Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Quick Peek at Bisti unanticatpated dash to the Homefront

I could have stayed at Canyon de Chelly for another couple was a very relaxing time and would have liked to do some more exploring in the area....But I was also looking foward to the Bisti Badlands.....I have never been there and it seemed to be a very unique place...
(c)2016HorstKelly Photography...Bisti Badlands

My plan was to drive to Farmington New Mexico, spend the night at the County Fair Grounds, stop at the BLM office, get info and maps and head to Bisti on Thursday...a short 35 or so miles south...most folks who visit Bisti overnight at Farmington and do day trips to the Bisti Area...I wanted to Boondock at the Park if possible...and it was. I arrived in Farmington early afternoon, found the Fairgrounds and got a spot...they have several hundred RV sites ...and I was it for the night.....and the park bumped up to the San Juan many places have I been with the San Juan as my camp companion...I set up, found a HOT shower and then I was off to see the BLM folks...what a super group of people...professional, very friendly and extremely informative..gave me many suggestions, especially for photo ops and the various different hikes, distance, best time to see, etc...the law enforcement folks also came by and one of them gave me his cell number.  He said there has  never been a problem, but since I am camping and will probably be the only one overnighting, he thought it might be nice too have...I was very impressed and thanked them and off I went....I stopped for a few provisions, got back to the fair grounds, relaxed, grilled some chicken breasts and went down to the River to relax...another great day.
(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer Bisti Badlands 

Since it was only 30 something miles I was in no rush to roll...especisally didn't want to arrive in the heat of the day.....left early afternoon...had some rather larges Mesa's to roll up and over, but arrived no worse for wear...the last 3 miles are washboard, but it was worth it...there is a gravel parking area and a couple more, kinda, sorta, areas to park...I parked in the main lot...another 30 ft RV there...and 2 cars...I unhitched and looked around the area to get orientated to which way was which...most hikes to the "Bisti's is at least a couple miles....

Around 330pm I decided to venture plan was to get a lay of the land, figure out the best times to photograph and then starting tomorrow evening(which didn't happen)do some hikes and get photo's...I would do the same thing tomorrow morning and then spend another couple days trying to get some photos's.

(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer....Bisti Badlands
First a little info on the area:
"The Bisti Badlands / De Na Zin Wilderness Area was once a coastal swamp of an inland sea, home to many large trees, reptiles, dinosaurs and primitive mammals. Today hikers find the preserved record of this swamp amidst a true desert wilderness.

Visit Bisti Badlands to hike, take photographs,camp and watch wildlife. The Bits/De-Na-Zen badlands support a small number of nesting golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, and prairie falcons. There are two major geological formations found in the wilderness, the Fruitland Formation and the Kirtland Shale. The Fruitland Formation makes up most of what the visitor will see while in the badlands where weathering of the sandstone forms the many spires and hoodoos (sculpted rock) found throughout the area. The Kirtland Shale contains rock of various colors and dominates the eastern part of the wilderness. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness to protect the area’s naturalness, special features, and opportunities for solitude and primitive types of recreation. 

It is best to travel in the early morning and late afternoon. There are no marked trails in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness and it is easy to get confused or lost. A GPS or compass is helpful. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Take plenty of water, protective clothing and footwear appropriate for the season. No cell phone service is available." From the New Mexico Adventure Magazine.

(c)2016HorsyKelly Photographer....Bisti Badlands
I hiked until the sun started dipping below the horizon...what a place..though I took some photo's they where usually at the wrong angle but I was in such awe that photos was not a priority....what a place...I couldn't wait for morning to come and adventure into this Maze of "Alice in Wonderland" I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and exchanging "adventure notes".....What a Grand Find.....

The next morning I did two more  hikes...and I was getting more excited with each new maze I entered...took a break that afternoon, getting ready for that magic evening light....I then got the call that there was a issue at Home....Bottom line by 430 pm I was hitched up and rolling south and east towards Texas....I drove until I felt it that my "judgement" was starting to get lax...stop and fell up and did it all over again....after after what felt like forever, I finally got to Seminole Canyon and based on the situation at home getting better, decided to stay for a day or less....and rest...met a couple from Houston with a Casita...great fireside chat and morning chat...super full of life and humor...I thought they where in the mid to late 60's.....turns out he is 81, she is 80...they became my new hero's!!!
(c)2016HorstKelly PhotogrA

Got home the next day....Bride is on the mend and feeling better...which makes me feel a whole lot happier.....More posts to follow about the trip in the next week or travels....Horst sends
Been home for week and a half or so.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Great American History West of the Mississippi

Monday came early as I was leaving for Canyon de Chelly….I was looking forward to a stop there and to once again visit this interesting piece of history that travels back in time some 5000 years and travels forward with important events as recent as the 1800 to the early 1900..
The where five different “peoples” that pasted through this area starting with the the Archaic from 2500-200 BC  that lived here as season settlers….until the last group that where the Navajo that entered the Canyon about 400 years ago….in between where the the Basketmaker , Pueblo and Hopi that all left a mark in Canyon de Chelly…and there is the recent history of Kit Carson brutal campaign against the Navajo.
Canyon de Chelly(c)2016Horst Kelly  Photographer

I left the banks of the San Juan River at  Bluff on 10 Oct heading towards Chinle NM…It was a pleasant enough drive, no real traffic and some great vistas, especially the last third of the trip …. had no pull overs that would accommodate a no photos. Arrived around 1pm and decided to stay at the Cottonwood CG which is next to the visitors center…My book on free campgrounds showed it was still a freebee, but that was not the case, a non-hookup site is now 14 dollars..go figure. sorta like Gooseneck which was free a couple years ago and is now 10 bucks, or the View CG at Monument Valley which was 20 dollars last year and I was told its 40  this year. I digress….I paid the 28 for two days, got a great site with some western sun for my solar and I was set…the CG only had a half dozen or so campers spread out…made for some nice solitude…
Canyon de Chelly(c)2016Horstkelly photographer 
I took the south rim drive late afternoon and as usual was totally in awe by the views. I again got lost in time and put myself in each of the different era’s that occupied this space…its probably childish….I suppose I just enjoy getting  immersed  with the history….cloud cover didn’t make for great photo’s but that was ok….I was enjoying walking back in history. It was a great way to spend an afternoon…since I have been on the “in canyon” tour, I opted out of that.
Canyon de Chelly(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer
The next morning I went on the North Rim for some viewing of the  cliff dwelling,  …another terrific ride and then off to see some of the surrounding area …The afternoon was spent doing some shopping, cleaning the camper and grilling a salmon fillet….then I sat outside and watched the sun set and the moon rise…

Now its off to see the Bisti Badlands and points south
...until next time Happy Trails…Horst sends

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sausage and Eggs instead of a sunrise

I think its been almost a week since I last wrote…the internet is been sparse at best and my smartphone GB’s  likewise…I have been to Canyonlands and  now back to Bluff for the 3 day weekend…
Monument Valley Area(c)2016Horst Kelly {Photographer

Photo opportunities seem to be getting slim  and my enthusiasm for chasing early morning and evening light has dwindled. When the temps are in the 30’s outside in the early morning my old bones just don’t want to deal with running all over the wilderness searching for the “best  light” Instead it wants to enjoy making a breakfast of eggs, sausage, hash browns and the like…and just sit outside watching the sun peak over the horizon stretching its rays for some warmth while having that last grilled sausage and strong cup of hot coffee… I suppose this camping lifestyle is just evolving as I continue to enjoy the “Back Roads” of America. I seem to savor the sights and sounds of my immediate  surroundings more than in the past, when I chose to click the shudder and have it on Kodachrome as a memory.
Moab Area(c)2016HorstKelly Photographer

Another evolution I have noticed is the volume of  folk who have turned to experiencing the joys of Boondocking and appear to have continued to be chasing the perfect isolated campsite……the only problem is that as more are searching for perfect dispersed camping sites, the fewer of the places remain….It is amazing to see places like Horse Thief CG at Canyonlands being filled up…3 years ago you might share the CG with one other person, especially after Labor Day weekend,….what seems to also have changed is type of Rigs that now use these CG’s….to see a 40 ft RV back into a site at Horse Thief,  Sand Island or the like was nonexistent a few years ago, a nd this past week it seemed almost half at the CG where 30 ft plus….As the Bob Dylan song “The Times they are a Changing”….,
Off the Beaten Path(v)2016HorstKelly Photographer

Next on my list is to revisit Canyon de Chelly….its just down the road and the last time I was there it had rained and therefore couldn’t venture into the North end….from there its still open ended as I began my journey back to Texas…. Until next time Horst sends

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Enjoying America....One Mile at a Time

Its now 1 Oct…..I did not go to either the North Rim or Bryce…stayed around Marble Canyon waiting  for some half way decent  weather..and the day I hitched up I still had hopes…one of the folks camping across stopped by and he was told there where no sites available..Mmmmm well decision time…
Vermillion Cliffs Sunrise(c)2016HorstKelly Photography

I decided to venture North…Made it to Sand Island and got a nice site…will stay here through the weekend and then head to Canyonlands and do/see some stuff I have not done before in that area….This morning I ventured up to Devils Canyon…did not realize they had a campground there…two loops, no elect…but looks promising.also went to Recapture Reservoir…and messed around looking for some Fall Foliage..not yet…

This evening I may drive towards Monument Valley for some evening shots and maybe read up on and hope to shoot the milky way…it was a terrific night sky last night…and numerous falling stars…I slept well!.
Abajo Mtns(c)2016Horst Kelly Photography

All systems are working perfectly…my solar combined with the new Converter and my MPPT controller is satisfying all my energy needs…I have had to crank up the genny only once and that was due to all the rain and overcast weather …and the new generator works very well…very quite….
Campsite sunrise(c)2016Horst Kelly Photographet

I’m off and running looking for some petrographs…I’ll try to post this tomorrow …somewhere…no “G’s” on my phone…Photo uploading very slow...Horst sends