pick them from every row.

I rototilled ’til I broke a tine, at least I tilled in a straight line.

It’ll be the prettiest garden to show.

I’m working out in the sun, and I’m having fun,

Now my skin has a rosy glow.

I have to quit this rhyme to make lunch on time,

Or Robert will make me mow!

We’re Back -April 8

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

We arrived yesterday at our friend’s place in Arkansas exactly 364 days since we got here last year! We weren’t trying to make a record, we just couldn’t find a place we wanted to stay or visit along the way between Lake McClellan, TX and here! Remember these scenes?

McClellan Lake, TX -April 6

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

We found Lake McClellan National Recreation Area right where it was last year at this time! It’s not marked on the Atlas we have, but my notes from last year indicate that we stayed here. This year the weather is a lot warmer and drier, but far more windy! We took a nice walk in the just-budding woods on the meandering trails. We saw deer and tracks of wild turkey. We saw a flock of turkeys yesterday and heard them gobbling this morning.

The trees are just beginning to leaf out and show the pastel green of spring.

Mavrik is getting lots of time playing with his Barbi Fishing Pole with a cork tied to the end.

"Don't mess with my Barbi Pole!"

The point of view of the cork!

Canyon del Muerto -April 1

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Today we toured the North Rim Drive, along Canyon del Muerto, the second major canyon that along with Canyon de Chelly makes up the Canyon De Chelly National Monument. We awoke to a snow squall but the sun soon melted most of it.

“Navajo Fortress” rock formation at the confluence of Black Canyon to the right, and Canyon del Muerto on the left, in the shade where snow still lingers. You can see the valley floor is still being cultivated by the Navajo.

“Antelope House” ruins at the base of a huge cliff. The builders were ancient puebloan people who farmed the canyon floor circa 1300 before the Navajo arrived on the scene.

A closer view of Antelope House, named for pictographs painted circa 1830 on the wall to the left of the ruins. For more pictures click here.

Sunshine on distant cliffs and snow on the Chuska Mountains to the north. Time to move on.

Canyon de Chelly -March 31

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

We camped at the convenient but shabby campground at Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de ‘shay’) National Monument in the Navajo Nation. Amenities were scarce at the campground, but the price was right -free! We toured the south rim drive before the wind picked up and dust obscured the view across the canyon.

The “White House Ruin”.

Sacred Spider Rock at the confluence of Monument Canyon and Canyon de Chelly.

Goosenecks and Moki Dugway -March 30

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

That’s Goosenecks State Park, just northwest of Mexican Hat, Utah. And Moki Dugway is the name given to a treacherous 3 mile stretch of Utah 261 between Mexican Hat and north to Natural Bridges National Monument.

Goosenecks State Park presents one of the best examples of entrenched river meanders in the world. Over a linear distance of one and a half miles, the San Juan river flows for more than six miles through the twists of the canyon before joining Lake Powell after about 35 miles.

You had better pay attention to the road hazard warnings at the bottom of Moki Dugway!

We rode our motorcycles up the twisting 5 mph grade, carved on the face of a cliff to the top of the mesa.

On the way down we had views to the valley floor, 1100 feet down in a 3 mile section of road!

Monument Valley

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

No words can do justice;

Moonrise over the Mittens, shadow of one mitten on the other.

Waking up to the sunrise behind the Mittens, view from our window.

Monument Valley -March 28 & 29

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

We explored Monument Valley, in the Navajo Nation Tribal Park, by motorcycle and by foot over a day and a half. We had great weather and a priceless view from the camper window overlooking the ‘Mittens’.

Robert & motorcycle at John Ford’s Point Overlook. Monument Valley may look familiar to fans of John Ford’s westerns. Great stills from those movies can be viewed by clicking here.

Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei 'monuments'.

Artist's Point Overlook.

Robert & Mavrik hiking around West Mitten.

Navajo Bridge -March 28

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Construction on Navajo Bridge was begun in 1927 and completed in 1929, replacing Lee’s Ferry as the safest crossing of the Colorado for 200 miles. There is a great visitors center explaining the history and the newest nearby residents – California Condors! Releases of Condors in the area began in 1996 and they have been roosting on and under Navajo Bridge lately. It’s a great place to see one of the most magnificent and endangered animals in the U.S. Interestingly, the first wild release of Condors was conducted in the Los Padres National Forest near Big Sur on the California coast, very near our favorite ‘wide spot on the road’ camping site, but we’ve never seen them there.

You can walk across the original 1929 bridge. The new vehicle bridge is on the left, with the unique visitor center in between.

Rafters floating under the bridge on their way into the Grand Canyon. This is the last of ‘civilization’ they will see until the foot bridges deep in the Grand Canyon!

An immature Condor roosting on the cliff under the bridge.

Lonely Dell -March 28

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Lonely Dell was the name given to the home and ranch that housed the families that ran the ferry over the years. They were very isolated and needed to grow and raise their own food. With lots of hard work and irrigation from the Paria river they farmed many acres.

Some original buildings from circa 1880.

The orchard is in bloom.

A current resident of Lonely Dell.

A current resident of Lonely Dell.

The Paria river flowing past Lonely Dell.

Old farm equipment, including a water pump on the right.