Friday, October 29, 2010

Prescott to Quartzsite

the Palace, Prescott, AZ Solon Borglum statue-Captain William O'Neill(Jan)Tuesday and Wednesday night found us staying at the Krazy K RV Park in Camp Verde, Arizona. It’s a nice place and it’s great to have all of the laundry done again. When we posted a note on Face Book asking if anyone else was in the area, we got a response back from Gregg and Sally Schindel inviting us to come over to Prescott and park in their driveway! We didn’t want to take our MH with it’s compromised exhaust system over the mountains but we did drive our pick-up over and had a delightful visit and dinner with them on Wednesday. In the afternoon we drove to downtown Prescott to enjoyed walking around the town square with it’s beautiful courthouse in the middle and stores & shops on the streets Jan & Sally clowning w/a witch in Prescottsurrounding it. We enjoyed the many historical buildings, including The Palace on Whiskey Row pictured above, the Borglum bronze statue on the courthouse lawn, pictured at right, and several colorful murals. Prescott was named the territorial capital of Arizona in 1864 by President Lincoln. Prescott is very actively preserving it’s history and historical buildings. Also as a city they are active and interested in the Arts. We enjoyed several ladies dressed in 1900’s garb strolling down the street headed for tea at a local shop. Sally and I couldn’t resist having our picture taken with one of the gals who was all ready for Halloween. Wonderful town, great friends, very fun and relaxing visit.

We were on our way again Thursday morning headed south and then west; our destination, Quartzsite. Our exhaust system parts will be in on Monday and this is a perfect place to get projects done. We’ll also soak in some sunshine, 80-90 degree temperatures, cool evenings and some of the prettiest sunsets you’ve ever seen. BLM desert land north of Plomosa Road is once more our home.

Plomosa Road north of Quartzsite, AZ

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Manti-La Sal National Forest

Castle Valley NE of Moab(Chuck) Monday was cold and rainy and we decided to do a drive in the area. We left Moab and journeyed north up the Colorado River. Manti-La Sal NFIt was a great trip up the canyon. The vertical rock walls are all various shades of red. During each rain the river is stained deep red from the highly erodible sandstone. About 18 miles upriver we came to a road that went to the right toward a town called Castle Valley. It was a good blacktop road that beckoned us up to another beautiful mountain valley. You have been here before, haven’t you? So instead of turning around at Castle Valley, we followed the road up into the Manti-La Sal National Forest. A road sign appeared that Moab was many miles ahead of us and Jan confirmed with the map that it did indeed circle through the mountains and back to Moab from the south. The road did stay as blacktop, although the mountains section was pretty narrow and held fresh snow. It was a nice little drive and we shared the mountain that day with quite a few elk hunters.Golden Cottonwoods w/Canyonlands cliffs in the background

(Jan)  We’re headed south this morning going into Arizona. Chuck has ordered some exhaust parts from Spartan and we will pick them up in the Phoenix area. It was sad to lease Moab and the National Parks there but it was also getting pretty late in the season to be at that elevation.  There was heavy frost this morning and a thin sheet of ice on our slide toppers.  Time to move on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday at Canyonlands NP

Shafer Canyon (Jan) Shafer Trail Road in Canyonlands National Park started as a very steep cattle trail into the canyon where ranchers moved their livestock down to lower river regions in the winter and back up to high country to graze in the summer. The trail was so steep and narrow that cattle sometimes went over the edge and fell to their deaths. In the 1950’s uranium boom the trail was improved and widened to allow truck traffic on the ‘road’.  On Sunday we intended to drive the road down the canyon and explore along the Colorado River on the White Rim Road. But it was not to be. It had rained Early Saturday morning and so it was slick and muddy for Saturday’s drivers. We heard from a fellow park visitor that someone had slid off of the side of the (cliff) road resulting in a ‘gnarly’ rescue by the park rangers. So, our hopes dashed and not wanting to be in position of needing a ‘gnarly’ rescue we changed plans and did some hiking instead.Mesa Arch

Mesa ArchFirst stop was a hike out to Mesa Arch perched on the side of a cliff overlooking the canyons below with the snow capped La Sal Mountains Mesa Archin the distance. The pleasant hike through juniper and pinion trees ended with a stunning view of the precarious placed arch.  As we came closer we could see where the arch was barely attached on one side to the canyon wall and had huge cracks between the arch and the cliff. What a beautiful site to hike and explore.

Green River CanyonOur next stop took us over to the Green River Overlook. Looking down into the tortured landscape below made us appreciate John Wesley Powell and his crew who in 1869 first explored this section of the Green River and the surrounding country. Today you can drive the 100 mile long White Rim Road that follows the canyon rim of the Green and Colorado Rivers in the Island in the Sky part of Canyonlands.Upheaval Dome

 

  After lunch we headed over to Upheavel Dome.  There is still debate whether this area is a result of an uplift of a salt dome in the earth’s crust or the site of a meteor crash.  Whichever, it is an interesting land formation and a pretty but challenging .3 mile uphill hike to the first overlook. That evening we capped off the chilly, windy day having pizza in downtown Moab.

Saturday at Arches NP

landscape arch (Chuck) The two signature features of Arches National Park are Landscape Arch and Delicate Arch. Saturday was our day to hike the 1.6 mile round trip to Landscape Arch. It is the longest natural arch in the world with a horizontal opening of over 290 feet. landscape archWhen you view the arch it seems hard to imagine that it can actually support itself.  In 1991 and twice in 1995, large pieces of rock weighing several tons fell from this arch. Park rangers say be sure to visit Landscape Arch because the next time you are here it may not still be standing.

We also stopped to see Skyline Arch in the South Devils Garden area. It has a span of 69 feet. In 1940, the size of the arch doubled when a huge rock fell from the opening. This arch is situated next to the campground and I imagine that it is a great memory for all children who stayed in the campground.

skyline arch

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Skyline Arch today and as it looked in 1940

Bad weather delayed our hike to Delicate Arch and it will have to wait until another visit. We will return someday, because it takes more than our six days to experience Arches and Canyonlands Park.

rock formations at Arches NP w/La Sal Mt in background

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rainy Days

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(Jan) Unfortunately, even in the most beautiful places on earth, there are rainy days when it is more comfortable to be indoors. The rain started gently falling last night and looks like it will continue through out the day. So, what’s on the agenda today? Scrubbing the tile floor and working on some genealogy. Last week in SLC we took a morning off from Genealogy research to defrost the fridge and shampoo the carpets, this week it’s time for the tile floor. Want to wipe down all of the woodwork, too. May-be the next rainy day? Our other project involves the MH exhaust system.

(Chuck) The Problem….we had been noticing a slightly louder exhaust the last couple of times we drove the MH so it is time to investigate. To get to the engine, it’s necessary to open the engine access cover in the bedroom; lifting the bed gives room to operate.

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With the engine compartment exposed through the bedroom, Chuck’s going in to check out the exhaust system.

What I found….. A pipe that comes off the turbocharger had cracked due to poor support. The reason was a clamp had loosened and allowed the pipe to vibrate which

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cracked it at the turbo and broke the flex tubing on the other end. The temporary repair is to install another clamp on the turbo end, install a band clamp on the flex tubing connection and firm up the supporting mechanism. Monday I will call Spartan and have a new pipe and flex tubing sent.

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Chuck fixing the flex tubing and adding another clamp on the turbo end.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Arches & Canyonlands NP

Highway 6, Utah headed south(Jan) Driving down Highways 6 & 191 on Tuesday, brought us down through some lovely canyons dressed for the season in fall foliage. Our scenic 200+ mile journey ended in Moab, where we stayed for the night at the Elks Club. Lone Mesa CG NW of MoabWe enjoyed walking the Moab streets that evening and poking into some neat shops, touristy places & art stores. Yesterday morning we were up, packed and ready to find a boondocking site. We are now at home off of Hwy 313 at the Lone Mesa CG close to Canyonlands. We have a gorgeous view and good neighbors! We spent the afternoon over at Arches National Park.  We have wanted to go there for ages and it certainly lived up to our expectations. We basically just had time to go to the Visitors Center and drive as far as North and South Windows.  We hope to go back and do more hiking and driving in a day or so.

Arches NP

The Three Gossips and Courthouse Towers

Arches NP
Balanced Rock…..it really should be titled UNBalaced Rock! 

Arches NPWe hiked up to the North & South Windows Arches. Here I am standing under the massive North Window.

Arches NP
Chuck and I at Park Avenue

Canyonlands NP Today we headed to Canyonlands National Park.  While Arches has amazing towering rock structures and rock arches, Canyonlands is all about the canyons carved by the Colorado and Green Rivers. After a quick stop at the Visitors Center we drove towards Grandview Point Overlook.  The panoramic views along the way were spectacular. As Chuck says, “One Wow! after another!”  The main road took us past the Shafer Trail overlook,MT Bluebird? the Neck, Candlestick Tower, Buck Canyon Overlook,  The Orange Cliffs and Grand View Point. We stopped to have lunch at a picnic site above Gooseberry Canyon and were joined by this brilliant little fellow. We believe it’s a Mountain Bluebird. There was a mile long hike headed out to the canyon rim from the picnic area which we felt was one of the better hikes we’ve taken. Fairly flat for most of the way, it allowed us to talk and walk hand in hand with just enough rock scrambling to keep it interesting.  Canyonlands NPThe vistas that the Colorado River had carved below us at the end of the hike made for a perfect journey. The white rock on the top of the canyon rim below, is very hard and protected the softer rock below from erosion and created these tower structures. The rows of towers in the background to the right are called ‘fins’. Canyonlands National Park is a very fascinating and beautiful place.

Canyonlands NP Chuck and Jan at Buck Canyon Overlook

Canyonlands NPShafer Canyon View

Canyonlands NP Candlestick Tower with the Green River in the background  Canyonlands NP
Looking out toward the Colorado River at the Grand View Overlook

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Kennecott Copper Mine & The Great Salt Lake

Open Mining at the Kennecott(Chuck) Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Mine is a one of a kind when it comes to a list of superlatives.

It has produced more copper than any mine in history - about 18.7 million tons.The Kennecott Mine Pit

The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep.

You could stack two Sears Towers on top of each other and still not reach the top of the mine pit.

It can be seen by the space shuttle astronauts.

The largest shovel in the mine can scoop up 98 tons of rock with each shovel full.

The 70 trucks that haul the ore stand over 23 feet tall and can carry from 255 to 360 tons of rock. A full sized service truck following the huge Haul Trucks

Each tire on these big trucks costs from $18,000 to $26,000 and lasts just 9 months.

The crusher in the pit takes in about 140,000 tons of ore every day and grinds it into chunks smaller than the size of a basketball. Chuck with one of the tires from the haul trucks

At 1,215 feet tall, the Kennecott smokestack is the highest structure in Utah .

Also it produces 400,000 troy ounces of gold and 4 million troy ounces of silver every year.

We enjoyed the view from the visitor’s center which is situated on the edge of the pit. Visitors have a bird’s eye view of the operation which features more heavy equipment than I have ever seen in one place. It was a good day trip.

(Jan) As we were headed south on I15 we saw a police escort ahead of us for a BIG load of some kind. As we got closer we saw that it was a huge blade.  We’re thinking now that it was probably going to the Kennecott Mine.  It covered two full lanes going down the Interstate.

Jan at the Great Salt Lake The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere.  Because 4 rivers flow into the lake but none flow out and the water evaporates, it leaves an abundance of minerals and salt; 12 to 20% salinity depending on the literature you read.  We made a stop along the south west shore and found a very beautiful view. The lake surface and blue sky seemed to melt into each other at the horizon.

Yesterday we arrived at Cabela’s in Lehi, Utah and will make it our home again tonight.  We have a lovely place to park on a hill over looking the cities of Lehi and American Fork with Orem and the Utah Lake spread out in the distance.  The lights from the cities and the interstate are very pretty all around below us at night. A storm rolls in just before dark last night and brought with it a little wind and some rain but nothing too serious.Cabela's with a storm rolling in

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday’s Happy Hour

(Jan) We were joined at the Bountiful Elks Club in the last several days by two more RV’s.  We met both couples briefly and decided to get together for Happy Hour at 4:00 today. What fun and what great people! We sure enjoyed getting to know our new best friends, Ted & Linda Reynolds and Jerry & LuRhe Streb.  We love this life!012

Saturday, October 16, 2010

SLC Wrap Up

(Jan) Our stop here in the Salt Lake City area to go to the Family History Library been wonderful. We had planned on staying for 2-3 days but we are now on our eleventh night.  We came hoping to become familiar with doing research at the FHL and ended up being overwhelmingly successful finding family records. We are thankful for the prolific resources that allowed us to find many ancestors and their family groups.  As we wrote in our previous post, we were looking for my great, great grandfather’s birth record and his family. Last night with in the hour before closing, we were directed to a St. Gertrude’s, Lohne, Germany church record that might contain more of the Riesselman ancestors.  I rushed to load the film and miraculously found the nameMarion Wulfert , FHL staff translator and Chuck I was looking for but not quite the right birthdate. Chuck ran to get a copy of it and take it to the translator as I threaded the second spool of film. Almost unbelievably, another Herman Heinrich rolled into view with different parents  and a truer birthdate!  Chuck went to get a copy of that film as translator Marion looked at the first film with me and then the second film.  We believe we found the correct 5th greatgrandfather RiesselmanFHL staff members….at 8:55 P.M., 5 minutes before closing! Thank-you Marion so much for your assistance! She and Chuck had worked together for the past two days as he found records on many of his Grundmeier ancestors. We got to know several of the helpful staff members, here are two more in the picture at right.  We missed getting a picture of Cristel, who translated for us and also, introduced us to a German fellow who lives with in 5 miles of where my ancestors had lived. What a wonderful experience we have had at the Family History Library.

While here in the SLC area, we have been staying at the Bountiful Elks Club right off of I15.  It’s a pretty place even though it is right along a very busy street off of the Interstate. We’re across that busy street from a mile long strip mall that includes a Costco, Lowe’s, many eating places, clothing and book stores.  The large, well lit parking lots have been an excellent place to walk in the evenings. We have been joined here by several other RV’ers and this afternoon at 4:00, we’ll host a Happy Hour.  One couple has just returned from Newfoundland, the other from Yellowstone. We’re looking forward to hearing about their adventures.Bountiful Elks RV SpaceWe’ll be leaving Bountiful tomorrow following Church services in the morning. Last week we attended a dynamic Mass with excellent guitar/drums/piano/singing at St. Catherine’s on the University of Utah Campus and want to go back. From here we will head to the Cabella’s just a short drive away in Lehi, Utah. We want to stop and visit the Kennecott Copper Mine, the world’s largest, near there before heading to the National Parks in southern Utah. We’re trying to decided on Bryce and Zion or Arches and Canyonlands. Any advice? Leave a comment below, please.

 
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