Friday, May 26, 2017

Wiregrass and Wild Orchids

Two more hikes while at Lone Rock Beach

1.  Wiregrass

While we were at Lone Rock, there were lots of different hikes scheduled.  One of the hikes I chose was called Wiregrass, it was offered as an easy hike.  It was fun when we started out - lots of climbing up and down rocks, and pretty flowers along the way.


Some of us only hiked part of the way.  Our leader (who knew the way) and another hiker got ahead of us, but we were able to catch up.

Then they headed over to this canyon and descended to the bottom and were in the wash before we could get to the rim to see which way they took to get down.

Four of us just stood there, looking at them down in the canyon and at each other.  We were yelling down, asking: Which way did you go?  I don't know if they heard us, but we didn't get a response.  I didn’t take a photo from the edge, but it was deep and I didn't see any way down! Finally one of us said, “I’m not going down there.”  Whew!  (I was thinking, "I'm not breaking a leg!")  We agreed to head back to the car and go to another hiking location on our own.  We yelled down that we were heading back, and they continued on with their hike.  Luckily we had two cars.  

This hike is listed on the National Park Service website as a moderate hike, but up until we turned back, it was easy with only a few places where we had to scramble, which I think made the portion we did more fun.  Maybe next time I'll go further and climb down into the canyon wash.  😉

As we walked back to the car I got more shots of the beautiful scenery.  I'm sure the men who went on with the hike got some great photos that we missed.  But I'm usually pretty risk-adverse, and this looked a bit risky for me at this point.

We all jumped in the car and headed to Hanging Garden.  This was one of the hikes that I especially wanted to take, so I was glad we all agreed to head over there.

"Wiregrass Canyon
From Page, drive north on Hwy 89 approximately 12 miles (19 km) to Big Water, Utah. Between mile posts 7 and 8 (at the Big Water Visitor’s Center), turn right (away from the VC). Turn right again 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from the junction of Hwy 89 - there is a sign at this intersection which reads “Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area – State Highway 12”. Drive 4.6 miles (7.5 km) to “Wiregrass Canyon Back Country Use Area.” Park in the pullout provided. Sandy wash, requires some scrambling and detours - look for rock cairns to lead you out.
6.0 miles (9.7km) round-trip
Moderate"     --From National Park Service Website 


2.  Hanging Garden 

This was an easy trail lined with rocks:
Hanging Gardens walk 2 
There were some beautiful pink cactus flowers along the way:
Hanging Gardens walk 1
The red rock surrounded us on all sides.
Hanging Gardens walk 3
Hanging Gardens walk 4
Hanging Gardens walk 5
Hanging Gardens walk 6
I’m not sure I’ve seen this flowering bush before, it was lacy and pretty:
Hanging Gardens walk 7
The other two women, Diana and Rose, walked on ahead,
Hanging Gardens walk 8 
and Bob and I slowed down to take some photos.

The Hanging Garden has both helleborine orchids and maidenhair fern living on the wall:
Hanging Gardens walk 9
It’s not large, but the fern area is taller than it looks in the above photo, way over my head. I had to reach up with my camera to get the overhead shots close up.  It's really beautiful.  The underneath protected part of this huge red rock has wild maidenhair ferns and helleborine orchids growing out of it. 
Hanging Gardens walk 10
Close-up of one of the orchids growing out of the ferns.
Hanging Gardens walk 12
Hanging Gardens walk 13
A little bit of fern growing from the overhanging rock ceiling:
Hanging Gardens walk 15
Hanging Gardens walk 14
We looked around, took in the area, snapped some pictures then headed back to the trail head.

"Hanging Garden
Turn off is one quarter mile (.4km) east of Glen Canyon Bridge (the opposite side from Carl Hayden Visitor Center) on Hwy 89. Trailhead parking is 500 yards (455m) off of Hwy 89. This hike leads you to a luxuriant Hanging Garden on the mesa top high above the Colorado River and Lake Powell.
Securely hidden by Jurassic Navajo sandstone, this seep spring quickly takes hostage every drop of rainwater it can absorb. Slowly it liberates this water over time to create a surprisingly lush plant and animal habitat that delights and surprises those who discover it.
The desert is astonishingly subtle and delicate. If you walk quietly, you will see and hear more. It can refresh observations and awaken inactive senses with each step you take.
1 mile (1.6km) round-trip   Easy to Moderate"     --From National Park Service Website

Looking out from the Hanging Garden - isn’t this beautiful?
 As we got  closer to the trailhead, we could see a boat in the water below.Hanging Gardens walk 16
Sure turned out to be a nice day!
From Me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  😎😊🤔🙄😨😉

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Antelope Canyon X

I’ve heard about and seen photos of Antelope Canyon, you probably have, too.  There’s Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon.  They are slot canyons and absolutely gorgeous from the photos I've seen.  Some day I’d like to see both in person.  But this time, since a lot of the WINs had visited both of those canyons before, they wanted to see the new one – Antelope Canyon X.  I decided I wanted to see that one, too.

It wasn’t far from Lone Rock Beach where we were camped.  We had reservations for a morning hike with a guide, and off we went.  I’m putting a link at the bottom of this post that you can click on to see all the information about getting there, cost, the different canyons, etc.  I don't think Canyon X is on it, though.  Just Upper and Lower.

Anyway, here are the best photos I took of this excursion.  The first group photo wasn’t mine.  I think it’s the one the guide took for us that was on the WINs FB page.  That's me in the white shirt.  🙃

Canyon X on Navajo Land in Arizona 5-4-17 - from WIN FB page
There were two slot canyon areas in Canyon X.  We walked through the first canyon and then retraced our steps and walked through the second one.  Everywhere I looked I wanted to get a photo.  The colors and shapes were gorgeous.  As the sun crossed through the sky over the canyon, people who toured before and after our group probably saw the canyon in different lights and shadows.
Rock formation X Canyon 1 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 2 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 3 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 4 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 5 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 6 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 7 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 8 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 20 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon 21 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon8 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon9. Indian face profileJPG [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon10 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon11 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon12 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon13 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon14 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon15 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon16 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon17 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon18 [800x600]Rock formation X Canyon19 [800x600]
I would recommend this hike for sure, and if I’m back in that area again, I’d like to visit Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, too. 

Click on this link for some good information about Antelope Canyon:  Things to Know about Visiting and Photographing Antelope Canyon 
From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  💕😊

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Onward and upward - Lone Rock Beach and Horseshoe Bend - heading to Utah

At the beginning of May I joined the WINs, (Wandering Individuals Network, An RV Singles Travel Club.)  They had been in Cottonwood while I was there and I sat in on some of their afternoon "circle" meetings where they talk about what they did that day and events planned for the next day. 
I have been thinking of joining for a couple of years, visited a few times as a guest and finally decided to join to see if I liked traveling with a group.  They have different "circuits" and members travel together for the entire circuit, or come and go, visit the locations they want, and wander off to see other things for a while.  No obligation, of course, and you can pick and choose which trips appeal to you during the year.  Some people are full-timers, others are part-timers.
The first place I went as a member was Lone Rock Beach in Utah, right over the border from Page, Arizona.  It's a National Park and we had to pay to camp there, but it's only $14 a night - and with the America the Beautiful Senior Pass, it's reduced to $7 a night.  You can camp in the dunes, on the beach, or up on harder packed  ground overlooking the beach.
Here's Lone Rock:
IMG_0004 [800x600]
From the National Park Service website:  No designated campsites. Open fires permitted, must be within four foot squared area. Quiet time 10pm-6am. 4 micro flush toilets, 6 vault toilets, 1 comfort station/wheelchair accessible, outdoor cold shower, Off Road Vehicle area, dump station, potable water (seasonal), and day use area. No launch ramp.  No reservations.
Below is a picture of the view out my window.  It was really pretty at sunset.
IMG_0002 [800x600]
On cloudy days, the colors were completely different:
Lone Rock on a cloudy morning [800x600]
A large boat pulled in and tied up on the beach in front of where we were sand-camping.
IMG_0101 [800x600]
Here's the same view of the boat and Lone Rock in the morning, with kayakers between them.  Shows the size of both the boat and the rock, and the morning colors: bright, clear and peaceful.
Lone Rock Large Boat and Kayakers [800x600]
Check this website for more information on Lone Rock Beach. 
The weather was perfect for a few days, then LOTS of wind, and then a little rain.  Very changeable.  On the windy day it was very hot, and the wind blew all day, with HUGE gusts of sandy wind that rocked The Palms on and off all day.  Some of the WINs took off in the morning to do some inside sightseeing and be out of the wind, some moved up to the harder packed overlook location and the rest of us just hunkered down inside with our doors and windows shut tight and our air conditioners on.  It was a weird day.  One of the men who left his RV for the day said that he left some windows open, totally forgot to close them, and he had inches of sand over everything inside his Class A motor home.  He's probably still finding piles of sand to sweep away.  I did pretty well, The Palms seems to be pretty air tight, so far dirt or sand in a windstorm or water in a driving rain doesn't get in if everything is shut tight. Thank you, Forest River!
While at Lone Rock, the group had lots of activities scheduled, as they always do, lots of hikes, sightseeing, restaurants, etc., and one of things I chose to do was visit Horseshoe Bend.  I've seen photos of it, and thought it would be fun to post my own pictures.  
It was close to where we were camped and such a beautiful day!  Lots and lots of people there, too. Here are a couple of the shots I took - I think this one is the best:
Horseshoe Bend 3 [800x600]
There was a short sandy hill to climb and when we got to the top, this is what we saw - a long gradual sandy trek down to the overlook of Horseshoe Bend.  We could see people lining the overlook from one side to the other.   We started down and joined the crowd.  Of course as we were walking I was thinking, Sure hope I make it back up!  Turns out I'm in better shape than I thought.
Horseshoe Bend - Looking down toward Horseshoe Bend in the canyon [800x600]
See the feet of the man standing close to the ledge in the photo below?  I thought these people were taking a risk, but I have to admit, I went pretty close and leaned a bit to get that first horseshoe shot without the side rocks in the way.  It feels much safer than it looks, but people do fall over into Horseshoe Bend.
IMG_0209 [800x600]
I had to get a photo of this girl - she was on a ledge in front of that rock - pretty darn close to the edge as her friends were taking her photo:

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Horseshoe Bend 7 [800x600]
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Lots of red rock here, just like at Sedona.
Here's a picture of the people we passed on our way back up to the top and over and down to the car.  If you look closely, you'll see a line of people starting with the ones you can easily see, then behind them, curving around and then back to the right. About 2/3 of the way across the skyline is a structure, and to the right you can almost see people cresting the hill.  Coming back up was quite a trek, but we made it.  Then we continued on down the sandy path to the parking lot.
Horseshoe Bend - Looking back up to the top of the hill on the way back to the car [800x600]
It was a great day; I was really glad I went.

From me and Katie, have a nice day, everybody!  Smile Surprised smile Disappointed smile Camera Rolling on the floor laughing