Southwest Vacation Day 8: Travel to Espanola, NM via Four Corners National Monument

June 14, 2012

Left Grand Canyon and went to Four Corners National Monument.

At Four Corners National Monument, Amber put each limb in a different state:

On our way to Espanola we stopped at the Abiquiu Reservoir for some sunset pictures:

 

Day 9 >>

Southwest Vacation Day 7: Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail and Sunset

June 13, 2012

We did the Bright Angel trail down to Indian Gardens. It’s a 9.2 mile round-trip hike and has an elevation change of 3,050 feet.

At the 3 mile rest house on our way down we encountered a mule deer looking for water. It did not really care that we were less than 10 feet away.

Somewhere along the trail:

At Indian Garden:

From Indian Garden, looking back up toward the trailhead:

The Cacti at Indian Garden:

Back at the Bright Angel trailhead after our hike:

Later that night we went to Yavapai Point to see the sunset:

None of the pictures I took of the actual sunset really turned out on account of me not knowing I should have adjusted the white balance. This is possibly one of the better ones:

 

Day 8 >>

Southwest Vacation Day 6: Grand Canyon South Kaibab Trail and Hermit’s Rest

June 12, 2012

We started our day by hiking the South Kaibab trail down to Skeleton Point and then back up to the rim. Round trip the trail is 6 miles and an elevation change of 2,060 feet.

Pictures from Ooh Aah Point:

At Skeleton Point:

Somewhere along the way back up:

Some mules we encountered on the trail:

A picture of the trail once we got back up to the top.

The same picture, but with the trail highlighted:

This was along the Hermits Rest Rim Trail. I think it was either taken from Hopi Point or Mohave Point:

At Hermits Rest:

 

Day 7 >>

Southwest Vacation Day 5: Travel to Grand Canyon

June 11, 2012

Traveled from Moab, UT to Grand Canyon National Park.

First photo of the Grand Canyon. Taken at Navajo Point just west of the east entrance.

Our first photo together at the Grand Canyon:

Andy trying to get the charcoal to burn. We were not allowed to have wood fires at the Grand Canyon due to the dry conditions.

 

Day 6 >>

Southwest Vacation Day 4: Arches National Park

June 10, 2012

We explored Arches National Park today.

The first trail we did was from Wolfe Ranch to Delicate Arch, a formation that has become an icon of Utah. The trail is 3 miles round trip, though we did make it a little longer to recover a dropped lens cap.

Amber in the arch:

Amber and Andy in the arch:

This is a picture to the right of the arch. The rock forms a large bowl shape that Amber accidentally dropped our lens cap down. We found our way down there eventually and recovered the lens cap.

This is a picture from the bottom of the bowl looking up at Delicate Arch:

A picture of Andy looking for the lens cap:

Some petroglyphs on a rock wall near Wolfe Ranch:

The next trail(s) we did totaled around 8 miles. Some of the best hiking of our trip. We covered every trail you see in this picture except the .2 mile trail that takes you to Partition Arch.

Landscape Arch:

These formations are called the Fins because they are long and narrow like shark fins sticking up out of the ground:

Double O Arch. If you look closely you can see there is a second, smaller arch under the big one:

Private Arch:

Just a rock balancing precariously we encountered on the primitive trail:

 

Day 5 >>

Southwest Vacation Day 3: Denver to Moab, UT

June 9, 2012

We left Denver for Moab, UT, home of Arches National Park.

Once in Moab we drove around looking for a place to camp since we had no previous reservations. We found the Upper Big Bend Camping Area along the Colorado river just south of Arches. The campground was one of the more rustic ones there with no water pump, no trash disposal, and the pit toilet did not have toilet paper provided. The one thing it did have was some great views.

Here is what we saw from our campsite:

Because we were not allowed to have a fire at camp, we went into the town of Moab for dinner. We ate at the Slick Rock Cafe and afterwords finished our drinks while listening to the live entertainment.

Day 4 >>

Southwest Vacation Day 2: Downtown Denver

June 8, 2012

We spent our second day walking around the 16th Street Mall and Lower Downtown (LoDo) Denver. The shopping we encountered was mostly chain stores. The few small shops we did find were not of much interest to us. The one notable exception was Victoriana Antique & Fine Jewelry in Larimer Square. Here, Amber decided to try on some antique engagement rings.

The bars were equally disappointing in LoDo for the most part. While walking around looking for a watering hole that suited our tastes we were handed free drink tickets for a place called Howl at the Moon. It was a dueling pianos bar. We had a pretty good time there for the price of a tip to the bartender.

Day 3 >>