Week 2: Southwest desert country
Tuesday 1 June
The Alamo Mission, San Antonio
The Alamo Cenotaph, San Antonio
San Antonio River Walk
Long, straight, empty road with very little to see. We covered 1000 miles in two days crossing Texas.
Crossing the Pecos River
We camped that night in Big Bend National Park.
Wednesday 2 June
View from the campsite in Big Bend
Flowering cacti in Big Bend
Canyon of the Rio Grande
Another view of the canyon
Final view in Big Bend National Park
We briefly crossed the border to visit Ojinaga, Mexico
Mexican shoeshine boy was pleased to earn a US dollar
Funfair in Ojinaga
We crossed back into Texas and camped in Balmorhea State Park.
Thursday 3 June
We enjoyed a swim in what was claimed as the "largest swimming pool in the world", in Balmorhea State Park
Typical small town in the Southwest. This is Pecos, Texas.
We passed these nodding donkey oil pumps everywhere in Texas
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, at dusk. The crowds are waiting for the millions of bats that fly out of the cave at nightfall.
After seeing the bats emerge, we camped in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Friday 4 June
Clive at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. The camera couldn't really capture the dazzling white of the sands.
Another of those endless straight roads through empty scrubland
We drove across New Mexico into Arizona and camped in Lakeside, Ariz.
Saturday 5 June
In the Petrified Forest National Monument, Arizona
More petrified timber
An entire petrified tree trunk
The Painted Desert area in Arizona
I took several photos of the Painted Desert, but the colours did not come out very well
Meteor Crater, Arizona
The rim of the meteor crater
First view of the Grand Canyon
Sunset from the South Rim
We camped in The Grand Canyon National Park, in an excellent campground by the South Rim of the canyon.
Sunday 6 June
Breakfast at the campsite
On the zigzag trail down into the canyon
Further down the trail
As we were hiking down into the canyon, we met this mule train of tourists taking the easy way up
We hiked about two-thirds of the way down the canyon, to a flat plateau. But we did not have time to proceed down the inner canyon to the Colorado River.
A solitary yucca plant growing on the plateau
From the plateau, looking down the inner canyon to the river
Another view down to the Colorado River
From the plateau, looking at the return route up to the rim
Back up at the top, the view across to the North Rim
We stayed for a second night at the excellent Grand Canyon campground.
Monday 7 June
Me at a Grand Canyon overlook
Glen Canyon bridge and dam (almost new in 1965)
Glen Canyon "City" was a little sprawl of trailer homes housing construction workers for the dam
There were no convenient paved roads from Glen Canyon to Bryce Canyon, so we took a short cut across Utah along dirt tracks created by uranium prospectors in the 1950s. At one point, the track had been washed away where it crossed an arroyo, but fortunately we managed to find a diversion around it.
Further along the short cut
Bryce Canyon National Park
We camped in Bryce Canyon National Park.