Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zion National Park (continued)

Well, we ended the last post in the 1.5-mile Zion Tunnel. When I came out of the west entrance to the tunnel, I saw this view.

Once on the valley floor, I parked the car and caught on of the free shuttles to take me about 6 miles to the Temple of Sinawava. The shuttle makes several stops along the way and a person can exit the shuttle and take in whatever that stop has to offer. I went to the Emerald Pools and checked out the Lodge. One of the most famous locations in the park is the Great White Throne.

While riding the shuttle, you can look up through the hatch in the roof and see gigantic bolder several hundred feet right over your head.

At the end of the shuttle line is the Temple of Sinawava. From there I hiked the one-mile trail to the "narrows" where the width of the virgin river takes up the entire space between the valley walls. Today the volume of water was too great for safe passage on foot up the river. Just to stand outside the shuttle and look all around at the 2,000-foot vertical cliffs that surround you was awesome.

If you enlarge the picture below and look carefully at the center section of the rim on the cliff of the rock formation in the center of the picture, you mite be able to see the head frame of a cable tram that lowered cut lumber down from a saw mill that was up on the Plato. The mill was active from 1904 to 1924. The lumber used to build the current Zion Lodge came down on those cables. May of the houses that were built in the nearby towns used lumber that had a very scary ride down the cliff on those cables. (Check the area at the top of the red stain.)

Here is what you are looking for.

There is so much to see and do here that if you have NOT been here, be sure to add it to your "bucket list".

Monday, July 12, 2010

Zion National Park

After making camp in the town of Kanab, Utah, I drove the 12 miles to the east entrance of Zion National Park. My first visit to this park was in 2006 and was able to spend a whole week there. I had seen pictures and read about Zion for many years. Evan so, I was just amazed at the spectacular scenery of this area. No pictures or words can begin to describe the beauty and wonder that one will experience when there in person. I can only touch on a few of the many wonders of this park.

I found that may of the formations on the east side of the park are just as interesting as the ones in the main canyon. They are a thousand feet or more above the floor of the main canyon and you are fairly close to them as you slowly drive along the two-lain road that was built in 1929. Usually, there is not much traffic in this area so you can travel 20 mph as you serpentine your way along enjoying the view.

When I came to the east entrance to the Zion - Mount Carmel
Tunnel, I stopped and took the .5 mile hike to the Canyon Overlook.

At on spot on the trail, you need to walk out on this plank bridge that hangs out over the canyon to be able to go around an area of the face of the wall that slide down into the canyon some time past.

The hike was well worth it to be able to take in the view from this vantage point.

You can see the 7-level switchback road that comes up from the canyon fl00r to the west entrance to the one mile long, Zion - Mount Carmel Tunnel. that is located just inside the face of the canyon wall on the left in the picture above.

On the way back to the car, I noticed one of the five windows that are unique to this tunnel. I was lucky enough to catch a car going by the window inside the mountain just as I was taking the picture.

HERE WE GO entering the tunnel to go down to the main canyon floor.

To be Continued!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Williams, Arizona

The second location that I visited while camped at Black Bart's in Flagstaff was the town of Williams. My main reason for visiting was to document the Route 66 landmarks there to complete my documentary slide show that covers the "Mother Road" from San Bernardino, CA through Albuquerque, AZ. I had traveled through Williams back in March, but everything was pretty much covered with snow. I opted to bypass Williams at that time and catch it when I came back through Flagstaff in May. Today was the day to gather the final segment for this project (which is now completed).

The first place I stopped was the old Santa Fe depot in Williams. This is the station where the Grand Canyon Railroad departs from on its daily run to the Grand Canyon. The train leaves at 9:30 am with about 13 cars full of excited travelers.

As I was leaving the station, three "bad guys" with guns approached!

As it turned out, they were on their way to hold up the train while it was on its way back from the Grand Canyon. Meanwhile, I looked across the street from the station and saw what looked like a lady waving at me.

As I approached, I saw that she must have been one of the girls that "worked" there when this building was used as a brothel back in the early 1900s.

I figured she did not need my help so I continued my tour of the city looking for Route 66 places.

One place of interest that I found was this old service station where they still check your oil, and wash your windshield at No Charge. I did ask them if you had to be a good looking girl in a convertible with the top down to get your windshield washed and the attendant said, "No, but it always helps." (double-click on the picture to enlarge)

I walked over to the next street and found this old service station that had been turned into a Bar and Grill.

Another place called "Twisters" is a good place to get an old fashioned vanilla shake to wet your whistle.

After walking around town, I found Williams a real fun place to visit.