Monday, April 29, 2019

April Showers...

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
April, 2019

April has certainly been a rainy month here. We are not complaining though...desert rains are a wonderful thing !  But usually with the rains come strong winds and that part we don't particularly like.  Looks like the last few days of April will be thunder storms and high winds.   

There are lots of lilac bushes at Gopher Flats.  This one is just outside our window at the kitchen table.  

 Another pretty flower here is the Austrian Copper Rose.  

The thorny bush has doubled in size from last year and is full of buds.  These blooms were near the ground yesterday.  
 I LOVE red flowers and these are especially bright.  But what makes them unique is that they are yellow on the under side of each petal.   
I can't believe April will be a memory and May is right around the corner.  My how time flies these days.  

Joe and I volunteered to help with the Benefit Run again this year during Easter Jeep Safari (EJS).  It is a benefit to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  
The trail for the day is Fins and Things.  
About half way through the run, the participants stop at the overlook and we serve them grilled hotdogs with all the fixings.  

Participants make a donation and Red Rock 4 Wheelers matches the total.  

During this week we decided to take our spring drive around the LaSal Mountain Loop.  Our first views were of Castle Valley.  If you look closely, you can see the Priest and Nuns and Castle rock formations in the center of the photo below. 

Did I mention the road is curvy?

And that the sky was a beautiful cobalt blue? 

 Or how patiently the winter trees are waiting for warmer weather?
 And that the evergreens stood proud and strong?

Did I point out the glistening snow or the eery shadows that danced along the roadside?

Joe enjoyed a few days working on Wile E.

He replaced the spark plugs, the distributor cap and rotor.  He adjusted my seat so I can see out the front better without a cushion.  For fun, he installed a speaker so we can use the's so cool to have some tunes playing when cruising on Main St....insert lots of laughing emojis here !

We now have hummingbirds feeding regularly at the feeder.


Sally and I are easily entertained ! 

We also saw a Western Meadow Lark.  Actually, we heard it before we found it sitting on Dee's garage.  I read that the Eastern Meadow Lark has a series of simple, plain whistles.  Not the case for the Western cousins.  

It's a "rich flute-like jumble of gurgling notes descending the scale".    

He just throws back his head, opens wide and sings!  My oh my, what a song he sings !

(I enlarged these photos so they are a little fuzzy.)

As I am about to wrap up  this post, the wind is howling and it's pouring...a hard steady rain.  Sally is in her "safe" place under the steering wheel.  

This past Saturday we had a club run scheduled for Hell's Revenge.  The trail was packed so we cut it short and only did The Escalator.   
Hell's Revenge slick rock...
Dee and Joe and I went to do a quick run up to the Moab Rim overlook.  It's only our second time to run MR in Wile E. Last year when we did it our brakes gave out...thank goodness for boulders !  We were excited to try again hoping for a successful run. 
 Well. it wasn't meant to be.  We slashed the front driver tire coming off a good size ledge and the tire caught a sharp edge on a rock that was jutting out. 
Can you see the slash in between the R and A on the top of the tire.
 The jeeping community is such an awesome group.  We heard jeeps coming and since we were blocking the trail, Dee walked down to tell them we were trying to patch the tire and air it up.  One of the young men offered to let us use his spare and even hauled out our slashed tire on his spare tire holder.  We were so grateful.  
The beautiful view coming down MR.  Thank you Jason.

That wraps up our April.  So, until next time,

Sweet dreams...(photo taken April 19)


Friday, April 26, 2019

An Alien, An Underground Arch, A Secret and Best of all...Friends !

Gopher Flats
Moab, Ut
April 25, 2019

One of the really cool things about being in Moab in the spring is the weather making it a great destination to off-road, hike, and enjoy the desert scenery before the summer heats up.  But the very best part of this time year is that friends pass through heading north or east.  (P.S., fall is  beautiful too!) Such is the case this week.  Friends Sue and Dave pulled into town and we wasted no time making plans for an off-road adventure.  Our destination was on the north side of town in the Dubinky Wells Rd area.  There is so much to see, I wasn't sure we would be able to check everything off the list.  We did though with the exception of the overlook at the end of Spring Canyon Point Rd.  It was a beautiful day with bright blue skies and most of the time a nice breeze.  So, what did we see?

Bartlett Rock Art Panel:  
Bartlett Rock Art Panel is located in a humongous alcove.

The rock art is of "alien" looking figures and are pictographs.  These pictographs (painted, not etched) are of the Barrier Style and thousands of years old.  

It amazes me that pictographs can even be seen after thousands of years.  

There is a decent parking area and a short slick rock and sandy trail leading up to the alcove.  

Dubinky Well:   
Dubinky Well and Windmill were built in 1937 by the CCC to provide water for grazing livestock.  
The oversized 16 ft diameter windmill was necessary for the 500 ft deep well which was last used in the 1980s.  In 1996, the windmill was moved and selected as the site to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grazing Service which became part of the BLM in 1946.
The wooden watering troughs are thought be original although repairs have been made over the years.
The rock and cement open storage tank were added in 1939.  The outside wall is made of large stones cemented together.  From the outside it looks like a straight wall.  
 But the inside wall has a slant...I guess for strength.  The design is said to be a "CCC trademark".
 After the well, we back tracked 0.2 of a mile and made a right turn onto Spring Canyon Point Trail.  

Whenever we are in this area, Tombstone Rock is a great landmark. 

The off-highway trail is in front of Tombstone Rock on the left.  The trail difficulty is rated moderate in Charles A. Wells guide.  It is a combination of dirt, sand and slick rock with and a few ledges.  The spur trail off Spring Point Canyon Rd is 3.6 miles roundtrip (out and back). With careful and expert driving skills, Dave managed the entire trail without scuffing his stock JKU on 32" tires !  Way to go Dave !
Rocky goes up...

and down...

and sometimes up, and around and down!

Dellenbaugh Tunnel:
Dellenbaugh Tunnel is believed to be named after Frederick S. Dellenbaugh who was a member of the Powell expedition.  The tunnel isn't really a tunnel.  It is formed from a wash that flows under an elongated arch which I read was an underground arch.

 From the parking spot, it is a bit of a scramble over slick rock and down some ledges to get to the entrance of the tunnel.  

There is a nice area on the canyon side of the tunnel to take in views of Spring Canyon...

and enjoy the gnarly old juniper trees and birds.
It's a great spot for lunch!
Secret Spire: 
Secret Spire is one of those rock formations that definitely defies gravity. 

The spire, or hoodoo, sits majestically atop a dome of sandstone.  (The tunnel and the spire are on opposite sides of Spring Canyon.)

The bottom of the spire...

and looking up.

This is a nice view of a pour off beside the dome that the spire is on. It still had a little water from the last rains.  I can only imagine how beautiful it must be during a heavy rain. 

And here is another humongous view of Spring Canyon from the opposite side of the canyon.  
A close up of those swirling designs on the rocks...amazing !
Secret Spire was the end of our adventure.  From there it was back to Spring Canyon Point Rd and on to Dubinky Well Rd.  It was so much fun exploring with Sue and Dave and Joe and I are looking forward to more adventures with them !

I will close for now with a few more pictures...

These tiny flowers were no more that a couple of inches tall...

We passed by Juniper Arch.

Rocky climbing slick rock with Tombstone Rock in the background.

These purple beauties lined the wash.

Pearl and Rocky got to know each other while we explored the tunnel.
 So until next time, 
Headed home under bright blue skies with Tombstone Rock and The Sleeping Princess in the forefront with those beautiful LaSal Mountains in the background.  Life is good!