Wesley`s wanders

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Colorado Great Sand Dunes

February 5th 2013 2:22 pm
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Dad and I traveled on into Colorado. We were headed for the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south central Colorado. Here prevailing winds have pushed massive sand dunes up against the Sangre de Cristo mts. It was cold and a bit snowy in the days that we hiked here,but we had some wonderful views! Pix with descriptions follow.

Great Sand Dunes

 

Canyonlands

February 1st 2013 11:59 am
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Following our treks at Dead Horse Point,we journeyed on to nearby Canyonlands National Park. The park has three distinct units Island in the Sky,Needles and the wildest part The Maze accessable only by 4WD jeep roads. Dad and I first visited Island in the Sky---so named because it sits atop a high rock mesa. The trails switchback down cliffs to reach the desert floor. We also hiked in the Needles district but lacking a high clearance vehicle,had to forego the Maze district. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Canyonlands

 

Dead Horse Point

January 29th 2013 7:42 am
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Traveling on from Kanab Utah we passed thru Capitol Reef National Park on our way to Dead Horse Point State Park and nearby Canyonlands National Park. We arrived at Capitol Reef late in the afternoon and took a hike of about 2 hours thru a slot canyon there. Darkness fell as we were finishing up our hike,so we decided to stay the night at the campground there. We had explored this park last year so after another short hike in the morning,we moved on.

Dead Horse Point State Park sits atop a mesa towering thousands of feet over the rugged Utah landscape. Miles of trails lead to stunning viewpoints. It was still warm even in Nov and we spent the day exploring the trails here.Supposedly the park name derives from a time in the 1800`s when cowboys would corral horses here. The animals couldn`t escape due to the high cliffs. One time the cowboys forgot about the horses and the poor animals died stumbling down the cliffs in a vain attempt to reach the Colorado River far below. No such problems for me as my Dad brought water for both of us! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Dead Horse Point

 

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Sand Dunes

January 25th 2013 3:18 pm
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Still in the amazing and scenic Kanab area,we visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary,the largest no kill shelter in the US. This sanctuary sits in a beautiful desert canyon and we did some hiking there. The memorials to loved animals were touching and the weather was sunny and warm for exploring the place.

Nearby was Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park,an amazing expanse of colored sand dunes. We spent 2 days hiking there climbing tall sand dunes then sliding down the other side! The warm weather allowed us both to hike barefoot across the sand,a rather pleasant experience. Some pix of both places with descriptions follow.

Best Friends and Sand Dunes

 

Hiking the North Rim

January 22nd 2013 8:18 am
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Kanab is a charming little town in southern Utah. Dad and I camped in the national forest outside of town and spent a few days hiking trails on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which is nearby. The North Rim is more remote and higher than the South Rim. It is also heavily forested and trails there lead out to stunning viewpoints. Some pix with descriptions follow.

North Rim Grand Canyon

 

Bryce Canyon

January 18th 2013 12:42 pm
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Crossing into Utah,we headed for Bryce Canyon National Park. Along the way,we passed the old Frisco mining site near Milford. This is the location of the Horn Silver mine. The mine is now abandoned,but the maze of underground tunnels here invite exploration! Dad and I ventured into one but were careful not to go too far back as there are many branching tunnels and getting lost underground would be a horrific even fatal experience. We camped near Cedar City Utah that night then arrived at Bryce Canyon National Park the next day. Bryce is a colorful wonderland of rock spires and folded hills. We spent a few days hiking the trails there. Pix of our journeys at Bryce with descriptions follow.

Bryce Canyon

 

Nevada---US version of the Australian Outback

January 11th 2013 2:04 pm
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Dad and I passed thru Nevada after leaving California and we spent a few days exploring places there. The state is largely empty desert but it has a remote beauty. In the words of Ed Aldrin,2nd man on the moon, "Magnificent Desolation" Nevada reminded my Dad of the Australian Outback,a place we hope to visit one day. We hiked in the remote Black Rock Desert and explored Lunar Crater. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Nevada

 

Snow at Donner Lake

January 10th 2013 2:38 pm
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More updates from our West trip last fall. Dad and I exited California via Interstate 80 after leaving the coast. Rain in the lower elevations quickly changed to snow as the highway climbed towards Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada mts. The highway passes by Donner Lake here and we stopped to take a hike in the snow. We hiked thru Donner State Park---this is the area where the Donner Party succumbed to starvation and cannibalism in the 1840`s---and then around the lake. Many nice cabins are located here and they were even prettier in the snow! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Snow at Donner Lake

 

Exploring the California coast

January 8th 2013 1:41 pm
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After hiking in Yosemite last fall,Dad and I traveled on to the coast arriving there near the town of Ft Bragg. We spent a few days driving and hiking along SR-1 here. The rugged nature of the coastline is breathtaking! Some pix with descriptions are in the link.

California Coast

 

Yosemite National Park---Oct 2012

January 3rd 2013 12:54 pm
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Dad and I continued our explorations in California after leaving Death Valley. We went on to Yosemite and spent several days hiking amongst the soaring granite spires and domes there. Some pix with descriptions follow.


Hiking in Yosemite

 
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