Good day for a drive …. Not!

Today’s drive was CARappy to say the least. The sky opened up on us all day today; at times it was the veritable 40 days and 40 nights type of rain. The good news is it washed the 7 weeks of dead bugs off of the Tulle and hood of the car. Then there was the fog. Basically, we were driving in the clouds. There were times that I could only see the yellow line on the road and nothing else. This went on for almost half the drive, about 128 miles. Once we dropped into the valley we were out of the clouds and the rain eased off.

Well our time is coming to an end, shortly. What am I to do?

Oh yeah, we had a small fawn cross the road in front of us. It was a real awwww moment. A turtle also ran across the road. They can move pretty quickly when they want, I couldn’t catch him. 😉

Mahgrit doesn’t like blue grass

You’ll read in Mahgrit’s post today all about our day. What she didn’t say was that a couple days ago as we were starting the Blue Ridge Pky. there was a poster about blue grass music. I pointed it out and Mahgrit said she didn’t particularly like blue grass. We happened into the concert today purely by happenstance and she was doing the old toe tapping thing. On the way out we bought a cd of the group. As we hit the road again, she popped the cd in and said ” this the music for this road” . We listened to blue grass music for the next three hours.

Oh yeah, we only bought one cd. 😉

Today , the road less windy

Today’s drive was a continuation along the Blue Ridge Pkwy. It was a great drive and the road was less windy. There were still lots of curves but less switchbacks and corkscrews. The one thing that was very interesting was all the rhododendrons along the road. We missed peak bloom time but there were still lots of flowers. There were a few places where the road was bordered on both sides for hundreds of yards with huge rhododendron bushes. There were waterfalls along the way but they were not gushing down the mountainside, only trickling. They start to gush after heavy rains and we have not ad any here ….yet.

Tomorrow is another 150 or so miles on the parkway up to Roanoke Va.

It’s been awhile but, I’m back

I’ve been off line for awhile but, that doesn’t mean I am not having a good time.

Had a couple of hard drive days going from Colorado to Kentucky that were not very interesting or fun but, the rest of the trip is still going great.

As Mahgrit stated, we decided to skip South Dakota and swung south to see more of Colorado. We went over the Rocky Mountain National Park, which had only opened the week before. I was there many, many years ago but could not go over it because it was still closed at the time. The views were simply awesome. Once again, Mahgrit had some trouble with the heights. We were up at 11 to 12 thousand feet in elevation a couple of times. The temperatures vacillated between 47 degrees at altitude and high 70s to low 80s down in the valleys. There was still a lot of snow on the ground and the snow removal equipment was still handy at the top.

After we left there we booked across eastern Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and part of Indiana on the way to Kentucky. We spent a few fun says with Mahgrit’s old friends. It is interesting, I read somewhere, that real friends may not see each other for years at a time but when they get together it is like no time has passed at all. This was our visit to Mahgrit’s friends. It was like they all got together just the day before. Raise a drink to good friends.

We are now on the backside of our adventure. We followed the bourbon trail south into Tennessee, a great ride with interesting distilleries along the way. Today we went through the Smokie Mountains and began to follow the Blue Ridge Parkway. WOW!!! These mountains are not as high as the Rockies but WOW!!! This is the most winding road I ever drove on. There was not a stretch of road that ran straight for more than a few hundred yards. Curves, after curves followed by switchback after switchback, followed by corkscrew turns and even a complete circle turn ( the road went through a tunnel and then over the top, cool). There were hundreds of motorcycle riders. This is a paradise for them.

There were lots of people at the turnouts but we saw very few as we drove. All in all a great ride. I love driving on roads with little or in some cases no traffic.

We are heading north and trying to figure out how to stretch this trip out as long as possible. But, sigh, it is coming to an end shortly.

Wyoming … WOW!!!

Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, moose, deer, elk, herds of bison, geese, freakin’ huge ravens, snow, Jackson Lake, Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Prismatic Spring, steam vents, Jenny Lee Lake, Lewis Lake, dude ranches, waterfalls, beautiful vistas, great food, great lodgings, fantastic weather, and of course fabulous company.

How much more is a guy supposed to take?

Made it … Finally, yea Wyoming

Almost 10 hours of driving today. We decided to do a heads down motor to get to Jackson Wy. Today and then spend a couple of days here. I’m toast right now.

It was a long drive but once again a pretty one. As we motored north we kept to the road lesser traveled with only a couple stints of highway. This made the trip longer but as usual, better. The landscape changed as we went further north. Through northern Utah, there were many farms and ranches in the lush valleys. When we got to Wyoming, holy cow ( no pun intended) the ranches turned into huge cattle ranges with hundreds and hundreds of cattle. These ranches are in the 10s of thousands of acres. This is not to mention the free range areas. During today’s drive we saw thousands of head of cattle.

Going through Park City, Utah we could see up in the mountains all the ski chalets of the rich and famous. It’s amazing how much money was there. Of course those were the ones we could see. I can only imagine what the really secluded, private ones look like.

Well, as usual, look at Mahgrit’s post with all the pictures. We are over 2,500 pictures right now. There are a lot of duplicates but we will take care of them before you come for a few days to see them ;-).

Wandering north towards Wyoming

Left Bryce this morning, heading towards Yellowstone. As per usual, we took the road less traveled, through Escalante. Once again the scenery was fantastic. It seems everywhere we go, we see nothing but fabulous ever changing scenery. None is really more beautiful than the other but it is just different.

We stopped to talk to the ranger as we went into Kodachrome State Park. He told us that the trip through Escalante would be great. He didn’t lie. As I said we took the back way and went right through the middle of Escalante National Monument. We were up and down constantly from about 5,000 feet to a high of 9,900 feet in elevation. All the while driving through fantastic colors on the mesas. We went across the summit of one Mesa on a two lane road with no shoulder and a sheer drop on both sides of the road. Mahgrit had a problem with this section of the drive. She could not look out the window and had to look at the floor. Also, as we were going up and down the mountains, the temperature changed up and down by about 30 degrees, cold up on the Mesa and hot down in the valley.

The valleys went from scrub brush to lush, grassy green the further north we went. We began to see larger and larger herds of cattle on the pastures until we came across one pasture where we could not count the cattle because there were so many.

Tomorrow is a push day. We will be doing some heavy driving because we want to get to Yellowstone before the weekend craziness.

Bryce Canyon

Had too much trouble with the network here so I didn’t post.

Iiiimmmm back.

As you already know, from Mahgrit’s post, we had a great drive yesterday, finding spots we never knew existed. The little turn off through the Dixie National Forest was a beautiful and relaxing drive. Ya, relaxing, like we are so stressed out. 😉

The landscape here in Utah once again is different. Not more or less beautiful but just different. It is obvious there is more water available here. Green valleys and cattle farms are more prevalent here.

Bryce Canyon is a sight almost beyond description. Multicolored monuments to nature cut and shaped by water. Just like the Grand Canyon and Zion, Bryce needs to be seen to be appreciated.

The pictures on Mahgrit’s postattempt to reflect what we have seen. And, what have we seen; an elk ranch, a bison ranch, mule deer, prong horn deer, a mountain goat, all close up and personal.

Today at Bryce, we climbed up to 9,300 feet ( well really drove most of the way and walked up the last few hundred. No, really we did some serious up hill walking. At this altitude it was kind of walk three steps, puff, walk three steps, pant, etc.

Tomorrow it is off to Escalante.

What a day

We left Flagstaff this morning and headed towards Zion. We hit some traffic getting out of town but after 20 or 30 miles we settled into our usual road less traveled and motored along. The scenery was fantastic. As we rolled along it kept changing. It can’t get any better than this; or can it?

We entered the Painted Desert. Holy cow! The colors are sensational. Each strata of rock in the mesas had a different hue. Mahgrit took tons of pictures and they are great but, this is something you have to see for yourself. Pictures can’t do it justice. We took a detour towards Tuba City because one of our books said this section was the best the desert had to offer. The book didn’t lie. It only got better and better. We saw a hand painted sign saying “dinosaur footprints” , well what the heck, we took the left turn. Guess what? There were real dinosaur footprints embedded in the rock, including the footprint of a small TRex. See Mahgrit’s pictures they are really good. We continued on to Tuba City. Ok little town with a cool trading post. Really nice stuff, not junk.

Left Tuba City and continued on toward Zion. We still had a long way to go. We left the Painted Desert area heading north. It can’t get any better than this. But wait, it does. The landscape continued to change. We went fro 6,000 feet to 8,000 feet to 7,000 etc. we changed altitudes so often that the popping in my ears was so frequent I thought that there was static on the IPad ;-).

We were down in a valley at 4,000 feet running parallel to a huge Mesa for 26 miles. The road made a hairpin turn and we were crossing the Colorado River over a huge gorge. Then we did dozens of switchbacks driving up and out of the valley up to 8,000 feet. Every time we thought the view couldn’t get any better …. It did!

We went from Arizona into Utah. Again there was a subtle change in the landscape every turn more beautiful than the one before. The last part of our journey took us into Zion National Park. Once again the senior park pass got us in for $0.00. How can you beat that. Well once in Zion things took a turn for the unbelievable. It is the most beautiful place I have ever been. We were driving down the road and Mahgrit starts to yell, ” I don’t know where to point the camera” . It was a true conundrum. Where was the best shot? We were surrounded by beauty.

Ok, we got to our hotel, got settled in, fed the girls, and went out to eat. See Mahgrit’s pictures of what we saw as we walked and from the small deck off of our room.

Tomorrow we are going to take a tour so we can both see the sights.

P.S. Did you notice I avoided the word AWESOME. 😉 but, it was.