American Locations 31

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park 2

The next morning we made that long 40-mile drive from the campground at Jacob Lake to the North Rim. Our first stop was as Cape Royal Point.

I zoomed in for some shots of the Colorado River twisting through the Canyon.

We walked out onto the Point as far as we could go.

Note my wife seated as far from either edge as she could get.

The view from there was amazing.

We hiked the rim trail there. We drove to 3 other vistas, and I hiked a short trail, the Roosevelt Point Trail, at one of them.

This was as far away from home we would get on this trip. From this point we would be on the way back home. Late that afternoon we drove back to the campground. It is full of lodge pole pines.

In this photo of the campground you can see a wheel sticking out behind a tree in the site next to us.

That was a bicycle. A man was touring the west, going up and down these mountains, on a bicycle. He had it overloaded with all his camping gear, too. That seems insane to me, but we’ve seen several people riding through the mountains on bicycles.

Next Location – Pipe Spring National Monument, Utah

American Locations 30

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Early the next morning we drove back into Kanab to get the generator worked on and take care of some other chores. That afternoon we drove south out of Kanab on Hwy. 89A out of Utah into Arizona. In Fredonia we found a private campground with hook-ups so we could charge everything up and fill up with water. Our only event that evening was to walk down the road to a Dollar General.

The next morning we drove southeast on Hwy. 89A to the National Forest campground at Jacob’s Lake. We secured a site there, then continued south on Hwy. 67 into Grand Canyon National Park. It was a 40 mile or so drive to the North Rim through mostly flat grazing land.

We parked at the North Rim visitor center.

We walked past several dozen cabins.

To the lodge.

We walked through the lodge to windows presenting a panoramic view of the canyon. Of course, the photo doesn’t do it justice. This is a stunning sight to walk up to. All the way from the parking lot to this spot in the lodge you don’t get a glimpse of the canyon, then, wow, there it is.

We hiked the Angel Point Trail, which is just outside the lodge.

We were approaching the point.

Then it was back to the lodge.

There was a vista behind the lodge you could walk out onto.

We posed, of course.

Then we just looked around.

We sat for a while on a bench behind the lodge overlooking the canyon.

In this photo you can see the vista we’d just walked out on.

We then drove to Inspiration Point.

In these photos you can see the canyon snaking off to the east.

I hiked the Inspiration Point Trail.

It passed through some fire damage.

And gave some great vistas.

Then that long 40 mile drive back to Jacob Lake. That evening it was too cold to sit out and enjoy the night sky, dropping into the low 30’s. But I stayed out long enough to enjoy the sunset through the lodge pole pines.

Next Location – North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park 2

American Locations 29

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah

Early the next morning we left Bryce Canyon National Park traveling north on Rte. 63 to just north of the city of Bryce, then turned west back onto Rte. 12. Near the end of Rte. 12 we stopped at the Red Canyon visitor center, where I hiked the short Hoodoo Trail.

These weren’t as impressive as in the national park, but if you were approaching from the west it would give you a hint of what lay ahead. We continued west on Rte. 12 to its west terminus, then turned south on Hwy. 89. It was another scenic drive into Kanab. We spent most of the day there having maintenance done on our motor home. We replaced the house battery, taped up the hose leak, and made an appointment to get the generator serviced.

Late that afternoon, we drove back north on Hwy. 89 to Hancock Road, where we turned southwest onto 43, then south on that to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. We secured a site.

I walked from the campground into the sand dunes for a barefoot hike.

See my footprints. The sand was really loose and each step sank in deep, which made for difficult walking.

See the tracks? ATV’s were all over these dunes.

I climbed up the tallest dune. It wasn’t easy because the sand kept spilling out beneath my feet.

See those little people way down there? That’s how high I was.

Some of them climbed up with me.

So I climbed back down and let them have it to themselves.

After a long walk back out to the campground…

…I relaxed for the rest of the day enjoying the view from our site.

We saw a few jackrabbits in the campground. That night we were far enough out in the country that I could enjoy a beautiful dark night sky. The stars are amazing out west.

Next Location – North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

American Locations 28

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Bryce Canyon 3

The next morning we took the shuttle around to the 4 best vistas, getting off and exploring each.

At the last, Sunrise Point, my wife took the shuttle back to the campground and I hiked the Queen Statue – Navajo – Two Bridges Loop, which would take me all the way down to the bottom then up another side.

In the bottom right you can see a section of the trail I am headed for.

I started down.

In these photos I’m getting low enough you can see trails weaving all over.

One of my favorite photos.

I am getting low enough to touch them.

Nearly at the bottom.

You get a different perspective looking up from below.

Another of my favorites. It looks like a castle.

I like this one with the single little pine tree growing on top.

This one looks like a totem pole.

Are they praying? Or just tired?

Another twisted tree.

I just keep going down.

I met some people coming up the way I had come down. My wife worries about me hiking on my own, but I’m never away from other people.

3 gates to go through.

Having reached the bottom, time go head back up.

A short side trail to the Two Bridges.

It gets steeper. Maybe I should have done this side first, like everyone else.

Kickback after kickback.

Nearing the top, it’s fun to look down to see others struggling up. So I stop to take pictures. Not to catch my breath. But to take pictures. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Almost there.

The view from back on top.

By the time I get to the top it is snowing and sleeting. I don’t care. I collapsed on a bench for about half an hour. Then I caught the shuttle back to the campground, then limped to our site. This was one of the best days of the trip, and also one of the most exhausting.

Next Location – Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah

American Locations 27

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Bryce Canyon 2

The shuttle only covers about half the park. What it doesn’t cover the roads are very narrow and twisty. But with our motor home being only 23 feet long, we had no trouble with these roads. So we started the day with seeing what we didn’t get to on the shuttle. It was a cold and windy day, especially so at Yaquita Point, the highest point in the park at 9100 feet.

We drove to the other places the shuttled didn’t reach the day before.

After, we drove out of the park to the nearest town to stock up on groceries. Back at our site, I found we could access the Rim Trail from the campground, so off I went to hike a bit of it.

From there I took the Fairyland Trail nearly to the bottom.

By this point I was getting pretty far down below the Rim Trail.

And a lot closer to some of the formations.

In this photo you can see the trail curving downward.

And on down.

Of course, what goes down must come up.

I got back to the motor home and crashed. After dinner, we both walked along the Rim Trail for a ways. But we didn’t go down, we stayed up on top.

Next Location – Bryce Canyon 3