Moab Madness

Moab is a crazy place. Young men named Aaron live out of their van and work odd jobs to enable them to play in this unique landscape in the most extreme ways. Mountain bikers fly through rolling slickrock formations maneuvering a foot or two from huge drops. Rock climbers scale vertical rock faces that jut out of the earth like gargantuan totem poles. Motorheads drive their tricked out jeeps over impossibly rough boulder fields. None of it is particularly safe or regulated. The state collects a $5 fee to enter some of the wilderness areas, and that is about the … Continue reading Moab Madness

Get to the (dead horse) Point

Legend has it that Dead Horse Point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa. Cowboys rounded up these horses and herded them across the narrow neck of land onto the point. The neck, 30 yards wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush, creating a natural corral surrounded by the precipitous cliffs. The cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and left the others corralled on the waterless point, where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. (Reference: Dead Horse Point State Park brochure) Great heart-lifting story, huh? We’re … Continue reading Get to the (dead horse) Point

Hit and Run to Moab

Life after Zion is starting to feel like a hit and run. Hit the road, run through the sights and hit the road again. Driving Betty is heavy workload in graduating elevations with rumble strip lanes and dish rattling pavement. Exploring in the never-ending cold and rain is tipping the scales to tiresome. We keep thinking grey skies are gonna clear up, so we put on our happy “go” face, this time running from goblins to arches and canyons. But first, chores. With no bars for 3 days, we were behind on posting blogs. Library. All our warm clothes were … Continue reading Hit and Run to Moab

Ga-Ga for Goblins

Hoodoos are out. Goblins are in. Where hoodoos have an untouchable magical and mystical aura, goblins are weird and wild and in your face. As we transition from ‘reservations in-hand’ to ‘no reservations – no problem,’ we followed a hunch that the fully booked Goblin Valley State Park 100 miles northeast of Capitol Reef might have an opening considering the wet weather. It was on the way to Canyonlands in the sense that it was also in Utah, but with only 10 RV sites in a 30 pad campground, it is a difficult reservation to book. This day the goblins … Continue reading Ga-Ga for Goblins

Capitol Reef – Andacite To See

Our two weeks under Watchman’s eye gave us a new sense of self. We left at day break with a general sense of direction to head east and not much in the way of reservations. It is a lot less structured than what we used to expect from ourselves and our colleagues as college prof and corporate officer but we are changing as we learn that we don’t know what we don’t know until we do it. Saying goodbye to the familiar Zion hardscape, 245 miles later we were back in switchback country summiting to Betty’s record elevation of 8385 … Continue reading Capitol Reef – Andacite To See

YES WE CANyon

When your primary vehicles are two wheels and six, any excursion normally made with four has to be “worth it.” Shower transitions to closet, dinette to living room storage, Comos on the back, slides in, jacks up, Betty barreling along, snarling traffic and the smell of brake dust in the morning. We were among the first to arrive Zion National Park’s lesser known cousin canyon, Kolob Canyon. Located 40 miles north on 80mph I-15, Kolob owns the trails less travelled. There is no shuttle bus, no camping, no cute town outside the gate. You go to see the finger canyons and … Continue reading YES WE CANyon

Wetwalkers

Big hike and bikes require rest and stretch, best accomplished with a good book, laundry and a stroll downtown. After one western omelet, two Motrin, and a few chapters in Eric’s Streets of Laredo and Sheri’s Breaking my Cover – My Life as a CIA Spy, we gathered up our dirty canyon clothes, donned our wetwalker suits and took the tram from the Visitor Center to stop 5 in Springdale. Where Bryce Canyon City had a South of the Border feel, Springdale has an unpretentious small town Western vibe with all-budget lodging choices, fine art galleries aside souvenir shops, brew … Continue reading Wetwalkers

A day in the pits

Since beef and kamut soup takes 8 hours of slow cooking, our best while-we-wait activity was 11 miles outside the park in the Southwest Desert. Kamut is an ancient grain from Egypt that gets frequent mentions from Sheri’s favorite on-line chef, Cookie & Kate. It turns out, we have a pantry full of ancient grains waiting for an opportunity to cook all day. The unusually cold and wet Utah May had backed off a little to give us partial rain, perfect for a long-cook obscure grain day. Back in the Como saddles, we waved goodbye to the long line of … Continue reading A day in the pits

Next time bring rope

If a trail isn’t closed, we’ve hiked it. Biked to it. Taken a tram to it. Pictured it. Blogged about it. Yesterday we were wondering if there was anything else in Zion to see. Anything else to explore. We’ve exhausted all the park gift shops, which don’t have Sheri’s want of a dashboard hoodoo or an 8×10 matted horizontal framed picture of a Zion landmark. So we asked the internet – what’s unmarked in Zion? “Take the tram to Canyon Junction and walk 1/2 mile to the first switchback leading to the Mt. Carmel tunnel. There you will find a … Continue reading Next time bring rope

Chasing Waterfalls

Neither snow, nor rain, nor cold, nor hail of last night kept us from making our appointed Zion rounds today. As we sat in the dark, listening to 6 hours of roof pounding rainplops and hammering hail … wishing we had enough bandwidth to stream the season finale of Game of Thrones … and wondering if this was a prelude for the week to come … we thanked our lucky stars that at least we had come down from the high altitude alpine conditions of Bryce where snow was accumulating and temperatures were forecast in the 20’s and 30’s for … Continue reading Chasing Waterfalls