Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Pickle and Mashed Potatoes on Saturday and Some Steelbender on Sunday

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
May 12 & 13, 2018

The club run scheduled for the week-end of May 12 was  Pickle and Mashed Potatoes.  

We had a large turn out of members plus wheelers from Wyoming and Canada making a total of 16 vehicles in all.  

 To get to the Pickle trailhead, its a nice drive through some gorgeous country

including Hunter Canyon where John Wayne hitched up his horse to a cottonwood tree in one of the many western movies shot in this area. 

Pickle trail is less than a mile and full of flexy fun that follows a wash through a canyon.  

There are three named obstacles that do not have bypasses.  Here we approach the first obstacle. 
Joe and I were the next to the last vehicle in the line-up.  We followed Jeff in the yellow buggy, Susan (Jeff's wife) in the blue buggy and in front of us was Chris. 

Dill Pickle is where the fun begins !
Warren has no trouble making the double ledge climb. 

Around the curve on the other side of the rock pillar is a narrow section of trail.  It is a squeeze to get through there...

...and a pickle to get out of.  Thus the name !  Here Chris gets a passenger front tire lift as she skillfully works her way out.

Up next is the Pickle Slicer.  To us, it's the toughest of the three obstacles to climb.  Precise tire placement and angle of approach are key for success.
Chris aces Pickle Slicer as Dee watches. 

Jalapeno Pickle, a climbing challenge out of the canyon, is narrow and tricky.  
Susan makes it look easy!

Endless mounds of white ledges, rocks and notches give Mashed Potatoes Trail it's name.  It's an easy trail of ups and downs with spectacular views.

There is one major obstacle on Mashed Potatoes...Gravy Boat.  It does have a bypass !
Melissa dips in the Gravy Boat...
 Jeff, in the yellow samurai buggy he built, and his wife Susan in her blue samurai buggy that Jeff built, wait their turn at the Gravy Boat.

Jeff enjoys lunch and the Gravy Boat...both at the same time! 

Chris climbs out of Gravy Boat...Wile E waits his turn !

Well, I did mention the spectacular views...

 The flower of the day...Mule's Ears

 Sunday was Steelbender day.  Joe and I were the meat in the sandwich between Dee and Chris.  Its a mellow drive practically in our backyard at Gopher Flats.  We entered on the south side and skipped the north side loop making for a beautiful fun way to spend a few hours.  

What a great weekend ! Until next time, happy days and...


Up next...a hike with a little rock scrambling, paying close attention to cairns, and 4 miles all to ourselves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Hike Through Hunter Canyon

Gopher Flats
Moab, Ut
May 10, 2018

Hunter Canyon is one of those special places Joe and I love this time of year.  This amazing 3 mile out and back trail offers a bit of everything...a twisting canyon, towering sandstone cliffs, burbling water, gnarly cottonwood trees, and lots of wildflowers in May.  It is mostly flat with lots of creek crossings and a little rock scrambling over fallen boulders.  Cottonwood trees and towering canyon walls provide lots of shade. 

This day we were on trail at 8:00am just as the sun was filtering into the canyon.  

Hunter Canyon Arch is barely visible... 
 ...look for it about 1/2 mile into the canyon.
Water in the desert is a real treat making this one of our favorite hikes.  

Springtime in the desert offers an abundance of colors.
Fairy Trumpet Flowers
Prickly Pear Cactus
Yellow Salsify 
Desert Mallow 

And we saw our first Sego Lily for the year.  It is Utah's state flower.
I hope if you are ever in Moab, you add Hunter Canyon to your list of things to do. 

Female Cottonwood trees produce tiny red blooms that are followed by masses of seeds with a cottony covering. 

A lot of the Cottonwood trees in the canyon are very old, knotty, and gnarly.  Do you see the lizard ?
Some of the cliff walls had seeping water and gardens.  The trail hugged the walls for awhile. 

 Well, until next time, take care and...