Saturday, October 31, 2009


No, I'm not building yet . . instead I'll post some pictures I took on my fall trip the last part of September and early October. I drove to Colorado for the fall colors via Oregon and Utah, then drove the high plateau of Utah before dashing home. Just over 4000 miles. No Farrier sightings, I'm afraid.

I stopped in central Oregon to see the Painted Hills (ash deposits from extinct volcanos). The area also has many fossils, like banana plants and early horses, camels, and rhinoceroses.

I also explored the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America in the high desert of eastern Oregon -- Bruneau Dunes.

From there, I drove straight to the Canyon Lands of Utah, Dead Horse State Park. This is where the Colorado and Green Rivers come together, going from here down through the Grand Canyon to the Gulf of Mexico.

I met my friend Robert and his wife here, and we spent a week in Colorado. First stop: Maroon Bells. Colorado likes its 'Fourteeners' and these two are over 14,000 feet.

We drove miles of dirt road through beautiful parts of the Rockies. These are the San Jaun Mountains – more fourteeners. The color of the changing Aspen was fantastic.

Mt. Wilson (fourteener) near Telluride.

My friend Robert has a Jeep, so we went on some great 4x4 adventures. Here Ophir pass gets us above the tree line and tops out around 13,000 feet.

Last stop in Colorado was Mesa Verde, an area of cliff dwellings made in the 12th century by the Anasazi, ancient Pueblo people.

From here I left Robert to head to Utah. I looped up through the southern Canyon Lands.

Natural Bridges National Monument.

Classic South Western scenes. The Colorado Plateau (found in four states, here Utah) at times was covered by warm seas and at other times lifted by faulting and exposed to tremendous erosion - the layers extend from nearly 2 billion years ago to the present.

The high areas are now at 9,000+ elevations. I drove south across Capital Reef, a 'water pocket fold' 100 miles long . . .

. . . to Bryce Canyon's amazing hoodoos.

My last stop before heading home was three days hiking in Zion National Park, where you camp in a valley surrounded by 2000 foot cliffs.

The hiking was fantastic, though the start was always up.

My highlight hike was Angel's Landing. The narrow trail along a rock fin drops 1200 feet on one side and 900 on the other.

The massive canyon walls make for quite a backdrop.

It was a bit long to be away from the family, but the sights were amazing.