Sunday, May 9, 2010
With a few hours left we decided to seek out a "deserted" ghost town called Silver Reef. In the early 1900's this was home to some 200 prospectors and their families. But as the price of silver started to decline and the threat of worker strikes loomed large, the mine was closed allowing the infrastructure to fall into disrepair. I put deserted in quotations above as the site now lays claim to several high dollar homes with impressive views in all direction of the mountains. This is recycling at its best!
Day five had us on the move northward as the environment of Yellowstone grew larger trough our windshield to the world while the Sonoran Desert diminished to a single grain of sand in our rearview camera.
We stopped to take on fuel when an attendant noticed abnormal ware on one of our front tires. It turned out to be belt separation and very likely could have resulted in tire failure shortly down the road. To alleviate that worry we replaced both front seven year old tires to the tune of some $1400.00. Sometimes you feel at the mercy of the road and those along it, but what price safety and the confidence to tackle the upcoming mountainous challenge? As a side note, the tire tech was named RALPH...dad always did cover my back!
Story by Al and Photos by Jan
On our first day we opted for the California side. Believe me the west side is certainly not the best side as this was one of the roughest roads here-to-fore on this leg of our journey. We can certainly say that California is truly broke (in more than one way). Day one drew to a close at one of our favorite way-points, Cal-Nev-Ari. This little speck on the map is a community of some 400 people set on US highway 95 about 70 miles south from Las Vegas, Nevada. Cal-Nev-Ari was created in the mid 1960’s by Nancy and Slim Kidwell, who acquired a 640 acre section of land (and water rights) from the U.S. Government and commenced development of an airport-based community. In addition to the FAA designated airport, the community has grown over the years to include a casino, motel, RV and mobile home parks, convenience market, and over 100 residential lots. This little respite prepared us for a full bored non-stop run through Las Vegas to start day two. By the way, with Slim and Mary getting up in years, the town is for sale.
To shake off the frantic first days of our journey, we decided to spend the next three days in Leeds, Utah as a home base to do a little sightseeing. This little shot in the dark park, nestled in the heart of Dixie's Color Country at the base of Pine Valley Mountain, proved to be a pleasant surprise.
With limited time, we decided to cram visits to two National Parks, Zion and Bryce, in one day. Words can not do justice to these national treasurers, so I will defer to our photographic journal. The commonality of both parks is the fact that one can get so close to the geological immensity housed by both. The proximity tricks the brain as it tries to align size and perception, resulting in a sensation of extreme dizziness.
We were so close to the precipice presented that I chewed up a pair of underclothing as the awe of the environment forced me to my knees, not in prayer, but rather for emotional stability.
Two major rock formations were evident. Bryce is noted for "Hoodoos." Hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and "broken" lands. The formations range in size from that of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building. Formed in sedimentary rock, hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. The name given to the rock layer that forms hoodoos at Bryce Canyon is the Claron Formation.
This layer has several rock types including siltstones and mudstones but is predominantly limestone. Thirty to 40 million years ago this rock was "born" in an ancient lake that covered much of Western Utah. Minerals deposited within different rock types cause hoodoos to have different colors throughout their height. You better enjoy these sights while you can as these structures a reasonably "soft" and will eventually succumb to the forces of nature and could disappear in as little as three-million years. The formations in Zion, appear as colorful piles of sand. At one time they were just that, piles of sand. Mineral rich floods of water eventually "froze" these piles in time to solids no longer easily molded by nature and time. Nature now takes on the role of artisan tweaking the shapes to her liking.
Story by Al and Photos by Jan
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
We were 3 miles from the 12,000-acre Canyon Lake. The Resort is right on the scenic Guadalupe River. The emerald colored water is a favorite for bank and fly fisherman.
The oldest Dance Hall in Texas was located in nearby Historic Gruene. Al found out from a neighbor that John Travolta danced in the Guene Hall as the arch-Angel Michael from the movie of the same name. Being the movie buff I am Al and I took a ride over. What a great day and a wonderful little town. If ever in the area don't pass that one up.
We had a very quiet New Years Eve and since it was 12 midnight in New York and since we were in Texas we could go to bed at 11 pm cause it was already the new year. Heavy man!
We are moving on to the next stop Deming, New Mexico