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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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:

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