Monday, September 21, 2009

Point Sublime (name says it all)

Which way?

The road that was described as "very rocky"

Overcome by the sheer beauty!

Hazy pollution, but still amazing view

While researching our trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I came across a road that lead to Point Sublime. It was described as a two hour one way drive along a rocky 4 wheel drive only road and that if you were brave enough to do it, you could be surrounded on three sides by the Grand Canyon. Seventeen miles for that view. I was interested, so I tried to find more information, only finding it described as a horrible rocky, better carry a spare tire road. Having been on roads like this with Alan, I decided to mention it to him to see if it was something we could do in my jeep. He was up for it! I figured it could not be worse than the road to the Crystal Mill in Colorado.

The road starts out as a gravel road to a trail head that quickly turns to dirt. It did get rocky, but not like it was described. We did need a high clearance vehicle, and we did use 4 wheel drive in one spot. We both thought it was totally worth the drive for a view that was just for us, no one else was there. We passed a few other vehicles, but not many. For an experienced off roader like Alan, he called it "a country road". A very easy road for him to drive. I think I could have driven it and I do not have much experience off road. (we did it in a stock 2001 Jeep Cherokee Laredo)

So is it worth it? It depends. If you have four hours to spare, and are comfortable with easy off roading using 4 wheel drive at times, than YES! The view is worth it, the completely non crowded space is worth it. It was one of the most beautiful views of the canyon I have ever enjoyed. We had time for this view and paved road for views, after driving in from Jacobs Lake.
Here is the short video of the entire view. Of course it was a little smoggy :(

Friday, September 18, 2009

Made it to Washington

We made it to Gig Harbor! However, we had a little accident along the way. We were in California needing to stop for gas, and had to get into a station that we thought we could get in and out of okay. We thought wrong.

The back of the 5th wheel hit a concrete barrier and the corner got a little messed up. However, that is why we have insurance. So we will be displaced for a little while until it can fixed. The repair place unfortunately is backed up for a few weeks, so we get just enough time to settle in for while, before packing up our house and taking it to the shop.

I start work next week, am very excited. As for the trip, we made it to all the national parks listed except for Mt. St. Helens, it was fogged in again. We did get a bonus park, Mono Lake!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Big Bend....not what you think....

The boy and I made it to Big Bend today. It was not what either of us expected. I expected to see a river and Mexico in the distance. I knew there was some desert life, but I did not expect it to be so green, I did not expect to see petroglyphs, be above 5000 feet in the mountains, or for it to rain.

We only did some of the park, due to time constraints, however, I think we did well. We went Chisos Basin. There were some very unique mountains, it was also where we ended up above 5000 ft. It started to rain up there and the temp dropped to 63 degrees, and about 30 minutes later we were back down to 2000 ft and it was 83 degrees.

We then went south to Rio Grande Village. It was mostly shut down for the season, be we saw a really green campground. The highlight of the trip was a 2 mile dirt road to Hot Springs. We found old buildings, petroglyphs and the boy dipped his toe in the River. We also found a huge palm tree (see Family on the road), and what we think is bamboo. It sure looked like bamboo to us!

Oh, then it started to rain in the a serious rain. So I got to drive through water that was flash flooding. It looks deeper than it is!

Driving 90W from Uvalde to Marathon, we saw what we think were golden eagles, and the most vultures I have ever seen in my life. They were everywhere, covering the entire road, and on fence posts seven in a row. We also saw too many to count border patrol trucks. We even did our first immigration checkpoint. They make everyone stop, and ask if you are a citizen. Me being the whitest white girl ever, had no problems!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We're Off!!!!!

We are off.....sort of!
We will be leaving very early tomorrow morning for Gig Harbor. In the last post I mentioned our trip would be long and have some very scenic stops, now that the route is planned I can tell you the stops along the way.

We leave from our current town of Uvalde TX, and are heading to Big Bend tomorrow. Then north to Albuquerque, west to the North rim of the Grand Canyon, stopping at Petrified Forest NP and Sunset Crater NM. After exploring the North rim with hopefully a trip to Sublime Point, we head north to Cedar City Utah, with stops at Cedar Breaks NM and Bryce Canyon (my favorite park ever!!) We head west through Vegas to Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Next we go to Yosemite, possibly seeing an old friend, then off to Redwoods NP. Our last stops along the way north will be Crater Lake NP and Mt. St. Helens. Of course once we get to Gig Harbor, one of our first stops will be Hurricane Ridge of Olympic NP.

The boy and I were at Crater Lake and Mt. St. Helens last year in early June. Crater Lake was still beautifully covered with snow, and only a mile of the rim road open. Mt. St. Helens was fogged in, so we are hoping for an open road and a fogless morning!

I left my job in March of 08 to become a travel nurse, since then I have had some awesome jobs in some great places. Not to mention that I met my boy, got two corgis and got married. I wanted to see more places. Below is a list of all the cool places I have been since leaving Pennsylvania not so long ago. I accomplished much more than I thought possible. I now live in a fifth wheel (with a boy!) and two dogs!

Royal Gorge
Great Sand Dunes NP
Colorado NM
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP
Arches NP
Canyonlands NP
Capitol Reef NP
Bryce Canyon NP
Natural Bridges NM
Mesa Verde NP
Zion NP
Lake Pueblo State Park
Garden of the Gods
Corral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Volcanic Monument
Crater Lake NP
Mt. St. Helens NP
Mt. Rainier NP
North Cascades NP
Columbia River Gorge Rec. Area
Northwestern Paradise St. Park
Glacier NP
Yellowstone NP
Grand Tetons NP
Grand Coulee Dam
White Rim Trail in Canyonlands NP
Dewey Bridge Rec. Area
Calhan Paint Mines Int. Park
Great Salt Lake
Rocky Mt. NP

Lake Brownwood SP
The Alamo
San Antonio’s Riverwalk

Guadalupe Mt. NP
Carlsbad Caverns NP
White Sands NM
Three Rivers Petroglyph site
Valley of Fires SP, NM
Petrogylph NM
Bishop’s Castle
Capulin Volcano, NM