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Petrified Sand Dunes, Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Friday, 11 October 2019

Lone Rock Campground ... briefly!!! On to Flagstaff ... Wagons Ho!

A few leftover pictures from Saint George ... look at the size of the donuts at the Smith's! Bigger than my hand!

This beauty was in the parking lot. We actually saw quite a few old cars around town, so their must have been a rally of some kind going on during the World Senior Games.

Wednesday afternoon we arrived after a few hours drive. We stopped in Kanab to pick up our "America the Beautiful" pass so we would only have to pay the camping fee instead of both the camping fee and entrance fee here at Lone Rock.

We hit the sani-dump and filled the water tank before deciding where we were going to camp. The predicted wind storm was up and you could see the streams of sand blowing across the beach. The park attendant strongly suggested we stay up top on the gravel as the beach was pretty soft, especially as the sand filled all the holes you could not see.

Ray and I stayed inside with the generator on and A/C running as it was 86F and it was cooking in the coach  Of course you couldn't open the windows for the sand. Finally at 6:30 pm the wind died down so we reversed the process.  Everything seemed okay and the inverter came on. Ray went out for an evening stroll to see the sunset and snap some pictures. I was able to get baby cuddles. One of the people in the "Rent a Van" wanted to see the inside of our coach as they had never seen anything like it coming from the Netherlands. I in turn got some baby time with her 11 month old son Owen. So cute, loved Ray's arrowroot cookies. lol

Our view out our side window.

Lone Rock on the right

At 8 pm the TV shut off unexpectedly and oh "S>>T" the fridge was off again. No power. Well that was the final straw. Also our water pump was not working very well and we had no water for an hour or so. No power ... no water, I'm outta here!

Unfortunately we had paid for 3 days so we ate $28. Ray spent a bit of time on the phone and we found someone in Flagstaff that would look at us today. After picking up Freya's meds at Walmart we hit the road to Flagstaff. A beautiful drive. I managed to snag a spot at Black Bart's RV Park. We arrived at about 1:30 pm AZ time and by 3:30 pm AZ time our guy Lee had our power issues solved and we were up and running. He will come back tomorrow and swap out our new water pump (one month old) that is not working either. I booked for a week as I want to make sure everything works before we take off again. Lee will take care of a few other minor issues we have at the same time.

All in all everything is working out. Tonight we are going out for dinner as they have a great Steak House on the property with great reviews. Yumm. The dinner was fabulous and the serving staff double as singers as well.  The "Piano Man" they had was good too.  A great date night and end to a harried day.)

This of course will also be tomorrow nights dinner. lol
Ray and I have passed through Flagstaff several times and never stopped here, so we are kind of looking forward to spending a week and see what there is to see. Stay tuned to what we find. :) Seems to be lot's of breweries!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Gunlock State Park, Utah

Sunday morning, October 6th, we left the RV Park at 9:30 am. I drove the car separately to Gunlock Lake to find a spot for us as people should be leaving as it was Sunday. Ray followed after he refuelled the coach. We managed to snag the campsite we preferred and were set up by 11 am. There are only five RV spots here (overflow at the boat launch). Most campers else left by 1pm and other than one tenter we were all by ourselves. What a gorgeous spot.  It sure was a hot one ... 86F. Unfortunately the wind was up and dust clouds were travelling by us so most of the early afternoon was spent inside just looking at the view. Ray couldn't wait for sunset for the pictures he might be able to take. lol

By 3 pm or so the wind died off so we were able to move outside into the shade.Took Freya for a swim in the lake which she loved. There is also sand/gravel across the road from us where the tenters  can set up on the beach, which is easier for her to run and play with her stick. There is lots of day use here with fishers and kayakers.

Dinner was easy as it was leftovers. lol Definitely a lovely spot to wait out getting Freya's prescription on Tuesday.

Beach Tent Site

A Three Stick Girl

Cheers to this!
Ray took a scouting drive around before dinner for photo ops.

Monday morning Ray was up early waiting to take sunrise pictures.  The only problem is there's quite a ridge in behind us and by the time the sun came out it losses its' orange.  The better colour seems to come out around 10:00 am.

Later on, I took Freya down to the lake to get her belly wet and she drank some of the water. She had been off her food again this morning and after drinking this little bit of lake water was back to throwing up again. Yeesh! It was not until later in the afternoon that I noticed green algae floating by with the wind changing direction. I thought the lake was fine, with all of the other people's kids and dogs swimming. So no more swimming for Freya here. After two doses of Kaopectate, she was back to herself by dinner time and was eating again.

Ray and I left her at home after dosing her up the first time and took the short drive to the dam at the end of the lake. You can walk across the top of it to the other side and see where the Gunlock Falls are... if they were running. Of course the lake level is pretty low and the falls are the dam's overflow, so no falls this time. While on the dike we saw 2 coyotes on the beach on the other side. Fortunately they moved on instead of coming towards us. lol

Top of the dam.

Looking back towards the campsite.

2 coyotes on the beach by the end of the dam.

Where the natural spillway begins.

Looking back to the road we came on.

The white spot is me standing at the top of the falls.
We walked along the beach that we had seen the coyotes on earlier.

Here is a picture from Google of what the falls look like in the runoff in the spring. It is a natural spillway for the lake.

Once back at camp we spent the rest of the afternoon alternating between shade and sun. We had 2 unexpected F-18 Super Hornets fly overhead about 150 feet above us right over the motorhome. So fast of course no pictures. Awesome.

Image result for f18 super hornet flying over desert

This is what we saw and about that close. lol They must have been practising low level flying over the desert as we could see them flying between the canyons tipping this way and that.

Image result for f18 super hornet underside

I called into Walmart and Freya's meds are not in so they hopefully come in tomorrow and we can pick them up on our way out of town.

Cooked over charcoal in the hibachi tonight. Steak and veggies. Set the table outside. Awesome.

We lit a fire after dinner to watch the sunset but Ray noticed that the fridge was not on???? After checking everything we realized the inverter was not on and starting the generator was not getting the inverter to go either. It was now dark out so hard to check anything. I was concerned about the fridge totally thawing. Somehow the transfer switch got stuck I think. We decided to just go to bed early as no TV,  Fortunately the house batteries were totally charged so we at least had lights to see. lol

Tuesday morning, Ray went out and pushed on the four transfer switches. The electric started but on and off.  So it can only be the 300 amp fuse was not cooperating. Ray loosened it to change it out and before he could we had power again! Who knew! He tightened it up again and the power went off again.  He backed the nut off one turn and everything powered up as it should. So no immediate run into an RV repair place. Freya is back to herself and ate her breakfast.

Ray was out taking more pictures today as no wind so far  and got some good reflection shots. Lots of people on the lake this morning fishing and paddling.

We spent the afternoon following the shade around the coach. Pretty warm out there with no wind for most of the day. By 4:30 we were cooked and back inside with the A/C on, that actually works. lol The sun hits the side of the coach about this time of day so it is good to get the A/C on to help out the fridge anyways.

We are having this hot weather but yesterday Garrett, Kat and their dog Kira were watching thunder and torrential rain out their front window in Squamish. lol

Tomorrow we head out to Lone Rock Beach after stopping at Walmart to pick up some of Freya's meds. They have a new supplier and don't know when they will get the whole order. They only have 2 of the 4 boxes on hand.  I called the Walmart in Page, AZ and they have 2 boxes on hand. So I am going to split the order and get the two here on the way out of town and then call Walmart in Page and they will go on line and see I only took 2 and reserve their 2 for me to pick up when I get there. What a pain in the butt. On the up side getting the prescription for Walmart, I can get it refilled at any Walmart as we go along in the USA for the rest of our winter vacation

It stayed warm all last night until about 4am when I finally closed the windows in the coach. Another beautiful morning. Inverter and generator all doing their thing properly. Freya's eating properly and taking her meds, so all is well in Debbie's world once again.

Ray's excited about our next stop at Lone Rock Beach as we have booked him a photography tour in Antelope Canyon as he was disappointed in his pictures of the canyon when we went 2 years ago.

This morning again the inverter was off. Ray waited until we were at Costco and changed out the spare 300 amp fuse and we are back in business. Don't know why it keeps crapping out. But we will get another spare at $150 and if it goes again ... this coach is going in to get fixed!

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Saint George, Utah

Wednesday, October 2nd we made it to McArthur's Temple View RV Resort in under two hours. As mentioned in the last post, Freya seems to be doing better. Made a call to our Vet in Duncan, but she was in surgery late yesterday so I expect a call this morning.

Wow is this RV "Resort" rather upscale. They seem to have only newer motorhomes or large trailers as guests. Turns out, there is a Marathon Coach rally here at the Resort. Ray counted 27 coaches worth up to $2M a piece. Some serious change. We were lucky to get a spot for 4 days. I heard that by mid-October they are completely booked for the next 4 months. Definitely need to book in advance.

There is a fitness room, a pool table room, gathering room and outside pool and hot tub. I also noticed a laundry building. The way they stagger the units and allow your vehicle to park beside your unit, means a little more privacy/space between the actual units. Great design in a limited space. The best part is that they have great free wi-fi. They even lend you a booster to get a better signal.

The "other row" where all of the other coaches go!

Site 65 Gravel space is for our car making at least 25 feet between units.
Fred from Southern Utah Satellite Service arrived at 2 pm to replace our dish and PVR's to the new system. Here it's about 24C/80 F for him working on the roof. Youzers. He was totally finished by 5:30 with all our programming set up. Nice to have TV again!

Quiet evening and in bed by 9:30 pm (even with TV lol)

Thursday morning at daybreak, Ray was out the door heading to Snow Canyon State Park for pictures. Freya had a good night thankfully. I heard outside that some of the Prevost Coaches were leaving so I rushed out with my cell phone to take a few pictures. I guess their rally is over. Turned out to be a mass exodus all morning.

This RV park is called "Temple View" and sure enough there is a white temple up on the hill that is lit up. It will be a great picture for Ray to take another day.

Ray came back a couple of hours later with a big smile on his face. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and will probably go back at different times in the next two days for different shots. Here is a couple of my favourites from this morning. The different colours and textures of the rocks are amazing. Stayed tuned .. much more to come.

I spent the day cooking a big breakfast, doing laundry, making up a huge batch of chicken and rice for Freya and of course all the dishes that were made. lol She liked my new batch and had 3 helpings at different times today so she is eating and keeping it down. I was too tired to cook, so Ray took me out for Chinese Food buffet that was in walking distance (Ray here... oh ya the dog gets fed..). Food was pretty good. I called the Emergency Vet and was told to bring her in tomorrow after 5pm so we can get her prescription written. We watched our TV until 9:30 and then went to bed.

More of Ray's shots from yesterday and today.

The Arch:

Lava Tube Trail:

Petrified Dunes:

These small pebbles that they refer to as "marbles" are created as the wind and rain erode the petrified dunes releasing pebbles that had been trapped in the sand millions of years ago.

The marbles.

The Marbles

The trail (bottom left) runs the length of the park 

So many lines and textures

View from the Whiterocks Trailhead

Whiterocks Amphitheatre 

From the Park Website:

Park History
Created in 1959, Snow Canyon has a long history of human use. Anasazi Indians inhabited the region from A.D. 200 to 1250, utilizing the canyon for hunting and gathering. Paiute Indians used the canyon from A.D. 1200 to the mid-1800s. Mormon pioneers discovered Snow Canyon in the 1850’s while searching for lost cattle. Modern-day the canyon has been the site of Hollywood films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Electric Horseman, and Jeremiah Johnson. Originally called Dixie State Park, it was later renamed for Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, prominent pioneering Utah leaders.
Snow Canyon State Park is a 7,400-acre scenic park quietly tucked amid lava flows and soaring sandstone cliffs in a strikingly colorful and fragile desert environment. Majestic views and the subtle interplay of light, shadow, and color dancing across canyon walls evoke strong emotional responses from visitors.

Transported by wind more than 183 million years ago, tiny grains of quartzite sand covered much of what we now call Utah. These sand dunes, up to 2,500 feet thick, eventually were cemented into stone. Burnt orange to creamy white in color, Navajo sandstone, the predominant rock in the park, is what remains of the ancient desert sand sea. Over time, water has cut and shaped the sandstone to form canyons. Approximately 1.4 million years ago, and as recently as 27,000 years ago, nearby cinder cones erupted, causing lava to flow down these canyons, filling them with basalt. This redirected ancient waterways, eventually carving new canyons. Look up to see lava-capped ridges that were once canyon bottoms. Removal of rocks and minerals is prohibited.

Plants and Animals
Snow Canyon is home to a diversity of plant and wildlife species not occurring elsewhere in the state. Located at the intersection of the Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert and Colorado Plateau, the park averages 7.5 inches of rainfall a year. Vegetation includes desert adapted species such as creosote bush, narrow leaf yucca, sand sage, blackbrush, scrub oak and desert willow. If spring and fall conditions are right, wildflowers light up the park with a showy display of blooms. Wildlife watchers may see coyotes, kit foxes, quail, roadrunners, leopard lizards, gopher snakes and canyon tree frogs. Thirteen sensitive species protected by state and/or federal law are found within the park. They include peregrine falcons, desert tortoises and gila monsters. 

After I had done my chores this morning, Ray took me out to the Snow Canyon State Park so I could see all the beautiful rocks. These are the some of the pictures I took and more that Ray took today. Freya stayed at home. Most of the trails prohibit dogs due to the fragile environment. There are a few trails that you can take though, if you consult your park map.

All these Juniper trees are getting berries and some of the plants are beginning to flower.

Ray doing what he likes to do best. Saw a lot of small animal footprints in several of the sand trails.
 Took this next picture just to show how big these dunes are.

Petrified Dunes

Petrified Dunes

Petrified Dunes

Upper Galoot Picnic Area

Upper Galoot Picnic Area
Whiptail Trail (which runs the length of the park)

Driving further down the park road, were these interesting toadstool rock formations.

Earlier Friday morning, Ray was out before light taking pictures of the temple that sits on the hill behind us and that we can see from our coach. The Saint George Utah Temple sure looks gorgeous all lit up.

Many working people were pouring into these doors and are greeted b y two gentlemen in all white suits.

And my and Ray's favourite shot, the Temple and it's reflection.

Off to the vet with Freya at 4:30 pm. Hot out today at 82 F. A/C is on as I am a wuss.

Freya's butt is much better. Got my prescription for her for "as long as she lives". So should not have any more problems getting her drugs through Walmart in any state down here. I can only get a months supply at a time.

Saturday morning another beautiful day. As we have an extra day here ... we are going to go and checkout Gunlock State Park a half an hour from here. We had planned to go to Virgin River Campground twenty minutes south of here, but just by a flook while Ray was checking out stuff to photograph near it a big "Closed for Renovations" until January 2020 popped up! So hopefully the Gunlock State Park will work as we need to leave the RV Resort tomorrow, Sunday, and have to stay in the area until I pick up Freya's drugs Tuesday afternoon. 

Stayed tuned to the next post to see where we end up. (Ray here again.. ohhh, the suspense!)