Thursday, August 29, 2013

Arches and Fins - It's Great to be Alive!

Moab, UT
August 27, 2013

 Tuesday morning promised  sunshine and a wee bit cooler temperatures. What do you do on a morning like that in Maob? Take a hike!
 I was glad to hear that Corona Arch was a must do on Judy's list. This hike certainly ranks among the top 5 of my favorite hikes here and was also on my list for a repeat.
Joe and I hitched a ride in the Jeep next door and off we went!
 I especially like this hike because it offers such a variety of terrain...sandy washes, rock scrambling,  slickrock...

...AND because the rocks and views are spectacular!

 This view is looking back towards a  slickrock canyon. 
This is the first view of Corona Arch on the hike...just after a second climb using a cable and small steps cut into the rock. Its the only picture I have of the whole arch at about 1/4 mile away.

 All the rain from Ivo sure "greened" things up.
I was very interested in the water trickling out of the rocks below Bowtie Arch. The colors, I guess from minerals, gave the rocks the most beautiful striations.

 And there were lots of tiny plants growing along the wall.

Joe spotted one tiny can see it in the header photo towards the left. 

Bowtie Arch

Pam (from Travelin' in the Big E-Z) asked how I made the header picture look like a painting. Answer is "I don't know." It just looked like that. I did play alittle with the exposure, but I often times do that.

 Corona is one BIG arch...
Gary under the arch...

Judy under the arch...

Joe, Gary and Judy

 This hike is not a and out is almost 3 miles.

Judy has a great eye. She spotted this tiny toad...about the size of a quarter.

As best I can is a Red-Spotted Toad. They eat insects and prefer to live in deserts, and rocky areas.

Judy also pointed out this cactus. It's called a Many Headed Barrel or a Cottontop Cactus.

Then she saw a Large Spotted Leopard Lizard. The males are smaller than the females. They eat insects, small lizards, and some plant materials.

Joe and I sure enjoyed our time hiking to Corona...again! It was nice to be with friends and seeing the "WOW!" in their eyes!

Dee in Thumper...our leader.
Later in the day, we joined friends to do Fins and Things. We had done a portion of the trail back in May and to do the entire route was something we hoped to accomplish.

 A lot of this trail was steep, but relatively smooth.
 It does have its challenges with rocks and ledges to climb. What goes up, must come down...

And my favorite...sandy washes...a reward for all the "pucker" moments!

 The most dramatic part of Fins & Things was close to the end. First, there is a series of fins...steep and narrow. At the base of the first fin, we had to straddle a very thin rock bridge.
Narrow bridge...bottom left corner

My picture doesn't show it very well, but there is a huge drop off on both sides...

Second dramatic  part is Kenny's Climb. This picture is looking down after we did the climb...the only thing I saw going up was sky! It is very steep. Pearl performed flawlessly...straight up and I do mean straight up...she went!

The smile on my face says it all!
 Here we are at the end of another month...already! I so cant believe it is Labor Day Week-end.

Take care everyone...

'till next time.

Safe travels to Judy and Gary. They are headed to Colorado...have fun!



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Rainy Days and Fun 4-Wheeling!

Moab, UT
August 27,2013

 Sunday and Monday were a total wash here in Moab...tropical storm Ivo has dumped much needed rain in the area.

 In fact, we were under a flash flood watch along with frequent thunderstorms until midnight Monday.
 I am hoping that places with wildfires have also received much needed rain. In between showers Sunday, I took a walk around Portal. The roses were so pretty with the rain drops on the petals.

And the frogs were having a grand time in the Koi pond.

Castle Valley Road

 A hike on Monday was not meant to be, but with a few hours of no rain we decided to take a drive...the LaSal Scenic Loop drive.

The Priest and Nuns

Our very energetic next door neighbors, Judy and Gary, went along too.

It was way cool to drive along in the clouds...although it didn't offer the best of views sometimes.

Then other times, the clouds opened up to grand pictures above and below us.

 We did take the side trip...about 3 miles one way... to Oowah Lake.

The aspens were beautiful...

 ...the wildflowers were still blooming...
...and the lake was as still as could be.

It was a peaceful ride through the mountains with good friends!

Pearl is 3rd in line!
Speaking of rides...we had a very fun, and more energized ride last Saturday.  Joe and I along with Gary and Judy were invited by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers Club to join them for a ride. Our first time for a "group" ride. It is quite nice to sit back and enjoy while others do the leading!

A stop to go over the map and directions was in order. This was a "premier" trail...meaning the club had never done this trail before.

The first part of the trail was familiar...take Potash Road and turn right on Long Canyon Trail.
After some time. we made a right turn onto another trail...I think it was called Day Canyon. It was not the most difficult trail we have done, but never let up. Constant wheeling over, up, down, and around rock ledges and slickrock.

Judy...taking it all in!
Until we arrived at a beautiful view of the Colorado River.

The locals knew all the sights...I heard "the pig", "Jeep Arch", "the buffalo", just to name a few well known spots off in the distance.

Once again, we pulled right up to the edge...
...for lunch with a view!
This ride was not a loop...we all made the pass through the fallen rock one more time.

And enjoyed the view of the canyon!

Thanks to the 4-Wheelers and Dee for the invite. We had an awesome time and having Judy and Gary with us made it even more special! 

Today was a fun packed day...we headed out with Judy and Gary and hiked the Corona Arch trail...absolutely beautiful and what fun for us watching them as it was their first hike there. Definitely a "WOW!" kind of hike.  After lunch, Dee called and asked us to go 4-wheeling. Joe drove Fins and Things! And didn't take any alternate bypasses to avoid the difficult obstacles. Pearl performed flawlessly! 
Right now, I feel like the flower below...

Thanks for stopping by...take care...

Jet boat on the Colorado River...
...until next time.