Sunday, October 16, 2011

GRAND CANYON FROM THE TOP plus aerial views of two large lakes near Phoenix


The last part of our 9000 mile, 5 month trip was to meet Jo’s son Jeff,  sister Barbara, husband Mike, niece Laura and grandniece Katie at Grand Canyon for 3 days. I had not visited the South Rim for many years.


This is from the Desert View observation point, the easternmost in the Grand Canyon National Park. In the background is the stretch of the Colorado River from which we could see the south rim when rafting. It is just downstream from where the Little Colorado joins the Colorado.


IMG_8802hShadows cast by clouds help to give a better idea of the vastness of the canyon.



Jo at another observation point.



Here is part of the trail taken by those who prefer to ride the mules every day to the point overlooking the river. The wooded area  is Indian Gardens


Elk wander freely in the park. The bull keeping track of his harem is at the far left.



The thunderstorm is over the North Rim.



Here is most of our party at Hermit’s Rest, the westernmost observation point in the park: Jo, Jeff, Laura, Barbara and Mike.


Soft morning light also helps to show depth in the photos. Here the camera is pointed at the area where the two passenger jets went down which collided in midair over the canyon in 1956 .


Jo and I had a nice flight with Jerry and Nancy Grout on Oct. 15. Here is part of Lake Roosevelt from the air. The light area in the foreground is a reflection from the plane’s window.



Saguaro Lake, with the dam creating it in the middle left. Saguaro is the lake on the Salt River chain of lakes closest to the metropolitan area. Sorry about the reflections, but at 150 mph it is not safe to open the plane’s door for an unobstructed view!



From Breckenridge, we journeyed southwest to the San Juan Mountains, which I have visited 32 of the last 33 years.  This year we camped at Ridgway State Park as it was convenient for visiting friends. Beside, I  prefer to avoid driving the motor home up the Million Dollar Highway in Uncompaghre  Canyon and over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton.


The aspens were beginning to turn color at Silverton – the D&SNG tracks are in the foreground.


How is this for dramatic color?


Here is more beginnings of “color” at Silverton.



This is a “one of a kind” observation car used on the D&SNG we saw at Silverton.



We are near Ouray, on our way up Yankee Boy Basin road with Jerry and Jill Wedlake.


The aspens are just starting to turn in the lower part of Yankee Boy.


Mill and tailings from the Yankee Boy road.



If you look closely, here are the twin water falls shown on Coors beer labels.


Here we are around timberline on our beautiful day of  4 wheeling.


Yes, that is our road in the lower right!


This is the trailhead near the end of Yankee Boy, elevation 12,500 ft. Our Jeep climbed it without any problem. Jo Jill and Jerry are next to our Jeep.