Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Sunset

Gopher Flats
August 2019
Moab, UT

Living at Gopher Flats is perfect when you love red rocks, visiting with friends, nice sunsets, cool evenings and just being lazy.  The down is hot in the summer !  We returned from our vacation to hotter temps than we had before we left.  In all the years we have been here, I can't remember an August being so sweltering as this past August was.  The great news is that those triple digits are all behind us and September and October promise to be gorgeous !

We were excited to get back to Moab.  Not just because it is Moab and we were happy to see Dee, but also because we had friends visiting from Saskatchewan.  This has become one of the highlights for us for the past 3 years...just an awesome group of people full of fun and excitement and boy do they love wheeling !  Their two weeks here flew by way too fast and we are already looking forward to 2020.  

Marc and Janelle (we all call her Nellie),

Marc's jeep returned to Moab this year with 40" tires.  He is an awesome wheeler.
This was the first year Nellie brought HER jeep.  We saw lots of smiles as she made her way (sometimes with Marc's help) on some pretty hard trails!

Luc built this Cherokee and it's a very capable machine.  He always makes obstacles look so easy.  

Phil takes his truck on all the trails...except Pritchett.  It is also very capable.

Kelsey and Scot
Kelsey never shies away from a challenge...always taking the hardest line. 

We read the best book The Longevity Paradox...How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age  by Dr. Gundry.  My blood work last March was not the best with high "everything" and I was told I was pre-diebetic.  That was a shocker...I thought I was pretty healthy !  Anyhow, in March we started making changes to our diet by eliminating sugar, enriched flour, and pasta. We didn't eat rice so that was easy.   Now we have stepped it up with less animal protein and adding more greens, beets, and olive and avocado oil.   Fasting is also an important part of his plan...basically, 14 hours between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day.  Joe and I do want to be healthy at a ripe old age.  We have been thrown some curve balls with Joe's diagnosis of cancer in 2014 and both of our parents died with Alzheimers.  To date, I have lost 16 pounds and shrunk 2 sizes in my waist and hips.  Joe has also slimmed up.  We have settled into a nice routine of going to the gym four days a week and hope to dust off the hiking boots very soon !  I promise I will not be "preaching" about diets anymore...we are just so jacked to be feeling better (and my high blood pressure is not high anymore) and to have more energy.

BUT wait...what is this ? A very weak moment after a long week of sweltering temps and mostly staying inside.  Date night in Moab is always tasty and beautiful. 

A gorgeous drive through Arches at sunset has a way of restoring my soul !  

We hiked up the short trail at the Windows section to sit and beautiful and peaceful !

Until next time,


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lander, Wyoming

Sleeping Bear RV Park
Lander, WY
July 30-Aug 5, 2019

Lander, WY was the last stop for our summer vacation.  

Getting to Lander from Island Park had us back-tracking as we headed south on Hwy 32 through Idaho.

It was a gorgeous drive...
Those beautiful Tetons.

 over Teton Pass between Victor, ID and Wilson, WY...
We were above the clouds! 

with a quick peek at The Tetons...
Teton NP is the only NP with an airport.

before heading southeast through the Shoshone NF on Hwy 26 (a section of the Oregon Trail Historic Byway) from Moran to Lander.

Our home base for the week was Sleeping Bear RV Park.

We first heard about Lander in 2016 from MonaLisa and Steve's blog.  We love small towns, had a week to spend somewhere before Joe's MOHs surgery (in Salt Lake City on Aug 7) so why not go to Lander.   

Lander was established in 1884.  This small town is located in central Wyoming along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River.  It is named after Gen. Frederick Lander who explored the Oregon Trail's Lander cutoff.  Lander also claims to have held the first paid rodeo in annual tradition they still celebrate.
Wyoming history of the bucking bronco dates back as early as 1918.   It is popularly known as the "Cowboy State".

1. Popo Agie Falls (July 31)
Our first hike in Lander had us following the Popo Agie River in the Shoshone National Forest.  It's an in-out, 3.5 mile (RT) hike through some gorgeous vistas.

The first part of the trail is lined with huge boulders on the right...

 and the Popo Agie River on the left.

As we followed the trail (with a steady elevation gain) we could see a huge cascade that plummets into the river.  But, this is not the end !

The falls is not one big fall, but is a combination of cascades ending with a swimming hole. 

It is quite "the thing" for the adventurous,to slide down the rock into the very cold swimming hole. 
2. Sinks Canyon State Park
(Aug. 2)
is situated in the Wind River Mountains on the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie river.  

The park is named after a distinct geological phenomena in which the Popo Agie River disappears into a limestone cavern...
The Sinks

...and reappears a 1/4 mile down canyon in a pool filled with rainbow trout.

The Rise
3. Sinks Canyon Trail 
(Aug 2) is a 3.3 mile loop, but we included the Popo Agie Nature Trail for a total of 5 miles RT.  It's a nice hike along the river, through aspen groves, and canyon meadows.  Walking through the meadow was especially rewarding.


Lazuli Bunting

Western Tanager

A hungry Robin
4. Louis Lake Road (Aug 3) begins where Sinks Canyon Rd. ends.  The locals refer to this 70 mile scenic drive to some of their favorite fishing spots as Loop Rd.  

Our first stop was Frye Lake.  This popular camping and fishing lake is also a storage reservoir for irrigation water.

Shortly after Frye Lake, the pavement changes to a gravelly/washboard road.  The forest is denser, except in places where logging has been allowed.  It wasn't very spectacular, but we wanted to reach Fiddlers Lake which is at the highest elevation (9411'). 

Fiddler's Lake

There is one in every crowd...reminds me of my Kindergarten days!

 At this point, we turned around.  But there is more on Loop Rd. to see. If we return to Lander, we hope to enjoy a hike and finish the loop. 

5. Bus Loop (Aug 4) is a hike we read about in Pam and John's blog from their visit to Lander this past June.  The trail is named for a small, rusty bus that is laid to rest there.

The area is primarily used for hiking and biking and the trials are not marked.  You can hike as long and as far as you want to.  There is no shade on this trail as it meanders  through pasture land...  

and over slick rock.  I love slick rock !

One last look back at the slick rock reef as we continued up the hill.

Thanks Pam and John for including the Bus Loop in you blog and especially for the great directions !

6. South Pass City (Aug 5), a former stop on the Oregon Trail and a booming gold mining town, is now Wyoming's largest historic site and a State Park.  

This impressive state park has 24 historic structures, more than 30 "period" room exhibits, a visitor center, picnic areas, and nature trails.

Our first stop was the Dance Hall/Theater/ Community Center/ and Sunday school building.  We watched a short video and were given a walking guide pamphlet.   

Beginning in the 1860s,  Pony Express stations and trails created by emigrants heading west were established.  South Pass City was born after gold was discovered there in 1867. While some came for the gold, others settled in the area to farm on public lands open to homesteading, and others saw opportunity as merchants and professionals and so a town boomed.  

The blacksmith shop had remains of tools, billows and old wagon wheels.

Up the hill from the structures is a cemetary.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there were only three graves and they were all children.

Also, South Pass City was home to Esther Morris, the first woman to serve in a judicial office in the U.S..  She was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1870 and served as judge.

This is the last post from our summer adventure.  Exploring new places, awesome weather, great hikes, and gorgeous landscapes made for a very nice get away.  

Until next time...


P.S. Kudos to Wyoming...We loved their signs !