A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sunsets and sunrises

Grand Canyon, Day 3

IMG_5903.jpgIMG_5943.jpgIMG_5959.jpgToday was the last day of our grandkids trip and we had lots to pack in.

1st off, catch the 8a.m. shuttle bus to Hermit’s Rest for the Junior Ranger/Family Hike. We haven’t been to Hermit’s Rest in many years and think that we just stopped and looked much like yesterday, but we didn’t even know about the trail so this was all new.

We got to the trail and found the ranger, there was only 2 other people, a father and his son so we were lucky to be in such a small group.

The Hermit’s Rest trail is mostly unmaintained which means that it is rocky and uneven. It is really a beautiful trail but steeper than the Bright Angel with many steps carved out of rock that are tall. I think that it would be very difficult to hike with a large backpack on. The trail does meet up with the Bright Angel but again I don’t think that I’d hike this one with a big pack on. The kids had no problem with this trail though.

We spent time at the Hermit’s Rest after the hike and were so amazed at the structure. It was designed by Mary Colter who also designed the Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio and Desert View. There is a huge fireplace that is lit, as per the staff, during the winter on very cold days. I think we will try to go there during the winter. They also welcome dogs during the winter, purchasing dog biscuits for our furry friends.

From Hermit’s Rest we thought that we’d stop along the way so that Christabel could finish up her Junior Ranger book. I had the big idea that we could stop at the Lookout Studio, we would enjoy the view and some coffee while Christabel completed her last page, a drawing.

Dale and I were sitting when Bel rushed up crying, she had placed her book on the ledge so that she could get her pencil when a gust of wind blew her book right off the ledge and down into the canyon. What a catastrophe!

I hurried Bel to the ranger at the Vercamp’s, now mostly a visitor’s center, thinking that the ranger on staff would help. We found Ranger Eric and I explained what had happened; Christabel had finished everything but one page including the Junior Ranger Hike (Charlotte brought her book along as proof). Ranger Eric listened to poor Christabel’s tale of woe and told her that it was ok. Ranger Eric gave Bel the pledge and the badge and we were able to obtain the Hike Patch after all. We got ice cream floats in celebration!

We then took the kids to see the Ancient’s ruins and Desert View before returning to the RV.

For our last evening I put into a large pot, sliced potatoes, sliced carrots, chicken thighs and dumped in leftover chicken broth. We then packed up a table cloth, napkins, our picnic basket and pack then took off again to one of the rim overlooks.

At the overlook we backed the pickup up to the rim walkway and put the tailgate down. We got the camp stove out and I put on the pot of chicken stuff. We set up our foldup picnic table, put on the tablecloth, poured some wine and enjoyed the evening. When our dinner was ready we all sat down and ate by the rim.

Wow, what a way to enjoy our last night together!

Posted by Miss Chris 23:43 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises grand_canyon nature hiking travel family camping tourist national_park rv outdoors family_travel grandkids hermit's_rest Comments (0)

Detour on the Cut-Off Road

A detour on the way to Wounded Knee

IMG_5701.jpgIMG_5703.jpgThe new adventure began after leaving Mt. Rushmore; we were heading southeast towards Wounded Knee, then planned to turn south. It was getting late and we still needed to make and eat dinner. After driving for some time we had the great idea that we’d take a cut off road to the Badland’s on the south border then camp for the night in the park. (thinking like some of the pioneers) We turned to the east on the cut-off road which was a great road, at least for a few miles. The road then turned to gravel but it was a good gravel road so we were not too concerned, we only had another 30 miles or so. Well the fact was that the road turned narrow and full of ruts, we were only able to drive at 5-20 mph.

We finally, a couple of hours later, arrived in the Badlands and the paved road only to find that there was no place to pull off the road. We drove north for quite a few miles when we finally found a space to pull off we did and started our dinner, 10:30pm. A couple of cars came roaring by blasting their horns and we determined that we were on a road that was more than a just turn off.

In the morning we woke up and found that we were not only on a dirt road but taking up ½ of it. Dale thought that he could just drive up a little further and turn around in a wide place in the road. Great except that the side dropped off more than he had anticipated so he could not turn around at all. He, unfortunately, had to polish up his backing up skills and quick. After lots of starts and stops he backed up for probably ½ mile to the main road.

Wounded knee is a very moving place. The museum was not open, they were on Indian time and did not open while we were there. We walked up to the grave site and read the names on the gravestone. Then we spent a little time reflecting on the horrible massacre that occurred and the innocent people who died.

After driving south for a couple of hours we were hungry for lunch and turned off at Fort Robinson. We drove around a bit finding a place to park near the historic fort buildings. There, next to us, was a monument on the spot where Crazy Horse was stabbed and died. A fit ending to our Crazy Horse investigation.

Posted by Miss Chris 18:11 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises children road_trip travel family_travel grandkids detour wounded_knee Comments (0)

One Last Day in Prague

Goodbye from Prague, I'm wishing for good luck to come back.

Oh, our last day in Prague and really Europe, as tomorrow we will be riding the trains all day to Brussels.

I wanted to shoot a couple of photos of the Estates Theater and just look at it again. We’d arranged to meet Dieter and Inge at the base of the bridge so we left a little early to see the Estates on our way across the bridge.

We met up with Dieter and Inge and none of us really had an agenda for the day. We were walking along the river, something we hadn’t done before, looking for coffee when we got close to the train up the Petrin Hill. Since we’d never been on this hill before it seemed like a good idea. At the top of the hill is an observation tower, a small version of the Eiffel Tower that is visible in the old city of Prague. We went to get on the train but the line was really long so we decided to walk. The walk wasn’t really difficult and we got up much more quickly than we would have by train. Once at the top we had our coffee and looked out over the city.

We didn’t want to go up into the tower as again the lines were long; I’d wanted to cross over from the tower to the castle so we took the trails across the hills, crossing the old apple orchards and forests to the castle.

Once at the castle we wanted to show Dieter and Inge one more thing, a natural sound chamber discovered many years after the castle was built. Someone, when building the castle, built a small amphitheater, about 15’ across with stairs on the back half and a small pedestal in the center. The front looks to a small plaza. If you stand on the small pedestal and look to the back there are several rows of trees running from the amphitheater to the back of the area. Standing on the very center of the pedestal, if you speak the sound will come back but only to the speaker. Anyone around the speaker cannot hear the echo. The echo actually hurts some people’s ears while others are not bothered at all. The sensation is very strange.

From the castle we walked down to a park, where we parted ways for a few minutes, we’d meet again at a restaurant at the bottom of the bridge for dinner.

I shot some photos then went to find our 1st or 2nd choice meeting place for dinner when I heard a commotion. I ran following people who started running and ran to the stairs at the south of the bridge. There were hundreds of people dressed as zombies, moaning and groaning, yelling and screaming, walking up to and onto the bridge. I’d already read on Facebook that it was predicted that zombies were going to take over the world, so here it was happening in Prague, of all places!

Things settled down and we all met for dinner, at least our world didn’t come to an end. After dinner Dieter and Inge decided to return to their place so we parted ways on the center of the Charles Bridge, touching the statue for the luck that we will meet again.

Dale and I started back to our side when the sun, that was getting low in the sky, broke out turning the buildings golden. We just enjoyed our last moments on the bridge then bought some last chocolates and sat in the darkened square eating our chocolates and drinking some Czech red wine.

Until next time, Goodbye from Prague.
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Posted by Miss Chris 21:50 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises prague travel czech old_town_square Comments (0)

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