American Locations 34

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

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah 2

When I got back to the motor home from my hike in the snow we drove on through the rest of the park, stopping at 3 more vistas.

At the highest point on the road we were at 10,460 feet. The highest peak in the park was Brian Head, at 11,300 feet.

In these photos we are looking back at the visitor center.

This is the site of a pioneer ranch. Imagine living up here. So remote and windy and isolated and cold and snow-bound. Little wonder the settlement didn’t last.

We came down from the park on a much steeper grade than going up on the other side. It was a 15% grade. We drove past a ski resort.

Reaching the bottom, we got back on I-15 and continued north. Reaching the western terminus of I-70, we hopped on and headed east. We came down out of the mountains. The stretches of I-15 and I-70 we had been on were a beautiful drive. But now we were coming back down to reality. We stopped at Joseph, at the foot of the mountains, and found a private campground.

We saw ATV’s all over in Utah. Many, like this one, didn’t bother with the lanes that run alongside the roads, they drive right on the road.

Next Location – I-70 Through Utah

American Locations 33

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

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Early that morning we drove up into Cedar Breaks NM. These mountains are the highest elevations in Utah.

We were soon up in the snow.

We stopped at the visitor center, but it was closed.

There was a reason the visitor center was put here. The view.

I hiked a mile-long trail along the mountain rim. It was right on the edge, steeply up and down, and half-covered in deep snow and the other half in deep mud from the snow melt. Very challenging.

In the upper left of this photo you can see two people ahead of me on the trail.

I continued on the trail.

In this photo you can barely make out an overlook on the trail.

There was snow along the trail.

In some places there was a lot of snow to tramp through. I still enjoy playing in the snow, but I was cautious as this sloppy snow-covered trail was on the edge of a serious drop-off.

In these photos you can see the trail snaking out to the overlook.

There were some interesting trees along the way.

I finally made it to the overlook. There was a couple I traded photos with.

Great views from the overlook.

Then it was time to hike back.

Next Location – Cedar Breaks National Monument 2

American Locations 32

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

Pipe Spring National Monument, Utah

The next morning we drove northwest from Jacob Lake on Hwy. 89A. At Fredonia, we turned west on Rte. 389. We stopped to see Pipe Spring National Monument. This is the site of a Mormon pioneer ranch.

After finishing there, we continued northwest on Rte. 389 to the Utah border, where the route number changed to Rte.59. We continued northwest on this road to Hurricane.

Here we got on I-15. This was the first interstate we had driven on in 3 weeks. We headed north. It was a steady unrelenting ascent from the desert floor up into the mountains. Yet another scenic drive. We had intended to see the Kolob Valley in the northwestern part of Zion National Park, but it was closed. We had spent 4 days in Zion just the year before, so we skipped the valley this time around to see this more remote section of the park, but it was closed. So we drove on to Cedar City where we found a private campground.

Next Location – Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

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

American Locations 26

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 National Park, Utah

The next morning we drove from Kodchrome Basin State Park north to Cannonville, where we turned northwest on Rte. 12. At Rte. 63 we turned south. We stopped briefly at the Bryce Canyon visitor center. We continued on south to Bryce Canyon National Park. We secured a good site in the North Campground.

We walked to the visitor center, where we caught a shuttle that took us all around the park. We got off at every stop to look around. Like Kodachrome Basin, the attraction here were the rock formations, only on a much vaster scale.

Here are close-ups of some unique formations.

We completed the loop on the shuttle at the visitor center then walked back to the campground. We relaxed the rest of the day at our site. We were developing some worrisome problems. We developed a tank leak, couldn’t start the generator (a real problem since there was no electric hook-up at our site), the hot water heater was sporadic, and the house battery wasn’t holding a charge. Nothing to cancel a trip about, just irritations, but the balky hot water heater made for quick showers.

Next Location – Bryce Canyon 2

American Locations 25

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

Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah

At Cannonville…

…we turned south off Rte. 12 onto Cottonwood Canyon Road. It twisted and turned its way to Kodachrome Basin State Park. We selected a site, then drove all through the park.

We parked and hiked Angel Palace Trail.

Up to the very top.

We had a nice view from on top.

After our hike, we drove to the campground and set up for the night.

But I didn’t want to quit. So I took off on another hike, the Panorama Trail, that took me through the best formations along the bottom.

I came off the loop trail and walked along the road back to the campground.

I got back to the motor home totally exhausted, but exhilarated.

Next Location – Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah