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Monday, December 31, 2012

For The Love Of Dogs

"Such a simple concept, yet so true: That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves." Garth Stein, "The Art Of Racing In The Rain."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roads Not Taken... Leading An Intrepid, Four Seasoned RV Life

Another six inches of snow thursday night; it's really beginning to pile up now. This is the Lovely Ouray of old... foot upon foot of wondrous snow. Just when I was beginning to think Old Man Winter was growing old and tired of it all, he comes out of his coma with a vengeance in time for Christmas. Better late than never.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Man In The Window

In the face of bitter cold and deep snow, a rare "civilized" potty stop was made at Mc Donalds. While waiting on my tiny bladdered soulmate, I succumbed to the lure of an ad for oatmeal with real fruit, which, in reality, tasted like a nutritionally vapid and revolting concoction of wallpaper paste and sawdust... topped with raisins. Those food photos are misleading. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Minus Ten Zen and the Art of Snow Angels

A Double Dawg Dare has been known to get people to do some mighty... ah... crazy things. Got this one on video... Marathon Man Leonard practicing the fine spiritual art of Zen and Snow Angels at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Visions Of Scrap Cookies Dance In My Head

Lovely Ouray, Colorado, 6 AM: Near zero out on our Christmas lighted deck. Dawn struggles against the cold grip of darkness. Snowplows rumble below, blue lights flashing, steel scraping ice... a familiar sight and sound this week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"A Confederacy of Dunces"

Alrighty then, time to move along... right after this final footnote to the passionate discussion that followed personal observations in the previous post, "An Inconvenient Monkey Wrench."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

An Inconvenient Monkey Wrench

At a time when the bulk of his "work" laid behind him, Albert Einstein, perhaps the most scientific, studied, and brilliant of all scientists, was asked about Intelligent Design. "I see a pattern but my imagination cannot picture the maker of the pattern... we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper." 

Friday, December 14, 2012


I'm watching the leading edge of this storm drift into The Crevice as I type. It looks as innocuous as a lamb from my Lazy Boy swivel-rocker-recliner, which seems to have grown roots between our gas fireplace and Imax size sliding glass door to the deck. Tiny flakes are swirling more than landing. I'm hoping for some "silver dollar" flakes, as they are my favorite.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Subway, Part II... The Last Hurrah In Zion

After three hours of "bouldering," we reach the final approach to Subway. North Fork canyon steadily morphs into the shape of a "keyhole." The oval bottom resembles a tube with graceful crescent walls... a sensual Rubenesque waistline, if you will, that steadily wraps around us like a corset.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chronology Interrupted...

Whew! It's been a busy time. I will get to part two of the Subway hike next post. I just wanted to let you know that we are back home in Lovely Ouray. We arrived to snow-less and mild tee shirt weather... but that has since changed (of course). Several days of snow and still snowing now. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, just in the "Saint Nick" of time. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saving The Best For The Last Hurrah In Zion

After a balmy November that zipped by like a chetah in hot pursuit of gazelles, The Subway was to be our final hike in Zion. Co-Campers Maikel and Susan were "all in," even after our disclaimer that this hike can test ones mettle, and it's not as easy as the length in miles might suggest. If you are looking for an all day adventure into Zion's backcountry, the rewards along the way and at the end of the Subway hike are well worth the effort.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thoughts Big and Small At The Alter Of East Temple

You don't have to be religious in order to believe that Zion is a spiritual place. In fact, Zion is one of the few places that believers, agnostics and atheists alike (unalike) can find common ground... join hands, so to speak, and "worship" without compromising their convictions. It would take a real curmudgeon to mis-understand the glory to be found in Zion, and other "freaks of nature."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Edgy Petroglyphs and Rattlesnakes, On The Rocks At Santa Clara Canyon...

Santa Clara Canyon: Nothing shatters this desert rat's Peace In The Valley like the distinct and familiar sound of a rattlesnake... followed by the sight of a rattlesnake a few feet away. There he was, a fat, muscular spring loaded coil... cocked like a gun... daring us to come one step closer. A Mojave Rattler, looking me square in the eye, buzzing like a high voltage power line, and sizing up my intentions and distance with his wicked black forked tongue... daring me to come one step further into his strike zone. Yeah, the rattler was frightening, but he was also intriguing; an unsettling combination, fear and curiosity.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fatboy Slim... A Snaky Hike In Zion

Had I seen that trailside rattlesnake in Santa Clara Canyon before hiking the Right Fork Trail, I wouldn't have gambled hands and lower legs to venomous serpents for all the gold in heaven, money in Vegas, nor postcards in Zion. That Fatboy Slim was coiled and ready to strike.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On Flat Tires With A View

It was an ordinary November day in Virgin-town, the kind we've grown to expect. Sixty-something highs under SPF 50 skies. The vertiginous back road snaking up Flying Monkey Mesa nibbled at the Outback of my mind, beckoning, "Come on! Let's go break a sweat... shed some testosterone."  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Here Today, Hell Tomorrow

On a dreary day of drizzle, Team Zion chose not to be miserable under the weather. Off to Kayenta and Hellhole Canyon, a narrow slot hike over, around and under boulders bigger than your gosh-darned house.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sherlock Johnson Solves The Mystery Of Flying Monkey Mesa

Flying Monkey Mesa,Virgin, Utah:"The neat aspect of takeoff, was as soon as you left the ground you passed over the edge of the mesa and were immediately 1,500 feet in the air.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reasonable Doubt

On the often tedious and difficult task of writing, Oscar Wilde once quipped, "I was working on the proof...all morning and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Geology of Sociology (revised)

Geology is not all that different than Psychology, really. Admittedly, Geologists have a little more "science" on their side because experiments with the earth's properties tend to behave in more repeatable, thus, predicable, patterns than the psychological constructs of human personality. One thing common to both Geo and Social Studiers is that they examine subjects in "layers," one, with picks and shovels (if a river canyon isn't handy), and the other, with probing questions. So, in a sense, both dig for evidence... pealing back layers of time one by one... delving deeper into their subjects "history" for answers to today's questions. Perhaps Pearl Buck said it best, "If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday." So let's do that, let's examine yesterday, shall we, how my little tantrum ended up getting pal Boonie "burned at the stake."

Friday, November 16, 2012


"Why Can't We All Just Get Along?" Sheesh, there I go quoting Rodney King when I should be quoting Rodney Dangerfield, or, maybe Aretha Franklin... take your pick. You see, I get no "respect" from pal Boonie when it comes to "Postcards." He just can't help himself... can't keep his big mouth shut. I shouldn't even waste a blog post on this... again... but Boonie's "gauntlet" stings. It left a big red welt on my poor defenseless cheek. On guard, my friend! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tripod Rocks... Off The Beaten Path

The longer I live the more I know, and this I have come to know as truth for me. Life's meaningful pleasures and treasures are not sprinkled along routine Interstates near home. They are found off the beaten path, in deserts rich with emptiness, mountains blessed with solitude, and along Blue Highways less traveled. "Chuck routine. Live the real jeopardy of circumstance... go!" Blue Highways, William Least Heat-Moon. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Geocache 101

Susan and Maikel are geocachers. I assume most of you know what that is... apparently it's really popular amongst some in the RV crowd. There are geocaches everywhere, including around here, so we hopped on our mountain bikes and went geocache hunting.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Finding Alfonso

A few days ago the Wise-Ones and John-Sons hatched a spontaneous plan to hike Hidden Canyon. I won't say who, but Susan (oops) sometimes gets a little nervous in precipitous places. Like Angel's Landing, Hidden Canyon Trail is not for the faint of heart.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Observation Point Hike, and Being "Mindful" In Zion

I'm seated at Goldie's dated dinette, listening to a soft rain pitter pat her roof. The volume and intensity rises and falls like movements in a symphony. What music to sun scorched ears,  salve to dry skin. Indigenous red dirt and rocks of Zion reflects rosy purple hues on dark bottomed clouds as they stream south to north, accounting for an unseasonably mild 63 degrees at seven AM. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

For Every Drop Of Rain A Canyon Grows

Walking Zion's hallowed canyons has a way of reordering one's priorities and ego. If you don't believe it, it's because you haven't been here. From Kings to Kingdomites, Presidents to Citizens, CEOs to Worker Bees, it's as if a "Reset" button is pushed; "Wow, maybe I'm not so big and important after all."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Keeping The Sabbath Holy In Zion

And on the seventh day God rested, and called his work "good enough." Amen (hic)... Go Broncos!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Secondhand Sun... Hiking In The Pink Glow, Deep In Taylor Canyon

On our last day camped in Red Cliffs Recreation Area, we made a short drive to the Kolob section of Zion National Park... looking to add another notch in our hiking belts and bask in the glory of a beautiful sunny day in a beautiful sunny place. Taylor Creek captured our interest. It looked to meander up a murky bottomed canyon. High-rising walls of sunlit sandstone bolted upright, reflecting an eerie nuclear pink glow upon the shadows. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

From Here To There, and Added More Links To Commenters

A big thanks to Jim and Gayle of Life's Little Adventures... and Debbie, a fellow solo RV'er (and mustn't leave out Elliot, her cute little dog... the one that leapt into my lap and wet kissed me right on the mouth before we were properly introduced). It was the Life Adventurers that informed us about Red Cliffs Recreational Area, a great place to camp just south of of Leeds, Utah. There's only twelve campsites so it's quiet. A nice creek babbles along under a canopy of Cottonwoods at the mouth of a hike-able red rock canyon. Aptly named "Red Cliffs" is so colorful and purdy it'll make your eyes bleed, and well worth the hour of circling it takes the GPS-less to find in broad daylight. Let's just say, "It's not well signed!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Red Dye Number Two... End Of The Road In The Waterpocket Fold

There is a great canyon wash at the end of the road in Capital Reef National Park. It runs dry as a bone, carved nowadays by intermittent flash floods. It's a great slot canyon to wander, but not so narrow that it produces heebie jeebies in anxiety prone hikers. In fact, Capital Gorge is just wide enough that early pioneers used it as a scenic route into the park before it was a "park," first in wagons, and later on in Model T Fords. One particular wall is called the Pioneer Registry. It's graffitied with names and dates going back to the 1800's. We thought that pretty cool, until we discovered pictograph "graffiti" that predated the "pioneers" by a couple thousand years :)). How easy (and convenient) it is to forget that we are "the immigrants." 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Flashback To Bell and Little Horse... A Slot Canyon Sermon

I am far removed from the narrows of Little Wild Horse Canyon, seated in a tasteful and comfy leather cushioned oak chair in Springdale, Utah's fine new library. Three large panels of floor to ceiling windows cannot contain great vertical walls of Zion, jutting skyward like improbable stone sculptures... seemingly piercing Heaven's lower realm. Oh various and sundry Utah, how thou doth inspire "religion" in the bones of unbelievers. Utah lumps the throat of this sentimental old sap. I grapple for words, but come up dumb. I sort through hundreds of two dimensional photos, and come up blind. So please forgive when I fall short of living up to the reality, diversity and glory of my favorite place to explore... again, and again, and again. Pardon the  photo "crutches" that assist my bleeding heart recollections and lack of vocabulary that does injustice. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Official, I'm A Geezer

We interrupt the BCB Timeline for this special real time report (insert breaking news music here).

While sitting around at our little pie-fest in Goldie's Kitchen/Bar/Grille,  we were invited to join The Reluctant CowBoy and "Just Do It" Ms Heidi to hike up the Narrows in Zion. Nothing like Cherry Pie and beer. I can't believe I'm saying this, but we were... uh... hesitant... to take them up on it and left it at, "if were not there at 11 AM, go without us." Here's why.

Monday, October 29, 2012

CowBoy Brian and Ms Heidi Come Knocking On Goldie's Front Door

CowBoy Brian and Ms Heidi graced Goldie's expandable dinette last night. Only problem was I forgot that it expands, so we had a nice visit squeezed together like sardines. Good thing I took a shower. They brought chips, salsa and cookies, while we provided  fresh baked petite pies from Capital Reef's Gifford House Bakery... peach and cherry. I already consumed the apple while it was still warm out of the oven yesterday. Ms Heidi is on a roll with being an active, outdoor RV'er. You won't believe what she has the old CowBoy doing today. I gotta see this, so we'll be joining them :))

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eerie Feelings In Horse Shoe Canyon

Such are the delays and gaps when blogging in T'mon (The Middle Of Nowhere). Here, finally, is part two of the prior post, and photos of the pictographs we sand-slogged to in Horseshoe Canyon. They date as far back as 700 AD... a pretty durable paint formula I'd say. 

I had an uneasy feeling, hiking past twisted, black-trunked cottonwood trees that line Horse Shoe Canyon. They looked spooky, frozen in contortionist pose. Cadmium yellow leaves glowed and flickered in the breeze like a thousand miniature suns; an uncomplimentary contrast, yellow leaves and pink sandstone. But who am I to judge the outfits Mother Nature throws on. Let's just say, it's not something I would wear... except on Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Eye Of The Beholder

After wandering for four days in Utah's wireless wilderness... a veritable internet vacuum... subjected to buffeting winds of Old Man Winter, as he tarred, feathered and run Ms Autumn clean out of "town," suffering through a 50% off sale on comfortable temps that slashed mercury down to the low 20's and drained my four el-cheapo Walmart Marine-turned-Security Guard batteries to 11.89 volts... we are now safe and warm in Hanksville, Utah, a graveyard of automobile and mobile home wreckage, and Hick-town poster child straight out of the 1950's. That Verizon saw fit to cover this salvage yard is a mystery. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A "Homesick" Travel Virgin Finds His RV Mantra, and It Might Not Include The Whole Damn World

Sand and Clouds converge on Henry Mountains

Regarding Gumo's comment a few days ago, that he's "homesick for places he's never been," it's been expressed before in many ways. But that one... that one... I own. It's my nutshell mantra, and like any worthy adage, It's soul and wit lies in it's brevity. I want it tattooed on my chest, recited at my eulogy, engraved on my tombstone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Living In The Wild, Wild West... A Canyon Rim Dream Hike

Grab your jacket and come join Bobbie on an amazing canyon rim hike! If you are acrophobic, take a Valium now...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Goldie Falls In Love With T Rex, and Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice

And who could blame her, just look at the body on that masculine hunk... and the size of his, uh, gas tank. Got to be on steroids.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

25 Or 6 To 4... Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

I glanced down at my cheap Casio watch as Bobbie and I approached the Green River Overlook. It read 3:18. Under an over-zealous sun, we had pedaled away from camp for over three hours; this might be a good place to think about turning around.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I was nervous, itching to hit a winding two lane backroad that would land us somewhere in the silence of a red rocked desert near Moab, Utah. But Bobbie had a Ouray County Art's Association meeting she wanted to squeeze in before leaving. So we didn't point Goldie's Bar and Grill westward till high noon. My Corral was not "Ok" (insert disgruntled face here). It's probably just as well, though, because when loading up a brand new (used) RV, there always seems to be enough minuscule odds and ends to keep one grounded. I was antsy in my pants, edgy in my hedge, and nervous in my tummy. But why?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blending Home and Road: Metaphors Wanderlusted Men Can Understand

Photos like the one above drew (drove) me west. That such places actually existed and awaited the un-timid heart had me cutting a hole in my Springfield, Missouri "fence." I barely escaped with my life and dreams intact... before the rut got too deep, paycheck too big, paycheck too small, friends too dear, family too big, courage to small.  So I loaded up a '66 GMC pickup truck, hitched a 24 foot house on wheels to it and put Springfield in my rearview mirror like it was Sodom and Gomorrah... never looking back lest I turn to a "pillar of road-salt."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Not The Cold and Snow... It's The Lack Of Freaking Daylight!!!

Tis the eve of the eve of Departure Day, and I feel like I'm in a Fifth Dimension. If "the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars," and we can find a few more ratholes in which to put "stuff," then Goldilocks, Mama Bear and Papa Bear will leave on time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

City Slicker Turned Cow-Child... Innocence Lost

Once upon a time around 1958, in the high desert grasslands between Bisbee and Sierra Vista, I was a budding cowboy on a sprawling ranch.  It was the definition of "the middle of nowhere." It seems God told my vagabond Dad and Mom to move to "the middle of nowhere" without first consulting me. But you know, kids are like Honda's... resilient. You just drag them along behind like an RV Toad and hope they'll still be there when you stop and look around. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Dry As Toast Posty

As I write this, Lovely Ouray sleeps, a cover of darkness pulled over her head... wild and crazy REM dreams bouncing off Box Canyon walls. What in the hell am I doing... up with the bread bakers? I should be REMing out with Marylyn, or Cher, or, God forbid a nightmare on Oak street, Madeleine Albright. Maybe I'm sleepless in Ouray because of a Lazy Daze list that seems to grow by two items for every one I cross off. The countdown is on and we are down to days, hours and minutes. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Going, Going... Gone

Tho Ms Autumn is not fully gone, she's certainly packing her bag today. A storm blew into The Crevice overnight... bringing industrial grey clouds, leaf stripping winds, and now, rain. Looking out the Imax, you'd think we lived in the molehill Ozarks... most of our gorgeous mountains are obliterated by a pallid funeral cloth of dismal clouds.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We'll Take You There

I feel like a little kid on a new tricycle... coasting down the driveway, feet off a blur of pedals, eyes big as silver dollars.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Lazy Daze RV Remodel Update... Goldie's Done, For Now, Anyway

That's my new leather chair sitting in the 99 percent completed remodel of our new used Lazy Daze Motorhome. Let's play a little game of "The Price Is Right." How much would you bid on that leather chair that swivels and reclines and comes with a matching footstool? Don't go over, now, or you lose! Would you bid $2000? $1000? $500?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

On The Horns Of A Dilemma

"Do not be too timid and squeamish. ... All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." Emerson.

About this time last year we took a chance on "romance" and embarked on a new downsized RV lifestyle. The question going in flashed like Las Vegas marquees, "Is it sustainable?" Well, what is a life lived without risk, anyway? There is no romance worth a pittance without adventure and risk.