Returning To Moab, Utah (Again and Again) For More Adventures!

I really think that Moab, Utah will be on our travel plan every year.  We just love this place.  It has a vibe that we can relate to.  We spent 3 weeks here this time and tried some new adventures.  I’ll begin our Moab recap with some of our scenic drives and a little hiking.

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky

Taking a Break on Our Hike in The Needles

Taking a Break on Our Hike in The Needles

Canyonlands National Park, The Needles

Canyonlands National Park, The Needles

Hiking to the Corona and Bowtie Arches

Hiking to the Corona and Bowtie Arches

Driving the 70-mile La Sal Mountain Loop

Driving the 70-mile La Sal Mountain Loop

View from La Sal Mountain Loop Road

View from La Sal Mountain Loop Road

Driving the La Sal Mountain Loop

Driving the La Sal Mountain Loop

We couldn’t resist getting out on the Colorado River this year.  There are many options offered (kayaks, rafting, tour boat, jet boat).  We decided to do the sunset 2 hr jetboat ride and had a blast!  Our driver made sure to give us a beautiful, as well as exhilarating ride.  So fun!

Fun, Fun, Fun on the Colorado River

Fun, Fun, Fun on the Colorado River

Breathtaking Beauty

Breathtaking Beauty

I Love The Reflection

I Love The Reflection

So Glad We Had Great Weather That Day!

So Glad We Had Great Weather That Day!

Our next big adventure was renting a Jeep for a day.  This year, in particular, we have been to so many places where having a Jeep would have been so perfect.  Now, after trying it out, we feel pretty sure that we will trade in our Ford Edge for a Jeep.  We’re excited!

We Rented A Jeep For The Day

We Rented A Jeep For The Day

Long Canyon

Long Canyon

Did you see the movie "Thelma and Louise"?   Remember the ending?

Did you see the movie “Thelma and Louise”? Remember the ending?

Shafer Trail into Canyonlands National Park

Shafer Road into Canyonlands National Park

View of Colorado River from Shafer Road

View of Colorado River from Shafer Road

Shafer Road Climbs 1,400 Feet From The Canyon Floor To The Rim

Shafer Road Climbs 1,400 Feet From The Canyon Floor To The Rim

Looking Down At Shafer Road

Looking Down At Shafer Road After Driving The Switchbacks To The Rim

Gemini Bridges Road Out Of Canyonlands

Gemini Bridges Road – It Was A Very Bumpy Road!

Willow Springs Road - The Back Road Into Arches National Park

Willow Springs Road – The Back Road Into Arches National Park

Willow Springs Road

Willow Springs Road

Mike Is Getting Good At Taking Selfies

Mike Is Getting Good At Taking Selfies

While waiting for our favorite boondocking site to become available, we spent a few days at Ken’s Lake Campground.  It’s a BLM operated campground so we get a senior discount of 50%.  We had a great site overlooking the lake.

Ken's Lake Campground

Ken’s Lake Campground

We learned of a nearby waterfall which was within hiking distance from our campsite, so we headed off to see it.  We were wondering if we took a wrong turn because I couldn’t hear any water.  When we reached the location, there was a trickle of water and the rocks looked wet.  But that was it.  This is the waterfall we hiked to see.

Waterfall?  Looks Like Wet Rocks To Me!

Waterfall? Looks Like Wet Rocks To Me!

We started hiking back down to the campground and I heard a roaring sound.  I turned around a saw this!  If I had stayed at the rocks two minutes longer, I would have been soaked (or worse)!

On/Off Switch?

On/Off Switch?

27 Kens Lake, Moab

Our favorite boondocking spot north of Moab was empty, so we headed over as quickly as possible and snagged this premium location minutes after it became available.  The previous occupants left a large pile of firewood behind, so we were all set for our 2+ week stay.  Whoopie!

Yikes!  That's tight.

Yikes! That’s tight.  It’s a skinny, rutted, dirt road getting in to our boondocking site.

Full Moon Over The La Sal Mountains (View from our camp)

Full Moon Over The La Sal Mountains (View from our camp)

The Sun Peeks Through the Clouds to Light Arches National Park (view from our camp)

The Sun Peeks Through the Clouds to Light Arches National Park (view from our camp)

We were joined by Al and Ingrid (Live, Laugh, RV blog) for Mother’s Day weekend.  Much to our delight, Ingrid cooked a bunch of her yummy goodies (healthy, too).  She prepared a skilletini breakfast for all of us on Mother’s Day and then we drank mimosas the rest of the day!  Oh happy day.

photo courtesy of Ingrid

photo courtesy of Ingrid

Ingrid caught this double rainbow early one morning

Ingrid caught this double rainbow early one morning

Mother's Day Mimosas and Much Laughter

Mother’s Day Mimosas and Much Laughter

We’re currently in Grand Junction, Colorado.  I will be leaving Mike and Lucy here and flying to California for a week with my daughter (and to get my regular dermatologist screening).  Can’t wait to see the family!

Cheers!

Arizona – Canyon de Chelly (pronounced D’Shay)

April 22-26, 2015

The cliff walls of Canyon de Chelly (D’Shay) dramatically rise to over 1,000 feet above the streams, cottonwood trees, and small farms of the Navajo people below.  People have lived in these canyons for nearly 5,000 years.  Canyon de Chelly National Monument protects nearly 84,000 acres within the Navajo Reservation, and is administered by the National Park Service.Canyon de Chelly -  01

The national monument preserves the history and the culture of Dine – the Navajo people.  To the outside world it is known as Canyon de Chelly.  To the people who live here it is Tsegi (SAY-ih), a physical and spiritual home.  An Indian guide is required to enter the canyon.  We HAD to go down there!  It was so beautiful and our guide, Terrill, was fun and informative.  But I must admit the jeep ride itself was a blast.  Mike and I have been talking about getting a jeep and this really helped push us toward it even more.

Terrill takes us into the canyon for a 3-hour tour in his jeep.

Terrill takes us into the canyon for a 3-hour tour in his jeep.

Driving in the Chinle Wash was fun!

Driving in the Chinle Wash was fun!

Canyon de Chelly -  04Canyon de Chelly -  06

Hey, I think that guy is trying to pass us!

Hey, I think that guy is trying to pass us!

It was a beautiful day

It was a beautiful day

We drove past little homes, farms, animals grazing and stopped many times to view the ancient ruins and petroglyphs.

Mike is enjoying this a lot!

This is fun!

It was so peaceful down there.  So quiet (when the jeep was stopped).  Only birds and leaves rustling in the breeze.  Really nice.

It was so peaceful down there. So quiet (when the jeep was stopped). Only sounds were birds and leaves rustling in the breeze. Really nice.

Ruins of the Ancient Puebloans

Ruins of the Ancient Puebloans

Compounds were built high on the canyon ledges and alcoves.

Compounds were built high on the canyon ledges and alcoves.

1,000 year old White House Ruin, named for the white plaster wall in the upper dwelling.

1,000 year old White House Ruin, named for the white plaster wall in the upper dwelling.

Canyon de Chelly -  16

Canyon de Chelly -  13Canyon de Chelly -  14

Mike gets a piece of Indian fry bread (with cinnamon) from a local woman in the canyon.

Mike gets a piece of Indian fry bread (with cinnamon) from a local woman in the canyon.

We took our own car on the 34-mile North Rim Drive, and the next day we took the 37-mile South Rim Drive.  We stopped at all of the pull-outs, some of which required a short hike to get to the overlook.  At several of the overlooks you will find local Navajo selling their beautiful artwork (jewelry, painting, sculpting).

It was fun to look down and recognize where we had been in the jeep.

It was fun to look down and recognize where we had been in the jeep.

Canyon de Chelly -  18

You can see the homes and little farms in the canyon.

Hiking to the overlook at the cool day.

Hiking to the overlook on the cool day.

Hiking to the overlook on the warm day.

Hiking to the overlook on the warm day.

Canyon de Chelly -  21Canyon de Chelly -  25

Using the zoom lens.

Using the zoom lens.

Canyon de Chelly -  24Canyon de Chelly -  22

Spider Rock

Spider Rock

Canyon de Chelly -  27

It was rainy the day we departed the campground.

It was rainy the day we departed the campground.

We had ZERO wifi or cellular service for the entire 5 days that we stayed here.  I can NOT believe that we lived without it for 7 years on the sailboat, because 5 days off-line about killed us!  We were having major withdrawal, so we left on a rainy day and headed straight to Moab, Utah.  We will spend 3 weeks in this favorite place of ours.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Arizona – Cottonwood, Prescott, Sedona, Winslow

April 12-21, 2015

Continuing on our trek toward Utah, we stopped in Cottonwood for 9 days.  We enjoy boondocking on the BLM land off of Thousand Trails Road.  Apparently, so do a lot of other campers.  It was quite full when we arrived, but we were able to snag a great spot.

Thousand Trails Road in Cottonwood, AZ

Thousand Trails Road in Cottonwood, AZ

Enjoying the view from our campsite.

Enjoying the view from our campsite.

Historic Old Town Cottonwood

Historic Old Town Cottonwood

Dinner at the Tavern Grill which should have been shared with John and Nancy, but they were vacationing in Mexico.  Oh well, Cheers!

Dinner at the Tavern Grill which should have been shared with John and Nancy, but they were vacationing in Mexico. Oh well, Cheers!

Looking at the picture I just posted (above) reminds me of the story about that shirt.  I went to the Columbia outlet store when we were in Phoenix to pick up a couple of new SPF long sleeve shirts since I have to stay completely covered when outdoors.  I was telling my brother-in-law how cool this shirt is because it has a little velcro tab on the front for my reading glasses.  I was excitedly going on and on about the convenience and demonstrating how it works, when he softly said “That’s for your fishing pole.”  It then occurred to me that this shirt was in the fishing section of the store.  He explained how the whole fishing pole thing worked, but since I don’t fish it sounded crazy. Reading glasses, yes.  Now that makes sense.

Our friends, Debbie and Dan were spending the weekend at their Prescott house, so we went up for the day.  They jogged/hiked with their dog and met us at Goldwater Lake for a picnic, then we went back to their house for chocolate martinis.  Totally kicked my butt.  They tasted so innocent!  (and delicious)  I drank lots and lots of water that night, and fortunately didn’t have a hangover the next day.  We always have a great time with Debbie and Dan and we were so glad we got to spend more time with them.

Picnic with Debbie and Dan at Goldwater Lake in Prescott

Picnic with Debbie and Dan at Goldwater Lake in Prescott

05 Prescott AZ Debbie and Dan

Dan built a nice fire when we got back to their Prescott home.

Dan built a nice fire when we got back to their Prescott home.

The mixologist at work

The mixologist at work

Here, Linda.  Drink this chocolate martini. heh-heh-heh

Here, Linda. Drink this chocolate martini. heh-heh-heh

With Cottonwood as our base camp, we made several day trips to Sedona to do some of those beautiful red rock hikes.

This was a 5-mile hike that included some climbing.

This was a 5-mile hike that included some climbing.

11 Sedona Boynton Trail12 Sedona Boynton Trail13 Sedona Boynton Trail

We did 7 miles on the Girdner Trail

We did 7 miles on the Girdner Trail

All the white flowers were so pretty!

All the white flowers were so pretty!

16 Sedona Girdner Trail17 Sedona Girdner Trail

Lucy was covered in red dirt.  We used an enormous amount of our precious water to bathe her.

Lucy was covered in red dirt. We used an enormous amount of our precious water to bathe her.  She doesn’t appear to appreciate it in this picture.

Next stop, Winslow, Arizona.  We are huge Eagles fans, so of course we had to see the “Standing on the Corner” statue.

Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona, and such a fine sight to see.  It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin' down to take a look at me.

Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona, and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.

We camped at the Homolovi Ruins State Park so we could visit Winslow as well as tour the ruins.

We camped at the Homolovi Ruins State Park so we could visit Winslow as well as tour the ruins.

A section of the Homolovi Ruins

A section of the Homolovi Ruins of the Anasazi Indians from the 14th century

Nasty stickers known as goat heads made boots for Lucy a requirement if she wanted to hike with us.

Nasty stickers known as goat heads made boots for Lucy a requirement if she wanted to hike with us.

She hates them so much.   She kicked one off and begged us to let her hike without them.

She hates them so much. She kicked one off and begged us to let her hike without them.

I can do it.  See?  I don't need boots!

I can do it. See? I don’t need boots!

So why am I carrying her?     That little con artist!

So why am I carrying her? That little con artist!

My next post will be on our visit to the beautiful Canyon de Chelly.

Cheers!