beluga

beluga

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday

It rained all night and most of today.   Thunder, lightning, light rain, heavy rain, little clearings that fooled us into thinking it was done.....wet dogs, damp towels, but beautiful and dramatic skies.

dark skies over the dog park


Yesterday was an entirely different story.   Once again, the weather ruled our movements.   We left Beluga before lunch, it was in the mid 60's and sunny.   We packed our lunch and drove into Canyonlands National Park, Islands in the Sky, to see the iconic Mesa arch and whatever else we had time for.    We had a late afternoon date with Lumpia, we couldn't be late.

There were only a few cars at the parking lot for the Arch.   We left the jeep and walked the short loop out to the edge where the arch was waiting.

Mesa Arch waits on the edge of the world

We had the end of the trail to ourselves.   Dave was about to walk under the arch when he discovered that it was directly on the edge of a cliff, and very very down on the other side.

Dave crawls to the edge

On a clear day you can see the snow covered LaSal Mountains framed by the narrow arch.   Heavy snow clouds were hanging low over the distant mountain tops so we didn't get that picture, but it was nonetheless a breathtaking view.



We thought we had all afternoon, so we scrambled around the rocks to the left and enjoyed the vistas from there.


can you see Washerwoman arch?
can you envision her in her long skirts?


When we turned to go back to the arch for a another look, we found we were no longer alone.....


Ah well, at least we had her to ourselves for a little while.

On the way back to the jeep we enjoyed the quiet, the birdsong and the little things at our feet.










We stopped at a few overlooks to marvel at the vastness of the canyon lands and then headed back to Beluga.





Around 3 o'clock we walked across the driveway to Steve and MonaLiza's with our chairs, drinks and a small snack offering,   The main attraction was her famous lumpia and pancet!    We had another very nice get together and left with our tummy's full of delicious food.    Thanks again MonaLiza.




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday

The weather has been changeable here in Moab.   We have been touring and running errands and doing chores according to what we find outside our door in the morning.    The weather guessers have been doing just that, guessing.   Sometimes right, sometimes wrong.  

Saturday afternoon it was warm and sunny with a gusty wind blowing.   Perfect to wash and dry Lewis outside, not so good to clip him there.  

Sunday morning Mr. David's A-1 Mobile Poodle Grooming Van arrived to take care of that job and he quickly set up his table and supplies behind Beluga to help mitigate the wind blown clumps of  curly black hair.    I took no pictures, he's an artist and doesn't like photographs of his work.

Monday it was still windy and a bit cloudy but we had a touch of cabin fever so we headed out for a little autohike into Dead Horse Point State Park.



Before we left Beluga the temps were in the mid 60's but by the time we got up to Dead Horse Point the thermometer had dropped to the low 50's and the wind was howling.


Moments of blue sky and sunshine were interspersed with spitting rain and impressive clouds in the distance.   Needless to say we had a quick "look" over the edge, went into the visitor's center for a couple purchases and walked briskly back to the car to eat lunch.    Lunch with a view to be sure, but it was through  the sheltering windshield this day.

On our way home we took advantage of the sunny bits and turned onto this dirt road and that dirt road just to see what we could see.

beautiful blue/green fingers emerging



study in blue and green

A fourteen person blogger get together was planned for yesterday at 4 p.m. and the hope was that we'd be able to sit outside at one of the rv resorts pavilions to eat, drink and catch up,  but the strong winds and cool temperatures made that impossible.         Instead we all (except 2) met in town at Zax restaurant on Main Street.   Our waitress was a saint....she took care of all our needs, separate checks, table rearranging, seat changing, with great good humor.   She even took our picture....

Dave and I, Steve and MonaLiza, Tim and Amanda, Amanda's parents, Hector and Brenda
and Pam and John

We laughed, shared recent adventures, rv mishap stories, future plans, campground recommendations, hiking directions, food stories, family stories, just a great get together of old and new friends before we all set off in different directions again.  

Dave and the moose



Today it rained, all day long.   In between planning and reading, Lewis entertained us with his house squirrel......


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Windy Saturday

We're entering a period of unsettled weather.   It was lovely this morning for second cup....sunny and warm but becoming increasingly windy.   The plan for today was to relax, read a bit and wash Lewis in preparation for his "mowing" appointment.    Saturday's are days to stay home.

Wind has picked up substantially, temperature is dropping slowly and heavy clouds are moving in so I'm not interested in getting wet - cancel poodle bathing plans.

zzzzz

It will just have to be a nice lazy day.   No complaints about that here!


I forgot to tell you about our pleasant and peaceful Thursday morning with fellow bloggers and full time RV'ers Gay and Joe (good-times-rollin.blogspot.com).   We picked them up and made the short drive to the Matheson Wetlands Preserve.    We were all looking forward to a nice stroll and the Preserve was just the place.


Dave and I had walked the Preserve last week without seeing many birds so we were hopeful, this time, we would have more success.


Dave and Joe followed Gay and I as we stopped and looked and listened along the gravel paths, raised boardwalks, and viewing blinds.  They were deep in conversation.



Gay and I heard considerable rustling in the brush, birdsong and fleeting sightings but not much else.   We did see a Spotted Towhee and a few Cinnamon Teals in the river, but the highlight of our stroll was a large and extremely loud rafter of turkey.


Some had vivid blue faces and some had knobby red ones.   I don't know the difference between them, do you?


Around 12:30 we left the Preserve and went into Moab for a small Polygamy Porter and a delicious lunch at Zax.     A nice, low key day indeed.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Looking Glass Rock

Last week we went shopping in "downtown" Moab.    We were casually looking for the usual touristy things, tee shirts, sweatshirts, etc.   We found a few that we liked and we also bought a book - Charles Wells Guide to Moab, Utah Backroads and 4-Wheel-Drive Trails.

We always like to get out and explore an area on roads less traveled (autohiking) and there are plenty of those here.   Our problem is that so many of the dirt tracks and roads heading off the paved roads lead to some pretty hairy places, places we can't go and places we don't really want to go.    This book has directions and pictures to those places, detailed mile by mile directions but it also has easy dirt and gravel roads that we can do.

Yesterday, book in hand, we headed south on route 191 to Looking Glass Road in search of Looking Glass Rock.  


The road was wide and flat with only a little washboarding and the turn off to Looking Glass Rock just a couple miles down.  

We knew we must have passed this rock on the way into Moab one rt. 191 weeks ago, but we didn't remember seeing it.   Things look very different from one direction to another.

There were only 2 cars in the parking lot, always a good sign.   We could see the arch begin to appear as we climbed the slickrock.    Some people call this Looking Glass Rock and some say Looking Glass Arch.   Is it a huge hole in the rock or an arch?   I don't really know the proper name, so I'll use either term interchangeably, as I seem to when I talk about it.


It was lunch time so Dave found a good sunny spot to sit and enjoy the views and the silence.

Mr. David prepares a gourmet repast

he waits for me to join him for lunch


After a while we heard voices, and we wondered where they were coming from.
We figured they were from the folks in the other cars so we put away our lunch things and continued our hike up to the arch opening.


Ahead of me, Dave scrambled up into the arch to find he was standing on the edge of a high drop off, looking into a enormous amphitheater where a few people were free rappeling down from the top.   A man was photographing them from under the arch.   He and Dave chatted for a moment and he warned us that there was a "nest of rattlesnakes" sunning on the rock on the other side.   Thank you sir!

We needed to get around to the other side to see them (the climbers, NOT the rattlesnakes)  We tried crossing the slickrock incline, watching for snakes, but decided an easier path was through the low sandy ground  and around the end of the rock formation to the back side.


Once we got around I was shocked to see that most of the entire rock was hollow, a giant amphitheater.

can you see people on the ledge?
can you see the man suspended in mid air?

We could see the people standing on a rock ledge inside watching one person dangling down from the very top, through a small crevasse.   They were cheering for him and he appeared to be enjoying every minute of his descent.

Dave stopped dead in his tracks and quietly asked me if I wanted to see a rattlesnake.....at that point you will understand that we both turned - slowly - and retraced our steps away from the snake.    Enough of Looking Glass Rock for me!

We took a slightly different route back to the car and picked up the book's instructions for the rest of our drive.

under the wire fence we went


Looking Glass Road

snowy LaSal peaks behind us

Looking Glass Rock from the road


We passed some interesting looking,  obviously abandoned cave houses that we pulled over and checked out - from outside of course.






We were heading for the Needles Overlook about 15 miles away and on the way


we passed an interesting rock formation that looked like it had a little colorful community snugged up into it.  



With my camera zoomed in I could see that the houses were not only snuggled up to the rock, they were built into the rock....with their antennas and solar panels on top!   Very interesting and colorful!   I did a little research on the Rockland Ranch and discovered that it is a polygamist community founded about 35 years ago.


Continuing along we found our turn for the Overlook.   There were lots of great looking boondocking spots along the cliffs on our left.   Not for me, of course, but for someone with no fear of heights....

Once again, there was only one other car at the spectacular overlook.   I love it!



  There was a fence in one area and it made me slightly brave so I looked through it at the sandstone spires below....they look different from up here!

can you see the truck moving along the road below?

Phew!   I used up all my "brave" so we decided to call it a day and start for home.

Once back on route 191 we were determined to see Looking Glass Rock (Arch) from the highway, the view we'd missed on the way to Moab at the beginning of our stay.    We also were on the lookout for Wilson Arch which evidently is right off the side of the road - we missed that one on the way in also!  Where were we looking, what were we doing?

Looking Glass Rock as seen from rt. 191
Knowing what we were looking for made it much easier to spot the hollow backside of Looking Glass Rock in the distance.

cool clouds

LaSal's snowy peaks in the background,
Wilson Arch in the left foreground

And Wilson Arch showed itself larger than life as we passed it this time!


Yesterday was a fun day.    Just meandering along the back roads seeing what we could see.....


Are you tired of rock pictures yet?