Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 30 August 2013

Flagstaff, Arizona

Heading South

I thought that this method of loading and transporting an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) was interesting.


We did a last hike on the Widforss Trail along the North Rim yesterday. The brochure says it's a 10 mile stroll along the rim and though a forest. The path turned out to be very rocky and mostly up and down at a 9,000 foot elevation.


Mrs. Phred did great in spite of the broken foot...she even volunteered to carry the backpack when she heard me huffing.


Nice views...


Fields of flowers.


We had a problem with the propane leak detector going off at 2AM last night. I shut down the propane tank and opened the RV door and the alarm finally stopped. Even perfume can set one of these off.


Today I opened a basement compartment and smelled a strong odor. Apparently an air compressor sat on a can of electrical contact cleaner and emptied it out...I think that's what caused the alarm...


Today we drove South to Flagstaff and bought groceries. We'll spend the next two days in Show Low, Arizona and then to Benson....I'm working on the trip back to Sarasota.


an interesting summer...Portugal, Turkey and Alaska.....Next summer we are looking to book an apartment in Kabul or Damascus....


What a woman....

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Kaibab Plateau


North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona


Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It's beautiful and so are you
 Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
-The Beatles
 

The Kaibab Plateau on the North Rim  is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet....it gets as much as 200 inches of snowfall and twice the annual precipitation of the South Rim.


I saw dozens of mule deer and a few coyotes on my dawn walk this morning....the I-pod was playing "Dear  Prudence" (the Grateful Dead version) and the sky was blue and the dawn sunbeams were making chiaroscuro in the tall pines.



 The Federal Government decided to make this area a deer preserve about 100 years ago and killed off all the predators (coyotes, wolves, bobcats, etc.)....the deer population exploded to about 100,000 and began a process of mass starvation....the ecosystem was badly damaged by overgrazing....not good to mess with mother nature...


We took a couple of hundred Pix at the North Rim yesterday....just close your eyes and click...you can't get a bad picture....


We had dinner and watched the sunset at the Lodge....


We got out of the car on the drive home and turned off the headlights....the Milky Way was a broad, bright swath in the summer sky....light pollution is almost non-existent here....


Somehow we have TV on satellite though the pines in our campground....I'm pulling for Andy Murray....










Wednesday, 28 August 2013

More North Rim Pix

We're about ready to head back to the North Rim....It's raining again...we have dinner reservations at the lodge at seven....

We had a hike picked out but it might not happen....I've already walked nine miles this morning anyway....I started at 5AM with my personal headlight on my forehead....

 More later....










Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The North Rim

Grand Canyon, Arizona



We've always wanted to see the North Rim, but it's usually closed when we come by because of snow into late May...


Eroding ancient fossilized sand dunes characterize vast areas of the Southwest...


We are creatures of the asphalt....

.
The Bright Angel trail walks you out onto a long knife-edge pinnacle that's a mile above the canyon below on both sides...

You wouldn't want to be out here during and earthquake....on the other hand you wouldn't want to be atop the World Trade Center when some unwashed, demented, uneducated third world freak decided to hijack an airplane....


We'll be hiking in the morning and taking a mule ride down into the canyon the day after...


You must weigh less than 200 pounds to rent a mule....HA! I weighed in at 193 this morning, down 47 pounds....I'm coming at you, mule....


What an amazing place....maybe tomorrow we'll have sunshine and better pictures...??



Monday, 26 August 2013

Kolob Canyon Road

Zion National Park, Utah


Zion runs a shuttlebus system now to cut down on the horrendous traffic. This bus was waiting for me at  6AM....


We passed the site of the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857 on the way in from Wendover. Here Mormons disguised themselves as Indians and attacked a wagon train. After talking the settlers into surrendering their weapons for safe passage, the Mormons killed 117 men, women and children and buried them in shallow graves which animals dug up....



The shuttle dropped me four miles up the canyon at dawn and I walked back along the Virgin river.


Rains last night caused flash floods which left the dissolved sandstone covering the road in many places....


Later we drove about 20 miles up to the Kolob Reservoir and I looked for the reservoir dogs....it's at an elevation of about 8,500 feet....In May last time we saw lots of snow and ice....



It's a pretty drive which is infrequently traveled....it winds in and out of Zion National Park....lots od park trailheads....