2019 Prescott Frontier Days Parade Sunday, Jul 7 2019 

Life of Riley

Life of Riley

We were the first to claim seats at the intersection of Goodwin and Montezuma for the 2019 Prescott Frontier Days Parade. Blue skies and warm temperatures greeted some 40,000 to cheer about 140 parade entries. Camp Verde Calvary introduced this year’s “Authentic Western Tradition(s)” theme. Two of the Prescott Rodeo entertainment acts: The Diamond Z Ranch with their English shire horses and John Payne, the one-armed bandit, joined the fun. The Dancing Horses of Arizona wowed us with their number and moves. We enjoyed seeing the costumes of the Prescott Regulators & Their Shady Ladies and those sitting on a Prescott Transit Authority float. Zebra Scapes Landscaping & Services used a giant zebra balloon atop an especially long float. Frontier Excavation & Gravel westernized their equipment float with a covered wagon cover. We liked the cute Life of Riley entry although we have no idea who sponsored it. The children next to us gathered lots of candy treats while I enjoyed an ice-cold Pepsi from the A Pepsi Traditional 4th float. Prescott is rightly proud of their Frontier Days Parade.

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2019 Prescott Rodeo Saturday, Jul 6 2019 

Diamond Z English Shire Horses

Diamond Z English Shire Horses

Friday evening, we attended the fifth performance of the 2019 Prescott Rodeo. The weather was perfect for the Grand Entry to the World’s Oldest Rodeo which started in 1888. During our stop in Colorado Springs at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, however, we learned that the claim as the oldest rodeo is disputed. Another Arizona city, for example, says that it is the “World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo.” After the introduction of Prescott and other rodeos’ royalty and Xtreme Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling competition got underway. We were treated to an amazing 4.3 second performance by Ty Erickson of Helena, Montana. He received $1,899 for this run and he went on to win $1,156.50 in his 2nd run the next day. He had the best average July 1-7 for another $2,849. According  to the PRCA, he is number 1 for this season with earnings of $106,338. After the Saddle Bronc Riding event, Clown Justin Rumford entertained us with a daredevil jump on a mini motorcycle using a half-opened folding table as the launch site over two hapless volunteers. There were some successful Team Roping entries and more not so successful attempts. The Diamond Z English Shire Horses from Cedar City, Utah once again showed their unique ability to turn figure eights and to parallel park. Several women tested their skill at Barrel Racing. John Payne, the One Armed Bandit from Shidler, Oklahoma, displayed his horsemanship while herding two horses and a zebra atop his transport truck. He is a 15-time PRCA rodeo act of the year winner. It appeared that no one would complete the Bull Riding finale until Parker Cole McCown from Montgomery, Texas mastered riding Foolish Dreams with an impressive score of 87 points. He was the top rider for the week and won $6,806. We were pleased that our step-daughter could attend this year’s rodeo with us.

Calf Creek Falls Saturday, Jun 15 2019 

Lower Calf Creek Falls

Lower Calf Creek Falls

We drove east on Scenic Byway 12, Utah’s first All-American Road, into the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on Saturday, day 14. We stopped at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center where we looked at exhibits and watched an informative video on the research projects occurring within this first National Monument to be administered by the Bureau of Land Management. We also picked up a Calf Creek Falls Trail Guide. Calf Creek Falls is one of the most well-known and unique features in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The trail follows Calf Creek over uneven surfaces with loose sand and rocky patches. This out and back six-mile hike starts at an elevation of 5,300 feet and gains 500 feet. We were surprised at how crowded the trail was given how few vehicles we encountered on the highway. Once we arrived at the 126-foot-high spring fed lower falls we could appreciate why so many wanted to take advantage of its refreshing water. A beautiful waterfall reached by hiking through colorful cliffs on a trail bounded by multiple colorful wildflowers.

On Sunday, day 15, we headed back to Prescott from Cannonville. It was a long day, but without incident. We enjoyed great adventures over the past two weeks, but it is great to be home.

Bryce Canyon National Park Hikes Friday, Jun 14 2019 

Water Canyon Waterfal

Water Canyon Waterfall

After lunch in our RV on Thursday and a swim, we hiked the Bryce Canyon National Park Mossy Cave Trail that we had hiked nine years ago. The Tropic Ditch and its waterfall were much fuller this year. In 1892, after two years of hard work with primitive tools, this canal brought water to the semi-arid valley below it. It continues to serve this purpose.

On Friday morning, day 13, we entered Bryce Canyon National Park and found a parking space in the Sunrise Point parking lot. We hiked the 0.8-mile Queen’s Garden Trail which descends 320 feet. A rock formation seen from the garden looks like Queen Victoria. Great views! When we returned to the rim, we walked a half mile to Sunset Point where we heard a ranger talk about hoodoo geology.

Queen's Garden Trail

Queen’s Garden Trail

After a buffet lunch at Ruby’s Inn, we stopped at the Tropic Museum & Heritage Center. We learned that Scottish born Ebenezer Bryce at age 17 converted to Mormonism and moved to Utah where he married Mary Ann Price in 1854. Settling near Tropic in 1874, he built a road to harvest timber that locals started calling Bryce’s Canyon. In 1880, they moved to Arizona, but his name was immortalized when Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 and a National Park in 1928.

Kodachrome Basin State Park Friday, Jun 14 2019 

Angel's Palace Trail

Angel’s Palace Trail

We visited Kodachrome Basin State Park on Thursday, day 12. In 1948 a National Geographic Society expedition traveled through this area and called it “Kodachrome Flat.” The state of Utah acquired the land in 1963 and received permission from the Eastman Kodak Company to use the word “Kodachrome.” We hiked the 1.5-mile Angel’s Palace Trail which rose 150 feet with good views. I walked the half-mile Kodachrome Nature Trail. “Look deep, deep into nature,” according to an Albert Einstein quotation sign found along the trail, “and then you will understand everything better.” We also explored most of the Grand Parade Trail which winds its way across the floor of Kodachrome Basin.

Bryce Canyon National Park Scenic Drive Friday, Jun 14 2019 

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

We drove from Baker, Nevada to Cannonville, Utah on Wednesday, day 11. For the first eighty miles we encountered only nine other vehicles. Later, we waited in backed up traffic for twenty-five minutes in Red Canyon because road work limited travel to one lane. After setting up camp, we visited the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center. We circled through the Center’s informative exhibit before watching a 22-minute film. Then we drove the 18-mile scenic drive where we made the following stops to admire the unique scenery in this national park: Rainbow Point (elevation 9115), Black Birch Canyon (8750), Ponderosa Point (8904), Agua Canyon (8800), Natural Bridge (8627), Farview Point (8819), and Swamp Canyon. We liked perusing the gift store offerings while waiting for a dinner table. We had not remembered visiting the Bryce Canyon Lodge during our last visit eight years ago.

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