Monday, August 26, 2013

12th day away from home (August 21st, 2013)

Well, right now and as you can see from my present header, we are in Yellowstone National Park.  We came across this lovely Mama Bison and her Calf not ten minutes into the park.  It was a lovely sight but no I didn't get out of the car to take that photo.  There was no traffic behind us, I used the zoom on my camera and neither mum nor baby seemed to be bothered by our quick fly-by.  More on the park at a later date but first I am still catching up on our travels.

August 21, 2013 and 3,179 miles from home.
We checked out of our Hotel in Cedar City, Utah at 8.26 a.m.
This morning we stopped off at our first Walmart at 8:59 AM.  We bought a power strip because some of the hotels don't have enough electric sockets for our recharging (time's have changed), a couple of memory cards for the camera, a sandwich to share for today's picnic lunch, a couple of slices of watermelon, and 'some bitches for smacking'.   Huh????

No I did not really say that!!!  What kind of a violent person do you think I am?  This iPad does not understand me and that is how she translated what I said, which was actually 'some veggies for snacking'.  A strange thing is going on with Suri.  If I say something with my English accent I get some very peculiar sentences written out when note taking.  She's delightful for when I want to record a quick note on our journey here and there. Gregg said to try an American accent, which I did.  My American accent isn't that good but do you know what?  She translated it perfectly.  Go figure!  Well, it has given us some laughs because apparently I can swear like a trooper.  No, I don't curse, apparently Suri thinks I do.  Some naughty words she thinks I have said, she won't even translate.  Okay Apple people, get your iPad to understand English English.  

On our way to Bryce Canyon we passed through some very pretty scenery and stopped at one of the overlooks.  While we were there taking in the view, a very nice young couple came along.  They got out of their car, smiled and enjoyed the view with us for a few moments.  As often happens now they asked if they could take our photo, and we in turn took theirs.  

Gregg asked them what he always is interested in learning, 'Where are you from?"  They said they lived in Seattle now but were originally from Saudi Arabia, and that they were on their honeymoon.  We congratulated them and wished them many years of happiness.  They were a lovely couple and obviously very happy.

We didn't leave right away and another vehicle turned up.  This time it was a lady driving one of the smaller rental RV's.  She strolled over, lit up a cigarette, breathed deeply, smiled and then Gregg said, "Do you have a toilet in that RV?"  She looked a little startled.  Why Gregg was asking was that we had talked about renting an RV for this trip originally and the question came up.  From the expression on her face I quickly said, "Oh no, he doesn't want to use it, we're just curious if your RV has one!"  Well, that worked.  She started a conversation with us and told us all about the pro's and con's of renting an RV.  We detected an accent.  Gregg's next question was less threatening,  "Where are you from?"  She said she was French but had lived the last 12 years in Tahiti, adding that Tahiti being such a small island, they have to get off it at least once a year and this year they decided to come to Bryce Canyon.   We never saw the 'they' part of her conversation. "They" were barricading their toilet no doubt!

You meet the most interesting people when traveling don't you?
I have added a few new items to Gregg's Traveler Code List. 

"For crying out loud Gregg, don't ask anyone if their RV has a toilet!" (Denise)

"I was just curious!" (Gregg)

Right now there is the smell of cedar everywhere.  It is intoxicating and you want to breathe deeply.  

We have just gone through the Red Canyon at 11.15 a.m....

and just reached the summit at 7,777 feet.  

11.30 a.m.  We always stop at the first visitor/welcome center we come to when we have passed the State line.  They are generally fun to look around, the people who run them are friendly and very helpful, and I bought lots of postcards and a few magnets showing the area.

We are not allowed to feed the squirrels but Gregg said we have no objection to one breaking into our car and stealing our snacks.  I think he would feel a little differently if it was a bear wouldn't he?

We tried to get into the Bryce Canyon Lodge but no joy and we didn't expect to, but as we came through the park gate they advertised vacancies, and we thought we would give it a try.  

We could sign up for a mule ride.  No, not ready for that yet.  

8,031 feet and we are not far from Bryce Canyon.  Tell you the truth we are a bit lost but I always have faith in Gregg's sense of direction.  No we're not lost Gregg says.  I've forgotten what number that is on our Travelers Code, and right now I'm too tired to look it up.   

There are Prairie Dogs around here according to the signs, and we have to look out for deer crossing the road.   We see neither.

We found Bryce Canyon.   The views were breathtaking but I found that the older I get the less easy I become around heights.   

I saw what I think is a Steller's Jay.....

and a really cute little critter.  He looks like a Chipmunk but he is different somehow.

People offered to take our photo again.  We brought the tripod along but there were too many people around to try and set it up safely.  Please note in the photo below that there is no safety rail behind us.  It is not an instant drop but all the same, I like my safety rails.   

We see a lot of trees that have had lightning strikes and have heard thunder rumbling in the distance.  

We sat down on a bench and had our picnic lunch overlooking the canyon.  What a place to have a picnic!  

By this time we had moved to a quieter overlook and a nice young Japanese couple offered to take our photo.  We of course took theirs.

Here are a few more photos from Bryce Canyon.  

 Before we left we decided to make a two night reservation in Moab, Utah, not too far from The Arches National Park.  

3.02 p.m.  Just passed Piutte. Cute little town with a humongous court house
3.15 p.m. Stopped at Marysvale for gas. Old timers sitting on the porch at the general store/gas station watching the world go by.  It feels like we are in Mayberry and Andy Griffith is going to walk around the corner.

No services  for the next 110 miles, and no cell phone service either at 4.32 p.m.

5.15 p.m. we have just come down a very long mountain.  It was a bit hair-raising in parts.

6.37 p.m. We have arrived at our hotel.  Yee-hah!   Gregg says I sound like a local now.  It's because of my new American accent with all the conversations I have with Suri.  Well, that's what happens on a very long road trip I guess.