on the road again

Mexican Hat, Utah

The Valley of the Gods

We are happily back on the road again after a much needed break.  Did not exactly escape the heat of Phoenix in Monument Valley where is was over 100 degrees.  Headed to the little monument valley called the Valley of the Gods.  It is a scenic sandstone valley that features stunning geologic formations.  The statuesque formations are sculpted from Cedar Mesa sandstone dating to the Permian period, around 250 million years ago.  Eroded by water, wind and ice over millions of years, the rock was carved into the unique buttes, monoliths (single massive stone or rock), pinnacles and other geological features as seen today.

A view of the Navajo Warriors defending the Valley for eternity.

_DSC6053_4_5_2016-07-24-Valley-of-Gods-ortna jeep view of the winding road through the valley on a hot summer morning.

_DSC6044_5_6_2016-07-24-Valley-of-Gods-jeepOne of the unique monuments in the valley.

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December in the arboretum

December 21, 2015

Superior, Arizona

I had the pleasure of roaming the paths of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum today.  It feels like late fall here in the desert but the calendar says the first day of winter.  There were not many blooms to discover as many plants were covered as protection from our recent cold spell.

As stated, “The Mission of Boyce Thompson Arboretum is to instill in people an appreciation of plants through the fostering of educational, recreational, research, and conservation opportunities associated with arid-land plants.” One cannot help but learn about the many varieties of desert plants on display in natural settings.

This stately cottonwood was still showing a beautiful yellow glow.

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A proud saguaro ribs left after the cactus dies.

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a shot from a cactus garden

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Moab contrasts

Moab, Utah

October 9, 2015

As we prepare to depart from Moab, I wanted to leave you with some of my impressions.

Welcome to Mars.  The red rock is always a thrill to see.

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A lonely cottonwood stands in the desert sands along Potash Rd near Canyonlands National Park.

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Thelma and Louise point along the Potash Rd to the Schafer Trail as the Colorado River winds its way through Canyonlands.  The final scene of the movie was shot at these cliffs.

_DSC1740_1_2_2015-09-23-Potash-to-Schafer-Trl-Thelma-Louise-ortnWe love to head up the LaSal Loop into the Manti-LaSal National Forest to enjoy the aspens in their fall splendor.  This was taken from Geyser Pass Rd with LaSal Mountain peak.

_DSC2448_49_50_2015-10-01-Geyser-Pass-Rd-Manti-LaSal-NF-crp2The aspen groves along Geyser Pass are now my favorite stop.  The eyes are upon you.

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Fall in Moab

Moab, Utah

September 29, 2015

One of the best drive near Moab to view fall aspens and scrub oak colors is the La Sal Loop.  We took a side trip up to Oowah Lake in the  Manti La Sal National Forest.  The drive up was full of fall color.

_DSC2025_6_7_2015-09-29-LaSal-Loop-aspensThe required jeep shot

_DSC2045_2015-09-29-LaSal-Loop-JeepA view of the color around Oowah Lake.  Peace and quiet….priceless.

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Colorado gold

September 19, 2015

Silverton to Ironton Park, Colorado

We enjoyed a beautiful foliage ride starting from Ironton Park up Corkscrew Gulch to the Animas Loop.  The foliage colors are coming out strong.

The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge steam train stopping at the Silverton was like a step back in time.

_DSC1242_2015-09-19-Silverton-train-station-crpThe aspens were gorgeous in the sunlight at Eureka, Colorado.

_DSC1189_90_91_2015-09-19-EurekaFinally, we stopped at my favorite aspen grove in Ironton Park.  I love to hike high up into the aspens and enjoy the many great views.

_DSC1362_3_4_2015-09-19-Ironton-aspensSadly we are bringing our Colorado summer to an end.  It was a great time enjoying the mountains, wildflowers, great jeep trails and good friends.

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The Alpine Loop

Ouray, Lake City and Silverton, CO

September 13, 2016

The National Scenic Backcountry Byway is called the Alpine Loop by jeep travelers.  It encompasses 75 miles of road carved through the breathtaking San Juan Mountains. Along the route we encountered the skeletons of numerous mining operations and ghost towns.

Our ride started with 7 miles along the  Mineral Creek connector.  It is a beautiful bumpy ride but this morning we discovered sections lined with golden aspens.

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Under the category of “You never know what you will see,”  a herd of sheep came pouring over the mountain ridge toward Mineral Creek.  These areas of BLM land are used for grazing.

_DSC0514_2015-09-13-Mineral-Creek-sheep-herd-crpThis is a view from Engineer pass as we look back on the junction with Mineral Creek.

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There is a 360 degree panorama point on a short side trip from Engineer Pass (12,800 ft elevation) and the view of the San Juan mountains is jaw dropping.

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On Engineer Pass road we explored Capit0l City which was established about 10 miles from Lake City after silver discoveries in 1877.

_DSC0633_4_5_2015-09-13-Engineer-Pass-Capital-City2-txtLooking back after the climb to Cinnamon Pass at 12,640 ft elevation.

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Wildlife was plentiful as we spotted a peregrine falcon, many deer, one moose, and a small herd of mountain goats along the route.  This curious young mountain goat was under the watchful eyes of the herd along Cinnamon Pass Rd.

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an unsupervised young moose along Grizzly Gulch.

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Yes, the 100 mile day was glorious with good friends, outstanding jeeping and great fall weather.  Priceless…….

 

 

 

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