May 082013

Our bucket list includes a quest to visit all 59 National Parks.  The Capitol Reef National Park is in an isolated area of Utah, which allows for a peaceful hiking experience.

It’s located on the Scenic Byway 12 route which travels through 3 national parks, 3 state parks, a national recreation area, and a national monument.  Yes, I will be linking these areas for your enjoyment in future story’s about our travels through the 124 miles of the Scenic Byway 12 route.

Capitol Reef natl park

The trails in the Capitol Reefs National Park took us up and around some cliffs for a panoramic view of the many spires, ridges and domes.  The park was named Capitol Reef, because the whitish sandstone domes resemble the Washington D.C. “Capitol” Building.  The “Reef” refers to the high uplifted ridge, which presented a considerable barrier to early settlers.

Capitol Reef red flower

I’m always amazed at how flowers manage to bloom in such inhospitable environments.

Capitol Reef white cactus flower

Capitol Reef purple flower

I would appreciate your helping me identify these cactus beauties for me.

I believe the red flower is the Crimson Hedgehog cactus, but the white cactus and the bluish lavender flowers are a mystery to me yet.

Mar 142013

Why is Jackson commonly called Jackson Hole?  Fur trappers living in Jackson, coined the term “hole” which describes the entire valley ringed by mountains.
Ranching in Jackson wasn’t very prosperous, so settlers served as guides and packers for hunting to supplement their incomes.  Others realized that dudes winter better than cows and began operating dude ranches.

TheYellowstone & Rodeo 001 copy Grand Teton mountain range is a National Park that we enjoy visiting often.  We couldn’t think of a more memorable way of celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, than in this gorgeous area.  It takes about 5 hours to drive from our home in Salt Lake City.  Another favorite National Park, Yellowstone is only 50 miles from Jackson, WY.

Bronc Riding RodeoChildren grow up competing in rodeo events and watching youngsters ride bulls and wild horses is exciting to watch.  Our special favorite is the mutton busting.  Children around the ages of 5 through 8 years old ride on lambs that try to buck them off.  The little riders hang on so tight that some won’t let go even if they have slipped  and are riding underneath the lamb. Our grandsons earned mutton busting trophies, among their many accomplishments.

jenny lakeJenny Lake is fed by the Teton mountain’s glaciers and the crystal clear lake seems bottomless.  Boat shuttles will take you to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead to enjoy the hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Walking along the many trails around the lake is a peaceful way to take more pictures of nature like snakes and other wild things.  The lodge was originally a dude ranch and some of the cabins are from the 1920’s.

Bar J group copyThe Bar J Wranglers have a western bar-b-que and entertainment dinner show that is a highlight of our Wyoming western experience. The working ranch has been in the family for generations. It’s also a perfect reason to wear our cowboy outfits and hats. We may have been born n’ raised in Wisconsin, but when “out west” we have to dress the part.
Also, don’t miss riding in a covered wagon. It’s the cowboy way!

50th Anniversary Trip to Jackson, WY 034 copyBar J wagon copy

Visiting all the 59 National Parks is on our bucket list, but some places deserve a visit more than once.

Linked to Travel Photo Mondays

Mar 112013

blog-natl-logo1[1]America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands
Senior Pass – Cost $10
A lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass can only be obtained in person at the park and is non-transferable. The Senior Pass provides a 50% discount on charges such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.
This pass replaced the discontinued Golden Age Passport which my husband proudly carries at all times.
Visiting all the National Parks is on our bucket list. This will be a daunting task, since there are 59 parks and over 398 areas in the National Park System. So far we have visited 22 National Parks.  We hope the federal budget cuts won’t someday decide to cut the Senior Park Pass money saving perk. Enjoy this link for locating all the parks in every state:

Access Pass – Free
A lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Documentation is required to obtain the pass. This pass replaced the discontinued Golden Access Passport.

Note: Golden Age and Golden Access Passports will continue to be honored according to the provisions of the pass.

%d bloggers like this: