Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Squirrels

13th February 2011 by Helen

After taking a short break at the KOA campsite in Flagstaff it was time to move on again today.

spot the squirrel in the middle of the campsite

spot the squirrel in the middle of the campsite

The campsite has been lovely and peaceful and we have enjoyed watching the plentiful squirrels and ravens that are right throughout the site.  The squirrels are a little unusual looking in that they are grey with a red/brown stripe down their back, and a white fluffy tail.  That makes us think they are Kaibab squirrels, found mainly on the Kaibab Plateau in the ponderosa pine forest of the Grand Canyon.  The site is only a little south of the Grand Canyon and has its share of ponderosa pine.  Even though it’s still very early in the season and I would have thought the squirrels would be hibernating still, the Kaibab neither hibernate nor lay by a store of food for the winter.  Instead they eat the bark of the ponderosa pine, seeds from pine cones, weeds, mushrooms and any other vegetation that’s available.  Including some strawberries we left on the table! 

Back on the road again it was a short drive from Flagstaff to our next planned stop of Sedona, in what is known as Red Rock Country.  We arrived early enough to pick up local maps and brochures at the Visitor Centre.  What was quickly apparent was that while the scenery had changed only a little, the upscaling of commercialism was enormous.  Including the cost of camping – $18 per night for the use of a pit toilet, fire pit and concrete bench.  No water, no nothing else.  More than twice the cost of a similar campsite in the more beautiful Canyonlands.  The only difference here was a man on site to take your money to make sure you paid (rather than leaving it to the honesty of the campers to leave their money in an envelope in a specially constructed collection box). 

Cheers

Cheers

We ended the day by enjoying a campfire meal and a bottle of wine in an early celebration of St Valentine’s Day.

Campsite – Manzanita campground, Sedona

Distance travelled – 68 miles since Flagstaff

Summer at last!!

31st January 2011 by Helen

With the warmth of summer sun beating rays through the tent walls I positively threw off the duvet this morning and relished in the warmth – whadya mean, it’s only 6 degrees of Celsius outside!!  After the cold of the last few days it felt like summer had arrived even if the temperature gauge disagreed with me.

Rest Room

Rest Room

With daylight we realised what a delightful campsite we’d stopped at last night.  Landy was nestled at the bottom of a cliff of the typical red sandstone of this area, amongst the campsite trees.  Right in front of us, on the other side of the road, ran the Colorado River.

Thompson's Bottom campsite

Thompson's Bottom campsite

As campsites go this is classified as even more ‘primitive’ than the usual primitive site.  Clearly this refers to the toilet facilities.  And we had to laugh.  Five wooden walls.  No roof.  Vault (non flushing) toilet with the usual toilet seat and toilet paper to one side.  No door – just a chain you loop across the opening with a sign on it saying ‘occupied’!!

After a day of catching up with emails we returned to the same campsite for another peaceful, if colder, night.

Campsite – William’s Bottom

Switchbacks in the Canyon

30th January 2011 by Helen
sitting on the edge

sitting on the edge

After such a glorious sunny day yesterday we woke this morning to clouds and cold.  However by the middle of the day it had brightened up again and we explored the rest of the ‘Island in the Sky’, marvelling at yet more scenes of canyons and trees before heading back into Moab via the Long Canyon Road.  This delightful little road leading down from the ‘Island’ and into the canyon that stands between the Island and Moab is described as a 4×4 road.  Hmmm.  With high cliffs on one side and a vertical drop (Paul: “rubbish”) on the other, compacted snow under our tyres, and some 180 degree switchbacks as we travelled (often steeply) down hill to the bottom of the canyon, I found getting out to take photos and walk rather more compelling that watching the world go by from inside the car!!

After finishing off with some jobs to be done in Moab we found a campsite just outside of town, called William’s bottom, and in the dark set up camp.

Campsite – William’s Bottom

Distance travelled – 76 miles