Saturday 29th April
We left sunny, warm Phoenix and headed north. Driving through Flagstaff was a bit icky. At 8000 ft there was still lots of snow around. Brrrrr, keep on driving Dean, I don’t want to pull out my one and only pair of trousers.
Ahhhh. Back to sunny goodness. Down to 3000 ft. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument was a great place to spend the night.
It’s only a 467 foot drop to the Colorado River.
This relic of a boiler used to power steam engines for gold mining. Lees Ferry is also a staging area for raft trips through the Grand Canyon.
The Prickly Pear cactus blooms are lovely.
We have been in St. George for a month and had a good time. Plenty of Pickleball and lots of hiking in the surrounding area.
You know I love the playing the slots. Even though I turned sideways and sucked in the bubble tummy, I could only make it partway in this one.
A real bonus was a series of Petroglyphs on one section of wall. They are very well preserved.
We hiked a few miles to see the “Vortex” For over a hundred years people have climbed down and carved their names around the bowl. The less adventurous are now carving their names around the top. Are these Petroglyph of the future?
We were thrilled to visit a little bit with this Desert Tortoise. He took his time crossing the trail. We figure due to his huge size he must be at least 50 years old. He had to have weighed a good 10lbs. The Hedgehog Cactus are showing off.
We just love holes and…..
Desert Sage and Desert Marigold are blooming all over. I picked quite a few leaves and petals to add to a couple of batches of soap.
The swirls and ridges of different colors make hiking in this area a real delight on the eyes.
This rock was a little too slanted for a nap but a good place for a quick rest.
Ahhh. This one is way more comfy.
We were on the lookout for hiking sticks. The Sotol stalk on the left is too young. The one on the right is too skinny and bendy.
Score! Dean snagged some prime Sotol stems. It’s a very versatile plant. Hundreds of years ago the leaf fibers were used to make rope, sandals, mats and the base was cooked and eaten. The Sotol plant produces a flower stalk every few years. It is now gaining popularity as a type of tequila. When the plant has matured about 10 years, the base root is roasted, fermented and distilled.
The stick on the right is what Dean bought for $5 in Mexico on our adventure across the Rio Grande in 2015. He has hiked several hundred miles with this sturdy stem. Now a chance to create his own masterpiece.
We snagged a few more. After trimming and sanding Dean left his rustic but he made me a nice blingy one. It has been very handy especially when….
we’ve been clambering up and down steep cliffs like these.
Hiking and scrambling among all these red rocks is a so much fun.
Onwards to the hinterlands of Escalante.