Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Hike To Delicate Arch

Gopher Flats
May 31, 2018
Moab, UT

Joe and I have hiked the trail to Delicate Arch a half dozen times or so, and every time we turn the corner and see the arch, my mouth drops.  It is spectacular !  And a must see if in Moab.  It's probably the most well known arch in Utah if not the country.  That makes it the most popular hike in Arches with hundreds of folks making the trek daily.  Timing is everything if you expect to have some solitude while you take in the 65 foot free-standing arch and the gorgeous backdrop around it.  

With crowds and warmer...some might say hotter... temps, we were up before dawn, packed and out the door.  Sunrise was quite pretty as we drove through Arches NP.

 It was 6:08 am when our feet were on trail.  The air was cool and it was so peaceful.  And the best part, the parking lot was almost empty!
The trail is a 3 mile in and out adventure with about 600 feet elevation gain as you head to the arch.  It's a gradual climb, but the giant sandstone "hill" can be a bit of a workout.  Thats why I always have camera in hand...a good excuse to stop. (Insert winking eye emoji here!)  The views are phenomenal.

Almost to the top !

 In the picture below, you can see the road that takes you to the arch from the park entrance and if you squint your eyes real tight, you might can make out the parking lot at the trailhead about an inch to the left of Joe's hat brim.  

From here, the trail is a walk in the park ! A few rocks...
 some sand so look for cairns...
 and more slick rock, but its not so steep !
The next little bit is what I would call a shelf road if we were jeeping.  Here the trail hugs a tall rock wall on one side and a view of "down below" on the other.   The trail is a lot wider than it looks in the photo with plenty of room to pass folks going in the opposite direction.

 When heading up to the arch, if you look left, there is an unnamed arch...

 and on your right is Frame Arch. 

The rock wall drops away as you reach the top and there it is...the silent "WOW!" and dropping jaw.  It is one of those speechless moments when you don't really know what to say out loud.  

The park allows you to walk up to the arch.  Joe and I have done this several times and it is awesome to look up at it from the bottom.  Today, though, it was more about the beauty and enjoying the quiet and having "breakfast".  When we arrived at the arch, I counted 7 other people...making  getting out of bed well worth the effort to get there early.  

On the way down, I did check out Frame Arch.  It is so named because you can look through it and frame Delicate Arch in your photo.  
Can you see the person standing under Delicate Arch?
 It's all down hill from easy walk back to the trailhead.  

If time permits check out the wall of Ute petroglyphs dated 1650-1850 on your way out.  There are signs to point you in the right direction.  

It's a simple panel of horses, riders, bighorn sheep, and a puppy.  The rider and the pup put a smile on my face every time I see it !

Also, another point of interest is Wolfe Ranch.  The only picture I took of the one-room cabin was too blurry to post.  There is signage that details the history of John Wesley Wolfe.  

It was about 8:30 am when I snapped the picture below.  I was mighty glad we were done !  Check out the traffic, an overflowing parking lot and the "herding syndrome" of folks getting started. 

I am always happy to make memories at Delicate Arch.  And this day was no exception !  We were back home with coffee in hand surrounded by lots of puppy love at 9:30 and discussing our plans for the day !  Life is better than good, it's awesome !

So, until next time, we hope you have happy days and...

Balanced Rock in Arches NP


Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Trail Fix and No Lights

Gopher Flats 
Moab, UT
May 26, 2018

It was Memorial Day week-end and we had lots of plans.  Two trails to wheel on Saturday, one on Sunday, and one on Monday.  As with all great plans, things happen.  Joe and I headed out to run Rusty Nail early Saturday morning with Dee, Chris, Doug and Larry.  We were excited when Rory and his friends Randy and Michelle, from Wyoming, caught up with us which made a total of seven vehicles.  It was Chris' goal to walk up The Wall which has been a challenge for her in her shorter wheelbase, very well built,  two-door Rubicon.  

The morning started out with clear skies and a cool breeze...all was good !  

The first named obstacle on Rusty Nail is Riff-Raff.  Chris checks her line and drove right up...

and so did Larry ! 

Rory took the harder buggy line up.  Always a fun day to watch him wheel !

After Larry made his climb he noticed fluids coming from his Toyota truck buggy.  He did a quick inspection and decided to turn around since he couldn't locate the source.  

Up next is The Wall.  Rory and Chris worked very hard, but in the end decided to use a strap.  Chris is so close to claiming victory over The Wall...she will make it soon !  

Rory entertains us all as he crawls the buggy line up The Wall.
 Randy and Michelle gave Rory's line a try and  flexed their way up easily.   They have an awesome YJ.

As we headed to No Left Turn, Rory (who was behind us) noticed we were loosing fluids.  It turned out to be a high pressure hydraulic line which meant no steering.  Rory worked on the hose and filled it up with fluids (We never go out without lots of fluids !) and we continued on.  Joe drove No Left Turn without me.  Rory watches for fluids as Joe begins down... 

 and he gets a smile and thumbs up from Dee !
 Unfortunately the fix did not work on WileE.  Rory spent more time trying to make WileE drivable enough for us to get off trail, but it wasn't meant to be.  Also, Doug's buggy would not was a computer issue.  We left the vehicles and returned to town.  Chris brought me home while Rory picked up parts for WileE and swapped his buggy for the tow truck.  Dee, Joe, Rory and Doug all went back.  Rory towed Doug back up No Left Turn and down The Wall and Riff-Raff...Joe and Dee followed them.  

Saturday night was a club night run on Steelbender.  I really enjoy the night runs, especially this time of year.

We entered on the north end and took the northwest loop and came out the way we went in.  When it was time to turn on headlights to see the trail, guess what? We didn't have any !  A huge thank you to Chris, Dee and Susan for guiding us off trail and back home safely.  

Well, until next time, happy days and...


Steelbender was the end of our trail time for the week-end.  We passed on Hell's Revenge Sunday and Rose Garden Hill on Monday. 

P.S.  Dover says "Hi" from Moab !

And I took a really pretty picture of our home last Wednesday morning about 6:30 am.  The sun was just peeking out from behind the LaSals and lighting up Moab Rim as we were heading to the gym.

Home Sweet Home at Gopher Flats

Friday, May 25, 2018

Denis Julien Inscription 1836

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
May 23, 2018

About the time we returned home from the gym we got a call from Scott inviting us and Dee to tag along with him and his wife Chris on an exploring adventure.  We quickly said yes, packed a cooler full of waters and a couple of almond butter and grape jelly sandwiches and apples.  I love exploring !  Just as we were headed out the door, Dee stopped by and asked if we wanted to ride with her...even better!  

Our drive for the day was out Mineral Bottom Rd which is about 18 miles total from Hwy 313 to the Green River.  Its a beautiful easy drive through the desert...
 until you reach the section that drops into the canyon.  From here it's a steep, curvy shelf road with sheer drop offs...
  exhilarating views...
and dramatic cliff walls.
Once on the canyon floor, our first stop was for lunch.  We enjoyed the shade from some magnificent cottonwood trees.

Somehow, I failed to get pictures of the humans.  But who could resist this beautiful face?  Zooni belongs to Scott and Chris and is such a sweet, loving, and  well-mannered pup.

With tummies full and after lots of laughs, we headed east on the trail.  We did pass an old's barely visible in the picture below.  See where the talus rocks change color under the cliff rocks?  The mine is the white spot just above the lighter rocks.

 It wasn't long before we were hugging the Green River.  Here the trail became a little more rutted and narrow.  
Our goal was to see the Denis Julien 1836 Inscription which is listed in the U.S. Register of Historical Places.  The facts known about Julien's life and trading and trapping career are few.  There are eight recorded Julien inscriptions in Utah dated 1831 - 1841.  The 1836 carving is the most well known.  It is located at the mouth of Hell Roaring Canyon and includes his name, the day and month, the year, a crude picture of a boat with a mast, and another mysterious  symbol "that has been variously interpreted to be a flying sun or a bird in flight".  The following excerpt and photo were from an article Scott sent us about Julien.

 Today, this is what the site looks like...

 There were also other notable carvings.

There was a notebook on the site we found interesting.  It gave some information about Julien and this inscription.  
It was such a fun day.  For those who are not afraid of heights it's a great trail and well worth the few hours to explore.  

Instead of taking the highway back to Moab, we decided it would be more fun to take Long Canyon Trail.  

Until next time, happy days and...


Sally is feeling much better !  Stitches are out and the incision only has one little scab left to heal.  

And, we wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day!