Sunday, November 28, 2010

Slots of Fun

Ever want to keep a secret to yourself? Part of you wants to share this clandestine canyon with friends, giving them the gift of experiencing a pristine, spectacular hike through narrow & slot canyons, with an arch to boot. Another part of me is warning to keep quiet, let this one canyon remain unspoiled by humans & cows.

I'll compromise by giving clues as to the location: We bush-whacked through throngs of Tamarisks. Its off Hole-in-the-Rock road. Red rock is not always lonely.
You may not find what I'm calling "Anvil & Arch" canyon but you may find your own secretive canyon hike. After all, there are millions of acres of wilderness to explore here in Escalante, Utah.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Creamery Cellar Road

Yesterday, we (new girlfriend & I) packed up the dogs & headed NE from Escalante, Utah on Hwy 12 past mile marker 73. According to the GPS we parked the truck at N 37* 46.028' W 111* 25.652'. There was plenty of sunshine and cool breezes, as we hiked across a sage bush field with gobs of eyelash grasses toward Escalante river overlook. We found the tracks of the old Cream Cellar road that once connected Boulder & Escalante, Utah & trekked up toward the Head-of-the-Rocks. The Cream Cellar road has carved in switch-backs & rocks built up along the sides of domed buttes. In yesteryears, vats of milk and cream were taken from Boulder farms via mule & stored under the now dilapidated dugout shed near the Head-of-the-Rocks on Hwy 12, for the Escalante folks to pick-up their diary later.
We discussed how easy this antiquated road was to navigate with only a few cairns to guide you up to the cellar shed. Trail-running & snowshoeing is very doable on this round-trip 5 mile excursion.
The Cream Cellar road is not going anywhere, only us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sounds of Escalante Canyons Art Festival 2010

It was double-duty volunteering and filming the Escalante Canyons Art Festival this year. During the week of the Plein Air Competition, artists were sprinkled through-out Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument with their easels and brushes, capturing their visions onto canvas.
The last two days of the festival, energetic & lively music was heard in town as the tensions mounted for the outdoor paintings being auctioned off. Pertinent speakers gave food-for-thought as they orated historical views or futuristic probabilities regarding the Colorado Plateau.
Hear for yourself the excitement of the varied sounds during Escalante Canyons Art Festival and see the diverse award winners & sold paintings.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

The Monsoons have arrived & I have other newbies asking me (5 year full-time resident), "is this rain normal?" Yes & no. Previously, we bragged about not having to use our swamp-cooler because of summertime thunderstorms. With all the precipitation from cloudbursts this past week-end, we almost used our heater.
I admit I love the drama of thunder, lighting & the clatter of rain pelting down on the roof. Our rain gutters are linked to thick hanging chains directing massive flows of water from our house roofs to our greediest trees. Rain & dirt smells permeate all around us. We wonder which canyons will flash flood. The downpours bend the tall corn stalks in our garden. Lightening shows in the wee hours rival flashy rock concerts of the past.
And then the sun comes out. The corn & trees rise up again. Pools of water sink into the ground. Hummingbirds return to feed from the penstemons. We love the sun rays on our skin, the optimism of another hike & the wishful beauty from the lingering rainbows.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quick Overnighter

2-night minimum used to be our motto, until we packed our raft up to Long Willow Bottom lake, above Barker Lakes near Escalante. We scoped Wide Willow Bottom lake first but dozens of rowdy boy scouts had invaded the area. We found a secluded lakeside camp spot on LWB.
Yep, the mosquitoes were so thick I was inhaling them. The specks in the picture are just some of our encountered swarms. I paddled out in the lake to find relief from the pests.
It was a cold & star-filled night. There was frost on my deflated raft the next morning. We hiked out mid-morning taking only 2 tiger trout, trash, and a few mosquitoes bites.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Escalante River Packraft Trip

I'm not a neophyte to inflatable rafting but definitely a novice to packrafting. I'm also a sucker for new ways to explore Escalante Canyon.
Last week, 3 friends & I packrafted down Escalante river when the river was 8 cfs (cubic feet per second). We all had Alpaca rafts which can glide on 2 cfs water courses and weigh only 7 pounds. We strapped our heavy dry bags and packs to our bows that contained provisions to camp overnight. We were to haul our raft, paddles, camping gear, etc up 5 miles to our shuttle vehicle.
My 1st indication that this was NOT a leisurely float trip when I was ensnared in spiky thorns from Russian Olive branches hanging (thriving) in the river's current. The 2nd clue was when I scrambled for my bilge sponge, bandana, water bottle after my raft flipped over. Omen #3 came as I pulled out my stuff from my "dry bag" that got wet from being submerged. I was never cold or miserable.
It was an adventure cuz I discovered new-to-me petroglphys & pictographs in weird places. Our camping site (Twin Caves) was spacious & not trampled on. The weather was warm and the river inviting. Will I return to finish running the Escalante River? We'll see.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dogs Allowed

I'm not a fan of organized campgrounds, but I had to get out of the house where we work and live. Somewhere close and dog friendly. Kodachrome State Park is only 45 minutes west of us and they allow dogs. Yay! I did feel a bit guilty when my dog made foot-prints on the Zen-like raked dirt that surrounded our campsite. And what a treat it was to take a HOT shower after mountain biking a single track through weird red rock formations on Panoramic trail. When the sun set, the towers and monoliths lit up as if they were on fire. Sometimes civilized camping is pure pleasure.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Joke's on Me

Yesterday my head was in the clouds after YouTube suggested we "revenue share" on my PC912Condo video
Sally Field's "you really like me" speech came to me as I gathered cloud photos for my new video production website:
I couldn't even sleep, thinking what a great filmmaker I was. NOT! This morning YouTube rescinded their offer. Hummph! Its hard to place an ad on ad. So, I'm grounded here in Escalante, Utah wondering how to cook my husband's garden turnips for supper.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Find Bob

I missed my poles while snowshoeing up & down Boulder Mountain Sunday, especially stomping up steep hillsides. I could have used the extra push from my arms during ascends. Ah, but the freedom of using my hands without cumbersome poles was worth the extra grunt uphill. I could grab my hankie from a pocket, blow, don my gloves and keep up with the others on top of several feet of snow. And I was able to be impulsive with camera shots.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

To Ski or Not to Ski?

Since my snowshoes broke, the metal frame sheared apart, I can only ski these wintery days. I've miss the security of knowing I could traverse deep, steep and sweet snow between the trees. Actually, it's easier to break through thick, crusty snow using fat metal-edged skis verses to snowshoe. The speed from kick & gliding in open valleys and downhill slopes is more exhilarating. Yes, I'd rather ski, than not.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why Journal

Why do I journal everyday when I could be blogging or tweeting or doing housework? I don't expect anyone to read these volumes of ramblings. Sometimes I ponder, "what if the universe has a melt down and we could no longer access the web." Then all my journals would be one record of this time and place in history. My journals would reveal my daily trials and tribulations living with my spouse of 26 years, inner revelations, changes in the world, and future creative ventures. I write down 3 wishes (small & personal to mythical large), affirmations to move me through health or mental blocks, and my highlight of the previous day. When I have nothing more to write, I note the present moment: birds flitting around, detectable smells, distant airplanes, current weather, etc. Everything changes but if I can record the moment maybe the memory can last. It's a luxury to journal.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

1st Youtube video

There are millions of possibilities out-there, but I did finish this promotional video for our nightly rental after downloading iLife software for editing movies. Previously, I had tons of footage but not able to string together clips or even find my projects after changes. Having a script helps but knowing the where, the settings, is more important, albeit this video is my first and certainly not my last. I wish my feedback on this 1st project only include what worked. Writing and making videos is like showing yourself with your pants down. Please don't tell me about my blemishes, say something about "nice ass."