Park Silly Sunday, Fun Day!

Park Silly Sunday

Today we spent another morning chilling around the fire at the condo before we headed out to Park Silly Sunday, a market on Main Street.  The market included booths featuring art, hats, jewelry, produce, clothing and more.  At the end of the block, live music played on the stage while folks took a try at hula hoops and ordered bloody mary’s, fried donuts, and jerk chicken at the food stands. Continue reading “Park Silly Sunday, Fun Day!”

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Hiking Deer Valley Resort

This morning was low key. The family trickled into the sitting room over all hours. Some folks cooked while others read. I decided to hike Deer Valley Resort as the weather warmed up after a huge windstorm blew in last night.

Sultan Out and Back Trail at Deer Valley Resort

Sterling drove me up to Deer Valley Resort where I chose two hiking trails to follow. The first was called “Sultan Out and Back”. On the map it appeared like it was relatively flat as it crossed the base of the mountain to the boundary and then turned into a road for the return.

The rocky path steadily declined through aspen and across open ski runs with sweeping views of the Jordanelle Reservoir below. It eventually reached a deck with picnic tables, a perfect lunch spot, but only being a three mile hike, I didn’t need to rest for lunch. I can imagine it would be a lovely area for skiers on a warm winter day. Continue reading “Hiking Deer Valley Resort”

Utah’s Olympic Park

Upper Deer Valley

This weekend we had a family reunion in Park City, Utah. My aunt and uncle, Risa and Sterling, purchased a summer place last year, and invited our small family to visit. I had the easiest flight in from Denver. My cousin Cate and my Uncle Casey took a long, but uneventful flight from Houston. And my mom drew the short straw coming in from Dallas. She faced mechanical delays, aircraft swaps, etc., but finally made it to SLC where Sterling picked us up and drove us to 35 miles or so to Upper Deer Valley.

Our dinner was as about as eventful as my mom’s trip. The grill along with the lamb chops looked like a Texas A&M bonfire, not once, but twice. Miraculously, after Sterling singed all the hair off his hands and burned his fingers on the knobs that were too hot to touch without a cloth, the chops were cooked to perfection! We enjoyed lovely dinner in their new summer home! Continue reading “Utah’s Olympic Park”

Day 203 – Flaming Gorge Getaway

Day 203 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Dinosaur National Monument

I finally tore myself away from Steamboat on Wednesday and traveled to Dinosaur National Monument where I found a campsite near the Green River and tried staying cool in the shade for the afternoon and evening.

Today was simply crazy! I don’t even know where to begin. For what felt like a blistering hot morning (though I suspect it wasn’t even 80 degrees) and an afternoon full of thunder showers, I have to say, my day was nothing short of excellent.

I began the morning in Dinosaur National Monument, a park that spans across the Utah/Colorado border.  I took a variety of short hikes beginning with a short uphill climb to Cub Creek Petroglyphs where I found some of the largest rock carvings I have seen on my adventures.  The carvings included triangles, swirls, and faces in addition to large lizard like animals and a figure that looked like a flute player.  The well defined petroglyphs seemed to have weathered the harsh, desert conditions. Continue reading “Day 203 – Flaming Gorge Getaway”

Day 184 – Monument Valley Meander (Part 3) and San Juan Skyways

Day 184 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Hovenweep National Monument

The full moon glowed through the dust filled sky and the wind continued in force for a few more hours.  Midway through the night, the gusts subsided and we awoke to a glorious day.  As we left Hovenweep National Monument, we passed by prairie dogs, sheep, goats, and a herd dog as we headed south toward the Four Corners Monument, where we will say farewell to Utah and hello Colorado. Continue reading “Day 184 – Monument Valley Meander (Part 3) and San Juan Skyways”

Day 182 – Utah Byway – Part 5

Day 182 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Capitol Reef National Park

We started our morning drive to Capitol Reef National Park, a park we quickly passed through at the beginning of the week while traveling to Bryce.  I recalled seeing a trail to Chimney Rock, so I stopped there on the way into the park and started the trek that ascended 240 feet in the first quarter mile.  It was already relatively late in the morning and a somewhat warm day, so after reaching the plateau for a panoramic view, I returned to VANilla to rescue Petey instead of continuing on the 3.5 mile journey. Continue reading “Day 182 – Utah Byway – Part 5”

Day 181 – Zion Canyon Loop and Utah Byways (Part 4)

Day 181 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

After taking advantage of free wi-fi at the local Starbucks, we began the last portion of our loop drive around Zion National Park.  Highway 14 winds its way between high canyon walls streaked in delicate cascades, beneath sandstone cliffs, along stream filled meadows, past icy blue lakes, and over a 9,000 foot pass blanketed in snow covered lava.

We made a variety of stops along the way to simply take in the views.  A trucker, hauling a huge fork-lift, that had ignored the warning sign for semis to use a different route, helped influence some of my stops as I repeatedly caught up to him and the line of cars trailing him at half the posted speed limit. Continue reading “Day 181 – Zion Canyon Loop and Utah Byways (Part 4)”

Day 180 – Zion Canyon Loop – Part 3

Day 180 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Camping Near Zion National Park

As I mentioned yesterday, I joined civilization, applied makeup for the first time in six weeks, and found a local sports bar to watch the Mavs game.  Here I met Brian from Idaho.  He has been on a six week road trip and has spent much of his time near Zion enjoying warm weather as it is mud season in his home town.  What I was quite impressed with was his ability to find some land about twelve miles outside of town with a sign posted, “Use By Donation”.   Continue reading “Day 180 – Zion Canyon Loop – Part 3”

Day 179 – Zion Canyon Loop – Part 2

Day 179 of Year Long Roadtrip Following Scenic Byways in the USA

Zion National Park

As I mentioned yesterday, I arrived relatively early to the Visitor Center in Zion National Park, parked VANilla under a shady tree, and boarded the shuttle for a 30 minute ride to the Grotto.  From the Grotto, I took the mile long, rocky Kayenta Trail along the cliff’s edge overlooking the Virgin River lined in cottonwoods.  As I rounded the bend, in the distance a tall cascade of water tumbled from the cliff side in the morning sunlight.  The waterfall reflected every color of the rainbow…what a pleasant surprise.  It was hard to contain my eagerness to reach the Upper and Lower Emerald Pool Trail. Continue reading “Day 179 – Zion Canyon Loop – Part 2”