Monday, September 1, 2014

The Best Worst News...

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
September 1, 2014

It has certainly been awhile since I last blogged. We had a couple of really easy rides on Aug 21 and 22. The kind of rides that don't require a lot of rock crawling, but offer lots of beautiful things to look at...well to me they are beautiful. The desert, the rocks, the mountains, and everything in between is certainly "eye candy" for to Joe and the pups of course!

Prostitute Rock

Remember Lone Rock or Prostitute Rock as the locals call it? We saw it from "afar" when we did the Tiptoe Behind the Rocks Trail with the Red Rockers Club. There are two arches in that rock I wanted to see up close.

We loaded up Dover and Wrecks, water and snacks and headed that way...

Getting to the rock and trying to stay on the trail was a bit of a fun challenge. We had several very hard torrential rains and the trail was no where to be found in some spots. But we kept our eyes on The Prostitute and tires off the desert floor and enjoyed ourselves!

The red rock on the left is  Prostitute Rock...the trail winds around the end to the other side.
Balcony Arch was the first arch we saw...its massive!

It is on the side of the rock and there is a large sandy area to park and explore...

and Dover didn't have any trouble with that! 
When you continue on the trail, it takes you around to the other side and to Picture Frame Arch. The puppies and I did some rock scrambling, but then I chickened out and didn't quite make it to the base of the arch...maybe another day!

Wrecks was so sweet...and very attentive to me!

Do you have room for one more?

The next day was Friday, Aug. 22. Another easy trail day. I had mentioned to Dee that as many times as we have been to Moab, we had never been to Gemini Bridges. So off we went to walk the bridges and then rock hunting in Bull Canyon. Just head north on Hwy 191 about 10 miles, turn left at the sign.
Our view going to the bridges...

The trail starts out on a narrow shelf road with an spectacular view...

...and headed home.

Remember I mentioned all the rain...a big section of trail was washed away.

When headed in to see the bridges, don't forget to "kiss" Gooney Bird's toes with your tires.

We scrambled on the rocks and watched a group rappelling from the bridge...its a long way down!

A view of Bull Canyon...
The trail that runs between the rocks is a hiking trail accessed from the Bull Canyon 4X4 Trail.

So if you want to look up at the bridges...Bull Canyon 4X4 Trail will take you there. Its a moderate trail that follows a rocky creek bed...

...which often changes after storms.

There is a trail in there somewhere!
 We didn't make it to the bridges...the wind picked up and clouds started rolling in. Not a place you want to be when it rains! We did walk a little ways though.

We found rocks...
 ...moon flowers...

These beauties usually wither away in the heat of the day, but on this day it was very cloudy and cooler in the canyon.

...and tadpoles!

As we headed out to the main trail, Joe noticed he had a missed call. As promised, he went to the doctor when we arrived here in Moab. The coughing was much better, but the shortness of breath and fatigue was not. The last test, a CT Scan revealed areas that didn't look so good and there was fluid around his heart and lungs. The lower half of the left lung was completely wonder he couldn't catch his breath! The call he missed was from a Pulmonary specialist in Grand Junction. Lots went on  between then and now, including surgery to drain the fluids, biopsies taken and reattaching the air sac to the lining. Diagnosis is "the best worst news" as Dr. Lapkin said...Joe does NOT have lung cancer, but does have B-Cell Lymphoma. We are very hopeful that we have YEARS. The surgeon and oncologist at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction have been wonderful as well as the nursing staff there. Joe is still in the hospital and we are optimistic chemo and possibly radiation will follow soon. We are both in a great place in our hearts and thoughts...full of faith, hope and joy. Our home is still in Moab...about an hour and 45 min drive to Grand Junction. When we get a definite course of treatment, we will either stay here at Portal or move to the KOA at Grand Junction.

We left the canyon none too soon...

Look what I found in a bush by our patio...a white-lined Sphinx caterpillar...better known as a hornworm. This fellow will soon be migrating along the ground searching for the perfect soil to stage its next metamorphosis...

...a hummingbird moth. Pretty cool!

Well, until next time, take care...
I see a Gooney Bird!
and happy trails!

P.S. Thank you for your comments and e-mails. Please understand that Joe is not taking calls...he is receiving excellent care and is getting lots of rest...just what the doctor ordered!  


  1. Fun fun fun lots of it and gorgeous pictures especially the Sphinx .
    On a serious note, I don't know what B Cell Lymphoma is but it sounds serious. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. For Joe for his comfort while undergoing all these procedures and for your strength and courage to face them all. I admire your optimism. Stay strong and I know you guys will go through this trial with confidence and hope.

  2. more wonderful pictures to share, love it!

  3. Love the pictures but don't like the news. You'll definitely be in our thoughts and prayers too. Keep us posted.

  4. We'll definitely be keeping you both in our prayers. Keeping a positive attitude is a key to heeling.
    Loved the pictures.

    It's about time.

  5. Well now, that's a bummer. Positive thoughts coming your way.

  6. On a visit to Moab several years ago (waaaay too long ago...we've got to back there with the RV!) we took a shuttle up to Gemini Bridges and biked down, a wonderful ride!

    I am sorry to hear of Joes diagnosis and wish him a smooth and full recovery and you the patience and health to support him through it.

  7. Beautiful pictures as always. Steve and I did the drive to Gemini Bridge. So much fun. We'd love to visit Moab again with you guys as guides. We'll be back at Lake Mead the end of Oct. Hope to see you soon. Prayers for you both. I'm sure Joe will be back good as new before you know it. You still have lots to see and photograph!

  8. Thinking of you and Joe and praying that all goes well and Joe is back as good as new:)

    Thanks for such stunning photos of one of my favorite places. We did do both the lower road and upper road to the Gemini Bridges. It was fun seeing them from below. A totally different perspective and a more challenging road.

    I love those arches! Hope we can get to them next spring:)

  9. I've always loved your positive outlook on life! Lots of prayers for you and Joe! Also much love sent from GA/AL

  10. Gay, I am sending best wishes for a speedy recovery for your Joe. Your wonderful attitude will carry you through this time. So very glad to hear that he has the best of care in Grand Junction. Take care of yourself! Hugs to you both.

  11. Prayers and hugs being sent for both of you and especially for the doctors who will be taking care of Joe.

  12. We will keep you, Joe & the pups in our thoughts & prayers. Keeping a positive outlook is half the battle & you've got that well in hand. Please keep us abreast of Joe's progress. Hugs.

  13. My mom was diagnosed with Low Grade Lymphoma around 1995. She has been cancer free ever since her treatment, although the doctor insist it will come back some day. Our prayers are that Joe has as good of a conclusion to his, if not better, than my mom. She is now 84, has it checked each year.

  14. Sending best wishes and healing prayers to Joe. And you also. You both have such a wonderful positive outlook and that is so important.

  15. Gay, I just read this news (getting back on track with blog reading) and I am so sorry you and Joe are going through this health challenge. As always, your faith and positive outlook shines through no matter the circumstance. Please send Joe our best wishes for regaining his health quickly.

  16. I'm late getting to your best worst news…
    Here's hoping that this trial goes quickly and that decades of travel adventures are to come.
    Box Canyon Mark