Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mission Trip 2012, On the Road Again

On our way up north to Alaska we are making a few side trips. The drive west on I-10 proceeded through many miles of spring Texas wild flowers. We didn't stop for pictures but imagine fields of yellow daisies, bluebonnets, Indian paint brush, buttercups and many more.

We spent the first night at Balmorea State Park, but were disappointed that the pool at San Solomon Springs was closed due to something that was causing swimmers to itch.

The following morning, we drove to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. Due to the warm weather, we had to kennel 3 cats and the dog before walking down the natural entrance.

The natural entrance has been improved over the years with an ampitheater for visitors to watch the flight of free-tail bats. Unfortunately the bats have flown the caves for Mexico.

This unusual photo is of the natural entrance to the left with light motes in blue and artificial light along the very dark serpentine walkway descending 750 feet into the caves.

I took many photos of the formations but am only including two.

These soda straws and stalmites cover many high ceilings. Photography with a small camera is difficult due to the darkness and limited artificial light. Flash photography caused washouts.

This is one of mery many columns built up over the years of calcium deposits. Our self-guided tour from about 1 PM to 3:30 ended with a quick ride up the elevator, 750 feet in one minute!We camped overnight at an Escapees park. The following morning we were met with a glorious sunrise.

A Navajo woman was weaving in the traditional manner on an updated verticle loom. She had been working several weeks and stated that the finished rug would take her about 5 months. These rugs sell for thousands!

From the Hubble trading post we entered Navajo reservation and drove north to Canyon de Chelly. This photo is of part of the hiking trail, down 600 feet into the canyon.

From the bottom of the canyon we were able to see the White House pueblo ruins, built thousands of years ago by the Anasasi tribes.

Our route next took us 150 miles across First, Second and Third Mesa to the Grand Canyon.

Our first view of the canyon was from the Watch tower. The air was misty with a forecast for snow!

We will have to make a return trip when the sun is shining on the magnificent colors of the canyon.

We walked the rim near the original village.

Did I mention snow? We woke to 2" of fresh, powdery snow. Temp was 20 degrees. Fortunately we have propane and a generator. We walked the rim again in snow.

This is what a small part of the rim was like in the snow.

We drove south in snow to Williams where we sat out a blizzard in a McDonalds parking lot.

We are now headed toward Fresno.

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