JULY 2011

August 04, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

JULY 2011

We didn’t see any fireworks on the 4th, but the little town (pop. 200) of Torrey has an annual parade. The kids lined up along the route with plastic bags awaiting the parade and candy the participants would throw to them as they passed by. I thought this parade couldn’t possibly take more than a few minutes, but the whole county must have turned out, as the parade lasted at least half an hour.

4th of July parade in Torrey, Utah

Before we left Torrey, we visited the Diablo Café, a neat little restaurant serving Southwestern cuisine. A pleasant surprise in the tiny town.

Off to Kodachrome Basin State Park, a few miles from Bryce Canyon. The park is located in a box canyon with one way in and one way out. The park has very nice sites and several easy hiking trails, but no cell or internet service. No TV reception either, but fortunately we had satellite. For internet, we had to drive toward Bryce to borrow a WiFi connection or pick up a cell tower, so we were able to catch up every few days.

Kodachrome Basin State Park
Tom hiking on slickrock.
Don't look down.

In addition to the trails in Kodachrome we found some wonderful trails in Bryce. Our last trip to Bryce was long ago and we didn’t get a chance to explore, so this time we spent several days seeing everything we could.

Hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.

Our favorite trail was the Queens/Navajo Combination Loop. Billed as the “World’s Best 3-mile hike!”, it didn’t disappoint. The trail takes you down among the hoodoos and back up through Wall Street.

Walking among the hoodoos on Queens Garden Trail
Hiking up the switchback trail on Wall Street.

The Bryce Lodge, built in 1925, was quite rustic and we couldn’t resist trying the dining room for dinner.

Bryce Canyon Lodge
While hiking the parks for the last two months has been a treat, we were starting to look forward to civilization in Flagstaff. Me, for getting back to the internet, and Tom, for getting away from the bug bites. Every time we hit the trails, he would get eaten up by bugs. We don’t know whether it was sand fleas or no see ’ems, but he evidently had an allergic reaction, because he itched the entire time, to the extent that he had trouble sleeping at night. Adding to his discomfort was the fact that I wasn’t having any problem with the bugs. No justice.
Who says the government doesn't have a sense of humor.
The weather in Flagstaff was quite pleasant, in the 70's. When the temperature started to creep up, the afternoon rains would bring it back to the 70's. Our RV park (Greer's Pine Shadows) bordered some state land with hiking trails. 

My college friend, Karen, drove up from the Phoenix area to meet us for lunch in Sedona, which is southwest of Flagstaff.
Jeanie and Karen in Sedona.
We enjoyed our stay in Flagstaff and got to visit Sunrise Crater and Snowbowl. Sunrise Crater was a surprise. We expected to see an ancient crater, but saw a extensive volcanic field as well. 
Lava field at Sunset Crater National Monument.
Adjacent to Sunset Crater National Monument is
Wupatki National Monument. There you'll find several 800 Year Old Native American ruins.
 800 Yr Old Native American Ruins at Wupatki National Monument.
We drove to Snowbowl, just north of Flagstaff, and found some beautiful views.
View Of More Than 1000 Dormant Volcanoes from Snowbowl.
Have you ever walked through an underground lava tube? We hadn't either, so when we found one, we decided to try it. You enter through a rocky opening and walk through a lava flow. This tube was just under a mile long and a bit challenging as it varied from high to low ceilings and a rocky (lava) floor. Of course, one of the challenges was to make sure our flashlight batteries didn't die on us.
Opening in the rocks to the Lava River Tube.
Elks spotted along a mountain road.
We really enjoyed our time in Flagstaff (especially the cooler weather) and vowed to visit again, but it was on to Monument Valley. Our last trip here was a drive through, so this time we spent a few days.
Monument Valley.
John Ford's Point, so named from the many westerns filmed here.
Mexican Hat, namesake of nearby town.
San Juan River at Goosenecks State Park, north of Monument Valley.
Next stop: Mesa Verde.


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