Rainbow Bridge National Monument – Utah

 

Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Utah

http://www.nps.gov/rabr/index.htm

Completed: May 18, 2016

Senior Friendly

*Booklet: https://www.nps.gov/rabr/learn/kidsyouth/upload/RABRJrRanger-2.pdf

In 2014 I visited Rainbow Bridge NM by boat. The ride up Lake Powell to the mouth of the canyon was enjoyable, it was late May and being on the water made it comfortable on a hot day. Once the boat turned into the canyon it felt like a maze of water and rock walls, at the dock it opens up a bit, but the natural bridge remained hidden. From the boat dock you hike to the bridge, currently about 1 mile, each way. In a short distance you can see the bridge, no pictures can describe the grandeur of this natural geologic feature. A hike of 16 -18 miles one way, across the Navajo Nation (permit required), is the only other way to reach the bridge. The boat tour begins at Wahweap Marina, a short distance from the Glen Canyon Dam and Page, AZ.

Prior to visiting Glen Canyon NRA in 2016, when I downloaded and printed their Junior Ranger booklet, I discovered that the last few pages included the program for Rainbow Bridge NM. While writing this post I discovered that the link listed above is a different booklet. It appears to be relatively simple, as the booklet I completed, but the activities are different. For either booklet you can complete the Junior Ranger program without visiting the bridge, however if you aren’t able to visit during your visit I hope in the future you can see this beautiful natural bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge program I completed, at the back of the Glen Canyon NRA booklet, has no age groupings and at least 2 activities are to be completed. The booklet linked above does have age groupings and someone 12 or older is to complete all five activities. Both booklet requirements allow this program to be considered Senior Friendly.

The activities in the booklet I completed are; Forming Rainbow Bridge, Rainbow Bridge National Monument (4 questions), and Rainbow Bridge Sign Scramble. Matching a description to four small pictures helps you understand how natural bridges are formed. The answers to the four questions in the activity titled Rainbow Bridge National Monument can be learned from a park ranger, tour guide or park brochure (available online). I enjoyed the Sign Scramble, it provided a fun way to learn more about the bridge.

Once I completed the booklet I took it to the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at Glen Canyon Dam, unfortunately the park rangers were in a training session, but the tour staff for the dam gave me the Junior Ranger badge. The bridge is featured on this enhanced badge.

*The booklet provided from this link is different from the one described in this post.

 

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – Arizona & Utah

IMG_7483

Hanging Gardens

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Arizona & Utah

http://www.nps.gov/glca/index.htm

Completed: May 17, 2016

Senior Friendly

Booklet: https://www.nps.gov/glca/learn/kidsyouth/upload/GLCA-Jr-Ranger-2013.pdf

Most of us know Glen Canyon National Recreation Area as Lake Powell, straddling Arizona and Utah. Over the years I have visited many the of sites within their 1.25 million acres, but this is the first time I worked on the Junior Ranger Program. It was a great way to understand the diversity of the park. Besides having lots of water, there are also locations which feature wildlife, history, paleontology and archaeology.

IMG_7481

Lees Ferry

This program is considered Senior Friendly as there is no upper age limit. Three ages groupings with a minimum number of activities for each range is provided. The groupings are; ages 6 to 8 complete 3 activities, ages 9 to 11 complete 5 activities and ages 12 and up complete 7 activities.

Glen Canyon NRA activities include; The Best Way to Care for the Land, From Fast Swimming to Fossilized, Crossing the Mighty Colorado – in the 1800s, Crossing the Mighty Colorado – Today, Who Needs Water, Take an Artistic Break, The Amaze-ing Colorado River Watershed, One Glen Canyon, Many Voices, Desert Dwellers, Power and the River, Ancient Ones if Glen Canyon, Experience Your America! and Junior Ranger Participation Log.

In the middle of the booklet is the Junior Ranger Participation Log, something I have not seen very often in booklet, but a good idea to keep track of the different activities completed. My log included camping at Hite where we say Great Blue Herons roosting on the cliff across the river. Another activity was hiking through the Lees Ferry Historic District. I sketched the old boiler I saw for Take an Artistic Break activity. This is a great place to see birds and lizards.

DSCN0850

Desert Spiny Lizard

One Glen Canyon, Many Voices has you match 9 pictures of people you could find within the recreation area; boaters, dam workers, Native Americans, ranchers and park rangers are a few examples. The 9 different Desert Dwellers, a bingo-style activity, presents different adaptations that plants and animals use to thrive in this environment. As you see something that matches that adaptation you are to draw that plant or animal. For Big Ears I saw a Black-tailed Jackrabbit and drew the ears, for Thermoregulation I saw several lizards and did a quick sketch of a lizard.

A number of the activities were simple enough that the the younger age groups will be able to easily complete their minimum requirement. Overall the booklet had a good diversity of activities to help you appreciate this very large park site. I took the completed booklet to the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at the Glen Canyon Dam to be reviewed. The day I was there the park staff was at training, so the tour staff for the dam gave me my Junior Ranger badge. No review or pledge, this time.

IMG_1894

 

Golden Spike National Historic Site – Utah

image
Golden Spike National Site
Utah

http://www.nps.gov/gosp/index.htm

Completed: May 22, 2016

Senior Friendly

Download: https://www.nps.gov/gosp/learn/kidsyouth/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=2198215

Three years ago I began completing Junior Ranger programs, as a Senior! As I have traveled around the country I have completed almost 100 Senior or Junior Ranger programs. By completing this program I have done all of the Junior Ranger programs for the NPS sites in Utah. I still have a couple to complete to Arizona, my home state. This is another program which I was able to download and print the booklet before I left home and was able to complete a portion before arriving.

This is considered Senior Friendly as there is no age range given, the activities include; Safety First, Plan your Visit, Track Match, Scavenger Hunt, Central Pacific, Union Pacific and You Built It!, Telegraph Message, Write the Headline, Weather Report, Garbage or Artifact, and Engrave A Spike.

Several of the facts were found in the exhibits in the visitor center. It took a while to find the name of the restaurant at Promontory in 1869. It was in a wood panel hanging on the wall.

image

I enjoyed looking around until I found the portrait of the local woman who was instrumental in establishing this site as an NPS site. Figuring out the parts of a train track was challenging. Throughout the booklet, at the bottom of the pages, was an incomplete track linking Sacramento to Omaha. An activity was to draw in the missing parts; tracks, bridges, tunnels, culvert and trestles.

The ranger on duty reviewed my booklet, we discussed the location of some of the answers that were found in the visitor center. Ranger Cole signed my certificate, issued pledge and gave me the badge.
image

Kodachrome Basin State Park – Utah

image

Kodachrome State Park
Utah

http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/kodachrome-basin/

Completed: August 30, 2015

Senior Friendly

I normally complete the Junior Ranger programs within the National Park system, however I do complete ones within state parks. During a recent trip through Utah I camped at Kodachrome State Park. The rock formations are spectacular, and change throughout the day as the light changes.

When I entered the park an eight page map and guide in newspaper format. Besides providing maps of the park and valuable information it includes two full pages of activities for their Junior Ranger program. No age ranges are given, even though it is designed for the younger crowd, so it is considered Senior Friendly. The program is very basic and easy to complete, young and older. The activities included; Dot-To-Dot, Litter Pick-up, Wildlife Identification and Geology Word Search.

I enjoyed the Wildlife Identification, the pictures included were helpful for animals I had been seeing on our trip. I walked the camping area twice looking for litter, I found very little litter which was great.
image

This was a quick and easy Junior Ranger program in a beautiful location, gave me more time to enjoy the park. As we left the park the next morning the ranger reviewed the completed activities, signed the certificate within the paper and presented me with a badge. This badge is unique to Kodachrome Basin State Park, lots of state parks provide one badge for the whole state.
image