Arizona

Lower Antelope Canyon Tour

Touring Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon is a popular attraction about 5 miles outside of Page, Arizona.  The V shaped canyon, meaning it is wider at the top than the bottom, is famous for its rock shapes.  Though not as popular as Upper Antelope Canyon, known for the light rays that filter in the canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon is still a special place to visit.  In addition, in certain winter months, like November, the famous light rays don’t make it into Upper Antelope Canyon, making Lower Antelope Canyon an excellent alternative. Continue reading “Lower Antelope Canyon Tour”

Arizona

The Grand Canyon’s North Rim in November

Why to Visit the Grand Canyon’s North Rim in November

In November, the Grand Canyon’s North Rim turns to Day Use Only.  As such, the lodge and campgrounds inside the park are closed.  In addition, services are unavailable.  The only thing open is the gift shop at the lodge.  While this may sound unappealing to many vacationers, for those who wish to enjoy nature without the crowds, November is a great time to visit the North Rim.

While the park as well as most of the limited merchants have closed down their services, the road remains open until November 30th or until it snows, whichever comes first.  Along the way, there are two gas stations whose pumps operate, a lodge, and a RV Park that cater to the few who venture to the relatively remote area. Continue reading “The Grand Canyon’s North Rim in November”

Utah

Six Things to Do in Kanab and Southern Utah

6 Things to Do in Kanab and Southern Utah

Where to Stay

Camping

I found a small campground called Ponderosa Grove just 30 mins northwest of Kanab.  The campground has about eight sites that are on a first come first serve basis.  I arrived on a Monday night and there were three choices available.  By Thursday, all were taken.

The sites are in close proximity of one another, but are shaded by junipers and pine which is nice for hot days.  Each spot includes a picnic table, grill, fire ring, a generally flat area for a tent and parking area large enough for one to two cars.  In addition, the campground includes two pit toilets. Continue reading “Six Things to Do in Kanab and Southern Utah”

New York

A Tourist in New York City

A Tourist in New York City

I went into to full on tourist mode this weekend in New York City.  There are so many things to do in the Big Apple, and I just never tire of visiting NYC!  It was great to reconnect with my friend Kristin too. Continue reading “A Tourist in New York City”

Colorado, The Rockies

4 Great Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Super Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a wonderful place to visit anytime of year, but the ability to avoid the ski traffic on I-70 makes it a great place to snowshoe in the winter.  Below are three great snowshoeing trails.

Mills Lake Trail

This 5.3 mile trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular.  We had actually planned to hike farther than Mills Lake, but the sunny forecast was far from accurate.  Instead, a 40 mph sustained wind blew a stingy fresh snow into our face!  So much so, that when we laid eyes on the amazing lake and surrounding peaks, we were happy to stop at the lake and enjoy the scenery. Continue reading “4 Great Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park”

hurricane michael closes parks, st. marks national wildlife refuge
Florida

Hurricane Michael Closes Parks in Florida

Hurricane Michael Closes Parks in Florida’s Panhandle

Hurricane Michael closed three of my favorite Florida Panhandle Parks.  As of late-October, they remained closed or are opened with limited services. Continue reading “Hurricane Michael Closes Parks in Florida”

Utah

Visiting Best Friends Animal Society

Visiting Best Friends Animal Society

The Society

The Best Friends Animal Society operates the largest no kill animal sanctuary in the USA.  Its headquarters and sanctuary are located in Kanab, Utah on 20,700 acres of which 3,700 acres are owned by the organization and the rest of the land is leased from State and Federal agencies.

Best Friends Animal Society is the number one attraction to visit in Kanab, UT according to TripAdvisor, thus it peaked my interest enough to join a scheduled 1.5 hour tour.  I learned so much about the organization while I was there.  Best Friends Animal Society’s mission is to make the entire USA no kill by 2025.  It is on its way…the state of Utah will be no kill by next year!  Continue reading “Visiting Best Friends Animal Society”

Utah

Hikes Near Kanab, Utah

Kanab is an outdoor lovers paradise.  There are several hikes near Kanab through slot canyons on Federal land, in National Parks and in State Parks.  A hiked a handful of trails while in the area.

Easy Hikes Near Kanab

Water Canyon Trail

Water Canyon Trail is located off of Kanab Canyon Road across from the Best Friend Animal Sanctuary’s Welcome Center only about five miles outside of Kanab.  It is available to the public.  The Water Canyon Trail is only 1.5 miles roundtrip.  It starts on a road that descends to Kanab Creek. Before getting to the creek, several roads disperse in different directions past pet cemeteries.  To follow the trail go to the left.

The path crosses the Kanab Creek lined with willow trees for which it is appropriately named (the Paiute word kawnuv means willow).  The trail climbs from the creek up through the desert terrain passing cacti, juniper and sandstone cliffs.  The interpretive signs point out a few cool things like the holes in the sandstone that used to be wasps nests!  Also, the Sacred Datura plant, which blooms a lovely purple and white trumpet flower, is extremely toxic! Continue reading “Hikes Near Kanab, Utah”

Colorado, The Colorado Trail, The Rockies

Segment 25 of the Colorado Trail Closed Due to Wildfires This Summer

Views From Segment 25 of the Colorado Trail (Summer 2017)

So I took four summers to complete the Colorado Trail which I finished a little over a year ago.  This was a very big accomplishment for me and at times I wondered why in the heck I was doing it.  Especially during the final summer when all it did was RAIN!  During these CONSTANT storms last year, we slogged through rain and sleet, took cover from lightning and even aborted one camping trip.  At the same time, we enjoyed SPECTACULAR scenery and wonderful wildflowers.  Some of my favorite segments were in the San Juan Mountain Range.  Segments 24 and 25 were awe-inspiring! Continue reading “Segment 25 of the Colorado Trail Closed Due to Wildfires This Summer”

Colorado

7 Great Snowshoeing Trails at Ski Resorts Nearby Denver

It seems winter has come early in Denver, so I thought it would be appropriate to post some great snowshoe trails near Ski Resorts close to Denver.

Snowshoe Trails Near Winter Park

Jim Creek Trail

Jim Creek Trail is a 5.3 mile trail that ascends about 1,000 feet.  The trailhead is located at Bonfils Station Outdoor Center in Winter Park.  The trail winds through an evergreen forest before it climbs via switchbacks to a high alpine meadow for a view of surrounding snow-capped mountains.   Continue reading “7 Great Snowshoeing Trails at Ski Resorts Nearby Denver”