Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wetlands Preserve with Sue and Dave

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
April 21, 2016

If you are ever in Moab and want to enjoy a quiet, peaceful walk among the reeds, Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve is just the spot.    

From Main Street/Hwy 191 turn west onto Kane Creek Rd. at the McDonalds.  The preserve parking lot will be about .81 of a mile on the right.  It is well marked.

Joe and I had the pleasure of spending time with Sue and Dave ( at this magical place where water meets earth...a stark contrast from the red rock cliffs that surround it. 

As we rounded a corner, we stopped dead in our tracks.  

It seems turkeys have the right of way.  Sue and Dave identified these as Rio Grande Wild Turkeys.

Rio Turkeys thrive in cottonwood river bottoms.  They eat pine nuts, acorns, juniper berries, grasses, weed seeds, and leafy green vegetation.  Benjamin Franklin called the wild turkey "a bird of courage" and if he had had his way, the wild turkey would be our country's national symbol.  These are the largest of all Utah's game birds.  

These handsome fellows were quite noisy and it's no wonder...courtship begins in early spring.  Miss turkey was headed the other way!

Sue also identified this Spotted Towhee.  What a beauty! They spend most of their time in leaf litter.  But I did read that spring is a good time to catch an unobstructed view of them as the males climb into the shrubs/trees to sing their buzzy songs. 

We also walked down to the Colorado river.

These Cinnamon Teals were having fun riding the current and then swimming back.  

Such a delightful day...

Until next time, happy days and...


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Metal Masher

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
April 17, 2015

To say we have been busy having fun would be an understatement.  My how time flies. 

Metal Masher was a scheduled ride by Moab Friends For Wheeling for April 17.  What fun it is to spend the day with these great people.  To get there, follow Gemini Bridges Road for 6.1 miles, then make  a right turn on the well-marked trail.  The loop (almost 12 miles) is rated difficult.  

Mirror Gulch, the obstacle below, is a tight squeeze and requires the Moab bump.    

Arths Rim is a narrow ledgy rim ride with spectacular views.  The beginning of the rim ride faces Hwy 191 with views of the LaSals and the valley.  The overlook below is always a favorite stopping spot. 

 Once the trail drops down the ledges in the picture below,  it sorta parallels Hyw 313 (which goes to Canyonlands NP). 
If you look closely, you can see 313 right/center in the photo below.  Its one of those WOW rides...twisty, ledgy, and beautiful vistas.

We love watching the big jeeps/buggies play.  Here Glen makes a smooth, effortless climb up Rock Chucker.

And Dee makes Widow Maker look like a simple drive on a country road.

 Thanks to Glen, we got up Widow Maker just fine...

Our lunch with a view...

And a peaceful ride through Arths Pasture admiring the clouds, the LaSals, Behind the Rocks, and the very green desert to end the day.

Until next time, happy days and...


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

7 Mile Rim

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
April 16, 2016

All weekend it was the same...Old Man Winter made a visit (hopefully for the last time) to Moab with gusty winds, cold temps and cloudy skies.  The LaSals got quite a bit of snow, but the valley only got a few rain showers.  Even today it is only 55 degrees (as I sit here and type) with cloudy skies after a morning low of 34.  The long range forecast has it warming up the next few days...thank goodness!        

Saturday, the club (Moab Friends For Wheelin...MFFW) had 7 Mile Rim on the calendar.  

We bundled up, packed lunch, turned up the heater in Pearl and off we went with Dee as our leader.

7 Mile Rim is 12th from the top of the 34 trails Charles Wells list as difficult in the new third edition (2016) Guide to Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails.  

The first part of the trail follows the rim.   From here we had a clear view north towards Klondike Bluffs with the snowy Book Cliffs in the background... 
to the south the LaSal Mountains getting lots of snow...
 and a picture you don't see often.  To the east, the rock formations in Castle Valley are usually unseen due to blending with the rocks behind them.  But today the low clouds behind Castle Rock and the Priest and Nuns made both of them visible. 
There are two side trails off the main trail.  The first one goes to Uranium Arch.  

The large fins did a good job of shielding us from the wind so we did some exploring here.  Back in the 80s jeeps used to drive across the arch.  
 Back on trail we headed towards the Monitor and Merrimack.  The trail goes in-between these huge rock formations.

 Once at the base of the Merrimack, the trail gets tippy and exciting.  Dee calls this section Eileen.  The pictures don't show how off camber it is but it can make your tummy feel really queasy... scary fun I say!

The second side trail goes to Wipe Out Hill.  We all lined up, checked it out and decided it was a go.    

L to R : Chuck, Donna and Howard, their daughter Chris, us, and Dee

Dee went down first...going down is always the scariest to me.

Dee went up first...

 and waited to spot us up if we needed it.

Back on the main trail, we turned in the direction of   Determination Towers.  Our responsible trail leader checking the trail for damage...

 From here, we traversed winding roads through large buttes...

dropped into Tusher Wash...

and exited to the left on Mill Canyon Road.

Until next time...happy trails!