- Cooler weather and no bugs!
- Running on the rim.
- Signing Junior Ranger booklets.
- Long hikes with Alan.
- Entertaining Park radio traffic.
- Early morning rounds when the Park is still quiet.
- Trips to Cedar City.
- Telling campers to hike Queen’s Garden in the evening.
- Short hikes with Alan.
- Last but definitely not least …. our great co-camp hosts and trainers/cheerleaders Tom & Bonnie.
We left Bryce on the 15th of August after a going-away potluck in our honor. The Park and Kevin really made us feel appreciated and we got some great parting gifts!
The campground looked a lot different as we were leaving then when we arrived.
August: You can just see Tom waving from in front of their rig …
We headed for Escalante Petrified Forest State Park – just a few hours to the Northeast. I had read about two slot canyon hikes – Peekaboo and Spooky and different people in the Park had talked about them as well. I will have to put up a separate post just for that day with some of the better pictures.
Since then, we have slowly been making our way towards home.
Grand Junction – RV Ranch (Private)
Denver – Cherry Creek Sate Park (Colorado)
Trinidad Lake State Park (Colorado)
Alabaster Caverns State Park (Oklahoma)
Lake Arrowhead State Park (Texas)
Grand Junction was as expected. We did some shopping but never made it back to Colorado National Monument. It was just too hot to think about hiking.
We had stayed at Cherry Creek State Park just outside of Denver before and it worked out well again. We did a lot of shopping and took the train into the city one day to play tourist. Dinner at the Wynkoop Brewery was great and we managed to dodge most of the rain. There was a serious high-speed chase right through the city, down a road we had just crossed, with at least a dozen cop cars and helicopters. Later I read that it was “suspected” bank robbers they were pursuing.
Trinidad was definitely a disappointment, mostly because we had such high expectations. The town looked nice as we drove by heading to the State Park and the campground was nice enough with brand new bathrooms (although we did have to play camp host a bit and pick up a bunch of garbage in our site.) We stopped at the local farmers market on our way to a walk along the River and then to lunch at a fire pizza place. The River Walk was pretty run down and not very scenic; the pizza place was closed for the weekend. We were dusty and tired by the time we found a small cafe for a nice lunch on Main Street.
We were treated to a lovely double rainbow at Trinidad the morning we were leaving:
We got to Alabaster Caverns State Park in Oklahoma late on a Sunday and the place felt abandoned. We were the only ones camping there. In the morning we did take a pleasant tour (just us and the tour guide.) It is the only Alabaster Cave open for tours in the US. It is a gypsum cave – not limestone, like most caves. No stalactites or stalagmites. It was kind of like hiking a slot canyon below ground.
As I’m typing this we are at Lake Arrowhead State Park outside of Wichita Falls, TX. The water levels are really low so there isn’t much going on here. The swimming beach is now a field and the fishing pier is out of the water. The boat dock and launch are closed since they don’t actually reach the water!
We have been entertained by the Prairie Dogs (aka “Prairie Hounds”) which are taking over the entire Park. This morning we went for a great run along one of the trails – if only the whole 5 miles had been mowed! I had to keep a close eye out for snakes for about a mile that was pretty much over-grown.
We will stay here another day to get well rested for the last two hours of driving and then unpacking the trailer. Hopefully, all will be well with the house when we get there! I only start worrying about it when we are close.
Update: We got home safe and sound. The house was all fine so I was clearly worrying about nothing. Now, we just have to get used to having so much space – I’m already losing track of Alan at the other end of the house and talking to him as if he is right here. Next trailer trip: October in Texas.