Heading South for the Winter

After a great stay with our kids and grandkids in Spokane, it was time to head south.

First stop – Nampa, Idaho, where we met with shirt-tail relatives Chris and Lisa, and cute kids Jakob, Karina, and Klara.

Lake Lowell

We then explored Lake Lowell on our bikes. A beautiful day, lots of ducks, but almost no birds! Maybe they all got started south before we did.

Malad Gorge

This is part of the Thousand Springs State park, near Hagerman, in southern Idaho. A nice walk from our campground, it was a surprisingly impressive canyon. The pedestrian bridge across the gorge is parallel to and fairly close to the highway. Oddly enough, it is also right over the waterfall, so you can’t see the waterfall right under you. A walk down the other side of the gorge lets you see the falls, but at quite a distance.

We saw this fairly large Praying Mantis on the road, and he and his shadow posed for me.

Ogden, Utah

We had a brief stop near Ogden. The skies had some dramatic colors to compete with the autumn leaves on the trees.

Playing with Pumpkin

Our kids sent a pumpkin with us… I never carved it into a Jack ‘O Lantern, but we thought maybe we’d cook it into something fun. We had a recipe that advised cooking the whole pumpkin in the Instant Pot, but obviously that was not going to work. So we cut it into pieces, and did about 5 loads in the Pot. Our galley had pumpkin parts everywhere! A veritable profusion of potted pumpkin parts! (Sorry) We did try a recipe for Instant Pot Pumpkin Pudding, which was fairly nice.

Bryce Canyon National Park

The road towards Bryce has a sign saying “Tunnel Ahead – 13′ 6″ Clearance.” I have tried to measure exactly our clearance, and have decided 13′ 6″ is our limit… and I didn’t want to test it on this road! So we unhooked the car, and left the motorhome in a little dirt lot beside the road. There were two tunnels, carved into the rock, and we were glad not to have to worry about any roof rearrangement.

We’ve been to Bryce before, but it’s been a long time.

I’d forgotten how large, colorful, and just strange the area is!

The colors are so vibrant – almost hard to believe. And all the bizarre shapes are, well, bizarre! The fancy spires are called “Hoodoos.” Erosion has carved them out of the limestone, and continues to change the shapes as time goes by.

Some places have convenient holes for birds to fly through.

This structure is named for Queen Victoria. I’m not sure what she did to deserve this honor… or that it’s really an honor. Maybe a century ago it looked more like her.

The canyons are very deep, and we hiked a long ways down… wondering how hard it was going to be getting back to the top!

We met a nice couple – they are the founders of “Gifts of Joy From Jordan.” They raise money and work with Make a Wish to bring some joy to children with cancer or other life threatening diseases. They have a page on Facebook – check it out. Great folks doing great work.

We’d heard that the final part of this loop trail was very steep. It was.

Another nice couple we met have hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Coast Trail, and are gearing up for the Continental Divide Trail. I have a lot in common with them… I’ve spent lots of time on the Pacific Coast, and I’ve driven a Continental. OK, that’s about it.

We made it, (barely alive), to the top. A great time spent amongst the Hoodoos!

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