Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Palisade State Park | Utah

This past week I spent a night at one of the Utah State Parks.  The setting was really pretty, the park is situated around a good portion of a small lake.  This is the first time since I've been in the southwest that I have actually had someone tell me that a lake is above normal level.

As you can see below there are even trees growing out of the lake at this point.

There are kayaks, paddleboards and paddle boats for rent for use on the lake.  There were dozens of families with multiple children enjoying the lake.  Most of them had brought colorful blow-up water toys with them.

As I was walking around enjoying the scenery I came across this dragonfly type creature.  In the sunlight he looked iridescent.

Across the street from the park is very nice community, saving the park from being a remote rustic adventure.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Antelope Island State Park | Great Salt Lake |Utah

This is one of the many bison statues that are placed around the park.  The Bison were not native to this island but were imported back in the 1800s.  A couple of the other statues are shown below.

It's hard to get a decent picture of a bison since they always have their head to the ground eating.  I did catch this one being a little bit lazy.  If annoyed they can run over 30 miles an hour, so I wasn't getting too close.  They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds

This next photo shows the causeway coming to the island, which is 7 miles long.  The island itself is 15 miles long and 5 miles wide.

There is the marina when you first come onto the island but since there's not much boat traffic, it was a little bit empty.  People say there's not much boating on the lake anyway, possibly because there's no fish because of the salt content.

I was surprised to find seagulls here, and then I saw white pelicans.  There are a lot of migratory birds that stop off here at the Great Salt Lake.

 One day while I was touring the island I saw something in the road ahead so I started to slow down.  I let the truck idle forward so I wouldn't scare these two.  They just stood and stared back at me for a while and then they decided to go off  into the meadow.

On another day I saw these two antelope in the middle of the field so I stopped the truck and got out to take a photo.  I was surprised when they started to walk toward the road where I was standing and they crossed right in front of me.

There is always great scenery around this island as well as multiple hiking trails.

This is a pronghorn antelope that was nice enough to pose for me for a couple minutes.

Jack rabbits are all over the place but they're hard to catch.  I sneaked up on this guy just about sunset.

I found another wildflower that I had not seen before.

They have fantastic sunsets here every night - with or without clouds.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Fielding Garr Ranch | Antelope Island State Park | Utah

This farm was in operation for 133 years, starting in 1848.  The Mormon church was involved with it from then until 1875.  

As you can see, there are numerous artifacts and relics from the farming days.  Including the following camper that they took out into the fields for sheep shearing.

In past years they have raised cattle as well as sheep, now there is a herd of almost 700 bison, which are herded together about once a year.  Some are sold off or some are made into Buffalo burgers.  I talked to a Ranger about the difference between buffalo and bison.  He told me that there are no actual buffalo is the States, what are called buffalo are actually bison.  The name "buffalo burger" is still used, even at the grill within the park.

The island was changed into a state park in 1981 and the farm is not a working farm, but the buildings have been refurbished and now the entire grounds are a museum.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Little Sahara Recreation Area | Utah

This area is set aside for people who take four wheelers into the desert for fun and to climb sand  hills.  I decided it would be a good place for a quick stop over to decide where to go next.

Strangely enough the dunes have ripples in them caused by wind very similar to the ripples in the sand bottom of  the ocean caused by what wave action.

This has been a nice little stop over and the scenery is quite striking.  There are three different campgrounds and Oasis seems to be the best of them.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Kolob Canyons | Zion National Park | Utah

The other day I took a ride to Kolob Canyons, which is the northwest part of Zion National Park, and not accessible from the other part of Zion Park.  This is a short drive of about 6 miles through some rugged terrain.  Unfortunately, I picked a day where the clouds moved in, so I didn't get much good lighting for the photos.  Hope you enjoy the ones that did get some light!


Just when I think I've seen all the wildflowers in one area, I find another one.  These were great!



This last one shows how gigantic some of these rock mountains are.  This was a smaller one, but it still dwarfs my truck.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Camping near Yankee Meadows Campground | Dixie National Forest | Parowan, Utah

We were on the way to the Yankee Meadows Campground in the Dixie National Forest off Route 143 in Utah, just outside of Parowan. The road was steep with lots of twists and turns, as well as amazing bright red rock formations on each side of the road. The road turns to a dirt road for a short way. Along that part of the road, about a mile before reaching the actual campground, there are two camping areas that have designated camping on each side of the road. 

The camping areas had large sites that provided enough space from your neighbor so you didn't feel crowded. There are no facilities in these camping areas, so there is no fee. We did check out Yankee Meadows Campground and found that they had a restroom, water spigots in a few places, picnic tables and steel fire rings. For these features, you'd be paying a small fee.

My traveling friend and I decided we liked free better, so we chose one of the camping areas we had first checked out. The roads in were fine and the scenery is terrific, with a little stream at the far side of the campground, complete with a little bridge so you can walk over the stream to explore the area.

Down the road past the actual Yankee Meadow Campground there is a beautiful lake with a mountain view - snow still on the peaks in June.

I was able to catch a shot of a deer at dusk way over in a grove of aspens.

More scenery in the surrounding area.....