Sunday, 29 May 2011

Grand Canyon to Canyonland

Monument Road, the long straight road lead us across rather flat desolate landscape with red rock monuments set along each side of the roadside. These red stone masterpieces tower 400 – 1000 ft within the valley which is aptly named " Monument" valley. The valley lies within the Novojo Indian nation on the southern border of Utah. This Old America’s West and has been photographed and filmed and is famous for movies. Real John Wayne country....
We crossed the San Juan river and  into Utah, the third state we had visited since our trip began.  A lunch stop along the river was enjoyed before continuing onto Moab in southeastern Utah  where we stayed two nights in an RV park.  On route we stopped to photograph and walk some well known rock formations such as Twin peaks, Church rock and Wilsons Arch and in the distance their were views of snow topped mountains .
The following morning it was time to explore nearby Canyonlands National Park which is very well named for it's all types of canyons. We all jumped into troopy and headed off.   First it was a visit to lights in the sky visitor’s centre for information. We then walked the two hour return Grand View Trail giving us magnificent canyon views at different view points along the track.  Our return trip was on the 4WD track starting from the 6080 ft at its top, down the canyon wall and 36 mile along its floor passing the salt ponds and potash processing plant as we neared Moab.
Being amongst the cliffs and seeing the changes in the colours of the rock formations as the sun beamed down across them was an awesome experience. Around every corner was another photograph of God’s amazing Masterpiece.  We spent most of our daylight hours exploring the area so by the time we were home we were really appreciative of our pizza, pasta, soup and salad prepared by a chef for us at a very reasonable price.
Canyonland is described as "the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is nothing else like it anywhere. 
Monument Valley

Monument Valley Owl

Roadside stop Monument Valley

Monument Valley Indian Trading Post

Mexican Hat

San Juen River

San Juen River Lunch stop
Snow capped Mountain
Snow Mountains
Crossing into Utah
Wilson arch
Wilson Arch
Moab RV Park
We made it to the end of Grand View Walk

4wd track through Canyonland



colorada river

Russ and Rob Canyonland

Troopy on 4wd track along canyon floor

4wd road down Canyon wall
4wd Track through canyon

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Grand Canyon

Geoff and Kienny have a 6 seater Toyota land Cruiser Troop carrier known as “TROOPY”  or  SHE   (reliable and dependable )  so we are able to park our RV and all load into SHE to experience the places we would not be able to in our RV.  Sedona is one of those places that you could stay a while but during our short stay we walked light horse walking trail at Red Rock Canyon, went to the church of the holy cross with it’s structure set within the rock of the canyon and had a look around.  Our visit would not have been complete without a walk through a gallery and our choice was Patio del Norte.
From there we then made our way to the Grand Canyon National Park. Upon entering the canyon we purchased an annual parks pass and made our way to the south rim of the canyon. We stopped over at canyon village and visitors centre for information. As all the camping grounds were full we camped overnight in the car park. This gave us a chance to walk the short 500 metres from our camp to the canyon rim to view the sunset .
The following morning we walked the south rim continuously in awe of this amazing natural wonder. As Russ says, one mighty BIG hole in the ground. Yep! 10 miles wide, 1 mile deep and for 277 miles the Colorado river runs along its floor.  A friendly squirrel sunbaking on the edge of a rock over the canyon came up to greet us. We were returned to our vehicles by a free shuttle bus and from there we made our way out of the National Park back to Tusayan where we viewed the Grand Canyon movie at the Imax theatre.  Our grand canyon experience continued for a few more hours as we pulled into roadside lookouts or as they are called in America overlooks with the best being desert view where a watch tower  that was built in 1932 stands. Climbing the stairs to the top of the tower  gave us a 360 degree view across the canyon and desert. The tower is also an information and souvenir booth and lining it’s walls are hand painted art of all kinds.
Our journey continued away from the canyon passing alongside the painted desert, across the little Colorado river where the original bridge remains. It was then northward for a short distance before we pulled up for camp in the Hopi Indian reservation at the veterans Memorial Park at Elephant Rock.  The night was pleasant so we were able to enjoy our dinner outdoors watching the sunset close off for us what was another very enjoyable day.

Sedona Township

Grand Canyon

Grand canyon

Watch tower at Desert View Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

Squirrel sunning at the Grand Canyon
squirrel that came to greet us

sunset at Elephant Rock camp site

Grand Canyon National Park Entrance

Who is boss of this family

Geoff and Kienny at Desert View

Elephant rock

Red Rock Canyon Walk Sedona

Historical bridge over little colorado river



Grand Canyon

Wendy at Grand canyon
gallery in Sedona
Patiodel Norte Gallery

any resemblance.....

More of the Gallery in Sedona

Waiting for the photographers


Nicholas Cage  Home in Sedona

Walk at Fire Trail Sedona

Smokey bear

Thursday, 26 May 2011

LA to Sedona

We said our goodbyes to Su-Lin and Jo and headed to purchase the last of the items at camping world that we needed for our RV and to arrange credit for our mobile phones. It was not until 4pm that we eventually made our way out of the very big city on route to the Grand Canyon.
As the daylight hours are longer we were able to make a fair distance to where we camped in a very comfortable KAO camp at Needles. The dual lane highway route 40 made for easy travelling even though every 2nd vehicle was a semi trailer.
The following morning we were off to an early start to allow us time to stop along the way before we were to meet up with Geoff and Kienny. Before leaving Needles we fuelled which was a shock at $4.89 a gallon. We had been warned that Gas as they call it in America had increased but we soon realised that we had been ripped off as the average for our trip will be around $3.85 per gallon.
We continued on route 40 taking a detour onto route 66 at Seligman where we had “coffee only” at Roadkill Cafe and a look around this historical town. Chatting to some bikers who had come from the way we were headed, we knew we were in for some wonderful scenery of fresh snow capped mountains.
We pulled up in the car park in Flagstaff to wait a call from Geoff and Kienny as to our meeting place. While waiting, we walked to the farmers markets to restock fresh produce and along the way got snowed upon.  The call came that they were in Sedona so we quickly lunched and then headed the 40 miles further on to this picturesque city surrounded by Red Rock monoliths that are named after the objects there shapes resemble.  
It was hugs for our travel buddies, coffee over a catch up chat then to the RV park which was located on beautiful Oak Creek for our overnight stay. Sedona is home to the largest continuous stand of ponderosa pines, is renowned for its unique shops,  impressive galleries, and is  rated one of the countries most beautiful places.
We would have to agree..... 
Leaving LA
LA to Needles

Colorado River

LA to Needles Route 40
Sunset along route 40

camp at Needles


Selligman historic town
Roadkill  Cafe

Deer line the walls
Lining the walls in Roadkill cafe
Our sons dream catch

Historical Jail Selligman

Red Rock Country Near Sedona

Driving into Sedona
Meeting up with Geoff
Sedona RV Park                   


Oak Creek alongside RV Park