1SE for September 2019

Posted October 1, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: 1 Sec Every Day, 1SE

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Bryce Canyon National Park

Posted September 30, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Travel, Utah

Tags: , , ,

This will be our last day in Southern Utah. Tomorrow we head north to Salt Lake City to visit with our son Neil and his wife Laura. Today we toured Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce is not as crowded with visitors as Zion. Nevertheless there were plenty of people there.

Bryce and Cedar Breaks are different than Zion in that you view the rock formations from the top of the mesa. In Zion, you are down in the canyon looking up at the rock formations. It is not better or worse, it is just different.

There are many trails to do. Seeing as the elevation is about 8000′ ASL, I get short of breath real easy. We mostly just walked up to the fence to view the hoo-doos and other magnificent rocks. There are signs warning everyone not to climb over the fence. Duh! It’s a long way down. That could hurt.

It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get to Bryce. If I had been smarter, I would have checked out of our hotel in Hurricane and reserve a room up nearer to Bryce. Maybe next time, though I doubt we will be back. Next trip might be to Grand Canyon. I’ve been wanting to see that for a long time.

We have a National Park Senior Pass that is good to get into any National Park site for free. We bought it about 5 years ago on our trip to visit Joshua Tree National Monument. Without the pass we would have had to pay about $50-$75 to each park to get in.

First stop after clearing customs (oh, I mean the ranger station) was to the Visitor Center/Gift Shop. We watched an interesting 25 min video about the park. Then we spent about $50 on refrigerator magnets, shirts, drink coasters and other assorted memorabilia. It would have been easy to drop another c-note on this stuff (books, videos, calendars, mugs, etc.)

Bryce Canyon is named after Ebeneezer Bryce who is one of the early Mormon settlers in the 1850’s. Click on this link for more info on Bryce.

I just finished writing a few more postcards. First on our list was cards to our grand-kids Jonathan and Sarah.

Okay, here are some of the pictures that I took.

Camp Slug Day

Posted September 29, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Travel, Utah

Tags: ,

Today was a “Camp Slug” day. Don’t bother to google the term “Camp Slug”, you won’t find it. We use that term to denote a day when you do nothing but take care of travel business. We used to use it back in the day when we would go camping with our kids and friends.

We didn’t go anywhere. We got up late. Had breakfast downstairs in the lobby.

We did some laundry in the hotel laundromat on the second floor.

We had some lunch then we took a nap. Nothing better than a nap.

Then, after the nap we went out to get some takeout for dinner. On Sunday, in Utah many places are closed. Even the local movie theater was closed. We found a local take out Mexican restaurant and got some take out. No snakes outside the restaurant.

We got some hotel ice and fixed ourselves a drink. In our hotel room we have a small but very cozy patio deck where we sat and ate our dinner and watched the sun go down over the mesas of southern Utah.

Not a great view, but it’s a nice spot to sit and chill.

We are staying at a Wyndham hotel in Hurricane. It has pluses and minuses. The room is a bit on the small size but it has the patio deck which is nice. WiFi has decent performance and they have a decent free breakfast in the lobby. I’d give it maybe 5 stars out of 10. Maybe 6.

It’s getting really hard to pick out good places to stay on Internet travel sites. You can’t trust the pictures or the reviews.

Haven’t watched much TV. I have no idea when any news is on. I tried CNN and all I got was some talking head yammering on and on about Trump and impeachment. I am so used to having a DVR, I have no idea when shows are on. I Just can’t fast forward through the ads. And, I am sure not going to stay up to watch late night TV like Colbert or Kimmel.

Tomorrow will be our last full day in Hurricane. We haven’t figured out yet what we’re going to do tomorrow. We will figure that out tomorrow. Travel on Tuesday. Heading north to SLC.

TTFN,

Joe

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Posted September 28, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Travel, Utah

Tags: , ,

Yesterday we did Zion. Today we did Cedar Breaks National Monument. It’s a little bit longer driver than Zion. We drove north on I-15 to Cedar City. Then, east on a long and winding road that took us ever higher until we reached Cedar Breaks. Here’s the ranger’s station:

We found a parking space and found ourselves parked next to a twin Nissan Rogue in blue. How weird is that.

We headed for the ranger’s station. I showed the park ranger our NP Senior Pass. She tells us you don’t need that today, because all entry is free. Today was National Park Day. Woo-Hoo.

The elevation was 10,300′ ASL. Wind was blowing and was darn chilly. I got out my sweat shirt and bundled up. I took a few pictures on the way in and headed for the park gift shop. I asked the ranger, “How often to you have to clean the windows?” She said, “Once, when we open up in the Spring.”

One of the best views was out of a couple of windows at the shop. Windows were clean enough to take pictures. They had a nice little fire going in the fireplace. I told the ranger, I’m going to just stay here for a while.

Here’s the gift shop:

Here’s the view out the window.

Here are a few pictures of some of the signage:

Once I had spent a wad at the gift shop (bought some more post cards, some stuffed bird for the grand-kids) then we headed back to car and headed down the hill. But we went in the other direction. Eventually we got to the small town of Parawan, UT. We found a nice little diner in the center of town. Paula had a salad and I had bacon and eggs. (2pm so what.)

Finished lunch. Paula went across the street to a gift shop. Too late, closed. We headed back south on the I-15 to Hurricane. Stopped at the Utah State Liquor store. (Kind of like NH). Sign outside the store at HP spot:

Yikes. Tomorrow is a camp slug day. We will catch up on Laundry and kick back. We will be heading up to SLC on Tuesday.

Zion National Park

Posted September 27, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Travel

Tags: , ,

We were bright and early so that we could get to Zion to snag a parking space. We arrived at about 9 AM. Two lines of cars waiting to pay the park ranger. We have a National Park Service Senior pass that we bought 6 years ago at Joshua Tree National Monument. Good for lifetime free access to National Parks. Definitely a good deal, otherwise entry would have been about $50. Here is a link to the Zion Web Pages.

So we managed to snag a HP spot not to far from the visitor center. Zion banned private cars from accessing the park about 20 years ago. Instead they have many shuttle vehicles taking people from the visitor center to various jumping off places in the main canyon.

We went to the visitor center to buy a few post cards and refrigerator magnets. One can drop a ton of dough in the visitor center. Paula bought a couple of shirts and a tote bag. I wrote two postcards to the grandkids. We escaped with only $66 on my Visa,

Then we hopped on the next shuttle leaving the visitor center. We got off a couple of times to walk around and take pictures. We did one short hike down to the Virgin River. There are easy hikes and not so easy hikes. We stayed to the easy hikes. During our ride along the trail, we often saw several deer. Drivers were quite aware of the deer. No deer were hit. They just looked up and said “Ho hum, more visitors”. It’s a good place for deer to live

Enough of my blather. Every you looked there was someone with a phone in their hand looking up at the sky and peaks to take a picture. I wonder how many pictures are taken at Zion every year? Here are some of my pictures:

Travel Day 1

Posted September 27, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Travel

Tags: , ,

My wife and I left San Pedro Thursday morning at about 9 AM bound for Utah. One of our goals is to visit with our son and his wife in Salt Lake City, Utah. That’s a little bit much for one day’s travel. Many times we stop in Las Vegas for the night and continue on in the morning.

This year we decided to do something different. This year we decide to visit Zion National Park in Southern Utah. We are staying in a hotel in Hurricane, UT. The distance for this leg is about 430 miles. That’s about the most I can do in a day’s drive.

So we do about 120 miles or about 2 plus hours before stopping. We stopped in Barstow and got a couple of iced coffees at Starbucks. Did a little bit of walking to stretch our legs. Emptied bladders and on the road again.

We stopped in Primm, Nevada to stretch our legs and go to the bathroom. Primm is right across from the CA-NV border. The change in view is drastic. Big tawdry casinos on both sides of I-15.

Next stop after another 125 miles we stopped for gas in Mesquite, NV. Price of gas drops dramatically once you leave CA. Goes from about $3.89/gal to under $3/gallon.

We pulled into our hotel in Hurricane, UT at about 6pm. Unpacked and we went out to dinner at a local steak house. Paula and I had a delicious grilled pork shop and a glass of wine.

Back to the hotel. Getting up on Friday early to head for Zion. Parking lots fill up early. Next post will be all about Zion. We will be in Hurricane until Tuesday when we head north on the I-15 to SLC.

Downton Abbey

Posted September 25, 2019 by joebowker
Categories: Hearing Aids, Movies, Reviews

Tags: , ,

Downton AbbeyLast night we went to see the movie “Downton Abbey“. Tuesday is a good night to go to the movies around here. Regal Cinema has $5 tickets for everyone on Tuesday night. The ticket taker wanted to see inside Paula’s purse looking for contraband. They didn’t see the bulge in my pocket that had a bottle of spring water.

Still not very crowded even at those prices. So this is the continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside.

So we have been waiting to see this for a long time once we heard it was being developed. If you followed the series that was broadcast on PBS from 2010-2015, you will love the movie. If you didn’t follow the series you might still enjoy but maybe not.

All the characters on the TV series made it into the movie. I read somewhere that producer Julian Fellowes struggled to get all of cast together for the shoot because of many conflicting schedules of cast mates.

So the story line is that the King and Queen are coming for a visit to Downton. First everyone had to get the joint scrubbed clean, then the royal maids, cooks and butlers arrive to take over the operation for the visit. The regular Downton crew are none to happy to pushed aside for their day in the glory of the visit. Much trickery is planned to take back the staff’s operation of Downton.

Downgon Abbey mansion

So the movie ends after all the royals go home. The movie closes with a long shot of the mansion in the darkening skies. The Crawleys and their staff live happy ever after. So I was wondering, how did they light the castle (remember this is circa 1927) with out any flood lights showing?

So, one of my problems that I had was understanding all of the dialog. I have hearing problems and I wear hearing aids. The hearing aids didn’t seem to help, perhaps even made it worse. The dialog often sounded muddled. British accents didn’t help any in that regard. I have a hearing test scheduled in October

I hear that the Downton Abbey mansion has become quite a tourist draw for Brits and Americans. They apparently do tours. If you were a fan of the PBS series, go see the movie. You’ll enjoy it.

After the movie, we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in San Pedro. Taxco still hasn’t managed to get their liquor license back after they moved a few months ago. No matter, the food was excellent.