While F was riding, Sprocket and I headed out hiking. The weather was gorgeous but on the hot side so I took Sprocket to Hunter Canyon. There was still plenty of water in the canyon which made Sprocket really happy.
I love hiking and exploring some of the narrow canyons in the deserts. This was a pretty nice trail that crossed the creek several times. The cliffs above the had arches and other interesting rock formations. It was really nice to be out enjoying myself in the company of my puppy. Sprocket was pretty delighted to have lots of water to play in.
The Hunter Canyon trail is about four miles round trip and is mostly flat. The canyon isn’t that narrow so there’s plenty of sunshine but also lots of places to find some shade for a break. It’s not too far from Moab but also is less popular than trails in Arches or elsewhere. Open to hikers only, it’s a nice quiet place to relax and explore.
Joking aside, some of Forrest’s riding buddies from Phoenix came up to Moab to do some riding and we were able to be there and meet up with them. The guys covered a lot of ground in their two days of riding: Slickrock Trail, Fins N’ Things, Rose Garden Hill, Top of the World, Chicken Corners, Kane Creek, and more.
All photos courtesy of the guys over on ADV Rider.
After driving past it tons of times, we finally stopped at Hole In The Rock just south of Moab on Highway 191. We didn’t tour the house ($6) or check out the zoo ($3.50) but we did have fun poking around the grounds.
Last week, Simply Adventure passed through Moab. Katie mentioned that they were looking for things to do so I suggested that we meet up and take a quick hike into Hidden Valley. We ambled up the trail comparing notes about living on the road and the places we’d visited and were planning on visiting. It was so much fun to talk to people who truly get how we live—van life +adventure=awesomeness.
At the top of the valley, we set out to see the petroglyphs. In all my hikes up the canyon, I had never seen them. It’s one of the coolest petroglyph sites around Moab: they’re on a cliff overlooking Behind The Rocks, the river, and off towards Canyonlands & Deadhorse Point with the La Sals behind you.
After our seven and a half mile “quick hike,” we were all hungry and decided that this occasion called for a trip to the Moab Brewery (good burgers, expensive meh beer). We toasted to new vandwelling friends and had an excellent time.
The next day, we’d hoped to go jeeping but the day started out cold and wet. I joined Katie and Niko on a trip to Arches. I hadn’t been since my first trip to Moab in spring 2009 so I was more than happy to go back. We visited Sand Dune and Broken Arches in the north part of the park before hiking to Delicate Arch.
Simply Adventure is spending 2013 on the road in their yellow Sprinter climbing and emphasizing land stewardship and conservation. Katie blogs about their adventures at The Morning Fresh, tweets from @TheMorningFresh and @SimplyAdventure, and can be found on Facebook.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been getting out and having some fun in the mountains and on the slickrock.
Last Sunday we took the Jeep out on the Strike Ravine trail, watched a buggy do the last obstacle on upper Helldorado. We took the long way home up onto a mesa above Pack Creek and did some successful(!) antler hunting.
For Forrest’s birthday last week we made a valliant attempt to drive to Oowah Lake. We nearly made it but getting out involved winching a couple of times (and me climbing 10′ into a tree to set up a winch anchor). We finished off the birthday with dinner in town and dessert back at our friends’ house.
We also took a trip to the ridge above Carpenter Basin. Forrest spent his time up there looking for antlers while Sprocket and I attempted to reach the high point of the ridge (we were foiled by snow just below the top).
On our way back from hiking, we checked out a couple of abandoned mines. The hillsides in that area are covered in mining remains!
Poor Sprocket didn’t get to do much swimming or snow playing this winter. We did our best but only managed one swim and a couple of sessions in the La Sals this spring so when we went to Ken’s Lake we had one excited puppy on our hands:
About a week and a half ago I had the opportunity to shoulder my pack and head out into the “back of beyond” for a couple of days. For the first time ever I didn’t take Forrest, Sprocket, or anyone else with me. I was on my own for 72 hours (I actually woosed out a bit and came back to the real world at about 68 hours but good enough).
I’m much more of a “goal oriented” hiker and I floundered a bit my first day or so out. Making your way cross-country in the maze of rocks is absolutely amazing but also sort of daunting, especially with a pack on your back. I eventually gave in and picked a destination down a jeep road so I could start putting down some miles. (Perhaps this trip was about breaking through being alone and the next will be about having a more exploratory attitude?)
As a bit of an experiment on traveling alone, I would say it was successful. I was never scared or worried about myself and I got to do lots of thinking, hiking, and sleeping. On the other hand, I did learn that for me “solo” is better served with a side of canine companionship: Sprocket isn’t exactly talkative but he is an awesome listener so he facilitates thinking quite nicely. (Besides, he’s an awesome tent cuddler.)
Another awesome thing about my hike was seeing the La Sal Mountains, the Abajo Mountains and the Henry Mountains from amidst the red rock.
Here’s the La Sal Mountains just peaking out from Behind The Rocks (I had a better view of them from the rim but apparently I was too struck by their beauty to take a picture):
The Abajo Mountains, to the south:
The Henry Mountains, to the west:
In the end, I’d say I was pretty lucky to have those three days, wouldn’t you agree?
Last Tuesday, we hauled all our stuff north to Moab (as pictured yesterday). It was really exciting to see some real snow covered mountains as a change from southern Arizona!
Getting a glimpse of the mountains from the road was enough for us to venture up into them for the afternoon so we grabbed a lunch, loaded Sprocket in the jeep, and away we went. We headed up La Sal Pass road which climbed quickly into the mountains.
Sprocket was very, very happy to be out playing in the mountains. He could hardly contain himself in the jeep, sticking his head over my shoulder for optimal sniffing capabilities.
When the snow drifts over the road stopped us, we started hiking. Sprocket immediately ran to the nearest patch of snow and did his usual crazy dog act:
Wednesday morning we were hoping to be able to climb Mt. Peale (the highest peak in the La Sals) but a fresh blanket of snow had fallen on Thursday and the weather wasn’t looking very promising. Instead, Blaze, Ezra, and Jolleen decided to start their trips back home leaving F and I relaxing on the couch with the History Channel’s series on the Presidents.
After a few hours of this though, F got restless and we decided to pack it up and go to Danette and Kirk’s for dinner. We packed up the van, closed up the rental house, and headed for Moab. Although Danette and Robin didn’t get home until late, it was still fun to have one more chance to catch up before we hit the road.
In the morning, F and Sprocket and I decided to head up into the La Sals. There was snow on the peaks and we felt sort of bad that Sprocket had been cooped up so much so we bailed on climbing Mt. Peale and stuck to hiking around with our pup. The colors were absolutely incredible and the crisp mountain air felt great.
Back in town it only took us a few minutes to make final departure preparations. We were a bit concerned about running into traffic in SLC so I browsed Back of Beyond Books while F dropped off our signed marriage license at the courthouse. Soon, it was time to leave for real. We made pretty good time on our way to Salt Lake, stopping in Green River to pick up a melon.
We decided that we deserved a treat so we hit up a little Indian food restaurant in the city. It tasted so delicious (now I want Indian food…). After dinner, we headed to Ogden to spend the night.
Up early in the morning, we headed north. As we drove through Pocatello, we decided we should go home via Highway 93 instead of the interstate. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), we were so busy discussing something that we missed our exit we intended to take and took a “scenic” route through the potato farms. We were pretty sad that EBR-1 was closed for the season but we stopped in Arco to take Sprocket’s picture with the USS-Hawkbill (aka “The Devil Boat,” SSN-666).
The drive up US-93 was really pretty and it looked like there was LOTS of exploring to be done on both sides of the highway. I’m sure we’ll be back here, jeep in tow, to explore some more (still haven’t climbed Borah Peak!). In Challis, we stopped at the Ranger Station to see how the fires in the area were going. While we waited at the drive-in at the bowling alley (yes, the drive in at the bowing alley) for our burgers, we decided we weren’t in that big of a rush to get home and we were taking the Morgan Creek/Panther Creek road to Shoup. I mean, it was only Friday afternoon, right? We had the whole weekend ahead of us.