Nuclear Power Plant, Craters of the Moon, Burney Falls

Idaho road, July 2019

On Thursday and Friday last week on the final leg of our great road trip, Jessica and I toured the Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) near Arco, Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, and Burney Falls. My father, Wade Dickinson, was a nuclear physicist who researched large power reactors at the time EBR-I was active so he may have visited the site. While at Craters of the Moon, we walked the Devil’s Orchard Trail, climbed the Inferno cinder cone, and explored the Boy Scout and Beauty ice caves. (We did not see any bats.) Jessica had not seen McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park before. With 100 million gallons of water daily falling 129 feet, the falls are impressive! On the last day, we kept getting stuck behind big trucks carrying stacked bales of alfalfa so we drove through a shower of grass much of the way home.

Jessica - EBR-I, first nuclear power plant, Idaho, July 2019
Katy and Jessica - EBR-I, first nuclear power plant, Idaho, July 2019
Jessica - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Katy on Inferno Cone - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica, Beauty Cave - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Katy with ice at Beauty Cave, Jessica, Beauty Cave - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica, Beauty Cave - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica and Katy - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
hay truck, Idaho, July 2019
McArthur Burney Falls State Park, July 2019
Katy and Jessica - McArthur Burney Falls State Park, July 2019
Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson- with thanks to Jessica Dickinson Goodman.

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Promontory Point, Lava Hot Springs, Hell’s Half Acre

Published on 3 July – still having troubles with the WordPress app…

Jessica and I are still meandering our way toward Yellowstone National Park. Today, we drove from Salt Lake City to Promontory Point, Utah, which recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike joining America’s eastern and western railways. The National Historic Site has a short track and a reproduction of the Jupiter steam locomotive. There is also a natural stone Chinese Arch dedicated to honoring the workers who built the railroad. We also walked around the Lava Hot Springs sunken garden, and Hell’s Half Acre Lava Field in the Snake River Plain in Idaho.

Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson- with thanks to Jessica Dickinson Goodman.

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Grand Tetons and Yellowstone

Jessica and I today had lunch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and visited the Grand Teton National Park and next door Yellowstone National Park. We crossed the Continental Divide twice today (four times so far this trip). This is where America’s east-flowing and west-flowing waters are separated. Despite the crowd of tourists, the snowy Grand Tetons are majestic and elegant. We saw the Old Faithful geyser erupt and toured some of Yellowstone’s other geothermal features. We even saw some huge buffalo browsing near the road. Red, orange, pink, white, yellow, blue, and purple wildflowers are everywhere.














Images Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson

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Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Zion, Bryce, Kodachrome

My daughter Jessica and I visited five parks in northern Arizona and southern Utah today. We were on the earliest tour of the Antelope Canyon and were entranced by the light filtering into the slot canyon to make the sandstone glow. We then walked the trail down to Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado River loops around a big rock. We drove through Zion National Park (zero parking meant we could not stop), followed by a hike in Bryce Canyon National Park where the cicadas sang in the trees And chipmunks ran around. We drove to nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park just before dinner. Tonight, we drive to Salt Lake City on our way to Yellowstone National Park. Still no roadrunner sightings!




















Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson

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Exploring Santa Fe

Jessica and I started our Sunday in Santa Fe by going to St. Bede’s Episcopal Church which has a lovely stone labyrinth outside. We then went to the New Mexico Gay Rodeo (where the starter flag was a rainbow, of course), did some shopping with the craft vendors on the walkway of the Palace of the Governors, and visited the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. With excellent Venezuelan takeout from the Santarepa Cafe to sustain us, we spent the afternoon and evening driving to Page, Arizona, so that we can tour Antelope Canyon tomorrow.





Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson

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Petrified Wood and Painted Dessert

Yesterday, Jessica and I saw the lovely Petrified Forest National Park, painted dessert, and ancient petroglyphs in Arizona. Before going into the park, we shopped at Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Company in nearby Holbrook to ensure we would not be tempted to pick up souvenirs. The store has fields of petrified wood, geodes, and minerals collected on private land. In the Park, we saw colorful badlands where the ancient stone logs were either on the open grass or eroding out of the ground.

Gas here is much less expensive than in California: $2.74/gallon. Ice, however, is $1.99/bag because it is so hot (110 degrees Fahrenheit today in Phoenix). Although we saw a coyote trotting along the road last night, there continues to be a disappointing lack of roadrunners on our journey.









Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson

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London Bridge, Hidden Valley, Desert Botanical Garden


Yesterday, Jessica and I we drove to Joshua Tree National Park and walked the Hidden Valley Nature Trail which is full of yuccas, cactus, and piles of vast granite boulders. Today, Jessica and I started off with a walk across London Bridge over Lake Havasu, Arizona. The 1830s structure over the River Thames was dismantled and rebuilt in Arizona in 1971. We then drove to the superb Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix where the temperature was 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Tomorrow, we go to the Petrified Forest National Park and Santa Fe. In long stretches of desert driving, we have seen shoe-laden ruins, lizards, birds, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels (and one big snake) but no roadrunners or tortoises yet. Still hoping to see a roadrunner…











Photos Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson

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