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This Land Is Your Land. This Land Is My Land.

April 24, 2011

I am humbled by the beauty of our Country and am so pleased there are still protected areas where wild things can be wild and nature can carry on as intended.

If you wish, you can see and sing along with Woody Guthrie here.

You’ve already heard about my time in Monticello/Canyonlands with Alaskan friends, Devin and Ron, so we’ll move right on to…

Moab, Utah.   Mountain Biking Mecca, USA.

We worked this trip around Elo’s Spring Break dates, which happened to coincide with the 45th Annual Jeep Week in Moab.  Oh my.  Mountain Bikes vs Jeeps.  It’s like sailboats vs motorboats,  skis vs snow machines, and hikers vs ATV’s .  There are those who prefer the power of an engine and there are those who prefer a less mechanized method of motion.  We are the later, and were a bit nervous about all the motorized vehicles and their owners, but our fears were groundless, thank goodness, as we were really never inconvenienced or bothered by their presence or their noise which you may find hard to imagine when viewing the following photo (provided by Jim) of a group of them all lined up for their “safari”.

Can you imagine anything worse?  Think of all the dust everyone but the lead jeep must endure for hours and hours and hours as they proceed bumper to bumper at a crawl up and over the rocky, desert roads. Goodness.  But as they say, they look at the bikers and hikers and think we are the crazy ones.

Moab has long been hailed as THE PLACE to mountain bike in the United States.  Carol has been there numerous times while this would be Elo’s and my first time.  I should mention that both Elo and Carol are avid mountain bikers each owning  big name, fancy schmancy bikes like Carol’s Ibis Mojo or Elo’s Novara Bliss (which I suspect may soon be replaced by the top of the line Ibis Mojo).  Me?  Since I am by no means an avid mountain biker, I have a blue one.

Unfortunately, I was only able to go on one ride before I discovered that my wonky shoulder wouldn’t tolerate mountain biking in its current condition, so I had a great time hiking all around Arches National Park while Elo and Carol enjoyed lots and lots of biking.  The local bike shops very helpfully kept bikers in the loop as to where the jeeps were going to be on any particular day, so the bikers could plan accordingly and go elsewhere.

This is the one picture I took on my one ride.  When I get a few of their shots from their rides, I’ll be sure to post them.  Here they are getting ready to cut left onto some desert single track.

Arches National Park, Utah.

Since I spent most of my time hiking, I’ll move on to the Ab-Fab Arches National Park.  I don’t know how anyone could choose a favorite NP since they are all so wonderful in their own ways and Arches is no different.  Like all the others, I loved it!  Check it out.  There are over 2,000 arches in the Park.

Both Devin and one of the Rangers I spoke to told me that the Devils Garden area is a Must See, so that’s the first place I headed.  My plan was to head out past Landscape Arch to Double O Arch and then take the primitive trail back to the start, so that’s just what I did, but before I could park my car at the trailhead, I ran into (almost literally) a fellow Alaskan.  Jim- from Kodiak.  Jim and I seem to be on similar paths as he recently rented his house and is off exploring the lower 48 for up to 4 years.  We had the pleasure of his company for two evenings before he set off for points North.  Everyone say hello to Jim!

After leaving Jim in the parking lot I hit one of the most amazing trails I’ve ever hiked.  Here are some shots I took along the 7 mile loop.  First there was Landscape Arch.

And after some wonderful fin scrambling there was the Double O.  Look closely and you’ll see the second “O” below the top “O”.

And then came the Primitive Trail  through the Devil’s Garden and all its gorgeousness.

Did I mention that after I got past Landscape Arch, I had the rest of the loop to myself?  Amazing.

And here are a couple of shots Jim took while out and about that day.  Isn’t the Raven amazing against the Red Rock?  I know, it looks fake…but its not.

Dwarf Evening Primrose still blooming in the morning.

And cohabitating lizards.

The next day, I hiked out to Delicate Arch, understandably the most photographed Arch in the Park.  Look!  That’s me underneath.

More shots of the general scenery in Arches.

Since it was Jeep Week in Moab and RV site reservations were limited to just a few days, our plan had us moving on up the road about 120 miles to Fruita, Colorado, which is just outside Grand Junction and has started giving Moab a run for its money as far as being a mountain biking Mecca.   Here Elo had arranged to rent an Ibis Mojo from a local bike shop and she and Carol enjoyed riding their Mojo’s all around over hill and dale while I enjoyed hiking and geocaching in the Colorado National Monument.

I’m at the laundry mat at the mo and I forgot to bring my power cord.  My power is almost gone, so I’ll post this without spell checking or proof reading and will get to the Colorado portion of our trip another day soon, so stay tuned.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Joanne permalink
    April 25, 2011 12:03 pm

    Marge, you are making me so jealous, I hope in the next couple years to follow some of you footsteps.
    Looking forward to seeing you when you come back to Alaska.

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