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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Can you believe it?  We spent a couple days in Denver with the Zonkers and had a great time.
Didn't even bring my camera! 
We did a little sight seeing with David, went out to Red Rocks Amphitheater.  Amazing place and cool to see all of the artists that have performed there.
We finalized most of the plans for our Europe trip with David and Denise.
The drive over on I-70 is amazing.  Beautiful views, saw a lot of the ski resorts on the side of the interstate.  But I wouldn't want to drive that highway on a regular basis.  But up and down, WAY UP and WAY DOWN!  over 11,000 feet in a couple places.
David & Denise took us out to Ondo's last night.  A spanish restaurant that specializes in tapas.  These are small portions of authentic spanish dishes.  We ordered quite a few of them and were able to taste some great food.  Really looking forward to the Spain portion of our trip after eating tapas.
OK, I tried real hard but just couldn't do it.
On the way back to Moab we stopped at New Castle Diner for lunch and had buffalo burgers.  The waitress was a trip, she kept nagging and picking at the locals there for lunch.  Good entertainment.
Check out the menu and their motto:

Friday, March 23, 2012

More 4x4 trails

Today we decided to do some more 4x4 trails.  First we drove to the Potash road and took the Long Canyon trail.  The neat thing about this trail was this huge rock that had fallen across the road.  Yep, I got to drive under it.  Then the trail climbed to the top of the mesa and eventually came out to Hwy. 313, the road to Dead Horse and Island in the Sky parks.  From there we picked up the Wipe Out trail.  This one had a lot of sandstone ledges to go up and down and a lot of loose deep sand in between.  A more challenging trail, but when we got to Wipe Out Hill I decided that would be a good place to turn around.  We watched some dirt bikers climbing up and down the hill for a while.  I'm not sure if my Liberty would have made it up as steep as it was!  So we turned around and took a different trail back.  This one had fewer ledges but way more loose sand.  Had to backtrack once when we got to a ledge too high to cross, and went around it.
Then we drove out to Klondike Bluffs trail, this one also had a lot of loose sand.  We didn't make it too far since we got to a ledge  that was really tight with a turn in the middle that I tried 3 times but couldn't get lined up right and didn't want to damage the jeep.  Anyway if I would have made it down I would have had to come back up that one and it would have been even tougher.  So we turned back and came home and had wine and cheese.
Low Clearance?

Had a little trouble, right rear tire kept dropping in a hole, finally backed up and went to the left and got up.

Where we turned around
Another fun day in Moab!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

La Sal Mountains

Today we drove up into the La Sal Mountains.  We started just north of Moab along the Colorado River and took the La Sal Loop.  We had a picnic lunch in the snow at the summit around 8400 feet.
Most of the land in Utah is Bureau of Land Management and open to anyone.  So I took a few dirt roads and went exploring.  There are small campsites down most of these roads, probably from hunters.  Cindy wasn't too crazy about spending the night so we kept going.  One road was really fun since we ended up along the Brumley creek.  The farther up we went the deeper and narrower the canyon of the creek became.  I finally stopped when the trail became more shaded and snow was on the road.  Can't see if there is a rut or rock under the snow and the dirt is wet.  So Cindy got out and spotted me as I turned around on a trail only a few feet wider than the jeep, with the deep canyon on one side.
We continued around the loop and ended up back in Moab.  Nice drive.

Think we'll pass up this trail

Where we turned around

Brumley creek, I could hear water running but couldn't see the creek

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another day in Moab

We slept in this morning, then went into town to walk around a bit.
After lunch we drove out to the Potash Road along the Colorado River.  I showed Cindy some Indian art I had seen yesterday.  Also a dinosaur track, you can see it on a slab from a distance.  Supposed to be an Allosaurus, but who knows?
Then we watched some rock climbers for a while.  The 2nd picture is the lead guy who free climbs carrying the rope up.  He uses temporary clips that he places every 10 feet or so until he gets to the top and hooks the rope to a permanent ring about 100 feet up.  If he falls he will drop twice the distance to the highest temporary clip.  After he rappels down then next climbers have a safety guy holding the rope so if they fall it's only a few feet.  Amazing to watch them climb, they have to have strong fingers to grab onto and wedge their fingers into the cracks.
After that we drove north along the Colorado River and then drove up the Onion Creek 4x4 road.  It was a pretty mild road but interesting because we drove through the creek 23 times!  Coming back I even got Cindy to drive through 1 creek!!
After that we stopped at Fisher Towers and did a short hike to a closer viewpoint.  These towers were featured in quite a few movies, Rio Grande with John Wayne, also John Carter of Mars.  The towers were in the background in the scene with the Indian chase scene.
We then drove to a spot on the river so I could get the last shot of the Fisher Towers with the La Sal mountains in the background and the reflection in the river.  I had to wade out into the river to get the shot.  Man that water was COLD!
The 2 light spots are Allosaurus tracks

Lead guy free climbing to hook up the rope

One of the creek crossings

Beautiful scenery along the 4x4 road

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More photos!

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I love photography.  That is one of the purposes of this extended trip.
Early this morning I met with Jon Fuller of MoabPhotoTours to do a sunrise and sunset guided tour.
We went first down a 4x4 trail to Marlboro Point.  This is where Marlboro cigarettes first filmed the Marlboro man.  In fact they do this each year for their overseas markets.  Then after lunch we went out to some remote areas to see some ancient Indian art painted onto the sandstone formations.  Then to another location for some sunset shots.  Had a fun day and learned a few things.  The air is so clear and the colors are amazing, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Monday, March 19, 2012


We woke up to no wind (finally) and snow on the ground.  Wasn't a lot but it was snow.  We drove over to Arches NP and hiked early to Landscape Arch.  I was kinda disappointed because the pictures you see everywhere are taken from the back side which has been closed to access for 11 years!  Oh well, it was nice anyway.
We then drove into Dead Horse Point State Park.  According to legend cowboys rounded up a number of wild horses onto the mesa overlooking the Green River and left them there to die. 
It was a nice overlook over the river and mesa.  Then we drove up to Upheaval Dome which is where geologists think a meteor struck and left a crater.  It started snowing hard on the hike up to the overlook so we could barely see the dome.  We had a picnic lunch then drove back to town.  On the way back I was able to get some nice photos with all of the storm clouds around.

Landscape Arch

Dead Horse Point

We plan to eat out tonight at the Blu Pig.  Tomorrow morning I will spend the day with a photo guide to take some sunrise and sunset photos.  Really looking forward to that.  It should snow more tonight so hopefully it will add to my photos.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ridin' the trails

After a spectacular sunrise, we drove over to Island in the Sky National Park and drove on the White Rim Trail.  This was fun.  To get to the White Rim we (meaning me driving and Cindy holding on) had to go down a really steep series of switchbacks, then the 4x4 trail followed the Green River.  At one point the road was only about 2 feet wider on each side than the jeep.  On one side I had rock walls the other side was about 100' dropoff to the river.  I decided to turn around after about 10 miles since there is a front coming through and it was very windy and dark clouds.  We didn't want to chance getting stuck for a couple days if it started raining!  So we had a quick picnic lunch and headed out.

In about a million years this will be another arch
Once we reached the road we took the Gemini Bridges trail.  This trail had a few tougher spots but there weren't the dropoffs.  We stopped at the Bridges and took a few pictures.  Then headed home, cleaned up and went to mass.  Another nice day.  May see rain and snow tomorrow so we'll just spend time in town.