Tuesday, September 6, 2016

King's Canyon hike

We took an extra day getting from Uluru to Alice Springs for a side trip to King's Canyon, and we were sure glad we did.  The hike around the canyon rim was super scenic and colorful.  Not a huge canyon by US standards, but packed with interesting things to see.

Starting up the trail toward the mouth of the canyon:


A steep bunch of stairs right off the bat to warm up:


First glimpses of the geology to come:


Nice stone work in building the stairs, also a view of the "beehive" shapes on the horizon:


Loved running over the flat smooth rocks through the little hills:


A nice example of cross-bedding, angular shapes in rocks that used to be sand dunes:


I don't know what this is called, but it sure is pretty:


The dramatic cliff walls on the other side of the canyon, where we are headed eventually:


John caught up to me and we marveled together at the awesome scenery:


Ripples from an ancient shallow lake.  We always enjoy a good geology lesson in the middle of a run:


It has been quite a long time since my last "yoga on the rocks" - come to think of it, it had been several weeks since I did yoga at all.  Here was a quick attempt, this time with a prop:


Fun side trail over rock stairs to get closer to the top of the canyon:


Worth it for this view!


Admiring the bridge built over a mini canyon:


No explanation for this, gotta think there's some fascinating history in how this got there:


Now seems like a decent time to mention something we had to work on during our 6 weeks in Australia.  Driving on the left, of course, but also walking on the left.  The left side of the trail, the left side of the sidewalk, passing people on the right - I had to pay attention.  A bit of a workout for my brain in addition to my legs.

It was quite a relief to get back to the US, in that one respect.  So much of Australia is reasonably familiar, but that I never really got used to.

Heading down the stairs to cross over the other side of the canyon:


Pretty tree making use of the water at the bottom:


Looking over at the domed rocks and the spot we were just at:


The beautiful tall walls of the other half of the canyon:


Flowers and greenery tucked into a small reentrant with water and shade:


Cycads, a type of plant that has been around since the dinosaur days:


The trail heading back down toward the parking lot and the Jucy:


Emus at a roadhouse, because sure, why not:


An example of a road train, a long multi-stage truck that might travel long distances around the Outback making deliveries:


John caught sight of several large birds near the road and went back so we could get a closer look.  Quite possibly wedge-tailed eagles.  Huge and impressive:


On our way to Alice Springs!

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