Sunday, May 19, 2019

Beautiful Views !

Gopher Flats
May, 2019
Moab, UT

The other day while Wile E. (our 1988 YJ) was visiting Grand Tire Pros, Joe and I walked the few blocks of Main Street...downtown Moab.  

Moab has added a few more pieces of art and the roses this time of year smell heavenly.  

We enjoyed a yummy breakfast at the Diner and had a leisurely stroll through Back of Beyond Bookstore.  It's a quaint little store and very well stocked.  I bought two books...Birds of Utah and Sandstone County Wildflowers.

A few days ago, we joined Dee for a ride on the north loop of Steelbender.  As we began the morning, the skies were partly cloudy.   
The beginning of the trail...

But as the minutes ticked away, the skies turned to all cloudy.  We could see the rain in the distance and the air got considerably cooler.

We carry ponchos, but luckily it only drizzled a little bit.  Even when it is cloudy,  it is beautiful !

MFFW planned a Hwy clean-up for May 11th.  We have a section of Hwy 191 just north of Arches NP which we clean  every spring and fall. 

It usually takes a couple of hours and afterwards we always have a trail planned...all work and no play makes for a dull day !  So after our 2 mile roadside hike, it was off to do Rusty Nail.  Rusty Nail is challenging and exciting.  It is also a belly flopper and beautiful.  The air this day was crystal clear and the colors surrounding us were vibrant and sharp.  I didn't get any trail shots, but snapped these two with my phone as were climbing up Gemini Bridges Rd on our way out.   

Yesterday, we joined Dee, a group of five from Washington, a couple from Colorado, and a guy from Arizona on Behind the Rocks.  

BTR is fast becoming a favorite...maybe it was just the mood I was in and the great group we were with.  Yesterday was just plain fun ! (OK, so I'm not hard to please and I say that alot !) It's quite beautiful too with a combination of vistas that go on and on for miles and miles and wildflowers in every color of the rainbow and beyond. 

 Can you believe that gorgeous blue sky?  

Dee and Joe and I were so blown away by fields of Pale Evening Primrose.  None of us had ever seen so many.  Both side of the trail were almost looked like snow !
Dee was our leader.  I don't think I will ever learn my way around BTR.  There are so many intersections and ways to go.  

There are several ways...from mild to difficult... to run BTR with intersections everywhere.  It's still very confusing to me.  The Gate Keeper, a little warm up of what's to come,  lures you in, but that's not all.  Some obstacles like High Dive, and Up Chuck have legal bypasses, but there are many other large ledges both ascending and descending that  do not have names or bypasses.   We did a difficult route which took us out to White Knuckle Hill where we stopped, turned around, and then headed out the way we went in.   

This is High Dive...its alot bigger than it looks.  Dee spotted Sunny (from Arizona and the only buggy in our group) down.  The rest of us took the bypass !

Dee starts down the High Dive bypass...
WileE climbs Up Chuck...
Tyler and wife Aubrey ace a very tippy tall ledge where hugging the driver side wall is key...
One of my favorite sections is a short chute that Dee calls the Roller Coaster.  We followed Dee and behind us were Tyler, Sunny, and the gang from Washington.

Finally, the Prickly Pear are beginning to bloom.  

Well, I'll close for now.  I hope you enjoy your view where ever you are.  It's a beautiful country some of us call home and others come to visit.  So, until next time...


Monday, May 13, 2019

Deadman's Springs

Gopher Flats
May 4, 2019
Moab, UT

Our MFFW (Moab Friends For Wheelin) club ride for May 4th was Deadman Springs.  It was a new trail for us and I was excited it had been planned.  It is an easy 32 mile (off-rode) experience with slick rock, occasional small ledges, and dirt and rocks.  

It's an EJS trail that Carole (a friend and fellow MFFW member) had participated in and she was willing to lead for us.  

Our first stop for the day was the actual springs and a short hike to a beautiful alcove.  I did read that back in the 1890s, this was a functioning stock reservoir.  The story goes that two old cowboys found a dead cowhand at the springs...hence the name.

The short hike to the alcove only had a little bit of water.
Hiking to the alcove...

 The wall was very tall and the air so cool.    

The ride to our second stop which was the first Spring Canyon overlook was full of wide open vistas, wildflowers, and rocks.

In addition to the showy Whipple's Cacti and Claretcup Cacti which were plentiful, we saw...
Spiny Hopsage

Desert Lupine
Howell's Phacelia
 Named rockes we saw were The Twins...

and Queen's Rock.

They were pretty cool, but it was the other rocks along the way that really caught my eye.

At the first overlook, we could see the bottom of the very deep Spring Canyon and the valley below.  The jagged rocks make for a careful step when walking along the edge .
There was even some water in the spring.

Remember Tombstone Rock?  With a zoom, we could see it!

And Secret Spire?  I could even zoom in on it too !

We had one more stop for the day...a second overlook. It was a little further down the canyon.  In fact we could make out the end of Spring Canyon and see the beginning of Hey Joe Canyon.  
If you look closely in the center of the photo you will see the trail to the bottom of the canyon.  We did Spring Canyon Bottom last year.  It's a gorgeous trail too...steep, but not too narrow.

Dee pointing out Spring Canyon Bottom trail.

The slickrock at this overlook was covered with Indian paintbrush.  It was such a vibrant color and so showy against the pale rock.

 The cliff rose were blooming too, filling the air with their sweet perfume. 

It was another beautiful day with good friends !  And a huge thank you to Carole for showing us the way.    

So, until next time...