Tag Archives: Utah

Postcard From The USA – Bryce Canyon

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I quickly formed the view that this was probably the most amazing and scenic National Park that we had visited so far and looking out over the canyon the red, orange and white hues of the vertical rock formations tinted with other subtle variations of colour provided spectacular views that simply have to be seen to be believed.

From the visitor centre we walked along the Canyon Rim Trail and came across one marvellous spectacle after another. I couldn’t possibly describe them adequately here but the names give clues to their magnificent splendour, Fairyland Canyon, Rainbow Point, The Pink Cliffs, Sinking Ship and The Tropic Valley. We certainly didn’t have time to walk all of the eighteen mile trail but what we saw was enough to make me put it on my ‘to come back to someday‘ list and I sincerely hope that I will.

Bryce Canyon Cedar Breaks

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Postcard From The USA – Four Corners, Monument Valley and Grand Canyon

Our first stop today was at the Four Corners monument where four US States meet at one intersection and it is possible to be in all of them at the same time by standing in two and reaching down and touching the others.

Four Corners Postcard 01

From Four Corners we drove to Monument Valley which was everything that I expected it to be and there was a magnificent view from the visitor centre across the whole of the valley.

Monument Valley

What followed next was another highlight of the holiday when Richard and I left the coach to go on an optional small plane journey for a flight from Monument Valley all the way down the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon

 

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Postcard From The USA – Arches National Park

Arches NP Postcard

The sculptured rock scenery was truly awesome and there couldn’t have been a better day to enjoy it.  The sandstone rocks blazed sulphur red under the strong morning sunlight and looked spectacular framed against the azure blue sky and the dusty ochre desert landscape.

Arches and Canyonlands

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Postcard From The USA – Great Salt Lake and Bingham Copper Mine

Great Salt Lake

Today there was a choice to be made, we could either enjoy a free day sightseeing and shopping in Salt Lake City or we could go on an optional visit to the Great Salt Lake itself.  Not being terribly keen on shopping (I may have mentioned this before) and being so close to the Lake it seemed a shame not to take this opportunity.

Bingham Mine 001

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Postcard From The USA – Salt Lake City

Utah Map

We continued through Idaho before crossing into Utah and picking up the Interstate 15 which ran adjacent to the Great Salt Lake and took us into a much more urban environment than we had been used to as we approached our destination, Salt Lake City.

The city was founded in 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers led by their prophet and leader, Brigham Young, who fled hostility and violence in the east  and took a wagon train west in search of a suitable new location for themselves and their religion.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth – Bingham Canyon Mine

Bingham canyon Mine

The Kennecott copper mine in Bingham Canyon is an open pit mine extracting a large copper deposit a short distance southwest of Salt Lake City.

The mine has been in production since 1906 and has resulted in the creation of a pit over one thousand, two hundred metres deep and four kilometres wide.  And before they started mining here this used to be a mountain!  It is quite simply the  largest open pit copper mine in the world, it is visible from outer space and believe me is one mother of a big hole.  It would fit Mount Snowdon quite comfortably and if you dropped Ben Nevis inside there would only be about a hundred metres left sticking out the top!  That’s big!

Over its life, Bingham Canyon has proven to be one of the world’s most productive mines and since mining began ore from the mine has yielded more than seventeen million tons of copper, which is more than any other copper mine in the world.

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Coach Trip – USA National Parks, Lake Powell and Kanab

Lake Powell

After breakfast and check out we returned to the South Rim Visitor Centre to spend some more time at the Canyon to see it in the daylight.  It was a bit of a disappointment therefore that the weather was slightly overcast and without the stimulating sunlight to create shadows and contrasts this seemed to leech the colours and the life from the rocks.

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Coach Trip – USA National Parks, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon

Monument Valley

It was another early start today and so early that it was still dark when we checked out and boarded the coach because there was a lot of travelling ahead as we headed west to Arizona and the Grand Canyon.  Our first stop today was at the Four Corners monument where four States meet at one intersection and it is possible to be in all of them at the same time by standing in two and reaching down and touching the others.  To get there we drove across a featureless landscape where distant mountains stood like islands in an ocean of desert and through a landscape scoured by erosion, a skeletal land stripped of all but the most minimal vegetation.

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Coach Trip – USA National Parks, Arches

Arches National Park

Today at the start of the second week of our holiday we were driving towards Southeast Utah which is part of the arid rocky expanse of the Colorado Plateau and is an area of land that is dissected by the immense canyons of the Colorado River and a high desert region that can experience wide temperature fluctuations, sometimes over forty degrees in a single day.  Summer temperatures often exceed one hundred Fahrenheit, making the region a bit uncomfortable I imagine, so we were pleased to be here in October on a very pleasant sunny day with a big blue sky and a perfect temperature.

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Coach Trip – USA National Parks, Great Salt Lake and Bingham Canyon

Great Salt Lake

Today there was a choice to be made, we could either enjoy a free day sightseeing and shopping in Salt Lake City or we could go on an optional visit to the Great Salt Lake itself and not being terribly keen on shopping and being so close to the Lake it seemed a shame not to take this opportunity.

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