Archive for the ‘Western USA’ Category

Lake Powell Utah/AZ – 8/9-10/2014

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Drive To Lake Powell from Bryce

It was a very picturesque drive from Bruce Canyon down through Kanab and onto Lake Powell about 9 miles from Page, AZ. We stayed at Lone Rock National campground.


Drive from Bryce to Kanab and onto Lake Powell

P1020797.JPG P1020801.JPG P1020802.JPG P1020803.JPG

K for Kanab - downtoen

P1020812.JPG P1020813.JPG P1020814.JPG P1020815.JPG P1020818.JPG P1020820.JPG P1020821.JPG P1020823.JPG P1020824.JPG P1020825.JPG P1020826.JPG P1020827.JPG P1020828.JPG P1020829.JPG P1020832.JPG P1020833.JPG P1020837.JPG P1020838.JPG

Lake Powell comes into view


Our Campsite at Lake Powell


Lake Powell – Lone Rock Campground

This was a no frills camping on the beach. Anythime you turned around there might be someone setting up their tent right in front on you. We made it down to a nice spot with a wonderful view of the water and the rock formations on the other side of Lake Powell. The road down to the beach had many sandy spots. On our way out the next morning, we got stuck. About 5 college students in a pickup truck help us out. They hooked their pickup to haul our trailer out. They were a special group! Thank God for the mormon college students!

The kayaking on Lake Powell was suburb! The views from the Kayaks of different rock formations surprised us. There were numerous “paths” among the rocks to explore. We found a nice secluded spot to beach our kayaks and take a swim. The water was very clean and wasn’t very cold.
We left Lake Powal after a morning kayak trip. We decided to stay in Flagstaff for a night before the final leg home to Vail.

In Flagstaff, we stayed at Black Barts RV Park. It turned out that Black Barts is a local favorite Steak House with a musical review. So all we had to do for dinner was walk down from our campsite. The wait staff keep leaving  he floor to join with others to sing all sorts of show tunes. This accompanied you while you ate. The menu was a little pricey but you had excellent food and a fun time!

We are now on our way home. We will drop out camper off at storage facility and then drive home. It has been a great trip since we left on June 30th.

Our next trip will be to Europe staring Sept 26th until Nov 1, 2014. Our blog will be silent until then.


Our Campsite at Lake Powell

P1020849.JPG P1020851.JPG P1020852.JPG

Kayaking on Lake Powell

P1020856.JPG P1020859.JPG P1020860.JPG P1020863.JPG P1020864.JPG P1020866.JPG P1020868.JPG P1020869.JPG P1020874.JPG P1020880.JPG P1020881.JPG P1020884.JPG


P1020896.JPG P1020900.JPG P1020903.JPG P1020909.JPG P1020911.JPG P1020918.JPG P1020924.JPG

Milly "recues" wood to bring home

P1020927.JPG P1020928.JPG P1020931.JPG P1020933.JPG P1020937.JPG P1020938.JPG

Fred gets stuck trying to go thru passage


We found a somewhat private beach for a swim

P1020941.JPG P1020942.JPG P1020943.JPG P1020944.JPG P1020946.JPG P1020947.JPG P1020948.JPG P1020951.JPG

Next morning kayak spin

P1020953.JPG P1020954.JPG P1020955.JPG P1020956.JPG P1020957.JPG P1020958.JPG P1020959.JPG P1020960.JPG







Yellowstone West – North Loop 08/03/2014

Monday, August 4th, 2014

We headed out of our Henry Lake Idaho campsite for West entrance to Yellowstone at 8:15 AM with an ambitious plan to cover the Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Springs and then do rest of North Loop.

After we viewed Gibbons Falls, we spent considerable time and energy at Artists’ PaintPots. These had outstanding geothermal features that were wonderfully presented by the Parks Department. You can find the pictures below which only partially covers what we could see.

When we had trouble parking at Norris Geyser Basin and visitors center, we decided to come back here on our way back from the loop. We never did make it back. After spending considerable time at Mammoth Springs, we were tired. We did see more of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone but again we skipped the north and south rim drives as well as views of the famous falls. We decided to save these and other locations skipped for our next future visit here next year. This assumes that we will be spending several months at Star Valley next summer.

We did stop at visitors center at Canyon City to go over the exhibits and watch two different Yellowstone movie presentations. It was 5 Pm when we finished so it was a long day without Fred’s nap.

On the way home, we stopped in West Yellowstone, Montana for dinner. We picked Bullwinkle’s. It was a very good restaurant with good atmosphere. Fred had a porterhouse steak while Milly went for chicken and ribs combo. Fred ate Milly’s chicken which was broasted. (Milly hates fried food and Fred convinced her that broasted wasn’t fried – sorry Fred ) Fred ended up with a doggy bag – 1st time that he could recall.

We leave in the morning headed for Bryce Canyon, Utah. We will stay a night near Ogden, UT.

P1020189.JPG P1020190.JPG P1020191.JPG P1020196.JPG


P1020201.JPG P1020202.JPG P1020203.JPG P1020204.JPG

Road side geyser


Gibbon Meadows


Artists' PaintPots

P1020218.JPG P1020219.JPG P1020220.JPG P1020222.JPG P1020223.JPG P1020225.JPG P1020226.JPG P1020230.JPG P1020232.JPG P1020233.JPG P1020236.JPG P1020237.JPG P1020238.JPG P1020240.JPG P1020242.JPG P1020246.JPG P1020249.JPG P1020250.JPG P1020251.JPG P1020254.JPG P1020256.JPG P1020258.JPG P1020259.JPG P1020260.JPG P1020263.JPG P1020264.JPG

Golden Gate

P1020283.JPG P1020284.JPG P1020285.JPG P1020286.JPG P1020292.JPG P1020293.JPG P1020295.JPG

Mammoth Hot Springs Upper Terrace

P1020302.JPG P1020303.JPG P1020305.JPG P1020306.JPG P1020307.JPG

Orange String Mound

P1020310.JPG P1020312.JPG P1020318.JPG

Angel Terrace

P1020324.JPG P1020326.JPG P1020327.JPG P1020329.JPG P1020331.JPG P1020333.JPG

Headed to North Entrance to Roosevelt Arch

P1020341.JPG P1020342.JPG P1020346.JPG

Roosevelt Arch at North Entrance Yellowstone

P1020358.JPG P1020371.JPG

Blacktail Plateau Drive

P1020373.JPG P1020378.JPG P1020380.JPG P1020381.JPG P1020385.JPG P1020388.JPG P1020389.JPG P1020390.JPG P1020391.JPG P1020393.JPG

Rejoing road to Canyon Villiage


Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

P1020408.JPG P1020410.JPG P1020412.JPG P1020414.JPG P1020418.JPG P1020419.JPG

Hanging Valley

P1020424.JPG P1020427.JPG P1020429.JPG P1020432.JPG P1020441.JPG

From drive along Madison River toward west exit



Star Valley Pickleball Tournament – 7/31/2014

Friday, August 1st, 2014

We competed in the Star Valley Pickleball Tournament over the last 3 days. It was held at the Star Valley Ranch RV Resort.

Milly and Fred refereed for the women’s doubles matches on Tuesday. Milly also refereed for Men’s Matches on Thursday. Milly has decided she cannot compete in two straight tournament events because of the stress to her ankles.

The tournament was all round robin format where you played all teams with your bracket or pool.

On Wednesday, Milly and Fred lost their last match for the Gold Medal by a score of 15-14. They earned a silver medal in level 3.5 Mixed Doubles. They won 7 matches while losing one.

Fred and his partner from Thayne, WY (Art Bernhard) ended up with Bronze Medals in the 3.5 Men’s Doubles where only 3 points separated all the medal winners.  Fred and Art  gave the Gold medal winners their only loss.  They won 6 matches and lost two but one of those losses was by 15-14 score.

The all round robin tournament was interesting since everyone got to play the same number of matches.

Over 80 competitors played in this mid week tournament. It was fun and we made a lot of new friends.

Milly and I feel we are now playing better as a team.


Fred hits a serve on one of 4 "regulation" Pickleball Courts


Fred's Partner Art Bernhard


Fred and Art playing on one of 2 concrete courts


Fred get a Bronze medal from Pricilla Scott while Art waits his turn


Dale Brower and son from Garden City, Utah won Gold


Star Valley 3.5 Men's Medal winners!


Pricilla Scott concratulates Milly on getting her Silver Medal


Milly and Fred get 3.5 Mixed Silver

Star Valley 3.5 Mixed Medal Winners.JPG

Mixed 2.5 Silver medal winners


Art gets ready


Art and Fred play a match on concrete courts


Pricilla awards a bronze while Art looks on


Art gets his Bronze medal


3.5 Bronze medal wiiners


Silver Medals 3.5


Hidden Gem – Kayaking Lower Slide Lake – Gran Tetons 7/27/2014

Friday, August 1st, 2014

While visiting with our neighbor in the Star Valley Ranch RV resort, he mentioned that he used to hunt near Lower Slide Lake. He recommended that we visit this lake. He told us that the lake was a greenish blue and  the view of the Gran Tetons from there was amazing.  We decided on our revisit to the Gran Tetons to kayak that lake. Our neighbor was absolutely right!

After our 2 hour tour of the upper slide lake in our Kayaks, we headed to Jenny Lake and String Lake at the foot of the Gran Tetons. On our next trip we plan to kayak on these lakes as well as a lake you only reach by paddling from string lake.

We ended our day by going into Jackson, WY fro dinner. We picked the Blue Lion. Milly told them we wanted to sit on the patio outside. This was a really fine  dining. Everything was first class. Great atmosphere, good food, great service! It came at a very fine price too! We did enjoy the experience!

We did feel that everyone else must have been famous Jackson millionaires!


On way to Lower Slide Lake on Gros Ventre Road

IMG_0050.JPG IMG_0052.JPG IMG_0053.JPG IMG_0054.JPG IMG_0055.JPG IMG_0056.JPG IMG_0058.JPG IMG_0059.JPG IMG_0060.JPG IMG_0061.JPG IMG_0062.JPG IMG_0068.JPG IMG_0070.JPG IMG_0071.JPG IMG_0072.JPG IMG_0075.JPG IMG_0076.JPG IMG_0078.JPG IMG_0082.JPG IMG_0083.JPG

Large bird nest on telephone pole

IMG_0088.JPG IMG_0090.JPG IMG_0092.JPG IMG_0094.JPG IMG_0098.JPG

Jenny Lake - Gran Tetons


Sitting by Jenny Lake Overlook in Gran Tetons


View of Gran Tetons heading back from Lower Slide Lake




Back in the “Saddle” Pig Wrestling/Kayaking 7/24-25

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Fred and Milly resumed their kayaking as soon as there was an opportunity.

Someone remarked that Fred could use the pool on Monday w/o kayak. The weekly Monday kayak trip was cancelled due to preparation work for the Star Valley Pickleball Tournament that starts on Tuesday.

After the tournament is over on Friday, we will go to Henrys Lake State Park in Idaho near west entrance to Yellowstone. We will spent 3 nights there before driving down to Bryce Canyon, Utah on our way back to home to Vail, AZ.

Teton County Fair – Jackson WY – 7/24

Milly and I decided to drive an hour to Jackson to go to the Pig Wrestling event (7 pm) at the Teton County Fair on Thursday 7/24. We arrived early to discover that no crowd arrives before 5 pm when the carnival opens. The fair was much smaller than we expected. We ded treated ourselves to Philly Cheese Steaks Subs Wyoming style!

We watched the cowhands load the sand for the mud pit where the wrestling would take place.

The pig wrestling was a lot of laughs. A team of 4 people  try to “capture” the pig and put it ass first into a barrel. The timed event had several youth age groups compete against each other. That was followed by a Men’s and Women’s competition. The stands were almost sold out.

In most cases the pig won. The size of the pig and the barrel used matched the contestants size.

Although we had a good time, we will skip this type event next time around.

Paddling Blackfoot River Reservoir in Idaho – 7/25

On the map, it looked like Blackfoot River Reservoir was a short drive. That is relative. It was a much longer but beautiful drive deep into Idaho (about 30 miles). The country near the reservoir was a high valley of rolling hills and prairies. It was very desolate area. We  saw some big fish jumping, probably carp. The kayaking was great which made the drive  well worth it.

We started using the Ipad for photos while we wait for our replacement camera to arrive.


Milly's Studying camping options at Yellowstone


Ready to paddle Blackfoot River Reservoir in Idaho

IMG_0003.JPG IMG_0006.JPG IMG_0008.JPG IMG_0014.JPG IMG_0018.JPG IMG_0022.JPG IMG_0025.JPG IMG_0028.JPG IMG_0031.JPG IMG_0004.JPG IMG_0033.JPG IMG_0034.JPG IMG_0036.JPG IMG_0015.JPG

Open Prairies and rolling hills between Blackfoot and Star Valley Wy



Fred Tossed out of Kayak on Salt River – 7/21

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

On Monday afternoon, while kayaking with 14 other people on the Salt River near Star Valley Ranch WY, Fred was swept into bushes by the swift current and tossed out of his kayak into the very cold water.

The experience and lessons learned from kayaking at Eastman in NH and from white water rafting helped him. Fred remembered – don’t panic, keep your feet in front and up etc. This was definitely a life threatening situation. He was in rapids (level 1 and possibly 2) where there was no safe water eddies of any size for a considerable distance. He was in the water for about 15 minutes. As he was moving downstream, he scraped a number of rocks.  He was ahead of most of the others. Several people including Milly tried to rescue him only to be put at risk themselves. The last two kayaks (inflatable’s) managed to reach him when he marooned on a shallow rocky river bed near one side of river.

Another kayaker Tim Johnson (also a fellow Pickleball player) from Green Valley, AZ got across the river with his kayak. When he reached Fred, he swapped places with him. Tim got into the river, Fred got into Tim’s kayak and both headed to deeper water and the group of kayakers ready to pull them ashore downstream. When Fred got ashore, he was weak and wet but uninjured.  His belly fat and the extra long sleeve shirt he had put on must have protected him somewhat from the cold. After Fred dried off and felt warmer, we continued our trip downriver to the put out. This incident was an adventure Fred would just as soon not repeat.  Lesson, stay away from the edges of the river!

Unfortunately, Fred & Milly’s camera was permanently damaged by the water – Fred had it in his pocket instead of the dry bag. The pictures taken prior to this incident survived below:


Star Valley Kayaking group at Salt River putin for our 4 hour river run


Off we go!

P1010226.JPG P1010228.JPG P1010232.JPG P1010234.JPG P1010236.JPG P1010237.JPG P1010239.JPG P1010240.JPG P1010241.JPG P1010242.JPG P1010244.JPG P1010245.JPG P1010246.JPG P1010248.JPG P1010250.JPG P1010254.JPG P1010255.JPG P1010256.JPG P1010258.JPG

Tim Johnson, 3rd from left, would shortly rescue Fred in Salt Revier mishap