Sunday, September 29, 2019

National Public Lands Day

Gopher Flats
September 28, 2019
Moab, UT

What an awesome week we have had !   One evening about 7:00, we were playing with the pups in the doggie park.  We couldn't believe how pretty the sky was towards the LaSal Mountains (the east).   

Where Eagles Dare:
Our week started off with a trail we have never done before...  Where Eagles Dare.  The loop includes the major obstacles on Poison Spider and some obstacles on Golden Spike.  Where Eagles Dare, appropriately named, adds bigger slickrock mounds...extremely steep ascents, sidehills, and descents.  In fact, the steepness makes Hell's Revenge and Fins and Things look tame !  

We had three rigs...Dee, Jeremy (a representative form Teraflex) and his passenger John (owner of Wildside Jeep Customs in Illinois) and us.
Jeremy followed Dee, we followed Jeremy...if you look closely in the bottom right quadrant you will see Dee's orange flag.  The pictures don't really show just how steep the mounds are.

One of the main reasons I wanted to do this trail was because of the gorgeous views.  One of the overlooks provided a great view of Corona Arch, the Potash Ash railroad and a glimpse of the Colorado.  I was excited to see the arch from a different perspective as we have hiked there many times.
Can you see Corona Arch?  Squint your eyes and look a little right of the center of the photo.  So cool!

Poison Spider is an in-out trail.  I always look forward to the exit.  In my humble opinion, it is one of the prettiest trail exits here !

Moab Rim:
I have to admit that Joe and I have not had much luck on the rim the past few times we have been there.  We lost a brake line in a very downhill spot that required Joe to use a boulder to stop, and this past spring we slashed a tire on a ledgy spot.  It's hard to shake that "what will go wrong this time" mentality, but successfully completing Moab Rim has been at the top of the list to check off this year.  So, this past Friday we had the great pleasure of meeting and wheeling with folks from the San Diego Jeep Club. 

 You guessed it...Moab Rim was the trail of the day for them.  What an awesome group of people...we are already looking forward to their return next year !  Thanks for letting us tag along ! 

Moab Rim doesn't waste anytime.  Right from the get-go, the scary fun begins.  The Devil's Crack and Z-Turn are the first two major obstacles and there are no bypasses.  Much of this gnarly trail is off-camber with tight turns as it climbs to the rim.  

Robyn and her husband Steve look on as Wile E. makes his way up the slope of tilted rock layers of ledges and steps.  

The dome is a great place to stop and take a breather, take photos, and visit. 

 The Sleeping Buffalo in the photo below can be seen from soooo many trials in Moab.  We said our goodbyes as  Robyn and her trusty band of trail warriors continued on to the next overlook.  The trail is pictured in the photo below.  
We turned around at this point and headed out with Dee.

I forgot to mention that Moab Rim is an in-out trail.  Thats right...those difficult obstacles that we climbed at the beginning are still there and this time it is going down them.  I really like this exit view too !

No pictures of the Z-Turn or Devil's Crack, but I did get a photo out my side window just as we came off the boulder on "the crack".  Great view of Kane Creek Road and the Colorado River with very little room for error.

Joe and I were all smiles as we drove into the parking lot.  And Im sure the folks passing by wondered what in the world I was doing as I did my celebratory happy dance ! 

Back home at Gopher Flats, the Friday night sky was amazing !

Looking west towards the rim we had just driven...

...and east towards the LaSal Mountains.

National Public Lands Day:       
This year the BLM asked Moab Friends For Wheelin' to do some trail reparation on Steel Bender.  This past Saturday was National Public Lands Day so club members, a BLM representative (to direct our efforts) and volunteers met at 9:00 am to try and fix the mistakes and sometimes "on purpose" screw ups that were widening the trail,  killing desert vegetation, and creating way to many illegal go arounds.   We worked hard for seven hours raking out tire marks, repairing fencing that had been maliciously pushed down and/or driven over,  and moving boulders, rocks and dead trees to block illegal go arounds and better define the "legal" Steel Bender Trail.  
Bret, one of the younger club members (works at Arches/Canyonlands NP Service)  

Jeff(light blue shirt),our club president, and Dale repairing some fencing

Rory Irish (Moab Motorsports) generously brought Trail Mator to move huge boulders as directed by the BLM representative.

Most of our group at the Dragon's Tail obstacle.  We rested and had lunch there.  Then we all had to drive down it...

Jeff watches as Susan drives does get tippy !

Rory backing Trail Mator down Dragon's Tail...
 It was a very productive day and we all felt very good about the work we had done.  Everybody was still smiling at the end of the day and very tired !

This wraps up September...hello October !
Until next time, 
The Launch pad on Golden Spike

National Public Lands Work Day...Steel Bender

Steel Bender 

Dee climbing the Z-Turn on Moab Rim 

View from Wile E looking down one of many steep descents on Where Eagles Dare


Monday, September 23, 2019

Ahhh...The Weather !

Gopher Flats
September, 2019
Moab, UT

It has been so nice the past few days...the triple digits are history !  Wonderful days in the mid 80s and cool nights sure make living easy.  This morning it was a chilly 44 degrees and we had the heater on for a few minutes.    

The puppies have really enjoyed themselves.  
Dover checks out the neighbors flowers everyday...

Sally on one of several windy days...
Jack LOVES to play ball...

Jack had his annual check up, shots and dental cleaning last week.  He had three teeth pulled (common for dachshunds).  Dr. Chipman heard a heart murmur during her check-up.  We were told it is not uncommon in older small dogs.  Research also revealed that Orijens dog food was one of 16 brands of dog food on the FDA list of foods that are linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy.  Dover and Jack don't eat Origins anymore!  Sally stopped the Orijens some time ago due to reoccurring bladder stones.

This is the perfect time of year for rock crawling.  Cliffhanger is my favorite trail these days.  It is not a long trail, but boy is it packed with excitement.  And oh my, the views are amazing !

Wile E leads Cliffhanger with Dee and Larry 
I got pictures of Dee and Larry on the Cliffhanger obstacle. 

Clouds didn't put a damper on the day and quickly moved on...

leaving us with lots of sunshine.

The club (Moab Friends For Wheelin') run scheduled on the 14th was Kane Creek.  It's another great trail that winds its way through the desert, a riparian, and switchbacks.  It has several sweet obstacles including The Pinch.  

We have also been on Steel Bender a couple of times.  SB needed some paint to mark the trail so yesterday Joe and I went with Dee to do just that.  Joe drove Wile E, I drove Dee's jeep, and Dee had the hard part...she painted ! 

Our good friends and neighbors two houses down from us went to Lake Powell for a week.  Guess what we did...fed the chickens !  We also fed their kitty Bob, but I didn't get a picture of him. 

We brought home fresh eggs everyday !

One evening we went early to  feed the chickens because the skies turned dark, the winds picked up and we didn't want to get caught in the rain.  The chickens were not happy, but we were treated to a rainbow.

You might not like beets, but Joe and I sure do.  We had never cooked fresh beets.  We do now though !  It really is easy in the Instant Pot.  

I made a yummy salad with fresh greens, beets, orange slices, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.  It was an explosion of yummy tastes !

Life is good !  Until next time, 
View from Gopher Flats

Kane Creek Road along the Colorado River

A shelf road on Steel Bender with Moab Rim in the background

The south entrance to Steel Bender


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,