Monday, April 29, 2019


clouds through The Portal

The weather has been unsettled, especially in the evenings.    Beautifully colored clouds give way to thunderstorms and furious showers, then rainbows.

Lewis has become thunder phobic, a fancy way of saying he panics, blind, shaking panic, when he hears thunder.    Last night, after a particularly loud boom, he jammed himself under Beluga's steering wheel and got stuck.    After some cajoling and yanking,  he "decided" that it would be safe enough under my computer table.

Since today's forecast included the possibility of rain and THUNDER we decided to scrap our original plans to leave Lewis home alone and go off roading with Gay and Joe.   The new plan was to take Lewis along on a nice, tame ride around the LaSal mountains loop.   The entire road is paved and we hoped it would provide some dry opportunities for Lew to get out and blow off a little tension.

We stopped at Sweet Cravings for a couple slices of their addictive orange bread on our needs to be fortified for a long drive.   

The parking lot was full, as it often is.   We pulled in next to the grey haired gentleman above.   His eyes never left the windshield, he was laser focused and we were an annoyance.   Dave spoke to him through the open windows, trying to get a reaction.   He flicked one ear, ever so slightly to indicate that he heard but he had a job and he was doing it......    Don't you just love dogs?

So, the LaSal Mountain Loop.....We started by driving through the beautiful Castle Valley and up into the LaSal Mountains.

Castle Valley

It was wet and grey and windy, with a fair amount of snow, but the views were outstanding.   We pulled off the road and back into a small, empty campground to eat our lunch.    We chose a spot surrounded by silvery Aspens.     They were still in their bare, winter stage but were beautiful in their simplicity and silence.

I didn't take many pictures, just enjoyed the journey.

We saw no flowers at the heights, things were just beginning to awaken.

As we descended, we began to see more flowers and signs of spring.   We stopped along the Pack Creek to enjoy a nice walk together.

Pack Creek

wait for Mom!

nasty looking sky waiting for us at the end of Spanish Valley

We all had a nice day and made it home before the rain set in.    It hasn't started to thunder yet, but Lewis has taken up residence under the table in preparation.   He asked that I don't photograph him there again, it's embarrassing.

We were originally scheduled to leave here in the morning but we've extended our stay by one day to try and avoid driving into the Colorado mountains on a rainy, windy day.    Keep your finger's crossed that Wednesday will be kind to us.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Taps for my camera

These are the last few pictures you'll see from my little point and shoot camera.  Always in my hand or my pocket,  my constant companion is now in a box ready to be sent for repair.    Don't feel bad for me, this one is my 4th.    I'm tough on cameras.   Because it's always with me, it is always in the elements.   Dust and sand and rocks are deadly to camera lenses and mine has been grinding in and out painfully for a while now.   I knew it wouldn't be long before the lens just refused to move.       Yesterday, along Onion Creek, it gave up the ghost.     Perhaps it was the sulfurous odor coming from the creek that made it stay inside.

I'm sorry, I know I've showed this to you before....but it makes me laugh

Onion Creek Road is one of our favorite drives in this area.   It is not technically difficult (although there are a few spots where the road is one lane only and they occur relatively high above the creek of course) but the scenery it passes through is a WOW.   The road crosses the creek about 34 times  (MonaLiza and I counted one time) and there is so much to see.    I won't write more about it, you've heard it all before.     The pictures that follow are taken with my phone :(

We misjudged the weather, or rather we believed the weather "forecasters".   It was supposed to be a sunny day.     We watched black clouds gathering over the beginning of our route, the way we had to get back.   Lightning split the sky ahead.     Luckily, the cell kept moving as we did so only a bit of the edge of the storm turned our dusty car muddy.

On the way back to Beluga we passed the entrance to Arches National Park.   The lines to get in, even in the late afternoon, were very long and two lanes wide.

hundreds of people waiting to get in to Arches National Park

This week is National Park Week, and seems to have drawn quite a crowd!   

This morning we had second cup with Lewis at our shady site and then Dave and I went into Moab to check out the Annual Car Show.

Dave is a good man.   He even held Lew's bone so he could chew it more easily.....
if Dave let go of the bone Lew would drag it to the grass to chew.....
The show was huge and very well done.   Lots of great cars from finely restored classics (and a few not so finely restored), funky rat rods, brand new showroom cars and highly modified Japanese models.     We had a good time but I really missed my camera.   It's no fun trying to capture the essence of these beauties with a telephone......

The "customized" wrecker used to get over ambitious or unlucky Jeepers out of bad situations was there.    Just for show mind you.     This particular guy (Rory) had just helped a man whose Jeep had overturned on one of the difficult trails.   The man lost several fingers in the wreck because he was holding on to the roll bar when the incident occurred.   Lesson learned.

This one's for you FRED!

so beautiful and clean.....

Afterward we had a yummy lunch at Sweet Cravings, did some grocery shopping and went back to Beluga.    Lewis was waiting for us.....he was hot.

can you get any closer to the fan Lew?
(pay no attention to the dust on the fan......)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Two Jeeps, four friends, an alien, and a spire

Pearl and Rocky on the slick rock trail....follow the white dots!

Yesterday Gay and Joe invited us to see some of the back roads sites they love here in Moab.     We followed them over hill and dale, sand and rock, all day and had a ball.

We stopped at a small, but very interesting panel of Barrier Canyon Pictographs painted onto a high alcove at Bartlett Rock Art site.

see tiny Gay?  

I thought we were looking for Petroglyphs (drawings carved, scratched or pecked into rock) and I was having no luck.     I took the above picture of Gay while I was searching the black areas of "varnish" for the drawings.      Dave calmly pointed them out to me when he realized I was struggling.     They are in the picture and I didn't know it.   If you look above Gay's head and to the far right, you may just see their faint shapes.


Someone else was trying to lead me to the Pictographs by chirping and hopping excitedly around.

little Wren tour guide

We continued along to our next stop, Dellenbach Tunnel, an unusual underground arch.

We gathered our lunches, hiked a short way across the slick rock and climbed down to it's entrance.

down we go

coming through

We entered and followed the narrow passage through to the wide open, sunny side to eat our lunches.

lunch - complete with Sweet Craving's Potato Chip Cookies!

After lunch we wandered around a bit enjoying the views on the edge of nearby Spring Canyon.

it's a long way down

Back through the arch and in the Jeeps again we were off to find the Secret Spire.

Joe waits at the top.  (sometimes he would get out and help Dave find the best line)

unnamed arch along the way

Secret Spire sits silently atop its smooth slick rock base

Gay stretches for the perfect shot

Once again we wandered the area a bit after admiring the incredible formation from all angles.

several potholes in a high pourover.   one still holds water from the last rain

Our day ended as it began, following Gay and Joe back home.   Thanks for giving us such a fun day off road.

Pearl leaves us in the dust!