The Sunshine Blogger Award

 

Thank you Matthew from the The Adventures of a Day Hiker blog for nominating us for The Sunshine Blogger Award! It is an award exchanged among bloggers for those who are “are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. What a nice idea! Check out Matthew’s blog-the pictures and hike ideas are great.

Rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven other blogs and give them eleven questions to answer.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Our Answers to Matthew’s Questions:

What is (or was) your dream job?

Craig- wants to do trail maintenance in the National Parks or run a mobile forensics lab.  Patricia- always wanted to be an SFX artist, Disney Imagineer, Park Ranger or Photojournalist.  

What is your favorite National Park?

So hard! I love every park we have been to so far, but I love Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton (our first park) the most. Craig does not have a favorite. He likes Bryce, Yellowstone and Grand Teton equally.

What is your favorite food?

Patricia-any seafood. Craig-loves hot and sour soup.

What type of camera do you use?

iphone 6, Sony RX100.

Why did you start blogging?

We wanted to share our love of the National Parks and our pictures.

How long have you been blogging?

About 1 year 6 months now.

What is your favorite animal?

Another hard one! Patricia-wolf or giraffe. Craig-cheetah.

What is your favorite beer?

Wormtown’s (Worcester, MA) Norm (oatmeal, coconut, chocolate stout.)

What place is at the top of your Bucket List?

Patricia-Africa, Craig-more National Parks

What is your favorite book?

Patricia-The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings. Craig-Catcher in the Rye, 1984 and Siddhartha.  

What is your favorite state?

California and Utah so far.


Our blog nominations:

Retirementally Challenged

Drivin’ & Vibin’

tandem trekking

ZenOnWheels

Northern Star Travelers

Paint Your Landscape

Traveling the World Solo

We are still finding blogs to follow and read-new to this!


Questions to our nominees:

Why did you want to start a blog?

What is the most amazing place you have traveled to?

Where do you most want to travel to?

Favorite hike?

Favorite outdoor activity?

Favorite movie?

TV show?

Best animal encounter?

Favorite personality (actor, singer, writer, humanitarian, etc.)?

Favorite band?

Song?

Parkitecture in the National Parks

Parkitecture is an architectural style that developed in the early and middle 20th century in the National Park Service. The NPS wanted to create buildings that worked in harmony with the natural environment and historic surroundings.  There are a lot of elements in common with the Arts and Crafts movement- for example architects used a lot of native wood and stone. The Parkitecture style can be found in many National Park structures like entrances, lodges, and visitor centers. Many of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I really love the buildings in our National  Parks designed by architects like Mary Colter and Robert Reamer. The Desert View Watchtower in the Grand Canyon National Park and the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone are amazing. It is part of the National Park experience to stay at one of the amazing lodges like the Ahwahnee, the Bryce Canyon Lodge or the Wawona Hotel. I will never forget my first stay at the Old Faithful Inn and our visit to the Crow’s Nest!

I am excited to get a picture whenever I see the entrance signs to the parks, and the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance of Yellowstone is beautiful. 

Have fun exploring when you visit our parks and take plenty of pictures of the great PARKitecture.


Queens Garden/Navajo Loop Hike-Bryce Canyon National Park

Najavo Loop Trailhead

The Queens Garden and Navajo Loop combination is a great hike when you visit Bryce Canyon National Park. The combination is about 3 miles round trip. Most people start at Sunrise Point and the Queen’s Garden Trailhead. The views from the rim overlooks at Bryce are amazing, but you really want to get down into the Hoodoos and walk on the canyon floor. It is truly like walking around in a fairytale!

Navajo Loop Trail

Bryce Canyon Floor

The colors change during the day with the sun, so you will want to bring your camera to capture your hike. It can be hot (even in the fall) so we always carry plenty of water and hats on our hikes. Remember, you are at a high elevation. You can walk right up to the edge at some points- be careful. I loved the narrow Wall Street section and the switchbacks at the end. Enjoy, and let us know how you like the hike.

Loop

Bryce Canyon  Bryce

 

The Grand Circle Road Trip

Craig and I have been talking about visiting Utah’s National Parks for a while. After seeing the map above in a Fodor’s travel book on the West, I decided to start planning a road trip. The “Mighty 5” (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches) have had a lot of press lately. Utah’s latest advertising campaign by Struck was great. I know we loved the video.

I decided to use the road trip above from the Fodor’s Complete Guide to The National Parks of The West. We also added a night in Page after Monument Valley so we can see Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell. October looked like a great time to visit so that is when we head out. Our anniversary is in October as well, so it will be a nice celebration! We added a few nights more than what the book suggested. I think 2 weeks would be even better.   

We will be flying into Las Vegas late and staying the first night there. The next morning we will drive to Zion National Park. We are spending 2 nights at the Zion Lodge, 1 night at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, 1 night at Austin’s Chuckwagon Motel in Torrey, 2 Nights at the Red Cliff’s Lodge right outside Moab, 1 night at the Fair View Lodge in Mesa Verde, 1 night at The View Hotel in Monument Valley, 1 night at The Lake Powell Resort and Marina near Page and 2 nights at Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of The Grand Canyon. I included the official hotel links if you would like to recreate our road trip! There are nice restaurants in each location that I read about on Trip Advisor and travel guide books. Some are The Spotted Dog Cafe in Springdale outside of Zion National Park, Hell’s Backbone Grill on Highway 12, Cafe Diablo in Torrey and Desert Bistro in Moab. The menu’s look amazing and we can’t wait to try them all.  

Sunrise Sunset is a great web site to determine sunrise and sunset times during your trips. In Southern Utah, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, you really want to catch the amazing sunrises and sunsets. There is also an app called Magic Hour for photography that you may want to download. 

This is a large area to cover, so plan as much time as you can or concentrate on certain areas (a smaller loop.) Look at lodging and tours way ahead. See my Pinterest pins for more ideas.

 

 

National Park Night Sky Programs and Festivals

Did you know many of the National Parks have night sky viewing programs as well as night sky festivals? At some of the parks like Bryce Canyon, the night sky is so dark you can see 7,500 stars on a moonless night! You might even see the Milky Way very clearly.  You can check online or at the visitors centers to see what programs might be going on while you are there. There are full moon hikes and bike rides in Yosemite, solar and star viewing at Bryce and much more.    

We are excited to be vising Acadia National Park next month for their Night Sky Festival. It takes place over several days and there will be viewing parties, lectures and movies. I will do a whole post on Acadia and planning with pictures when we get back!