Manyana Dreaming

The life and travels of the Kemp Family

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Zion and Bryce Under the Weather

We are here in Zion to hike the terrain but the bug has struck me down , the sore throat started a day ago and the rain started as well so the first day here was spent in bed with drugs as my companion . Bruce dragged me out on day two to see the sights of Bryce Canyon, I must say I was not good company as I slept most of the way to Bryce Canyon and Bruce was a little concerned as I never ever sleep during the day , and he was even more worried when I wasn’t snapping pics with my phone . “YOUR NOT RIGHT HE SAID ” no I’m a little under the the weather , it’s a shame because there was plenty to see .

These amazing formations are called Hoodoo’s they are formed when an alpine dessert is involved with freezing , thawing and freezing again . This phenomenon is unique to Bryce Canyon and if I had been feeling ok we would have hiked down between these wonderful structures , every one was different , but this is how I looked NOT A PRETTY SIGHT !

I was feeling a little better the last day , so we managed to do a few walks back in Zion , but I was pacing myself because of continual coughing , but we got there !

So now our tour of these iconic national parks has ended . We woke this morning and headed back to LA for our flight back to Vancouver. It’s amazing we left Zion at 7.30am and we had crossed four states bt 10am , Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California , and I’m still coughing !!! . I think it’s time to go home .

I have to finish with the wildlife though , I could hug all these little deer and the wild turkeys were amazing . So now off to LA .

Zion National Park

The road from Monument Valley to Zion NP was a real surprise, it was suggested by a man we met in Sedona , in his words he said “You can take the High Rd or the Low Rd , may I suggest the Low Rd ” How right he was .

These wonderful Vermillion Cliffs line the edge of the road for quite a long way , this picture above is taken from a view point on the drive . The old Navajo Bridge crosses the Colorado River here . This area is called Lees Ferry and its where you start your rafting trip through the Grand Canyon .

The views on the drive were amazing as you had prairie’s on one side and cliffs on the other , it is also the way you would come to view the Grand Canyon from the northern end but it’s closed at the moment due to snow .

We eventually arrived out our next destination , Zion Lodge which is up in the Zion Canyon of the National Park

We are staying in one of these cute little cabins in the woods ,sharing our surrounds with the wildlife .

Tomorrow we will explore what Zion has to offer .

Navajo Country

We had a rather a long drive a few days ago to reach Monument Valley . The valley sits on the Arizona , Utah border which proved to be a bit difficult time wise ,as one state is on daylight savings and the other not ,therefore phone clocks and car clock are constantly changing .

We left Sedona and travelled north via Flagstaff , up the highway through Navajo Land with a couple of short detours . One was to Sunset Crater to see what remained of a volcanic eruption one thousand years ago and the other detour was out to The Grand Canyon which was only 27miles off the highway .

Above is one of many Grand Canyon snaps we took

We arrived at Monument Valley late in the afternoon , it’s quite unusual as this is not a National Park and is totally run by the Navajo people so it definitely has a different feel to it . The 17 mile drive through the park is on a rough dirt road and Indian Hawkers set up stands to either sell food , sell horse rides , sell horse photos ,or sell trinkets all in the midst of this stunning scenery . We had two nights here . Bruce was in his element as so many cowboy movies that he watched as a child have been shot in this park ,and it is said that it was one of John Wayne’s favourite places . There is also a famous scene from Forrest Gump shot just outside the park

Above , a bit Of Indian ingenuity, selling there wares .

Above is a pic of where the Forrest Gump scene was shot .

We sampled the local dish which is called Indian Bread or Navajo Bread , which they deep fry to serve either as a Taco , Hamburger or as a dessert with honey and powdered sugar .

So now from here we head further on up into Utah to experience Zion National Park .

Cactus’s and More

As we head our way east from California, across some incredible inhospitable desert countryside, to our amazement , we watch the countryside slowly change as we roll along mile after mile. Into Arizona touching on the old famous Route 66 towards Flagstaff , and at this point where there is still snow on the ground , it’s hard to believe what we discovered within a short drive south towards Phoenix

Margy Ann found here holy grail of cactus’s , saguaro cacti this size are approximately 150 years old. We found this old trail off the road near Black Canyon City ( believe me it was no city)

They are amazing to see in there natural environments, Margy was so moved , she even tried hugging this old one.

From here we settled into the most beautiful town and area called Sedona. A most incredible setting for a town , surrounded in every direction by rock formations and cliffs of deep reds and ochre colours.

In every direction, the scenery is stunning.

We have set off on a few of the trails that are all around the town and surrounding areas, the photo above is known as Cathedral rock. There is virtually hundreds of hiking trails and mountains to climb. It’s not in anyway remote, all these trails and spectacular rock formations are all situated with houses and properties adjacent.

Bell rock in the distance, while I await the vibe of energy from the vortex ( local claim of vortex’s at this spot ) that have enhancing powers of energy and wellness ??

Don’t know about the vortex claims. But is definitely a great place to sit back and enjoy the views.

Pretty Palm Springs

After spending a few days up in the desert high country we headed down to Palm Springs for the day ,and to our surprise we really enjoyed it . It truly is an oasis in the desert , lots and lots of palm trees , manicured lawns and a real tropical feel .

These palms truly look at home in this environment and all have beautifully trimmed skirts , they are the real showpiece of this town .

We strolled the main strip , had a great lunch of quesadillas, washed down with a Margarita ( sadly only one )

We then had a bit of a drive around Las Palmas which was apparently Home to all the stars at one time .

What we really liked was that nearly all these homes were single story and all beautifully kept

There are no high rises in Palm Springs it is only the palms that display there grandeur . It is a true oasis in the desert .

We also visited the famous Cactus Gardens which were quite a suprise. I could share endless snaps of my favourites but will restrict it to one

Or maybe two !

It was a great day and a great place to visit , put Palm Springs on your list

Joshua Tree

Well we have been on the road again, crossing the coastal divide between the coast via The Pacific Crest Trail and down into Palm Springs , our eventual destination was Joshua Tree a small town up in the mountains near Palm Springs , we are here to spend a few days walking in the Joshua Tree National Park . This amazing park has a lot of unusual geographical scenery as well as the famous Joshua Tree which live in profusion within the park .

They are really a form of Yucca Plant but attain amazing height and longevity in this climate . They really are another amazing creation that live in this world . They share this environment with some incredible rock formations , so we have spent our day hiking through the Hidden Valley which is a must do when visiting here .

So now after a big day we have returned to our Casita to cook a good old barbecue and enjoy this cool crisp climate .

We Say La Jolla , but they say La Hoya

Well we are on the road again, we travelled from Sunpeaks to Kamloops , Kamloops to Vancouver , Vancouver to Los Angeles , and all that took a whole day . As Bruce says ,that happens when you put an airport in your day and we put three .

We spent the night in LA and picked up a car the next morning , so now we are in La Jolla which is just north of San Diego.

We have been staying in this B&B which was built in 1913 , it’s just one street back from the beach , so we have gone from snow to sand and cold to warm .

We are here for some outlet shopping down on the Mexican Border and to try a few Mexican dishes . The highlight here though has been the Seals , it is what they call pupping season and all the seals come ashore with their babies which means the beaches are closed to the public , the seals have it all to themselves for a couple of months

Honestly you could sit and watch them all day , mothers chasing babies , babies riding on mother’s backs and generally lying around relaxing .

Top of The World

Well, that’s what they call the top of Mt Todd at Sun Peaks. At this point you stand 2,150 m high. The ski area is all below this height , and we ski all three mountains which all head back to 1250 m in the valley village.

A rare photo of (me) enjoying the sunlight and scenery off the Top of the World. There has been so much snow , and there has been some awesome skiing up here every day. We have had some mornings down around -17c to -19c this week up here , which has kept the ski shops in business with Margy Ann purchasing more and more equipment to survive this global warming. It suppose to be spring!!!!!

Margy skiing back down toward the village. It must be time for coffee and some amazing pastries from Conrad & Elizabeth at Bolacco Cafe.

The following little clip is Margy’s happy place, a 7 kilometre long run, not another skier in sight, dry powder snow groomed to perfection, sunshine, oh yes! There is a smile under that helmet.

We are getting towards the end of our 12 days here at Sun Peaks. Heading off to USA for road trip this coming Friday

Will keep in touch

Snow, Snow and more Snow

We are definitely creatures of habit when it comes to our annual ski holiday , but Sunpeaks never disappoints and is becoming more and more popular with the Canadians as well as overseas visitors.

We have been here for six days and still it keeps snowing , this picture was taken this afternoon when the clouds cleared and revealed the beauty of this landscape , every time you come up to this highest part of the resort you feel you have to stop for a while to soak up the beauty before you start your descent back down .

It has been cold , and today was the coldest around -11c ,we started at 8.30am and were well and truly frozen by 10.30am , we retreated for coffee and a soak in the hot tub to thaw out .

Below is a short video taken on the Chrystal Run this afternoon when the glitter was falling from the sky , it’s always a special experience when nature show us how cleaver she is .

Au Revoir France

Well, that’s about it. Eight weeks on the road have tonight, come to its conclusion. Eight weeks of a suitcase I never want to see again. My favourite boots, I never want to see again. What once was my best socks , I have worn holes in them and have been discarded to the bin ( never to be seen again )Eight weeks of washing clothes in sinks and bath tubs, I don’t need to do again. Home now to many people we miss and do want to see again. It’s been quite an adventure, we met some very interesting people, encountered and explored some incredible places.

To finish off the last few days in Paris, with its Christmas festivities on show, it’s a great way to finish our trip

Margy ann in the lane next to our hotel in St German Paris

What now has become our accepted French breakfast. Cafe creme, croissant, baguette and jam

One more selfie by the Louvre

And finally to me this is Paris. Walking home to the hotel after lunch today, to head of to CDG Airport for trip home.

I looked down this strangely almost empty street ( the buildings, the bikes, the chairs of the cafe lined up) that’s Paris!!

See you all soon

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