Hello Friends and Family!We have been having terrific adventures in the past few weeks. We are heading to our Alaska trip (starts June 7). As we started our journey, we were able to catch up with our cousins in Tucson, AZ and hit some hot spots we missed when we were last out West. (Thanks cousins for spending some quality time with us! We will see you at Kayla and Matthew’s wedding in March!)
On May 18, we arrived in Page, AZ, and stayed at the picturesque Wahweap Campground overlooking Lake Powell. The Campground was set up as tiers to provide the view of the Lake as well as Navajo Mountain. We highly recommend staying there. Beautifully landscaped, we felt it to be more private than many we have stayed in before.
We hiked to Horseshoe Bend located in Glen Canyon. It’s an easy 2.6 miles out and back and provides stunning blue and green colors of the Colorado River against the red rock. Photos we took actually look fake. But they are not! We took them! Definitely worthy of a short hike. (Have to say that it was difficult to watch children not being parented as they walked freely on uneven terrain close to extremely steep, deadly, cliffs. Grrrrrr!) While we were there, we next visited the Lower Antelope Canyon. It is necessary to have a Navajo Guide so reservations are the smart way to go. You can show up and if someone is a no-show, you may be able to join the group. We highly recommend going through Ken’s Tours. Thanks Christie for your recommendation on this! Upon entering the canyon you are immediately stunned by the beauty of the natural rock formations. With the changes of light against the stone, we think any time of day would provide professional looking pictures but seeing the variety of stone formations, the smooth weathered rocks deserves a first hand experience. If you have a bucket list, add this tour to it! The pictures below are the best of the 100+ pictures we took – all amazing.
The last day in Page we took a day trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Yes, you can easily do this from Page if you aren’t planning on doing the major hikes. We only hiked out to Bright Angel’s Point. Although it was a short hike, we were up so high overlooking the Canyon, it made me feel uneasy and I kept as far away from the cliff edges as I could. The widths of the path were smaller than many we have been on. We got some nice shots and had a cool beer relaxing at the Lodge enjoying our view of the canyon before heading back to Page.
View from the Lodge
Then onto our next adventure, Bryce Canyon, by far the most breathtaking of all the Canyons we have seen. We stayed at Ruby’s RV Campground located just outside Bryce’s entrance. Bryce is extremely well organized with shuttles running every ten minutes which, conveniently for us, stopped at our campground. It was easy to get into and around the park. We hiked from the Sunset trailhead on the Navajo trail finishing at the Sunrise trailhead. This trail is extremely popular and it brings you to the bottom of the canyon then back up again. Hoo Doos were so crazy! Again, we thank Christie for her advice. If we had hiked in the opposite direction, the strenuous ascent up to the Sunset trailhead, would have been a tough way to end our hike.Our suggestion for those who may be visiting the park in the future. Be sure to sign up for the Bryce Canyon Rainbow Tour. You can make a reservation up to 7 days in advance. We are certain the tour fills up quickly during busy season. It is free to those who have an Annual National Park Pass, Senior Pass, Access Pass or Bryce Valid Entrance Receipt. There are two tours daily 9:00 am and 1:30 pm. Each are approximately 3.5 hours long. As noted above, with the appropriate access pass, it is free and you are not allowed to tip the guide either! Our Guide, April, was a local deeply rooted in the area and had so many stories, information on history, geology, flora and fauna, birds, wildlife, and just entertaining with jokes and chatter. The tour was over before we realized it. Do it!We wrapped up our visit at Bryce with a horse trail ride starting on the Sunrise trailhead and descending into the canyon on a horse trail which is not open to hikers providing a different view of the Canyon. Because it so steep, because you are riding a horse or mule, because the horse or mule decides to walk very close to the very edge of the trail, and because there were hairpin turns, I closed my eyes several times knowing that my horse, Sassy, didn’t want to fall off the cliff either. I fell in love with her over the next few hours as did Kenny with his horse, Patricia. Both were beautiful animals, comfortable mounts and just perfect for us. Well worth seeing Bryce from a different angle, on an animal so attached to the canyon.We are so fortunate to be born in this gorgeous Country! Kenny and I are so grateful that we are able to visit these spectacular jaw dropping places. We are onto Zion next.
Until next time, we pray all are doing well and/or improving in health. Please know we miss you everyday but feel we must try to complete our never ending bucket list. We raise our wine glasses to toast to all:
Sail away from the safe harbors. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain (What a clever man he was, Agreed?)
We just completed our WorkKamper positions at Point South KOA in Yemassee, SC. As some of you know after leaving FL we went back there to work in March and April (their busy season). We had a lot of fun, visited Savannah and Charleston numerous times, made wonderful new friends, and learned a lot about KOA and WorkKamper positions. We will certainly explore looking at additional opportunities in the future. We are now off to a new adventure! Our current plans are to head West, then up to Alaska!
My favorite coffee to make at Point South KOA – S’more Latte
We left SC last week and met up with our friends, Susan and Mark A. We met at a park that was approximately the halfway point between Palm Coast, FL (where they are) and Yemassee, SC. Mark located a State Park that fit the bill – Laura S. Walker State Park in Waycross, GA. Susan discovered a great place to visit nearby, Okefenokee Swamp Park which is also in Waycross. It was such a great find!
Traveling along Swamp on tour – beautiful and no bugs!
Alligator nest – females return to same nest each year. Temperature determines sex of babies
Combination Package for our visit was $27.00/per person. Although it sounds a bit pricey, it includes a 45 minute boat excursion into the swamps. Our Guide was extremely knowledgeable and so passionate about the native plants, the alligators, the history – just a wealth of interesting and informative data. This Swamp was his playground growing up and all of the stories and information he shared was fascinating.
Next you board the Swamp Park Train which is a 1.5 mile railway system that circles the park and brings you to Pioneer Island. The Conductor/Engineer/Guide had also grown up in this area and was just as well informed about the history of the swamp and had great stories about specific alligators and alligator behavior.
A short hike on a low walkway right on top of the Swamp leads to a 90′ observation tower where you can have a panoramic view of the entire area! The walk into the Swamp and climb to the top of the tower is worth every step. Because of the possibility of alligators, snakes, and other wildlife you can’t go on the walkway without signing a liability form. Somehow that made it even more exciting to walk into the Swamp.
“Crazy” is currently the dominant male at the park. He is huge and goes anywhere he pleases. He’s even been seen in the parking lot!
Rounding everything off was a Wildlife Show where you are introduced to snakes, turtles, and a alligator which you can touch or hold, if you’d like.
It was a full day of fresh air, friends, sun, and tons of information coming from people who lived and loved the Swamp and all of the critters who lived there. Although off the beaten path, if you are ever in the area take time to enjoy this little gem in GA.
Until next time, we raise our wine glasses and toast to our beloved Uma: Our beautiful girl passed on 4/21/18. She’s been an amazing traveling partner and is missed every day. We are grateful that we had her with us for part of our adventures.