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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Z" is for Zion National Park

My husband, Jim, and I traveled this great country of ours for SEVEN years in our RV. We saw many wonderful sights, visited famous and not so famous cities, and wandered through many a National Park. I have blogged through all our travels. I've stumbled upon the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013". I decided to jump on board this crazy train and share with all of you places I have seen in my travels.

Day 26 "Blogging from A-Z Challenge"! FINAL DAY!!! YIPPEE!!!!!






is for Zion National Park, Utah






The first thing I remember about this park is this. We turned down a road to get to the park (I cannot remember the specific road number), and drove about 5-7 miles before seeing a sign that read something like this: WARNING: Vehicles pulling trailers over 35 feet in length cannot drive any further. You MUST turn around and take an alternate route.


It turns out that there is a tunnel with a slight curve to it down the road, and any trailer longer than 35 feet would not be able to make the turn. Now that's all fine and dandy, but, seriously folks, wouldn't it make sense to put this sign back at the intersection? Not only were we in the middle of nowhere on a 2-lane road, but there was no turn around! Jim had to try to maneuver our 40 foot trailer into a kind of 3-point turn to get us going back the other way. We were NOT happy campers. Plus the detour added about 50 miles to our trip! But, what could we do?

So, we finally got to our campground, dropped the trailer, and set out for Zion National Park. There were lots of ooh's and ah's right off the bat.







And then we came across a tunnel.....no problem.


Some more pretty scenery....




View from our truck


And then we came upon another tunnel. 



Only this time, we got pulled over. Uh, yeah. This was the infamous tunnel that was long and had a curve to it and was why we had to take a different route. The ranger took one look at our truck and made us pull over to the side. In the words of my twin sister, "Here we f*cking go!"

photo taken at a different time - it wasn't snowing when we were at Zion Nat'l Park
The ranger made us pay $10 to pass through the tunnel, even though we told him that our truck fit into a regular parking space. He paid no attention to us. The fee was because they had to stop traffic BOTH ways and let us pass through the tunnel by ourselves! We were a little ticked off, but again, what can you do? Truthfully, I think Jim DID feel even more manly, if that is even possible, when driving this honking truck. Anyway, we drove into the tunnel which got completely dark extremely quick. We couldn't see very much even with our headlights on. Jim was worried about hitting the truck on the side of the tunnel. I quipped, "Hey! We PAID for the privilege to ride through this tunnel alone! RIDE THAT YELLOW LINE, BABY!" We sailed through that tunnel, okay, maybe sailed isn't the correct word when we were driving at about 20 mph!

All in all, the scenery is stunning and well worth the trip. Big truck and all!





And THAT, my friend, is the end of this crazy Blogging A-Z Challenge! I sure hope you enjoyed the trip! You've been good travel  buddies and didn't complain one bit! AND we didn't have to stop once for a potty break!

Welcome all my new followers! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

"Y" is for Yellowstone

My husband, Jim, and I traveled this great country of ours for SEVEN years in our RV. We saw many wonderful sights, visited famous and not so famous cities, and wandered through many a National Park. I have blogged through all our travels. I've stumbled upon the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013". I decided to jump on board this crazy train and share with all of you places I have seen in my travels.

Day 25 "Blogging from A-Z Challenge"!






is for Yellowstone National Park






One of the must see's in anyone's travel wishlist! We ventured out to Yellowstone in the month of MAY, and there was still snow on the ground. In fact, the campground had about 15 inches of snow and just shoveled out spots for the trailers. Although the park is open 24 hours a day/365 days a year, and the North and South entrances are open, this doesn't mean you can actually drive everywhere, because many roads within the park are closed due to snow. So it is advisable to always check the website before venturing out to the park.    Luckily we were able to get to more than half of the park; the rest of the roads were closed.

First of all, you must prepare yourself that you will see buffalo. Lots of them. Well, at least we did.

Walking the streets.




They would stop traffic quite often.

Sometimes singly. 



Sometimes in a herd.



I was very glad that we were in a big, high truck. Although the animals didn't bother us (if we didn't bother them), these guys were pretty big.

Here is a very short clip of them walking past our truck. I hated the fact that the people tried to hurry the buffalo along!



To see them in their natural habitat? Priceless!



Of course, buffalo aren't the only wildlife you will see. You might see a bear. We didn't. But YOU might! We DID see lots of elk.





You will be happy to know that elk look both ways before crossing the street!



The scenery? Outstanding, of course! Judge for yourself!



The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone



A powerful waterfall!



Old Faithful! Thar she blows!



There are many areas to walk to see (and smell) the hot springs and geysers. The colors can be beautiful.




There is so much to see in Yellowstone. I would love to go back in warmer weather so we could see what we missed. You never know what you will find there! Like this, for instance. It's the skull and spine of a buffalo. Just lying there in the grass. The circle of life. Wild. Fascinating. 





Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"X" marks the spot!

My husband, Jim, and I traveled this great country of ours for SEVEN years in our RV. We saw many wonderful sights, visited famous and not so famous cities, and wandered through many a National Park. I have blogged through all our travels. I've stumbled upon the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013". I decided to jump on board this crazy train and share with all of you places I have seen in my travels.

Day 24 "Blogging from A-Z Challenge"!





Marks the Spot!!!

of where the Aliens Landed!

I'm talking ROSWELL!!




Okay. I cheated a little. We did NOT travel to a place that begins with the letter "X". Sooooo, here's the next best thing!

The infamous day - July 8, 1947

First stop in Roswell? The UFO Museum.


It made a believer out of me.

True, it had some hokey exhibits like this one,


But then, here's an exhibit of what I think what could be construed as "realistic"....


We watched a few films...one from an engineer who worked on a project to try to repair an "object" that had landed on earth. This particular engineer said that he had never encountered that type of material in his life. I thought the video was very convincing. Reading over the material of the poor rancher who first reported a "flying saucer" that landed on his ranch, then only to recant his story? Hmmmm....seems awfully fishy to me folks! My eyes got wider as I went through the museum. Jim just snorted and shook his head.


The town of Roswell really jumped on the theme of aliens, though.

There are alien lamp posts


A handful of gift shops with an alien stamped on anything, an "alien" coffee shop


and even the McDonald's is shaped like a flying saucer!


There is a nearby place that you can go to escape from all the alien madness. It's called the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. And you will see things like this....


and this


or this.



We also visited the Roswell Museum and Art Center, which, to my best recollection, was free, and I love a bargain!

So, you WILL forgive me for choosing "Roswell" for "X" marking the spot, yes?

Thanks!

I knew you would!

Ta-Ta! See you on the "Y" train! Our trip is coming to an end soon! That's good because I'm just about out of underwear!

Friday, April 26, 2013

"W" is for White Sands

My husband, Jim, and I traveled this great country of ours for SEVEN years in our RV. We saw many wonderful sights, visited famous and not so famous cities, and wandered through many a National Park. I have blogged through all our travels. I've stumbled upon the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2013". I decided to jump on board this crazy train and share with all of you places I have seen in my travels.

Day 23 "Blogging from A-Z Challenge"!





is for White Sands National Mon.








Did you know that there are sand dunes in New Mexico? They are in the White Sands National Monument, which is centered in the bottom 1/3 of the state, and located just west of the town of Alamagordo. It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. The dunes are very active, especially in the northeast area of the 275 square miles (115 of which is located within the monument), and can move up to 30 feet a year!


As we were driving in, we looked to the West and saw the blowing sand. We could easily see how the sand dunes shift!



This is the road closer to the dunes. Again you can see the blowing sand in the distance. This is definitely not an area for contact wearers!



We parked our truck and walked a ways on the sand. (Which wasn't easy, by any means!)



But the scenery was so beautiful, I just couldn't resist!



This is called a "plant pedestal". This is what is left when part of a dune is covered with sumac, rosemarymint or saltcedar. The "pedestal" remains when the dune moves. This one may not seem so big.....



but when you see my 6'2" husband standing next to it, he is dwarfed by the sheer size of the pedestal.




The yucca plant is one of the plants that survives in this kind of environment. As the dune grows taller, the plant actually elongates its stem, growing upward as much as a foot a year to keep its leaves above the sand.



As we drove further into the area, we had to remind ourselves that this was SAND, and not SNOW. The road was scraped clean as if it WERE snow, though. Look at this!



Then we came upon some kids sliding down the dunes with a saucer sled!  Don't be fooled by their coats! It was about 65 degrees outside! Again! Think Sand!



Here is a short clip of them sliding down the sand dune.




Before visiting White Sands National Monument, check on their website to see if there is any closures due to any testing at the White Sands Missile Range which is located nearby.

Thanks for stopping by!