Friday, October 24, 2014

Hidden Canyon Trail Hike

Yesterday we really were tired.  We went into Springdale and walked for awhile and then came back and did mass quantities of laundry.  We did see wild life.  These are ostriches in a field next to Hwy 9.  There are also some Texas Longhorns in another field, but I have not gotten a picture of them yet.

Today we hiked the Hidden Canyon trail.  It shares its beginning with the Observation Point trail.  The bees are still there.  What are they doing?  Why are they here?  What will happen when the weather gets cold?  Inquiring minds want to know.  I looked on the web and it says they did not swarm, they absconded.  Apparently things in the hive were so bad the bees just up and left.  They won't survive the winter.  I can't judge the credibility of the site.  Maybe my favorite apiarist will weigh in on this.

The Hidden Canyon trail was fun.  It starts out with switchbacks, and then there are stairs.

After the stairs there is exposed side hill trail.  Fortunately there are chains in some sections.  It was good to have something to hang on to.

I took this at the top, of two ladies who were on their way down.  If you look carefully you can see them holding the chains.

The official trail ends with this pile of boulders closing off the entrance to the canyon.  It was somewhat disappointing.  The boulders are about 6 feet high.  We thought about trying to get over them, but not knowing what was on the other side, we decided not to.  It's that whole thing about making the evening news after needing rescue.

We continued on up to the overlook, and looked over.  I love this view.  On the east coast, everything is fenced, whether it needs it or not.  Out west, we don't need no steenking fences.  Try not to fall to your death - your safety is your responsibility.  That's what they say on the shuttle rides into the park.

This was taken down lower, where you could see the foliage.

It was a good hike, it was not too long but I can tell we got some exercise.  Then we had to come home and defrost the steenking freezer.  Jim had to run out and unplug the ice maker last night because the ice could no longer be ejected because the frost build up was in the way.  We're still thinking about a frost free residential freezer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Biking and Hiking

Greetings!  It's been an active two days in the area.  Yesterday we rode the mountain bikes out Sheepbridge Road.  We climbed up the road for about 4 ish miles to where the JEM trail crosses the road.  At that point we stood and talked to three other riders who recommended we go left on JEM, and take Goosebumps down to Cryptobionic, which would then return to Sheepbridge Road.
It's just lovely out there.

This is Goosebumps.  It trends generally downhill, and is full of  whoop-de-doos (a series of up-and-down bumps, suitable for jumping).  They're fairly abrupt because they go through a lot of water courses.  It was fun for the most part, I walked a couple of off camber side hill trails.

When given the choice, take the green trail.  Cryptobionic was very fun.  It's smooth and swoopy and down hill.

This morning we were tired.  We decided to take the shuttle in to Zion and walk up something. We picked the trail to the Observation Point.  Brilliant!  Eight miles round trip, over 2,000 feet of climbing.  What an excellent recovery tool.  Idiots.

We saw this on the trail.  It's a swarm.  Look in the lower right hand corner of the photo.  That brown blob is composed of bees. Bees!  I hate bees.  We walked away quickly.

This is off the trail. It's really pretty.  This must have been very impressive during the last two tropical storms.

Here we are just over two miles up the trail.  We stopped and ate lunch and calculated what time we would probably get back if we continued on.  Since we'd left late, didn't really have enough food, and didn't have any additional clothing for when it cooled off, we bailed.  We both have a goal to never require a medi-vac or to be on the evening news.

Going down is just stunning.

This is the first section of the trail.  Steep!

In other news, the wood burners from California left this morning.  Happy we are to see them go.  They've forced us to keep the RV closed up since we got here because of their incessant burning of wood.  The kid count is now way down, as is the population in the RV park.  Good!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Kolob Reservoir Drive

We got too late of a start today.  We'd planned to go walk up something in Zion.  However, by the time we got there, it was covered in people.  On a whim, we decided to take the drive up toward the Kolob Reservoir.  We were there in 2010, but we'd forgotten.  If we didn't have the blog, we wouldn't know anything about where we've been. 
This is the road through Hop Valley.  There was a trail head there, so we thought we would see where it went.

We were hoping the Hop Valley trail would take us over towards these rocks, but it didn't.  Instead, it took us to (wait for it) Hop Valley.  It was sort of a boring trail.  Lot's of sand and oak trees, no rocks.  After a little bit we decided to bag it and keep driving.

We continued up to the Lava Point Overlook.  This is on a dirt road that turns off from the paved road.  In 2010 we did not make it this far because the road surface was so bad. The view from up there is just phenomenal.  We're looking into Zion from the overlook.

Scenery on the way back to the road.

Driving up the hill, the scenery is beautiful.  However, when you turn around to go back, it's even better.  We were back to saying "Holy crap, look at that!" because we are so articulate in these areas.

It's about 25 or 26 miles to the reservoir from Virgin.  The road is extremely steep in places.  Keep your eyes peeled for cattle trucks and other big trucks because they straddle the yellow line in places.  We got pretty terrible gas mileage with the grades, but it's worth it.  It's a gorgeous drive.

Mountain Biking and Drinks With Aluminarium

Yesterday we took the MTBs out on a road that Mark had told us about.  It's an interesting road.  Parts of it are bright white.  It's not rock, we think it's clay.  Large sections of the surface are like riding across a golf ball, it's sort of dimpled.  It's also deceptively steep.  When we came back down it, we were pleasantly surprised at how much down there was.  So we're not totally out of shape - there had been climbing.

This is Jim closing the gate.  It's sort of a Rube Goldberg gate, they could stand a less flimsy closure.  I think we'll go back out there, it's a really good work out.

In the late afternoon we drove out to Quail Creek State Park to have drinks with Leigh and Brian.  They have a primo spot (22) in the park.  This is what they see during the golden hour.  Pretty nice, eh?  There is no one between them and the water.  Leigh made mama ghannouj with yellow squash that was really good.  Her post links to the recipe, it's worth checking out.  It was fun talking to fellow full timers, and meeting Curtis the wonder dog.