Archive for category Photo albums
I made a short video of some photos from our trip along the Columbia River. It turned out nice, I think.
(Click on the photo to open in You Tube)
Some of my favorite photos are sunrises and sunsets so I’ve put together a collection of some of them.
← Click on the photo to go to the album.
Cathedral Valley is touted as the highlight of Capitol Reef: it’s the sandstone spires from this area that are featured in most of the travel photos of the park. But you are also warned that it is a challenging drive. Both things are true. The scenery is spectacular and the road is horrible. The route begins with a drive across and IN the Fremont River; a very weird experience for non off-roaders like us.
Once out of the river, we managed a quarter mile or so of deeply rutted, soft sand “road” and drove for a couple of hours on moderately bumpy dirt and gravel. As the route loops over Thousand Lake Mountain the Hartnet Road is very rocky with occasional fallen boulders to avoid and deep washouts to contend with. For almost an hour we barely crept along in the AWD Acura. Back on the Cathedral Valley floor the route becomes Caineville Wash Road which led us past and sometimes right up to several of the Park’s iconic buttes and painted desert landscapes.
The final twenty miles or so traversed magically colored mounds…
… and desolate rocky landscapes …
before we finally exited back onto Highway 24 and signs of civilization. It was an arduous and memorable six-hour tour.
Here are more photos of the Cathedral Valley excursion (37).
After lunching at the Fruita picnic area, we rinsed the Acura in a nearby car wash and drove the 200 miles or so to Ogden where we relaxed with room-service burgers while watching a Nova episode on PBS.
Busy day today…. After a yummy breakfast bagel at Sweet Cravings in Moab we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park. What fabulous views of Canyonlands and the Colorado River.
From there we toured the bizarre formations at Goblin Valley State Park,
a side trip that included a few minutes of black-out conditions in a dust storm.
Here are some additional photos from Goblin Valley (16).
On the way to Capitol Reef we were treated to truly unearthly landscapes along Highway 24 near Hanksville, UT. The day ended with a few miles of preliminary reconnoitering of Capitol Reef in anticipation of tomorrow’s full day tour of the park. Our humble room at the Best Western includes another stunning vista off the back patio:
Today’s destination was the Needles (southeastern) District of Canyonlands. It’s much different from the northern section, offering a perspective from the canyon floor featuring red sandstone spires and vast expanses of desert grub lands. We had a quiet road side lunch of Spanish cheeses, pita bread and fresh berries. Photos of our visit to Needles region (16).
We had not made reservations anywhere for Easter dinner. We took our chances and tried the Desert Bistro in Moab. We were rewarded with a truly scrumptious meal.
Sept. 27 – Tuesday – Medford, OR to Mariposa, CA
Today turned out to be a little longer than planned. After leaving Medford at 8:15 we made such good time that we decided to take a side trip off I-5 to Lassen Volcanic National Park, east of Redding, CA. This gave us a chance to check off another National Park in our quest to visit them all. Lassen was beautiful and fascinating but it did add a few hours and quite a few miles (564 for the day) to our day and we didn’t arrive in Mariposa until 7:30. We stayed at a well-worn Best Western motel and ended up getting take-out pizza for dinner from the local Pizza Factory. The highlight of the day was probably enjoying a quiet lunch at this impossibly blue mountain lake in Lassen.
Here are just 6 photos of Lassen.
We had a great time. Going early in the season turned out to be a good choice. We encountered tour buses and school groups only at Old Faithful and the only wildlife traffic jam was for the mother bear and the cubs on our last day in the park. At times, ours was the only car on the road. A few side roads were still closed as was the route through Dunraven Pass and Mt. Washburn, the highest drivable destinations. We were fortunate weather wise. Other than a thirty-minute shower on the 18th, we had dry conditions and temperatures mostly in the 60s. So we will continue our off-season travel schedule. It was so pleasant having so much of the space to ourselves with the option to slow down and pull over whenever we wanted. Photos….
- Here are twenty-four of the Grand Tetons National Park-Jackson, WY area.
- And seventy-nine of Yellowstone National Park.
We were surprised at the mostly dated or simplistic accommodations and dining options in West Yellowstone and Gardiner. I guess you don’t travel to Yellowstone for an upscale hotel experience. Before the next trip we’re going to get some really good binoculars to enhance wildlife viewing. I also learned to always, always have the camera at hand. I missed our only chance to get a photo of a wolf and a bison strolling through a supermarket parking lot because I left the camera in the car. And I’m very tempted to get a much more powerful telephoto lens as well.