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

American Locations 24

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

Rte. 12, Utah

Torey marks the eastern terminus of Rte. 12, one of the most amazing roads you will ever drive on. It starts out by ascending over 9000 feet to the top of Boulder Mountain.

Here we are nearing the peak.

Coming down off Boulder Mountain, the Hogback Highway…

…which is what Rte. 12 is called, began winding up and down and around and across mountain after mountain. This narrow two-lane blacktop road takes you through some amazing scenery. It’s difficult to keep your eyes on the road, but you have to because there are no guardrails and scant shoulder. You could run off on either side and roll for hundreds of feet down a mountainside. The drive was great fun.

We stopped to eat lunch and stretch our legs at the Escalante National Monument visitor center.

Then continued west on the Hogback.

The scenery continued to amaze.

We came out of the west side Escalante in the little town of Cannonville, ending one of the best drives of my life.

Next Location – Kodachrome Basin State Park

From The North Rim 22

Some quick personal info. I received my paperback copy of ‘When The World Stopped’, which includes my short story ‘A Mutualistic Relationship’.

I was really impressed by the first story, ‘War Fever’, by T J Berg. A strong one to open the book with. I always read all the other stories in any anthology I am included in, to compare my story against those of the other authors. I am halfway through the book so far and I’m impressed with the quality. My story ranks far down in the list of best to worst.

Also, I mentioned I was using mathematical haiku poems in my novel ‘Flatlanders’. So I emailed all the authors to request their permission. They all responded positively right away. I was surprised at their promptness. You must always do this if you are going to incorporate any copyrighted material in your writing.

Now, back to ‘Flatlanders’. As I stated before, the protagonist in the novel is Mickey Haiku. The antagonist is Eden. She is another brilliant theoretical physicist, only she lives in a parallel dimension. She is the leading scientist of the Crossover Project. But her personal life is in shambles. She is living with her brother because she has left her husband, who is her boss in her lab. She left him because he was seeing another woman. Even though she is seeing another man. And she has just learned she is pregnant. Also, tremendous pressure is bearing on her to complete the Crossover Project since the government is about to shut it down for lack of progress.

As you can probably tell by now, the tone of the book is light. It is not a comedy, but there is much comedy in it. Mickey and Eden both believe they are doing the right thing for their own world. I think that makes for a more interesting conflict. There is not a good guy and a bad guy. Only two people fighting for what each thinks is right. The model I have in mind for this a book is ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’. I’m not claiming mine is as good as that, just that I am striving to make it the same kind of story.

More about Part One in the next newsletter.

From The Bookshelf of INtense Publications

American Locations 23

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

Capitol Reef National Park 2

Early the next morning we drove back into Capitol Reef National Park and took the scenic route south from Rte. 24. We stopped to see a ranch that had been preserved.

Then we drove deeper into the park.

The mountains are tilted here at all kinds of odd angles due to geological pressures.

I am holding my camera level. They really do tilt up like this.

We kept driving deeper and deeper into the park.

The pavement ended at the entrance to Capitol Gorge. We stopped to read about it.

We proceeded into the gorge on a dirt road. This is the advantage to having such a small motor home, you can drive it practically anywhere.

Several miles later we came to the end of the road. We parked and continued on foot.

There were some Native American pictographs along the way.

At the end of the Gorge Trail was the beginning of the Tanks Trail. This went straight up, kickback after kickback.

From here I could look down to some people who had chosen not to climb.

I continued going up. Yet another great hike.

At the top were rainwater-filled depressions. These are the sinks.

This one had dried up.

It looked like most of them were dry.

But a few held water.

There was also an arch up there.

Then it was hike back down.

And hike back out to where we had parked our motor home.

We drove back north the way we had come. There is only one paved road going through the park.

We turned west on Rte. 24. We stopped several times at nice vistas.

We continued west on Rte. 24 out of the park and past where we had spent the previous night. We found a private campground in the small town of Torey, where we had running water and electricity. We crashed for the evening.

Next Location – Rte. 12

American Locations 22

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

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

We drove east out of Goblin Valley State park back to Rte. 24, then turned south. Back to Hanksville, we continued west on Rte. 24 into Capital Reef National Park.

We parked for lunch, then hiked up to see Hickman Natural Bridge.

And here is Hickman Arch

We could get under it.

The hike back out could be just as nice.

And back to the parking lot.

We stopped at the visitor center and learned the campground was full. But a ranger told us of BLM land just outside the park were we could camp for free. So we continued west on Rte. 24 out of the park, and just beyond the park boundary was a field next to the road where dozens of units and tents were already set up. So we pulled in, staked our claim, and camped the night for free.

I still had too much energy, so I climbed the hills we were camped at the foot of. There wasn’t a trail, so I blazed my own.

From on high I could look down on the campers.

Our motor home was parked next to a green bush.

There was a nice view from up there.

I finally reached the top.

Then it was time to come back down. I had a bit of trouble. I thought I had marked my way well, but I couldn’t find the way I had come up. So I had to blaze another trail down. This wasn’t as good a way as how I had come up. It was steeper, and I had to do a lot of hand over hand scrambling and sliding.

But I made it.

We spent a pleasant night there. With this being unpoliced by rangers, I expected a lot of drunkenness and loud music, but everyone was respectful of each other. We spent hours that evening talking to several of the other campers. It was a good experience.

Next Location – Capitol Reef National Park 2