Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lake Powell @ Page, Arizona

Lake Powell, Page, Arizona
Page, Arizona is one of the popular adventure destinations in the Southwest. Aside from Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, Page is a popular boating destination because it is bordered by Lake Powell. Page is also the hub of the Grand Circle, being close to many spectacular National Parks of the Southwest. 
Lake Powell @ Wahweap, Page, AZ
Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, the second largest man made lake in the US. Though most of Lake Powell is in Utah, but the Wahweap Marina, which is 6 miles West of Page is a very strategic location for most tourists exploring the Grand Circle. 
Sparkling Blue Water @ Lake Powell, Wahweap, Page, AZ
Fall Colors @ Page, AZ
Here are some distances from Page of some spectacular and mind boggling destinations in the colored desert of the Southwest:

1. Antelope Canyon - 6 miles East of downtown Page
 @ Lower Antelope Canyon
2. Horseshoe Bend- 4 miles South of downtown Page
 @ Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ
3. Wahweap Marina - 6 miles West of downtown Page
 @ Wahweap Marina, Page, AZ
4. Grand Canyon National Park North Rim - 123 miles from Page
5. Zion National Park - 110 miles
7. Monument Valley - 126 miles
....and a lot more. For more information about the Grand Circle, you can check my "Your Grand Circle Itinerary" post at the Salitype Society

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Devil's Garden Trail, Arches National Park, Utah

The Upper O of Double O Arch, Devil's Garden Trail, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Trailhead: Devil's Garden Trail
Location: Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Features: Arches, Rock Fins, Hoodoos and Other Rock Formations

This is a very fun hike, with amazing desert scenery starting from Devil's Garden trailhead. The Devil's Garden Trail, a 7.2 mile trail, contains the largest concentration of significant natural arches in the world. The first mile is on well maintained and easy to find trail, that leads to the popular stop in Devil's Garden trail, the Landscape Arch.
Landscape Arch ( can be seen after 0.9 mile from Devil's Garden trailhead)
Landscape Arch is the longest natural arch in the world, having a span length of 290 ft, yet having only 6 ft of thickness in its thinnest section.  After the Landscape Arch, the trail is no longer well defined, but that's when more fun began! :) It became more fun for us guessing where the trail is :) since most sections of the trail are on rock fins. 
Devil's Garden Trail, Arches National Park

Some sections of the trail requires some scrambling over rocks, but is rewarded by some of the best views I have seen in my many hikes.
Fun Rock Scrambling
The View from the Rock Fin Trail

There are some exposure to heights while walking on the rock fin, but it is pretty safe hike because the fin is wide and more level. However, because the fins are basically vertical slabs or rocks, the exposure to heights on both sides could still cause uneasiness to those who have fear of heights. When we were here, there was a couple where the lady was trembling, her partner had to guide her all the way to the end of the rock fin trail.
Me, on top of Rock Fin ( could you see the black arch in the far front? )

There was a point in our hike that it became too windy, that walking on the fin felt unsafe. I grabbed the moment to sit down and simply enjoy the scenery.
No, He is not Daredevil, he was on the same Rock Fin trail we were on. I wanted to have picture there, but he was enjoying the views around him there for a very long time ( I could not blame him). I decided instead to take picture of him, then, moved on to complete the hike.
Un-named Rock Hoodoo( what do you see?)
Most of the hike is on rocky footing over sandstone slabs and slick rock with narrow ledges. There is stunning vista everywhere you look from the trail that not even seeing the arches is so worth it, but of course, the arches are added bonus. 
Double O Arch from the Trail

The sight of Double O Arch from the trail was not that very impressive, after having seen the other arches in the park which are easier to hike such as Delicate Arch and the Windows. However, hubby tried to go at the other side of the O, and these are what he got.
Double O Arch At the Other Side
( that's me at the lower O, trying my hardest to scramble past the lower O to join hubby who was photographing the sceneries around)
Me, still stranded at the Lower O
I gave up and decided to pose instead there at the Lower O, had I known this is what I will see, I would have probably tried harder to scramble past that lower O to get to hubby's location. Sometimes, my fear of skidding on rocks stops me from exploring :(

Arches National Park is a landscape of change, what is here now, may no longer be here tomorrow. The arches, hoodoos, vertical slabs, rock fins were all part of massive sandstone but overtime, the solid sandstone cracked due to stress. Then, water entered the cracks making them bigger. The fins and arches remained which are continually polished and shaped by wind and water.

The best time to hike this trail is late fall to early spring, since the trail is mostly exposed. The temperature when we hiked here Thanksgiving 2010 was 30 - 40F ( 0- 5 C). Hiking at an almost freezing temperature  for us is perfect compared to hiking in exposed summer heat. Truth is, we were here summer of 2007, the temperature was 90s F ( 32 C), but we hardly explored because we could not take hiking in the heat. We decided to go back when it was cold and freezing, but for desert hiking, a colder temperature is a lot more tolerable for us, with an added bonus: very few people in the trail.

Simple Joys in Simple Life

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 Imports. All opinions are 100% mine.
Cliche it may be, but the title of this post is very close to my blog's title as well :) . But then, how else can I describe our home sweet home?
Sunrise from Home
Simple Joys in Simple Life, Gazing out of our Bedroom Window to Greet the Birth of a New Day
How else can I describe my preference and decorating style? Having to balance both studies and teaching in a high school setting which is totally new for me, I struggle with time. Despite my busyness however, there is one thing I cannot give up every weekend, and that is taking time out to enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking, or even as simple as walking at the beach is my way of taking away stress from my weekday's challenges. This love for outdoors, and my crazy weekday schedule hardly allows me to stay home. Not that I don't love being home, but my time just don't allow me to be inside home longer than others would. Thus, when it comes to decorating home, I count on simplicity.
Our Living Room
See? It is easier for me to clean the house when there is not a lot of decorative clutter around, I believe in simplicity. Home for me does not have to be overly adorned, but a simple place to inspire peaceful and happy thoughts. For our simple decors, thankfully, we live very close to Pier 1, a place where I often frequent whenever I wanted something for the house. In less than 2 weeks, some of my fellow friends at The Salitype Society are coming over for a mini-reunion. Now, I am looking for some accents in our dining. However, today the rain is heavily pouring and the howling wind is so strong that threatens to trample me outside. The good news however is that I still continued my shopping for some accents to our dining room at Pier 1 online. And how easy it is to shop, for example, I am looking at the table liner below, which is at 50% discount! 
What a joy it is to find out that this is available in the store very close to us! So, it is very easy, I do not even have to worry about when it will be shipped to me since I can just walk to the store and pick up the item when the rain stops tomorrow.  I can also continue shopping online for holiday gifts for some of my family. One of the simple joys in simple life that brings priceless happiness is when I find some items that I need that are in huge discounts!
Also, during this Holidays season, for the months of November and December, you can support Toys for Tots by dropping off an unwrapped toy and/or making a cash donation at the register. You can also support Toys for Tots by liking Pier 1 Imports on Facebook, for every new fan they get, they will donate $1 to Toys for Tots. A very simple way to spread the Holiday Cheer.