Roadtrip 2023 Roadtrip 2023 Roadtrip 2023

Vacation 2023: Labrea
[06-Oct-2023] Went out west for the eclipse. Just got around to putting the photos up. Started in L.A. at the LaBrea Tar Pits and Holocaust Museum. Only have bad things to say about the Holocaust Museum. You must have reservations, which you can make out front, they wont let you in until you pay. Then its a guided tour on a locked cell phone that is hard to figure out what room you are supposed to be in. You end up ignoring the audio and just looking. A Really horribly designed museum.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon
[07-Oct-2023] Planned to go to Death Valley but the roads in the park were closed because it rained. Instead a 4 hour from drive from L.A. across flat nothing to the mountains and Sequoia. Did geocache on the way in, Paul Bunyan. People all over the Sequoia part, no one in the Kings Canyon part. Blisters on both feet because of the shoes from the day before but still hiked several miles. Then started to get a sore throat because of pine trees. Sequoia altitude is also like 8000ft so cant breathe when walking up hill. All this will be a theme of the rest of the trip; blisters, too high and stuffed up. Giant trees are cool though. No point in it being two parks. Spent all day there just leaving King's Canyon at sunset. Had to drive though prescribed burns on the way out.

Driving across the desert
[08-Oct-2023] Had to dive from near Sequoia to Vegas while going around Death Valley because the roads in the park were closed. Saw the sign for Cesar Chavez National Monument and turned off. Got there before it opened but could walk the grounds till the museum opened. Nice small museum and gravesite.

Made it to Tehachapi and the rail depot museum. Again before it opened. Had to go back to Cesar Chavez for Craigs hat. There was an accident on the interstate so took a back road that over looked the rail loop coming back through Tehachapi. The sign for the loop was at Cesar Chavez and somehow missed it the first time. Stopped briefly at the S.S. Minnow and a local forgettable River Museum.

More desert driving stopped at Zzyzx and hikes around the artificial pond. Nice views of the playa nearby. This would be the day we walked the least.

Oct 9
[09-Oct-2023] Stopped at Hemenway Park in Boulder to see if we could see Bighorn Sheep, no sheep. Did a geocache before going to Hoover Dam. Did another geocache at the dam. Tried for the sheep again but still no sheep. Drove from there though Lake Mead Recreation Area to the Valley of Fire which is really pretty and cools. Lots of red rocks, lots of petroglyphs. You need to go there.

Las Vegas
[10-Oct-2023] Forced to stay in Las Vegas for two nights. Walked halfway down the strip the first night. Lost a dollar to a slot machine. Went to Fort Las Vegas, an old Mormon fort, the Natural History Museum, the Atomic Museum, the Mob Museum a Veterans Memorial (to kill time) and the Neon Museum. Late Tuesday night saw Cirque du Soleil show, Love with Beatles music. Don't need to go back to Las Vegas.

Had to drive after that to Zion. Got to the hotel in Hurricane around 2:30am, with a time change.

Zion National Park
[11-Oct-2023] Wanted to get to Zion National Park early because I was concerned about parking.

Walked all over Zion. Pa'rus Trail, Riverside Walk, Grotto Trail and Weeping Rock Trail. Still have blisters. Zion is good, not sure its national park level good.

Left via the Tunnel Drive headed to Kanab.

Grand Canyon, North Rim
[12-Oct-2023] Now Ive been to both rims of the canyon. There is a lot less development on the north rim, a lot less. Its and hour drive through absolutely nothing to get there and once there there isnt a lot going on but hiking and cabins.

Took and hour long mule ride along the rim. Wanted to do the 3 hour down into the canyon but forgot to make reservations. Craig pointed out his back might not have handled the 3 hour so the hour was fine. Walked out to Bright Angel Point where the was a king snake. Drove out and stopped at Cape Royal for the trail, Angels Window, the Walhalla overlook and the Pueblos nearby, Roosevelt Point and Point Imperial.

Grand Canyon North Rim photos

Bryce Canyon
[13-Oct-2023] Bryce Canyon is amazing. You need to go to Bryce Canyon. Walked the Rim trail from Bryce Point to Sunrise point. Every view is amazing. Then drove out to Rainbow Point. Also went to the Mossy Cave waterfall.

Capital Reef National Park
[14-Oct-2023] It was 30 degrees so was going to wear the jeans. Had the camel pack leak all over them over night. Stupid hotel laundry doesn't open till something like 9am. Dried them as best I could with the iron. Still got to Capital Reef before dawn. Hiked a mile as the sun rose to Hickman Natural Bridge to wait for the eclipse. Were not the first people there. After the eclipse visited the rest of the park. Some old Mormon settlements, a few petroglyphs, some fruit orchards were you could pick and eat apples off the trees. Red Delicious were ripe and had one for lunch. Clearly crowded because of the eclipse. Thought we were done and rather disappointed with the park itself but then stopped at the couple of trails we passed on the way in before the visitor center which is where they hide the good scenery. Hiked both the Goosenecks and Sunset Point Trails.

Annular Eclipse
[14-Oct-2023] The whole point of the vacation was to be somewhere I could see the annular eclipse. That looked like southern Utah for the best weather and fewest clouds because as Craig says I have PTSD over the traffic from the last eclipse.

Bought a new camera, and a Intervalometer (it takes scheduled pictures on its own) and a tripod. Built a solar filter for the camera. The parking lot was full when we arrived but all those people apparently went to the sunrise view point, more came after we got there and they were parked along the road. We go the last spot in the actual lot.

Hiked all that up to the natural bridge before dawn, watching the sun rise over the rocks behind us. Set it everything to take photos. There were a few clouds but they were not an issue. Dont like how any of the photos with the new set up turned out. All the photos are from the old camera and the cell phone. They are of the eclipse you just cant tell.

[14-Oct-2023] After leaving Capitol Reef stopped to see Pando on the way to Salt Lake City. Pando is a 160 acre aspen tree with hundreds of trunks but they are all one single organism. Which gives it both the largest tree by weight and the largest tree by landmass, and is also the largest known aspen clone, while General Sherman from the beginning of the vacation is the worlds largest single stem tree.

When I turned in the rental car had driven 1855 miles from L.A. to Salt Lake City, though California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. First time in Nevada and really the first time in Utah since the previous time had only been when I went to 4 Corners.