Saturday, September 23, 2017

May 25 -- part four, Utah, (mostly) outside Zion National Park

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Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.


A few last images from inside the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park.





Next to the parking lot in the Kolob Canyons visitors center.




At the visitor's center, my on-the-ball husband noticed a sign listing the various National Park passes that could be purchased.  The (62 or over) senior pass is a life-time pass.  !!!  I paid $10 for mine.  It gets me -- and the carload of people I bring with me -- into any national park (and more places, too).  For the rest of my life.  (Well, as long as we still have national parks..........................)

As a point of comparison, a one-year (not-senior) pass to the national parks is $80.  (Our daughter bought one of those earlier this year.  Since a one-visit pass is $30, if you visit more than two parks, the year pass is a deal.  She visited Joshua Tree, and I think one other national park before we visited three parks in the southwest.....)

Back to the senior pass -- I would buy this just to support the parks, even if I thought I would never visit another park.  What a deal.  And I got mine at Kolob Canyons.  Excellent.

I have every intention of supporting the parks in other ways than buying passes.  For example -- buying tshirts and tote bags and scores of postcards...............  And dropping 20-dollar bills in donation buckets.....



Now we are back on the road, west of Zion National Park, heading south back to Springdale.



The camera thinks plastic windows (like in airplanes, or car windshields) are hazy looking.



Wide-open sky, and interesting stuff on the horizon.
And -- craters?  I was looking at the sky when I took the pic.  I didn't notice the low places until I saw the above on "the big screen".

Here is a closer look, with the darkness lightened.  This ground here looks relatively level.  Aside from those big holes......  I wonder if these were canyons (carved by rivers).



Still blithely taking pics of the sky and the stuff on the horizon, oblivious to the canyon? just visible at the right edge.....



Another through-the-windshield pic.



Out the side window of the car.



We were feeling a bit peckish, so we stopped for ice cream.  I got prickly-pear ice cream.  When will be the next time I have the chance to try that?   It was tasty.  It had an exotic tropical flavor, I thought.

The next few shots were taken from the parking lot for the ice cream place.  In this next one, we can see the road, on the other side of the plants.  (Looking west.)



A closer look at yellow cactus flowers.  And buds.



This was basically 90 degrees right of the above two pics.   Looking north.  That sky.  That rock formation......



Turning back 90 degrees to look west again.  I'd think it would take a while to get used to this view.....



Still in the parking lot, admiring the flowers.




Cactus with pink flowers, as well as the yellow ones.



Back on the road to Springdale.



I took a pic of weird rocks like this on our way north on the morning of May 25.  This may be the same formation.  Broken pieces of black rock are all over this hillside.



Looks extruded to me.  And then bent..........  I don't suppose it *was* extruded, but it was certainly bent............  So many interesting rocks!




This is a closer crop of the rocks under the tallest part of the closer formation in the the previous image.  Different kinds of rock.  Thick layers, thin layers, a thin-ish layer of chunky red stuff, then a whole bunch of red and white layers that look more like dirt than solid rock.  So interesting......



I didn't see the sign when I took the pic.  (The little sign, in the lower left.)  That thing that looks like a tent *is* a tent.  With a red line through it.  No camping........





Back in Springdale.  Almost all the pics in this post were taken with the camera.  This one was taken by the phone.  Much more dramatic (more contrast, more saturation)......



My husband had a hankering for an omelet.  We went to Blondie's (very close to our hotel in Springdale).



Blondie's is a quirky place.  With signs on the walls that are for sale.




I could see this from where I sat in Blondie's.  The windows were old enough the glass was wavy, and had some cracks.  But -- this view.............

Blondie's has good food.  I had a Navajo taco, and we went back the next night and I had another.  At the end of May, they have home-made cherry pie, from local cherries, which is not to be missed if you are there at the right time.  Mmmmmmmm.



Sitting on the balcony outside our room, looking east as the sun went down.



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Friday, September 22, 2017

Calontir on GoogleMaps

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You may remember my blog post about my brother's coronation.  That was an excellent day.....  In the coronation post, I explain many things...........  If you want to go read background descriptions of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Calontir, etc., please do.  It was a really good day.   :-)

If you want to cut right to the chase, the extremely terse version is that my brother and sister-in-law and their kids have been in the SCA for decades.  They live in the SCA kingdom of Calontir.

Smithville Lake is north of Kansas City, Missouri.  For the last many years, Calontir has hosted a large SCA event at Smithville Lake in June. 



The current GoogleMaps pictures of Smithville Lake were taken when Calontir was encamped there this past June!  (Is this cool or what????)

Here is a link to the actual live map.



The images in this post are static screen captures from the live map.

Smithville Lake is big.  This first image shows where Calontir was encamped.




Let's zoom in, shall we?



Look at the fancy tents.  And the cool texture of the water.



This is as far in as we can zoom.  I am pretty sure the dots-with-shadows are people.....



Just to reorient you, this is the same pic seen near the beginning of this post.  I asked my brother where their tents were.....



My brother and sister-in-law's encampment.



Any closer would start to get creepy.  I'm glad people are not identifiable. 

I am glad to have screen captures, so I'll still be able to enjoy this after Google's images are reloaded at some future time.


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Friday, September 15, 2017

May 25, part three, Zion National Park -- Kolob Canyons

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Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.  I figured out how to alphabetize the "sites," and I added a couple of restaurants.



In the previous post, we had lunch at the Kolob Canyons view point (at the end of the road into the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park).  Then we started a hike out to a view point.  This is taken part of the way through the hike.  The gray specks about in the center of the left side of this next image (a ways in from the edge) are cars in the parking lot where the trail starts.



See?  Cars.



The weather was clouding up, and we didn't want to get caught away from shelter if there was lightning.  Some of the party headed quickly out to the end of the trail.  Some preferred to dawdle and take photographs on the way back to the car.

Lichens.



Flowers.










Bug, which I did not see until I got this on "the big screen."  This is a closer crop of just a bit above and left of the center of the previous image.  The bug looks like a petal at a funny angle (which is why I noticed it -- that strange angle, compared to the petals).



The weather looks ok to the east.....



Cactus flower buds.



I like the contrast between that big fat bud and the barely-there buds and flowers of the other plant behind it.  That cactus is armed for bear, and that little plant behind it looks totally vulnerable, in comparison.  Maybe this kind of plant prefers to grow next to cactus with huge spines, so it gets some protection from the cactus's defenses?  Or maybe this one just got lucky....




Another bug I didn't see until I got these pics on "the big screen"........  A pollinator.



Shaggy peeling bark.



Growing from the crack in a rock.





I think this was looking west.....




This is two pics, taken one after the other, one more north and one more south.  I made the two into one by hand.  I believe you'll see a bigger version if you click on the pic.



This next image makes it look like the worst of the weather has just gone over us.  It looks like it might have rained, but I was not aware of any precipitation.  Note parking lot near left edge,



Another tree with shaggy peeling bark.  This looks like it's just begging to be separated into thin fibers.  I wonder what they would be good for......



As much as we didn't want it to thunder over us, we could see that it hadn't rained for a while, and couldn't wish for more dryness for everything trying to grow here....



Purple.




Reunited; in the car; headed back out of the park.  Looking south, from just south of Kolob Canyons view point.


Here is a link to the next post about the Grand Canyon trip.

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