Noon Trying to Make it to Cedar City Before Dark!

12:22 Same Day! Aspen trees, pines and snow 😉 What’s not to like?!

Hard to believe we had left Green River just a few hours ago! Now snow and elevation and more of Utah than I ever knew existed. The aspen were just beginning to turn green with buds. I kept seeing these lovely mountain sides with aspens shadows between the aspen groves. I could never capture them with my camera. Perhaps if we were not just passing through but actually staying a few days I might have gotten the photo my heart wanted. I think we were at about 8,000 feet in elevation?

Weren’t we just amidst colored slabs of rock and sand and oh gosh. Can hardly keep track of the splendor!

I love icicles that are curved. Exactly how did they get curved?

At about 12:45 we were chiding each other that we would never arrive if we kept stopping for photos! There was a family of four traveling just about our speed. Dad kept making them all pose together at lovely photo opportunities. We saw them at the next pull off and Bob decided he would just take a look. He came back to the car to get me. I was not thrilled to walk to the edge of a crevasse to see what had him fascinated. Oh my! I am not a fan of heights, but way below was likely the Escalante River.

No, I do not want to hike down there! Ever.

But I did see a hiker resting. A gargantuan hiker that is! If you cannot pick him out in the first photo below, I tried to outline him a bit in the photo the next one.

He even has a sweat stain on the front of his shirt!

Our next stop was Bryce Canyon. After Arches, I kept saying that all I wanted to see was red rocks with snow. I was not disappointed! Since it was one of my most favorite places on our journey I think I will devote tomorrow to just photos of Bryce. (By the way we made it to Cedar City, just barely before dark. Sadly, there was no elevator and they put us on the second floor! Getting too old to haul stuff up the stairs like that. Decided next time we would ask for a different room or help getting luggage in and out of the room.)

After Grand Junction until about Noon

We awoke tired from our extra-long day, but happy from our travels. Seems we had landed in another era. The motel hallways the night before were full of what seemed like sister-wives, girls who looked like teenagers in long dresses of various colors roaming the halls with younger children, doing laundry, in and out of rooms together. We honestly could not tell who was in charge of them. If they were one family or married into one family. And more strange, the next morning it was as if they had never been there. Not a one showed at breakfast. Yes, we were in Utah, but all those kids? It seemed as if they would have fed them before departing? Do not think it was a residential situation as they were doing things like purchasing laundry soap at the front desk the night before. Just weird.

There are animals in the US that never appear when the daytime traveler is driving: elk, moose, big horn sheep, mountain goats, cougar or mountain cats. We saw the warning signs and never saw the animals!

This was Day Ten of our travels.We were almost on stimulation overload from the scenery changes. Little did we know there were more dramatic changes before us. I had absolutely no idea how beautiful Utah was! I had only been to the Salt Lake area airport and north areas. Most of the comments below are from Bob, photos are from Molly.

“Quoting from my husband’s travel journal: “This was another day of endless surprises and unexpected panoramas. I did not anticipate the majestic beauty before us. And I had no idea that there would be so much snow. It was a beautiful and nealy cloudless day as wdrove from Green River. We were to drive the scenic route from there to Cedar City via routes 24, 12, 89, and 14. It was an all-day drive of some 320 miles.

Barren scrub and striated rocks at one glance and then (below)
Turn your head and an irrigated area pops up all lush and green. And then the fights over access to water become clear again!

Quoting Bob again: “We started with typical high desert. Sage and sand and range land with grazing cattle. Very few other cars, few houses, fewer towns, the occasional butte or other sandstone formation that was seemingly dropped in its current location. These alien structures became more numerous and more varied in shape and color. It was like Legoland met the Mad Potter! Sometimes it seemed as if a draftsman had designed perfectly straight lines and other times it was a modern abstractionist messing with my mind.

“The colors changed with some regularity: reds and yellows, blacks and grays, white Navajo sandstone and a whole crayon box full of other colors. Some were pure, others striated.”

“The Capitol Reef area is where it began to get bizzare; tall thin tablets, honeycombed faces, piles of perfectly symmetrical slabs of stone, smooth faced cliffs and groves of pillars. Some of the formations were hundreds of feet tall; others simple hoodoos. There were even petroglyphs.”

Molly: I have friends who had recently put down a new floor for an Aunt in Washington State. It took them several weeks to accomplish. When I saw the photo below I thought of them with piles and piles of flooring to be installed!

Flooring? And it was only 11:30 in the morning!

Bob was really good about watching how much time we spent in amazement in each area. This was all before noon

Tuesday, May 21

It is Tuesday morning. My Monday and Tuesday mornings are meant to be reserved for writing and blogging and organizing my thoughts. Some weeks, that gets interrupted by other things to be done. Today is the best Tuesday in a while. We are both at home in Ohio. Suitcases have all been unpacked and laundry basically caught up. This is a day meant to focus.

And here is my favorite, years old rose, urging me to center, focus, come to the center with Christ, unfold as I am meant to do.

So a few more photos in the front flower bed and I am back at my desk, praying for words to inspire and challenge you and, most of all, words to honor my Lord.

These with keep blooming with or without my observation. May we bloom to always bring honor to Christ.

Fort Collins to Grand Junction: A Long Day and Long Post!

We were going to drive to Grand Junction, but Bob decided we were too early to check in to a hotel, so we drove on the Arches National Park and then to Green River. What a long, exciting day.

10:58 AM which will matter as the day unfolds.

The drive from Fort Collins goes down towards Denver, then across the Rockies via I-70. This follows Glenwood canyon along the Colorado river. The mountain pass at Vail is 10,603 feet. We saw things that were too far to photograph and new to us. Like not just exits for skiing areas, but actual snowboard courses with people flying down them. Have seen that on TV, but cannot imagine actually DOING snowboarding, or skiing for that matter. I have never been known for my coordination or sports prowess. Ramps and ski jumps and things that amazed me, people willingly riding lifts to the top. I am also not a fan of heights, so there is that wonderment, too!

We saw signs for Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Arapahoe, and Keystone, all famous ski areas that we had never visited, but often heard about on news and sports channels.

Years ago we took our children to the west coast from Ohio on the Amtrak. The train followed parts of this same road. We were delighted to see the tracks and confirm our memories!

Colorado River 12:25
See the tracks on far side of river!

And such terrain change in one day! Huge mountain peaks, national forests, the glory of the mountains with snow, without snow, river canyon, tunnels, scenic overlooks and then on towards the Colorado plateau of eastern Utah with dry, rocky terrain anywhere from 4,500 to 6,500 feet in elevation at Arches.

Two hours later, 2:35, still Colorado!
Gives an entire new meaning to get out and stretch your legs! People walking along the lower edge, up the path with shadows, and on the ridge if you can see them! 3:11 PM
5:21 PM Long but amazing day! Now in Utah for certain.
5:30 Arches National Park
Is it a Sphynx or a dog?

Bob had to climb alone as the day was wearing me thin energy-wise. He made it into the big arch.

Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints! 6:14 PM
I appreciated the Three Wise Men (shadows) on our way out of the park at 6:40 PM

On our way to our hotel we agreed there were almost more landscape/environmental changes in one day than we could comprehend. Sort of sightseeing whiplash 😉

We also agreed the next day NOT to make such a long day again on this month-long journey.

My, Oh My!!

When I first planted Poppies on Danny Drive we needed a new roof. The roofer accidentally planted his ladder right on top of the plant. That was the death of that poppy. Last year I planted three starts or whatever you call young plants. Two made it through the winter. Look at part of the poppy yield!

At first only buds …
Looks like teeth on that bud and deep purple columbine in the background.
As this one sheds the bud covering, in a nod to Lawrence, a-one
And a-two,
And a-three!
When all this finishes, there ought to be a sequence of about 12!

These remind me of the paper flowers the kids used to make in grade school!

Cut they last a few days in the house, but one got too hot in our car yesterday and was baked and wilted by the time we delivered it to our daughter. ;-( Maybe I will try to take her another one this week before they are gone!

Spring Garden

While we were traveling the daffodils all continued to bloom out and finished before we returned home. The purple columbine had begun before we left. They are in full swing now! I am writing this May 7, 2019 (more photos will follow in days to come).

Even with fence, rabbits had chopped tulip leaf salad while we were gone!

Columbine with White Dutch Iris and rosebud in back

I was excited to see poppies I planted last year finally coming to life! I’ve been watching 3 Buds from my office window.

And then on closer inspection this morning, NINE buds! I can’t wait for these ;-D

You are likely tired of my garden tour. Suffice it to say the monarch caterpillars will have an abundant crop of milkweed to chomp on this summer. The oregano wants harvesting. The phlox is almost full blown. The purple iris (or as Mom would call them ‘Flags’) will open this week.

Amused in Old Town

Fort Collins has a neat district called Old Town. Found these two sculptures there that made me laugh out loud. So descriptive of some of my friends and I. Instead of making lemonade, “You Might As Well Dance!”

Only wish I had taken a photo from the other side where her petticoats showed! ;-D

And if in Old Town for lunch you might as well have a cold one, too! Mine was the stout, in more ways than one!

Fort Collins, Colorado

We had a free morning and decided to take a short drive that our friend Betty had suggested. We were not disappointed! The Poudre River Canyon was cold but lovely. There had been a couple of inches of snow the night before, so everything was crusted with white.

The cold morning was gray and the higher the car climbed the thicker the snow became.

And there it was! One of my favorite photos of the month long journey!

I don’t always realize what will be my favorite until the adventure ends. Here it is!

Thank you Betty for the heads up! As the day went along it warmed up, snow melted and the majesty was as if it had never happened.

Are you tired of our adventures?

I hope not! We had been to the Rocky Mountains before, but wanted to refresh our experience there. Was truly hoping to see wildlife, but they did not get the memo about tourist shows.

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”

Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

I do not photoshop my photos. Occasionally I crop them and perhaps adjust the shading, but I leave that editing to others to perform. The rocks were seriously changing!

Our first glimpse, and I mean a fast glimpse, was leaving Cheyenne. We were 5.7 miles from the Colorado border. Half an hour later, there they were! We saw places to pull over and put chains on vehicles. Did not have any and thankfully did not need any. We were amazed at how the weather cooperated with us this entire trip! No big storms, (they were either behind us and over when we arrive places.)

From Estes Park, Colorado

We entered through the Fall River entrance at 8,240 feet. Drove past Sheep Lakes, West Horseshoe Park, Deer Mountain trailhead. At Hidden Valley we had to turn around because the road was still closed due to wintery conditions. About 9,000 feet and I was feeling ill. We got out to take photos and I had trouble walking and was dizzy. At the Beaver Meadows exit, 7,840 feet, the elk were posing for us! I was relieved to get to a lower altitude.

We mostly chose to make memories. This is a wonderful National Park. Often wish we lived closer. It would be fun to explore the seasons there, but not so much the summer crowds!

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;  indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand;  the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;  the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:1-8 (NIV2011)

Cheyenne Wyoming

We are tired of staying at the same hotel chain. And the quality of the chain has become so unpredictable. We decided to try some thing new. This is a shameless plug. This was BRAND NEW! Our first stay at a Tru hotel by Hilton. Great for a single traveler. CRAMPED for a couple! We did like the hooks on the wall and the great shower though! Not certain how we might book it next time to try to get extra space in our area? It was designed with young people in mind, including the huge lobby area with pool table and plenty of quiet booths for business work and phone calls.
See the source image
See the source image

We lit out of town the next morning after doing an interview with fact finding Hilton staff. They made it worth our while with a payment for our time. Pretty sweet for retirees on a journey! Cheyenne to Ft. Collins, Colorado 47 miles, (plus mileage into and through part of Rocky Mountain National Park).