Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grand Canyon (and it IS Grand!)

Next Stop: Grand Canyon, Arizona. 292 miles. Nice drive through the stark Arizona desert...

The Grand Canyon is so huge that photos cannot convey it all properly. It's more than a mile down from the photos you're about to see. The entire canyon is over 277 miles long and, at most spots we were at, it's 10 miles across. The two movies following the photos might help with some perspective.





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This is one of the few viewpoints where you can see so much of the Colorado River. Many of the others, the river can only be seen a tiny bit or not at all. This viewpoint is called Watchtower and it's the very first lookout if you enter from the east.

We got up at sunrise to take photos. That darn sun is getting up later and later.











...and a few at sunset....



There was also many deer and elk hanging around the roads and our campground. They were not afraid of humans so we could get real close to take photos.

This fellow liked to pull down the juniper branches with his rack in order to get to the berries for some snacks.



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These photos can also be seen at this link:
https://picasaweb.google.com/100376105788369441882/GrandCanyon#

Next stop: Meteor Crater, Arizona.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NASCAR Las Vegas

This was the view from our "font porch".
We headed down to Las Vegas after Bryce Canyon. Nice, easy trip. We stayed at Nellis AFB for two nights before heading over to the LV Speedway. On Friday morning we, checked in to our spot on Motorhome Hill.

We are about halfway down this row of RVs situated on the backstretch of the speedway.

Friday was qualifying. The IZOD Indy cars got up to the 221-223mph range on their laps....zoooooooom. Robert Campbell and his son joined me for this as well as the race on Saturday.

This is a view from the start/finish line during qualifying.
Camping World is the main sponsor of the NASCAR Truck Series race on Saturday. Ron Horanday won the race. He pretty much led the entire race. The Vegas track races....Sprint and Camping World, in my opinion, have never produced a very good race. The cars get spread out and there's not that much side by side racing.
Our view as the trucks came by.
Sunday was the IZOD Indy car races....Indy Lights in the morning and "the big boys (and girls)" in the afternoon. Rick Frank, Wessam and Raniah and their daughter (from the MWH Vegas office) all came over to watch with us. Nice to have some friends with us for the day.

The afternoon race ended in tragedy as, during the 12th lap, there was a terrific crash/collision between turns 1 and 2 involving 15 racecars.

This is Tony Kanaan's race car which won the pole at over 223mph.

Here's a movie of what the first couple of laps looked like. You can see them all bunched up with very little separation.

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Apparently, someone bumped another car and it started a chain reaction that threw Dan Weldon and his car into the safety fence mortally injuring him. A helicopter rushed him to the hospital but, after a two hour delay while the track was cleaned up, the announcement came that he had died in the hospital and the race was cancelled. The remaining drivers made a five lap, 3-wide tribute in memory of him.


A very sad, somber end to the weekend. The entire RV park was very subdued and quite the rest of the day and night. No one wanted to get loud or party. Very sad experience.

The next morning we quietly packed up and headed out of town and headed to the Grand Canyon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

After we left Zion NP, we headed north on 89 to Bryce Canyon NP. This was to be our next stop. It was after a storm had come through so there was snow on the ground and it was quite chilly. We are at the very end of the Bryce road at about 9100 feet. 34 degrees and 20 mph winds....brrrrr.

Of course, if you click any photo, they'll open up larger.


It is hard to depict, in a few photos, how amazing this place is. These upcroppings of rocks are called Hoodoos. Here's a link to more information for all you geologists out there....
http://www.nps.gov/brca/naturescience/hoodoos.htm

The colors are spectacular and we had to sit down and just look at them for a while to take it all in.





Here is a movie that will try to show you a partial view of the overall park from Inspiration Point...one of the most famous spots in the park. Sorry about the wind noise...it was really blowing.

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We uploaded many other photos if you want to see more.

https://picasaweb.google.com/stevenlstrick/BryceCanyon?authuser=0&feat=directlink

At night we had to unhook our water hoses because the temperature dropped down to around 26. But the days warmed up nicely into the 60s. Very pleasant. Because this was October, there were not the massive crowds that are usually there in the summer. However, BUSLOADS of french-speaking tourists were everywhere. There are tours where they take them to Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce and Vegas. One or two days each.

For fun, I have a Garage Sale for Kim. She likes to go garage-sailing so this keeps her in shape in between towns. She gets to "buy" what she wants to keep and we let go of extra items and that helps lighten up the coach.

Next stop is Las Vegas. We went for the NASCAR Camping World (advertisement plug) Truck Series and the IZOD Indy car races.

Watch for the next installment.

Kim and Steve

Friday, October 7, 2011

Zion National Park Movie

We took a couple of movies in the park to try to show the vastness of it. This one we're posting is a test to see how it views on your computer.

You can hear the amatuer video photographers trying to figure out if they're recording or not....funny. But the video eventually gets rolling.

Feedback would be appreciated.

thanks!

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Kim and Steve