Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tukuhnikivatz Arch

Gopher Flats
Moab. UT
April 7, 2018

This past Saturday was our first club (Moab Friends For Wheelin') trail ride for the year.  The trail scheduled was Tip Toe Behind the Rocks.  Behind the Rocks is a great place to explore...it's a region of fins, arches, spires, canyons and amazing views.  Todays trip was made even more exciting because it included a side spur and hike to Tukuhnikivatz Arch... pronounced tuk-oon-ik-ah-vatz... otherwise known as Tuk Arch and a new arch for us !  
Visiting at the trailhead before we started.  

In total, we had 12 vehicles...a nice variety of jeeps, buggies, and truck buggies. 

Heading towards Tuk Arch on the spur was new for us.  It is an in and out trail as it dead ends at the trailhead for the arch.

Looking south away from Moab...

...and north towards Moab.

One the way, we passed another new to us arch.  This is Moab Arch. 

 I wish the light had been better.  Glen told us that when the sun is directly over the arch you can see the light coming through and get a much better photo.

This is Tukuhnikivatz Arch in the center of the picture below. This arch got its name because on a clear day, the peak of Tukuhnikivatz Mountain can be seen through the arch.  Tuk Mountain is the third largest mountain in the LaSals, but the most prominent mountain viewed from Moab.  Translated from the Ute language, the name means "place where the sun sets last". 

It was a steep climb to the arch with many boulders waist high for me.  Not to worry,  I had lots of help!  Unfortunately, the peak was covered in clouds.  

This is a little arch compared to so many others in Moab.  It was just tall enough for me to stand under and I am right at 5 feet tall.  Franklin and Theo pose under the arch while Mack explores.  

We could see the jeeps and folks who didn't make the climb down below.  They don't really show up well in the photo.  But for a reference, the tiny white line running through the center of the picture is Hwy 191.

The view from the arch is amazing even on a mostly overcast day !

From there it was back on the main trail for some fun on the rocks.  

It was a great day with old friends and new friends.  So until next time, take care and...
Pearl does her thing!

P. S. If you look real hard you can see both arches from Hwy 191 north heading into Moab.  We have traveled Hwy 191 so many times and never noticed either one. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Moab...Just Getting Started !

Gopher Flats
March 26-April 5, 2018
Moab, UT

When I last posted, Easter Jeep Safari was about to be in full swing.  While the town was busy with thousands of visitors, Joe and I stayed close to home.  Joe was busy with various projects...mostly things to do with Wile E...and the pups and I enjoyed the peace and quiet.  We did, however, volunteer to help with the Benefit Run on Tuesday.  

The trail for the Benefit Run is Fins & Things and this year was led by Susan Stevens who lives two houses down the street and is the wife of Jeff (owner of Dirt Squirrel, Inc).  Our job was to help transport tables, waters, grills and hot dogs and all the fixings for a cookout on the trail.  

We all pitched in to cook and serve lots of hungry folks at the lookout point along Grandstaff Canyon on the north side of Fins.  Voluntary donations were taken which the Red Rock 4-Wheelers Club matched for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation. 

The rest of the week, the picnic table became a work bench as Joe checked various projects off his to-do list...mostly things to do with Wile E.  While he worked, the pups and I played and relaxed in the warm sunshine.

 Joe found a couple of tennis balls under the MH which Dover quickly claimed.  Anything fuzzy and squeaky always gets her attention.  We were so happy she played ball for several days...until the squeaker didn't squeak anymore.  Dover turned 11 in January and because of some arthritis in her back leg she hasn't played ball in along time.  
Dover was the first of the 4 pups we rescued before we started full-time RVing.  She is such a sweet girl!
One afternoon we were entertained by the most beautiful song.   This bird was sitting in the neighbor's yard and singing away.   

The other day, Joe and I did a little exploring in our backyard.  Jeff installed a Currie Anti-Rock Swaybar on WileE and we wanted to check it out.  Just a couple of miles down the street from us is Ken's Lake and just beyond Ken's Lake is the south entrance to Steel Bender.  

We didn't venture far on the trail because we don't do trails by ourselves...just far enough to check out the flex.  Great job Jeff ! 

Near the gravel road coming out of Steel Bender there is a waterfall called Faux Falls created by a diversion piping water from Mill Creek to fill up the reservoir. 

There is a nice little hike which we had never taken.  Being an absolutely gorgeous day, we decided to do a little exploring on foot.  The views are really nice from the top...
The campground at Ken's Lake is center left in the photo with the lake just behind the red rocks.

Spring is definitely in the air here.  There are beautiful signs everywhere.
First Indian Paintbrush photo for the year!
Don't you just love the color of new leaves?
Our season in Moab is off to a great start...how could it not be?  Until next time, take care and...


Life is Good!

Sunday, March 25, 2018


Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
March 14-22, 2018

Home again, home again jiggety-jig.  Yep, Moab and especially Gopher Flats is our happy place.  Surrounded by friends in the neighborhood,  the red rocks of Moab Rim to the west

and the snow-capped LaSal Mountains to the east make for a beautiful, quiet setting to call home.

But the "bestest"part is Dee-time !

Spring is in the air!  We arrived just in time to see the apple trees budding...they will be blooming soon...
and see the grass green up.  Sally is waiting patiently !
WileE has a few changes since we drove it last fall. 
Jeff (owner of Dirt Squirrel, Inc...our friend and neighbor) installed an Atlas TC, lowered the body a couple of inches, worked on the coil over springs and did a few other things.

Then our friend Rory (Moab Motorsports) replaced the ball joints, installed new brake rotors, and repacked the wheel bearings.

We had two "shake down" trail runs this week.  Wednesday, we stayed close to home and drove Steelbender with Dee and Warren.  WileE did great and we can sure tell the difference in the ride from last year.  
Dee leads the way in Elliott...her very capable 4 door Rubicon on 40 inch tires with a new soft top and kick a$$ attitude. Yep, it has a Hemi!
We have missed these beautiful views.
That's Warren in the mirror in his very capable jeep buggy ! It is awesome !
Dee getting lined up to crawl down a very gnarly ledge.

Dee watches when it's Warren's turn.  
On Thursday, we followed Dee again as she led us down Backward Bill Trail to Wipe Out Hill.  Warren joined us again.  A huge thank you to both Dee and Warren for going out with us.  We made a right turn at the top of WOH and followed a very tippy section of trail Dee refers to as Eilene on 7 Mile Rim.  We didn't do the whole trail, but we did drive between the Monitor and the Merrimac rock formations and passed Uranium Arch before taking a connector trail that led us back to Wipe Out Hill and Backward Bill and to Hwy 313.   

We had never done Backward Bill Trail before.  Its quite scenic with Big Mesa, canyons and distant views of the LaSals along sandy and slick rock surfaces.   
 There was a crowd of people at Wipe Out Hill...the steep ledge (black tracks) in the center of the photo.  It was a fun climb.
Next up was tippy "Eilene" ... just follow the black tracks as they turn right on the slick rock.  It's a sidehill section that feels a lot more tippy than it looks !  
I got a nice view of the canyon below as WileE leaned passenger...insert wide-eyed emoji here ! This was the first time we had driven Eilene in this direction.  Usually it's driver side leaning and I like that better. 

Easter Jeep Safari has begun and we will enjoy the week of excitement.  We also used our Silver Sneakers card (a senior citizen benefit with our insurance that covers all costs of the gym) and joined Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center again this year.  We will make at least three early morning trips/week to the gym during the time we are here.  Life is good !    

So until next time,