Posts Tagged ‘kayaking’

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

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K for Kanab - downtoen

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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

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Kayaking on Lake Powell

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Milly "recues" wood to bring home

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Fred gets stuck trying to go thru passage


We found a somewhat private beach for a swim

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Next morning kayak spin

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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!


On way to Lower Slide Lake on Gros Ventre Road

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Large bird nest on telephone pole

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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

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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!

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


Star Valley Ranch, WY – our “Home” from 7/13/2014 to 8/1/2014

Friday, July 18th, 2014

On Sunday night July 13th, we arrived at Star Valley Ranch RV Park. This is a lovely RV resort park nestled between mountains. It will be our home for the next 3 weeks until August 1st. When we leave here, we will spent quality time in Yellowstone and maybe Grand Tetons. We will visit Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks on our way back to our home inVail, AZ.

Start Valley Pickleball

Every morning from 9 – 11 am, between 20 to 40 players gather to play Pickleball. The Pickleball Club now numbers about 75 members. The Pickleball Club has raised the funds to finish off 4 Pickleball Courts on a former concrete tennis court. They plan to finish 4 more courts in the near future. This is an all volunteer effort by the members with support from the ranch management.

The quality of play is very good. They use a system of paddles lined up along the fence to determine who goes out next to play. Two Paddles grouped together indicate that these players are playing as a team. Each player  typically puts his first name on his paddle. The novice players usually avoid playing with the “team” players.


Our "Campsite" Star Valley Ranch, WY


View from in from of or campsite


view in other direction from campsite


Milly approaching pickleball courts


Pickleball courts


Pool in background

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there are 4 finished Pickleball courts plus 2 lined on concrete Tennis Court


Plans call for added 4 more permanent Pickleball Courts on concrete tennis court


Bill Scott waiting for his turn to play


Large Barn contains huge hall for socials, library, and a couple of small meeting rooms

Other Star Valley RV Park comments

We have joined a group to kayak on Mondays. They go to different places each week. We are excited about kayaking the rivers in the region.

Yesterday, we did take our Kayaks about 15 miles into Idaho to paddle the Palisades Reservoir. Again, everything here seems nestled in the mountains. Wonderful views all around!

Milly has been invited to go horseback riding in the mountains. I’ll pass on that.

This place is located about an hours drive from Jackson, WY. If you drive a little further, you are in Grand Tetons. Drive still further up the road and you are in Yellowstone National Park

This might just make a good place to spent summers! Day temperatures are in high 80’s and the nights are cool. The people live outside a lot so you meet them. There is an 18 hole executive golf course with free green’s fees to lot owners. I might get tempted to give it a try.

We are tempted to buy a RV lot here. Seems like a great place!


Milly Headed for Kayaks at Palisades Reservior, Idaho

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Free Campground 5 day max stay along Resevoir

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Little birds were flying in and out of thse holes

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Custer State Park, SD 7/9-10/2014

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Crazy Horse Monument – 7/9

We arrived at our KOA campground just close to Custer, SD. This was centrally located for all the various excursions around and in Custer State Park.

Our first full day, our first stop was visiting Crazy Horse Memorial. This was built and operated by a privately funded non-profit organization. The history, cooperation and  involvement of the Indians and sculptor’s family was highlighted in the nicely done exhibits.


Crazy Horse Monument

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Mount Rushmore and Black Hills  7/9

Our next stop was our visit to Mount Rushmore. Fred had visited this with his family in the early 50’s. He remembers dirt roads and the famous faces of Mount Rushmore.  Much has changed around these faces. New were the museum exhibits, the beautiful entry walk ways and walks as well as the parking garages. All the enhancements greatly added to the impressive Faces of Mount Rushmore.

The roads in the Black Hills leading to and way from Mount Rushmore were almost as impressive. The were narrow winding roads with impressive views of the hills and occasionally a slightly different view of the Faces. There were two tunnels that we went though as we were to exit the second tunnel we saw that the tunnel exit perfectly framed the Mount Rushmore Faces.


Black Hills on way to Mount Rushmore

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Arrival at Mount Rushmore

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Stopped for lunch


Kayaking Custer State Park’s Stockade Lake 7/10

Early on the morning of the 2nd full day in Custer, SD, we headed to kayak on Stockade Lake not realizing the history lesson we were about to get. Stockade Lake was formed by damming the local streams. It seems that this was the place where the Black Hills Gold Rush started. The gold had been found in these streams. At one end of the lake there was a Stockade fence protecting about 8 or so cabins inside its borders. It seems that a prospector’s group violated the terms of the treaty with the Indians by occupying this land. They built this secret compound to protect themselves while they hunted for gold.

We were able to kayak almost up to the front entrance of this compound since the water was running high.


Stockade Lake Black Hills


Dam - water was high

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Stockage - location of Gold Rush in Black Hills

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Custer State Park Wild Life Drive – 7/10

The area around and In Custer State Park was very beautiful and serene. We tried to extend our stay an extra day but our site had been reserved for that date.

We didn’t see as many animals as we expected. We met people who told us this was unusual.


Cusster State Park Wildlife drive


Not as much wildlife as we expected

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Stopped for Pinic Super alongside this stream


Fred did the cooking ?


Fred picked rotisserie chicken, potato salad and coleslaw

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Top of mountains view of Black Hills area