Tuesday, 31st of May 2011 at 07:43:36 AM

GSENM 2011 day 12: closing the loop

After the Wave hike and the Yellow Rock Hike I had noticed that I was tired from the trip and hikes. I decided to slow down and recover. I canceled the remaining planed hikes in Zion (Subway+ Angels Landing). I had them already done in 2009 and of course it would have been great to revisit those favourite locations, but I was too tired. I added another night to my Las Vegas package and decided to drive back to Vegas to relax before the flight home and my work restarts next week. I had so often driven back over Zion Park and wanted to have a change. Therefore I spontaneously decided to drive the long loop back via Grand Canyon South Rim and also have some stops at Historic Route 66 in Williams, Seligman, Hackberry and Kingman. I started from Page at 4.30 am cause I wanted to be at Route 66 between 9-10 to have still good light for some fotos. At around 7.15 I was at the South Rim near the Lodges and stopped for fotos. The light was great only few remaining shadows and there was yet no haze. My schedule required to continue right away for Williams, where I walked through the historic Route 66 loop district. Here I had best foto conditions. I then saw that nice “Pine Country restaurant” which seemed to have good breakfasts and cause I still did not have the chance to eat hotcakes with maple syrup I could not resist. The result was I arrived in Seligman when the sun was already to high and good fotos no longer possible. I regreted little bit having stopped so long in Williams. I was really tired and had to stop in Kingman for coffee and arrived at 3.30 pm in Las Vegas. I had driven 450 miles in around 8 hours. In Vegas I checked in the Flamingo Hotel. I like the center strip location and rooms there are very convenient (35 USD+tax), although the hotel itself has already come to age.The rest of the day I relaxed at the Flamingo pool. Finally in the evening I drove randomly around in Las Vegas sea of lights.

Related Posts:

Monday, 30th of May 2011 at 08:10:28 AM

GSENM 2011 day 11: Cottonwood Canyon Road

This Sunday morning I visited the Horseshoe Bend, which is only two miles south of Page. A short ten minute walk from the US 89 is rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Colorado river. Afterwards I went to the Antelope Canyon Tour office to ask for a tour for the upper antelope Canyon (the one with the beams). It has been a while since the last time I have been there. But I was surprised to see that the noon tour (beams) meanwhile costs 50 USD. Furthermore it was booked out for the next 4 weeks.The Antelope Canyon has obviously become quite popular. I decided to drive back to the hotel and relax at the pool until afternoon, when the light was again suited for photos. At around 3.30pm I drove from Page to the Cottonwood Canyon Road (CWCR), a unpaved road often used as short cut to/from Bryce Canyon. I had a traumatic experience with this dirtroad. On my 2009 US vacation I had used the CWCR coming from north towards Page and did not realize it was declared impassable. I nearly got stuck in the mud and couldnt enjoy the CWCR’s scenic attraction. This time I wanted to catch up. I drove slowly from south to north looking for spots worth a stop and to be photographed. After 30 miles when arriving at the Grossvenor Arch I decided to return and hike the Yellow Rock, which is at mile 14 from US89. Yellow Rock is a extremly pitoresque colorful hill with yellow, red and white colored stone. Climbing the Yellow Rock was quite strenous and I needed around 1h. Unfortunately I arrived little too late cause it was no longer illuminated by the sun. Nevertheless I took my photos using my tripod and after the descent drove back to Page’s Dam Bar&Grill for a nice “Southwest Burger” (Jalapenos, green chili and pepperjack cheese). Today was my last night in Page.

Related Posts:

Sunday, 29th of May 2011 at 04:10:12 AM

GSENM 2011 day 10: The Wave

Without words…

and for M.R.: I did the whole tour with Big Mac, Alcove, Melody Arch, 2ndW. etc….as you teached me. I did not get lost and used some easier routes to climb Top Rock. Thanks again!

Related Posts:

Saturday, 28th of May 2011 at 08:45:44 AM

GSENM 2011 day 9: Bingo

This day begins again at 4.00 am. I wanted to capture the Whaweap hoodos, a early morning/sunrise location. I had seen them often in Internet fotos, and wanted to see them myself for a while already now. The problem is that they are quite difficult to access. Either a 3 mile uphill hike or access over a difficult dirtroad with approx. 1h drive time. I choose the second option and had studied the dirtroad the evening before. I arrived in time to make some good shots and then I headed back the same way to the BLM Ranger station to participate a second time at the Wave lottery. I arrived 5 minutes before the draw started and the luck was on my side this day. As last of ten day permits my No. 35 was drawn and I received a Permit for visiting the Coyotte Buttes North area were the Wave is located. . After the lottery I drove again like the day before on the Lone Valley dirtroad to the 45 min away trailhead of the Cobra Arch hike.This dirtroad had a washed out part near its end and required to drive on the road shoulder in deep sand. It was until now the most difficult drive I encountered on this trip. I arrived at around 10.15 am on the trailhead and it took me 1h hiking in the hot sun. It has began to get hotter in the last two days, and the hike was very strenous. During my hikes in the desert I had noticed that there are many wildflowers blooming right now. Perhaps also a sign that the winter and rainy time had just ended and thus it was a good choosen time for hiking having the possibility to see all the desert in bloom and the manifold of wildflowers. I had fotographed many and plan to create a own webalbum for them. This yellow cactus flower was a rare one. I found perfect light condition for some shots and returned at 12.30 at the trailhead. Another 45 minutes late I was back on US89. I decided to drive back to Page and refresh in the pool. . At the evening at 4 pm I started another long dirt road drive, this time branching of in Big Water from US89 towards Alstrom Point, a fantastic sunset viewpoint into Lake Powell. Around 20 miles on this dirtroad took me around 1h one way and I arrived in time for the photos. (The last 1/2 mile I walked cause the road condition was absolutely critical with big ledges. I was back in the Motel at 8 pm and after a shower went to DAMs Grill for a good American Burger. This was one of the most succesful days: 3 great photo location under best light condition and as a cream topping the win of the wave permit. Tomorrow is wave day….my second time.

Related Posts:

Friday, 27th of May 2011 at 07:16:27 AM

GSENM 2011 day 8: Bucksin Gulch

In the morning I participated with 61 other tourists at the Wave Lottery in the BLM Ranger Station on US89. 10 permits per day are assigned via this lottery. I was unlucky. After the lottery I anyhow drove to the trailhead of the Wave. Its the Wirepass trailhead 5 miles south of US89 on House Rock Valley Road. It is a dirtroad wich was in good condition, beside many bumps and some ruts. The Wirepass trailhead is also start point for the hike thorugh Wirepass Slot Canyon to the Bucksin Gulch is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the Southwest, and while others are narrower, prettier or more challenging to explore, the length and variety of the terrain in the gulch make it the best overall.
My plan was to hike into the first mile of the Bucksin Gulch and do some shots. Due to the high walls and darkness it was necessary o use a tripod and it cost me lot of time. The rest of the day I explored to dirtroads for the next planed hikes: Whapweap Hoodoo dirtroad braching of Cottonwood Canyon roaf and the Long Valley Road to the middleroute trailhead, starpoint for the 3h hike to the Cobra Arch. I returned at 7pm to the Motel for diner.

Related Posts: