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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stooping below puns on a snowy evening: If you can't beat 'em, alliterate 'em

This RV/Travel/Adventure Geezer type is getting tired of trying to tiptoe around the topic of terrible temps with temper-ate tantrums regarding tumultuous torrents and tempests on his Teapot. Thus, I'm inspired by Frost (Jack, not Robert) to pen you a silly post.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Moody Blues (a wench with a winch)

It's seven AM and still pitch black out Goldie's windows. Her furnace runs continuously, causing panes to sweat like Mike Tyson in the 14th round—39 degrees on one side 80 on the other. It's been raining for a while now, not a deluge, not a pitter patter, just enough to turn your Lazy Daze RV in to a prison cell. You see, dampness lowers chill factors, thus it's been cold enough that any sane person would have traded shorts for long pants days ago. But I resist, persist, and insist, like a child refusing vegetables. We're in the desert for crying out loud, but it's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holy Guacamole: Lessons Learned In The Saddle Out In The Wild Wild West

It was bound to happen, two things, really. One: that our weather would go from perfect, as in mid 60's and sunny, to a fine light drizzle and mid 50's. I can't complain about a little fine drizzle and cooler weather after six weeks of autumnal bliss. Desert Rain soothes my mood like well hopped beer, and quenches my skin like aloe vera lotion. Two: that someone in our group would pull up stakes at first sprinkle and make a run for the border, chasing warmer temps and sun instead of putting on a light jacket. Boohoo. Though we didn't realize it in the moment, Guacamole would be our last ride as a complete group. Bye bye Boonster, see you in March down Ajo way... 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Paradise Found: Another Day in the Outdoor Life of Geezers at Play

Mesa: "An isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides, found in landscapes with horizontal strata." Gazing across southwest Utah's  land formations from high ground—and by "high ground" I mean a hard fought pedal up the Flying Monkey, a battle of a ride just short of war against the evils of age, gravity, and arthritis—I shudder at the view, shivering from the sweat induced chill of accomplishment. Mesas...interspersed with the craggy peaks and smooth domes of Zion...fade into the haze of filth that blows in from a highly misplaced  Las Vegas. So many disconnected plains of mesas, separated by hundreds of millions of years of erosion—cubic miles of soil and rock that fills the basement of the Sea of Cortez, inch by inch. If the southwest doesn't run out of soil, and water to carry the slurry, Baja will one day be a swampy delta that connects to mainland Meh-hee-co. It's our soil; maybe we could claim it as a new state, "Tortilla Flats."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Note Curious Jim  in the above photo...leaning into the abyss to better see the bottom. Sometimes he makes his wife Gayle (and the rest of us) squirm. Jim's me times two, in that he wants, make that needs, to know what's around the next bend in the trail and what's way down at the bottom of a dry waterfall, and if he might be able to ride a series of ledgy, loose drop offs without crashing and burning. And I thought I was the daredevil in the group. Ha!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Alive and Well

Well, you probably thought I fell off a cliff or crashed on my Gary Fisher 29'er, trying to act 40 years younger than my age. Trust me...we're all good, so far, it's just that we've been too busy having fun. I'll try and catch you up on some of our trips so you can put them on your Bucket Lists; just give me some time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To Hellhole In A Handbasket Full Of Outdoor Enthusiasts (further revised)

Sometimes the logistics of group hikes and bike rides can be daunting. But efforts in that regard can often be remunerated with dividends greater than going it alone. Oh sure, there are times and places that call for solo's; we all need a day here and there to collect our thoughts—maybe wander off into wilderness all by ourselves and just listen to our heart beat—expunge the exhaust fumes of cars and yackety-yaks while sauntering along a trail without a dictated pace or destination.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Doubled Up On The JEM Single Track Triples The Fun!

I commented to Bobbie the other day that we've been camped on the outskirts of Zion National Park for over two weeks and have yet to make it through the entrance. My comment speaks volumes about all the "distractions" in outlying Virgin, Utah. There are inexhaustible ways to spend one's days, lost in maze upon maze of canyons...trying to cross off a bucket list of recreational choices. Whether you are a dog walker, hiker, mountain biker, sightseer, or a boondocker looking for fewer people and rules, there is someting here for everyone...a variety pack kind of destination. Our gang this year includes one of the most finicky and discriminating fulltime RVer's ever, and even he likes it. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Fashion Statement on Flying Monkey Mesa; just the most fun bike loop ever if you don't mind a little hill at the beginning :)

Well, there I am, Spandex biking tights, riding jersey, and all—taking in the far views of Zion Country after peddling up "Flying Monkey Mesa." Lordy, I've become one of those guys I used to ridicule—with their fancy sh-mancy bike garb-auge—and this after a lifetime of getting along just fine wearing cutoffs, tee shirts, and a 30 pound backpack. I can hear Maikel snickering now...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The most fun since the backseat of your parents 55 Chevy...

Bobbie cranks up a moderate ascent—only a five minute bike ride or a ten minute walk south of the Zion River RV Resort near Virgin, Utah. There are so many options for lonely BLM backroads and single-tracks here, they loop and sweep every which way. If one comes here, or anywhere in Utah for that matter, without mountain bikes, they are missing out on some of the most fun that can be had since all those backseat hours spent in 55 Chevys "parking." Just like those secret parking spots of old, the roads around here are rarely traveled, views of Zion National Park's monuments and "temples" line the horizon as we peddle red packed soil through scented sage and cedar hills...mile after mile after mile, up and down, up and down. Of course you could walk it, which we often do, but there is nothing like the feeling of swooping back down well earned ascents.

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Ideal Loop Hike...Chinle Trail to Scoggins Wash to Coal Pits Wash, With a Detour Through Disneyland

Ok, so even if it was a little bit further and more difficult than I remembered (sue me!) and outside the norm of one of Life's Little Adventures... I think Jim and Gayle will have to admit (as soon as legs recover) that it was a glorious day of hiking in Zion's Wilderness and worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting Small In Zion's Backcountry...

It should be called "smooth rock;" there is nothing "slick" about it. If one's achilles tendon would stretch enough to allow toes to touch shinbone, I seriously believe they could walk up a near vertical slope. The stuff has the grip of sandpaper, somewhere between 80 and 150 grit. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of riding a mountain bike on Utah's sandstone, well, your missing out on one of life's greatest simple pleasures.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Spoils of Hopes and Dreams: A Lazy Daze Outing to Ghost Towns and Pictographs

I looked it up; population 39 in the 2010 census. I only counted two, though. Most would agree that Thompson Springs, Utah, has seen better days, and a few wouldn't stop no matter how bad they had to pee. A once thriving supply town with stores, cafes, and a railroad depot, now lies in the grip of terminal disease—disintegration, dilapidation, decay, decline—pick your adjective. Maybe it's my "trailer trash" roots, my affinity for rusted and busted over brand new...my respect for hard times pioneers who toiled at the turn of the previous century; we have it easy now, living our Lazy Daze, techno-wizard lifestyles during modern times. Places like Thompson get to me, and likely explains why I entertained unspoken wonderings, "What would it be like to live there today? Who chooses to live there now? and Why in God's Name am I drawn to a place so in opposition to Lovely Ouray and comfort? Am I daft? Do I harbor some subconscious yearning to be single again?" 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Died and Gone To Heaven Country...

On the heels (or should I say "wheels") of the previous day's long ass pedal through beautiful BLM lands surrounding Virgin Town, a knock came on Goldie's door just after sunrise. The Boonster was ready to remount and ride again. Giddyup! You are going to love the Hurricane Rim Singletrack—Almighty Zion's pillars to the east, Pine Mountain's red blaze of canyons to the west, and the Virgin River Gorge off the fringe of our singletrack trail—sometimes a little too close. Have I mentioned lately how good it feels to be alive? To turn back the clock and do things that brought pure and simple joy to my youth? To escape city madness and break a cleansing sweat, and "feel the burn" in lungs, legs, and soul? Well, I'm telling you NOW!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reinventing The Familiar With Unfamiliar Eyes

"The strange is not always to be found in a strange land; one could make vast discoveries at home; one would obtain unusual results if one learned to look on the familiar scene with unfamiliar eyes..."