Saturday, April 25, 2015

April Showers Bring ... Wait a Minute...That's Not Rain....It's Mudding!

Tooele, Utah
I-70 Along the route to Tooele

Joan and I have arrived at the starting location for our summer job. We expect to be here for about 3-4 weeks before we finish up this area and head out to our next location. But more on that later. Let me tell you about our time in Moab first.
Perfect for Moab!

We had a 5 hour drive from Torrey to Moab and checked into OK RV Park. Our friends Jim & Barb JimandBarbsRVAdventure stayed here a few weeks ago so we thought we would give it a try. While we're there, they suggested we try to meet Lisa & Dino MNDrifters who are workamping at OK. Our first afternoon there we decided to walk down and knock on their door to introduce ourselves. We left our site and started walking down the entrance drive towards their RV. We noticed a couple walking towards us and as we got closer Joan said "I think that's Lisa and Dino"...and it was. They had the same idea to walk down and meet us. Great minds think alike, huh! Over the next few days we went out to eat and they joined us for game night.

We also took a little off-road drive to Chicken Corner on the south side of the Colorado River from Dead Horse SP & east side of the Colorado from Canyonlands NP. The drive was a lot of fun. We have driven the north side of the Colorado through Shafer Basin below Dead Horse and up into Canyonlands before and it was fun seeing a different view from the other side of the river. We had several overlooks and cliff edges that were extremely scenic.

The name Chicken Corner came from a certain location near the end of the drive where your vehicle passes through a small, 10' wide extremely sloped pass alongside a cliff edge sitting about a thousand feet above the river. The story has it that many tourists taking a guide-driven tour refused to ride inside the vehcle through this small gap, instead choosing to walk through.....hence "Chicken Corner". Joan and I did drive through the corner, but I was unable to step out to take a pic. This pic is just past the corner and gives you an idea of the 'scary' factor! I do have a video of the drive through, but am still working on my video edits. When I figure it all out, I will try to post a link to the video.

The next day we decided to check out the Needles section of Canyonlands which is about 60 miles south of Moab. Needles is 1 of 3 sections of the park. Imagine the Green River coming in from the Norhwest and the Colorado coming in from the Northeast. They join together and head south from the junction forming a sort of 'Y' shape. Islands in the sky is the portion between the 2 rivers which the majority of visitors frequent. The Maze is the section of the park west of the Green and Needles is the section southeast of the junction. Here are a few pics.
Petroglyph panel "Newspaper Rock"
Wooden Shoe Arch

Off-road Drive through one of the canyons

Long Canyon looking east towards Moab & Arches NP
When we returned home we discovered our friends Herb & Christine had checked into OK RV and were parked next to us. Yahoo! We invited them to take a 4-wheel drive with us the next day through Long Canyon. Even though Herb is not real comfortable with heights, he still enjoyed the drive and the scenic overlooks we visited.

This is one of the attractions of Long Canyon...

Just after driving under the rock you drive up a steep, narrow gap to reach the top of the canyon. Someone glanced at the GPS and saw this......a very appropriate title.....

Above the switchbacks overlooking Shafer Basin

We drove into Dead Horse & Canyonlands, including a drive up and down the switchbacks from Shafer Basin to Canyonlands.

Herb, Christine & I...Dead Horse SP

One of the views from Canyonlands

We did notice something unusual on a parked RV as we drove through an overlook parking area. I'm sure most of you have seen the shiny silhouette of a buxom young lady on trucker mudflaps.....well how about this one......

Maybe that would be more appropriate on this rig????

After a couple of days, we left Moab and headed toward Utah. Along the way Joan just had to stop and take pics. The scenery along I-70 between Moab and I-15 is quite spectacular

Once we arrived in Tooele, we set up in a small RV park along with our friends Dave & Maxine and Jim & Barb. We started training for our summer gig on Monday. We were finishing the indoor training Tuesday afternoon when we heard what we thought were raindrops hitting the roof of the RV. When we looked outside, it wasn't really rain......During our lunch hour we had noticed that the wind had picked up and there was so much dust, sand, etc in the air that we couldn't see the mountain ranges around us..not even the mountains just a mile away. The 'raindrops' picked up the dirt from the atmosphere and when we looked out at the cars in the RV park it looked as though someone had been slinging mud everywhere.

Brown, sticky mud.

Now imagine this on everything...your car, RV, sidewalks, signs, building windows, etc. And the rain that followed did not wash it off. Rather, it just spread it out on everything.

And Tuesday's mud rain was followed by 3"-5" of snow Wednesday & Thursday. Needless to say I spent Sunday washing everything outside.

Well, that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come

Monday, April 6, 2015

Is It Really a Vacation When You Full Time?


Snow Canyon SP just outside St George, Utah
Joan and I are half way through our 2 week 'vacation' between our winter volunteer job at Lake Mead and our summer job which starts April 13th somewhere southwest of Provo Utah. We have had a great time so far and are excited about this next week. We spent the first weekend in Mesquite, NV where the LVSSA Raiders softball team went 1-2 in our softball tourney. But remember, there's always a silver lining........we were out of the tourney on Saturday leaving Sunday open to spending time showing our friends Dave & Maxine some back roads around Zion.

On Monday we caravan'd with them to Torrey, Utah just outside of Capitol Reef NP where we spent all of last week exploring the area and giving our jeeps a good workout.

Check out some of the pics below.........

We drove up these switchbacks between Burr Trail
and Grand Staircase NP

Bentonite Deposits

Temple Rock in Cathedral Valley

Temple of the Sun & Temple of the Moon

An old drill rig that got stuck, then abandoned many, many years ago

Petroglyphs in Fruita Valley
Is anybody thinking extraterrestrial?  

Capitol Reef is one of 5 National Parks located in southwest Utah and it's well worth the visit. Make sure you check out Cathedral Valley, Burr Trail and Pleasant Creek Trail while you're there.

We took a day trip to Goblin Valley SP and Little Wild Horse Canyon.

Goblins up high....

Goblins down low....

And an entire valley of Goblins!

Little Wild Horse Canyon features a interesting slot canyon which we took the opportunity to hike. The 50 degree temps weren't too bad...but the 20mph winds and blowing clouds of sand detracted from the experience. And being Spring Break for nearby areas and the Thursday before Easter made things a little crowded. In several sections the slot canyon is only 18" wide, impossible for groups to pass each other if hiking in different directions. At one point we ran into a Boy Scout group headed in while we were headed out. The scouts graciously made a bridge and allowed us to pass under.

We spent Saturday avoiding the crowds and working around the RV. We did our spring cleaning, made a few minor repairs. Sunday Dave broke out his smoker and cooked a ham, pork loin and some tri-tips which the 4 of us shared for Easter dinner. Monday we headed to Moab where we'll spend a few days exploring in the jeep.

Well, that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come.