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Grand Canyon, Sedona, Lake Powell, Bryce & Zion

Caravan Tours

September 20 - 27, 2009

This much anticipated trip began with a flight to Phoenix

on Sunday, September 20.  The usual briefing meeting before

starting out on Monday was held at 8:00 pm.  We are

staying at the Doubleday Inn near the Phoenix Airport. 

 We were a group of 46 eager travelers. 

Our trusty tour bus!  Very comfortable and well driven by Nelson.

On our way north out of Phoenix we drove through  the old town

part of Scottsdale. There was interesting scenery.

Our first stop of the morning was at this abandoned road side stop

where we checked out the giant Saguaro Cacti.

They were really big and old.

Along the way we passed a section of the old wagon road.

Our second stop of the morning was at Montezuma

Castle National Monument.  Sheltered within a cave

high on a limestone cliff overlooking Beaver Creek, this

five-story, twenty-room pueblo was once home to

prehistoric Sinagua people.  These ruins were

abandoned after 1400 A.D.

Scenery from downtown Sedona.

Sedona is a shoppers dream with many shops such as this one. 

The greeter was rather mute.

There was even a horse waiting for tourists to be photographed with.

More of the downtown scenery.  There were photo opts in every direction.

Late in the afternoon we ventured to a high

observation point above Sedona.

Tuesday morning broke clear and sunny but a little cool. 

This sun lit mountain greeted our day outside our motel.

Blue skies and mountains as we drive along to our first stop of the day.

We stopped at mid-morning to visit this Museum just

outside of Flagstaff.  It was a very interesting museum with

very good displays concerning Indian life in this region.

We arrived in the Grand Canyon area at noon time. 

Seventeen of our group elected to take the helicopter

flight over the canyon.  I took advantage of this opportunity

to experience flight over our great Grand Canyon.  

Doug was our pilot and the flight was scheduled

to last 47 to 50 minutes.

 It was breathtaking!!!!

The scene inside our French made Helicopter. 

The copter pilot who gave the narrative of our flight over the canyon.

As we flew over the rim, there was the Colorado River at the

bottom of the canyon. 

The following shots are but a few of the over 75 photos I

took out of the window in helicopter.

  One neat feature of the helicopter flight was that a DVD recording

was taped during  the flight.  There were two cameras, one

pointed ahead of the copter and one aimed at the people

in the copter.  We all had microphone headsets and a recording

was made of our comments along with a narrative of the

fight by the pilot.  What a great remembrance of this occasion!

After our flight we bussed on to the south rim of the canyon.

One of the traditional views of the canyon.  I had to restrain

myself from taking a lot more photos.  The photos from the flight

were providing excellent views of the canyon.

Following are a few more Grand Canyon photos

from various observation points.

Old glory was flying high this afternoon.

There were photo opts in every spot you looked at the canyon.

As late afternoon arrived the colors and shadows changed

the canyon every minute it seemed.

We stayed in the park this evening at the Thunderbird

Lodge pictured above.   This lodge was literally just yards

from the rim.  It was a very high quality lodging facility.

Sunset at the Grand Canyon.  It has been a glorious day

of touring and photo taking.

The next morning after a great breakfast at the El Tovar Lodge,

we were then bussed to one last Grand Canyon view point for this trip.  

Above is the lookout tower at Desert View Lookout point. 

The Colorado River is making its way through the

canyon is early morning.

Breathtaking scenery!

This was a cool, breezy morning over the canyon, but still a great view.

We continued to see the various canyon scenes as we follow the

Colorado River to our next stop, a Navajo and Hopi Trading Post.

We stopped here to have lunch and shopping.  I have never

seen so many Indian made items for sale.

Notice the two people wading in the Colorado

River behind the Trading Post.

After lunch we followed the Vermilion Cliffs as we motored along. 

Their colors were very picturesque.

Our mid-afternoon stop was at Navajo Bridge (official

name is: Navajo Steel Arch Highway Bridge).  This bridge

crosses the Colorado River's Marble Canyon near Lee's Ferry.

 It is the only bridge crossing the Colorado River for nearly 600 miles.

The Colorado River from the Navajo Bridge.

Arizona roadside scenery as we drive along.

The power plant at Glen Canyon Dam in the distance is

located at the site of the lake dam.  It generates power from

the dam holding Lake Powell back.  The lake is 185 miles long

and hold back a great deal of water as it was

built over a large canyon.

Boats on lake Powell.  There several large marina's along the lake.

In the late afternoon, we had a one and half hour cruise on

Lake Powell.  It took us up a very colorful bay for some distance. 

With the setting sun it was a very pleasant boat ride.  The white

band on the rocks in this photo is the high water mark fro the lake. 

It a deposit of calcium chloride left when the water receded. 

The setting sun after our boat ride.  We are staying at the Lake

Powell Resort operated by a National Park Service hotel vendor. 

It was a first class operation like the hotels at the Grand Canyon.

We had a two day stay at Lake Powell and  0n day two, found us

traveling out to the Navajo Indian Nation to see Monument Valley.

Above is the Navajo Generating Station a short distance from

Lake Powell.  It is a coal-fired power plant located on the

Navajo Indian Reservation.  The power plant is served by coal

mined at the Kayenta Mine near Kayenta, Arizona. 

The coal is delivered by a railroad built for that purpose.

Scenery along the drive to Monument Valley.

We had our morning stop at Kayenta where there was a display

of Navajo dwellings like this hogan.

Monument Valley scenery

One of the Mitten buttes.

Local cowboys provide a photo opportunity.

The three sisters.

The thumb!

The Lodge where we had lunch and a chance for shopping. 

The Goulding's convinced John Ford to use Monument Valley

as a locale for Western movies.   John Wayne made several

movies in the valley.  Many of the classic western

movies were shot in this area.

On the way back to Page, Arizona we passed many

colorful sights like this one.

Sunset at Lake Powell.  Another full day of taking photos in our beautiful western states!

Roadside scenery as we travel along to Bryce Canyon.

Another roadside vision.

Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge.

We arrived here a little before noon and would

stay until late afternoon. 

Upon coming up to the Canyon rim you are overwhelmed by the

beauty and grandeur of this park.  Hoodoos were to be seen everywhere. 

The brilliant shades of red, orange, and pink were all present in the canyon.

The next few pictures illustrate the beauty of the Park.

We concluded our visit to the Bryce Canyon Lodge area with a

stop at Bryce Point for another scenic photo stop.

After our stop at Bryce Point, we traveled to Tropic, Utah

where we will spend the night.

The original home of Ebenezer Bryce who farmed on the edge

of the canyon, thus he named Bryce Canyon.

Sunrise at Tropic.  Topic is a very small town with

few stores and shops.

We retraced our route back through the tunnels built along to

highway to the junction with the highway to Zion National Park. 

Near the tunnel was the Butch Cassidy Draw pictured above.

The salt and pepper shaker hoodoos located in

Red Canyon National Park.

While the Red Canyon Park was small in size it had

many scenic spots to enjoy.

Mountain scenes along the drive to Zion Park.

Another picture along the way scene!

Zion Lodge.  We will be spending our last night of the trip here.

in the cabins available at the park.  We arrived shortly before

noon and immediately began our exploration of the park.

 

The park had a shuttle bus system, so I opted to travel away

from the lodge.  This is my first stop at Weeping Rock. 

Note the water falling down off of the cliff. 

This was a most interesting spot.

Then it was a stop at the Temple of Sinawava at the

upper end of the park.  The Riverside Walk begins there. 

It is a very pleasant stroll along the Virgin River that runs

through the park.  The opportunity to take

photos was almost unlimited.

An interesting photo along the River Walk Trail.

On the walk.

Big Ben Buss Stop scenery.

An interesting rock formation at Big Ben Bus Stop.

A mountain scene from the lodge area.

One of the cabins at the park that we stayed in.

Another Zion view.

A mountain sunset at Zion Park.

Sunday morning arrived with the wild turkeys out looking

for their breakfast.  It was a cool night after 99 degree

temperatures during the day on Saturday.  We are on the

road after breakfast for Las Vegas and the end of our tour.

The rising sun peeking over one of Zion's mountains. 

Scenery along the highway to Vegas.

Another roadside picture on the way to Las Vegas.

Trails end, well almost. We drove down the Las Vegas strip to the airport. 

Above is a photo of the Statute of Liberty in front of

the New York, New York casino. 

What a great trip!  Caravan Tours provides a wonderful travel

experience from start to finish.  We traveled a total of

1134 miles during our week of touring.  I hope you will enjoy my

photos as much as I did taking them

Happy Travels!!!