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Waterpocket Fold, Burr Trail, Capital Reef National Park, Utah

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Kolab Canyons, Zion National Park

Sunday, October 15th continued:

I gave Kolab Canyons it's own post as there are so many great pictures, hard to choose just a few.

As mentioned in the previous post, Ray drove back to Kolab Canyons at 4 pm to take his photos. He did relax for several hours this afternoon, "assuming his position in his zero gravity chair" in prepartion of going out for his pictures later. He was back in time for dinner so not a very long excursion. After dinner he layed down for the rest of the evening to rest his back. Breaking the trip into 2 short segments certainly helped.

Below is a description of all of the rock layers found in Zion National Park. These layers are in the whole Escalante Grand Staircase, and this diagram really explains it well.

"Most of the rocks in Zion National Park are sedimentary rocks –made of bits and pieces of older rocks that have been weathered, eroded, and deposited in layers. These rock layers hold stories of ancient environments and inhabitants very different from those found in Zion today. In this distant past, Zion and the Colorado Plateau were near sea level, and were even in a different place on the globe—close to the equator. The rock layers found in Zion today were deposited between approximately 110 –270 million years ago –only in recent geologic time have they been uplifted and eroded to form the scenery of Zion National Park.(from Google)"

graphic of stratigraphic column showing Zion's sedimentary layers

* Navajo Sandstone records the movement of sand dunes.
* Kayenta mudstone features dinosaur tracks - this we found at the Dinosaur exhibit in Parowan Gap.
* Lower Moenave deposits testify to poolilng waters.
* Chinle Formation shales are soft and contain petrified wood - as found in Escalante Petrified Forest     SP
* Shinarump Congolomerate is composed of varied sizes of eroded Moenkopi rubble - also what we     found in Parowan Gap Dinosaur exhibit.
* The Moenkopi Formation records a shallow sea withdrawing, so the marine fossils differ in its                bottom and top layers. (from Zion National Park Brochure)

So now for Ray's beautiful pictures.

The drive into this end of Zion National Park is only a five mile scenic drive. Here is the start of the access road.

Once you keep going uphill through the first few canyons you get to the views of these peaks.

This picture shows the peaks up to Timber Top Mountain.
Horse Ranch Mountain
Shortly after this he came upon some horses waiting to get loaded after a trail ride.

Next up views of  Paria  and Beatty Points. (Paria on left, Beatty on right)

Beatty and Nagunt Mesa
Further along is Timber Top Mesa which also has the "Hanging Valley"

The hanging valley.

Hanging Garden close up
The last point is the Shantavi Butte that had a portion of it collapse in 1983.

Horse Ranch Mountain and Paria Point
A fabulous short scenic drive. Glad we did not miss it.

Monday, October 16th

As predicted today was much warmer at around 72F. Ray and I spent most of the morning working on the blog and pictures. After lunch we finaly wandered outside to enjoy the sun. I made pork ribs in my InstantPot and finished them on my makeshift charcoal grill. Delicious.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Sunday, October 15

My Dad's 88th birthday today. Happy Birthday Dad.

Dad and his wonderful care-giver Larny. Picture taken last spring.

Coldest morning yet, 23F, as the sun starts to rise. We are snug in our house with our Big Buddy Heater. Last night I got woken up around 11:30 pm to a bunch of kids deciding to have a party and campfire right behind our campsite. There were lots of booming from the stereo, girls madly giggling, but other than that they seemed well behaved. It was only 34F out so they only lasted 45 minutes before heading out in 2 vehicles. I can never understand why people get so close to other campers when the rest of the campsite is empty. Ray went over this morning but the site was clean other than a few pieces of firewood (thank you I'll take those), an empty pop bottle and a plastic bag.

We still have a family kiddy corner to us and then these kids came right behind us??? Oh well, the kids from the family are nice and friendly and like Freya so no problem. They also have a dog that wants to play with Freya so everyone is happy.

Today the plan is to take a drive into Zion National Park's, Kolab Canyon. It will be cold this morning, but Ray want's to take sunrise pictures so I guess I better get dressed (warmly) and get going. Out the door by 8:15 at a balmy 26F and off we went. The drive from here is only 1/2 an hour. Once into the park there is only a short 5 mile paved road that takes you through some canyons up to the Overlook. Unfortunately, the sun wasn't shining in the canyons yet so we decided to turn around and see the Cedar Breaks National Monument instead. Ray will go back at dinner time for some shots of Kolab Canyons as it's so close by.

We took I-15 back to Cedar City and then up Hwy 14 to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Wow what a windy, twisty road up the mountain. Six years ago on our first visit to the USA for the winter, this was one of the places we visited.  Now we find we missed three of the other viewpoints as we only stopped at the main one. We see many more things now that we have the Benchmark Road Atlas for most of the states we travel through. It really shows all the the attractions in the area.

Getting down here 3 weeks earlier than last time, there is far more fall colours. Gorgeous. Here are some pictures of the journey up the highway.

Noticed the top of this mountain sloughing off. The texture looked cool so Ray took another picture for a close-up.

See the tailings to the right.

The grey striations are vertical and the pink layer below the striations are horizontal.

Our first glimpse of Pink Cliffs not part of the actual monument.
The first bunch of pictures are from the Visitor's Centre and the viewpoint called Point Supreme. This is the only viewpoint we saw 6 years ago. (In the days when we did not have a benchmark atlas, a flip phone and I was not the "google Queen" checking everything out first!)

Panoramic showing the whole length of the north side of the monument.

These cliffs and hoodoos are as spectacular as the Bryce Canyon Amphitheatre, we think, as you seem to get a little closer to them.

Next up was Sunset Viewpoint.

The amazing colours.

Next is Alpine Viewpoint:

Getting warmer, I have shed a couple of layers! lol

And last but not least the North Viewpoint:

Back home in time for lunch, I grilled our burgers over the makeshift habachi in the firepit. Yumm. I am sure our friend Steve  is wishing he was here for one of my hamburgers. lol

After lunch we sat outside enjoying the day. A lovely campsite.