Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little trip to US - Part IV Hiking in Grand Canyon

I think this was the most important part of my trip.

First because to walk in trails is a very passion for me, and second, would be the big test for my knee, after the ligament reconstruction.

I have also to admit that I like to test my limits.


The two most famous trails there are Bright Angel and South Kaibab.
 My first idea was going down by the South Kaibab until the Colorado River, pass the night in a refuge called Phantom Ranch and in the next day going up by the Bright Angel trail. But there wasn't place in the refuge... (of course I checked before :) ).

And then I had to plan to going to a point and return in the same day. I decided to go until Skeleton Point (B on the map). I had another idea (after read a suggestion in Internet) that would be going down after the Skeleton Point and do the Tonto Trail (C) to reach Indian Garden and from there going up by the Bright Angel Trail (D). This idea wouldn't be bad (21 km in total), but when I met a ranger near the Skeleton Point, she said me that could be not a good idea, because in Tonto Trail there's no shadow, and my water provision could be not enough in emergency case. With resignation I went down a little bit more than the Skeleton Point and returned without problems doing 11 km total.

The weather was very hot and my water finished when I arrived at the trail head again. And this mean that I took the right decision to not try to return by the Bright Angel trail.

Talking about the trail, it's well signed, the view is fantastic and you cross with mule caravans and some nice squirrels :). The hard thing is really return, because from the trailhead (2195 mts) to Skeleton Point (1585 mts) there are 610 mts of difference! And of course the problem is the hot sun!

At the end no problem with my knee! Just a little pain that after one week stopped.
After the trail I returned to the hotel to a deserved bath! I returned to the park to see a special and spectacular show: the sunset! Incredible colors!!

The second day in the Grand Canyon was lighter, with regular walks but with nice views in the Rim Trail, a paved road in the side of the canyon!



'Little trip to US - Part III Page Arizona

Hi all,

Really don't like to write about something already old, but I think it's a good exercise to not forget the places that I visited!

After the wonderful Monument Valley, I continued my trip to Page, Arizona. The idea was to visit the incredible Antelope Canyon. I decided go there because when I saw the photos in Internet I said to myself that I must go to this place.

Let me write something first about my arrival in Page. For this tri I really planned activities for all day long and I remember when I arrived in Page, at 9:00pm after drive many miles, I thought that at least in a bigger city I will find some place to eat.

I was wrong for my desperation... After cross all downtown I didn't find any place opened... And I had to eat something in the snack machine in the Hotel... Anyway...

In the next day I did the famous excursion to a Slot Canyon called Antelope.

The tours are organized by agencies in downtown. I was undecided to what would be the best hour to visit it. And after thinking, talk with persons, I decided to do the tour of 11:30, where the sun produces incredible beams.

The only problem is that is almost impossible not to stay stressed in this beautiful place, because there are many, many, many people in a small area. And everyone want's to photograph, everyone wants to be in front of all to see the beams. It was very stressing but, in the second time that I entered I could photograph in a decent way. I really suggest people to use a camera where is possible to configure ISO. To photograph with a tripod is terrible, you don't have time to mount it because there are many groups and you have to move fast.

I was lucky with my camera, because I could get discreet photos without tripod.



You could see in my album more photos.

After the Antelope Canyon, I visited a view point of the Lake Powell Dam, very impressive.

To finish this small blog some word to a place where I could see how the nature is fantastic: Horseshoe Bend, where the Colorado river makes a incredible curve in a neck form, just being there to feel the magic of this place!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

'Little' trip to US - Part II Monument Valley

Let me continue relating my trip to the US last month.

The Monument Valley is famous for the movies directed by John Ford. And arriving there by the road is very impressive. I think that no photo could express how the place is. I'm not exaggerating, I'm very critical about the beauty of the places.


I arrived with the fixed idea to do a horseback trip to feel better the place, of course visiting the park inside a car, with the stop and go formula is not very interesting...

Well, at the beginning was not easy to find how to do this and almost I did a organized tour by car. When you arrived in the zone there's two directions to follow:

1 - Follow to the park entrance

2 - Go to a hotel restaurant to eat something and to get some information.

I chose the second and there was a interesting tour, but I have enough time to search the horseback tour. After eat in the restaurant (the personal was Navajo) I found a place to 'rent' a horse, but too much expensive... And then I decided to go to the park. And inside they organize horseback tour for a honest price.

And then I 'kill' my curiosity. Of course it was a very nice trip, although the Navajo guide was not so 'friendly'. Of course we are in the 21th century and it's difficult to feel like in a John Ford's movie.

The Monument Valley is a closed park managed by the Navajo Nation. There's a road (not asphalted) with 11 stops to see the panorama. After the horseback tour I took the car and did the signed road, and it was a fantastic tour, because is was sunset time.

After finish Monument Valley I follow to Page, my next stop in this trip, to see the marvelous Antelope Canyon.

See you in the next blog!