Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It's Almost July for Goodness Sake!

Gopher Flats
June 27, 2018
Moab, UT

I don't know about you, but I think June has flown by.  We have been busy and that's a good thing !  Tomorrow we will make our 4th trip to Grand Junction for a doctor appointment.  Joe has been seeing a corneal specialist there  from having had shingles in his right eye which started last September.  It's been quite an ordeal so I highly recommend the new shingles (Shingrix) vaccine that is 90% effective (unlike the old vaccine Zostavax that was only 60% effective) to prevent shingles.  I had the old shot and will be getting the new one.  We made another trip to GJ to have Belle (our MH) serviced at Cummins.  Joe was impressed with them last fall when they solved our overheating issue (a cracked manifold).   We have also been kitty sitting for Dee who is on the trip of a life African Safari with her sister.  She returns home Thursday (the 28th) and I know for sure that 12 little paws will be waiting at the door excited to see her.  Sam is Dee's oldest kitty...going on 18...and he has been hungry and cuddly and so sweet.  We take him to the vet twice a week for fluids so he doesn't get dehydrated as he has kidney issues.  What a little champ he is.  
Sweet Sam

The two girls are pistols...  
Cleo and Jules are sisters.

always showing me where the food and bowls are and meowing...rather loudly...for me to hurry up.  

When Sam is cuddling in my lap after supper, Jules often joins us and snuggles up against my leg.  I was so happy when last week, Cleo decided to join us too.  Only she doesn't snuggle up next to me, she insists on being in my lap...usually right on top of Sam.  Since then, it has been a lap full of love.  These kitties have sure won my heart. 

Way back on June 9th, Moab Friends For Wheeling had a work day to clean LaSal Pass.  

With rather warm temps in the valley, a get away to the mountains was nice.  Our band of trail warriors included Jeff and Susan, Larry, Warren and Lydia, Chris and us.  Off we went with chain saws, trash bags, and snippers.
Warren and Jeff check out one of the chain saws just in case we needed it. 

Unlike last year, the mountains didn't get as much snow so clean-up was easy...just some trash along the way.  

The trail was lined with lots of colorful wildflowers.

Large Chokecherry bushes

Tiny wild violet flowers

Lots of Larkspur
Gorgeous Golden Peas

Heartleaf Arneca
Purples and pinks...

Wild Roses

And splatters of reds...

Red Columbine

And there are the greens...
Pale greens on the evergreens 

Quaking Aspen...a delight to see and hear
The usual lunch spot is always the view of Mt. Peal.
L to R : us, Chris, Larry, Jeff and Susan, Warren and Lydia
Just look at that blue sky and imagine a nice cool breeze...ahhh !

Because there were no trees to cut, we made real good time on the scheduled work and because it was a beautiful day, Lydia, Jeff and I decided we would take the hike to Beaver Lake.
Back in the day, this was named Girl Friends Trail.  BLM changed it to be more politically correct.

The trail took us into the forrest.
Jeff and Lydia 

It's been so dry that Beaver Lake was not a lake. 
From here, we took the trail (about 1/4 of a mile) that led back to the road where we met everybody else in the jeeps.  

We haven't done any trails hiking or jeeping, since the 9th.  On Joe's last visit to the eye doctor, he had a diaphragm (looks like a contact)  put in his eye to speed up the healing.  It's about the size of a nickel with a band around it and uncomfortable.  No since in making it worse with dust and grit blowing in it and staying cool seemed to be the best option.  Tomorrow's visit is to remove the darn thing and hopefully we get a good...great report.

If all the stars align, Belle will be rolling north towards the Olympic Peninsula on Friday the 29th.  This is a trip we (ummm, I) have wanted to make for several years.  Fingers crossed ! 

So, until next time,

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