Canyonlands Here We Come – June 2019

Wednesday June 19: Clifford and I enjoy a leisurely morning with our friends, Kaylee and Ren, who are here visiting us on their way to Arizona in preparation for their upcoming wedding. Clifford and Kaylee work on the Carnicom Institute website, while Ren I visit and drink her delicious coffee substitute.

Even though they have to leave this evening, we decide on an outing to Canyonlands National Park, as Ren has never been there. We are taking the road over Abajo Mountain and our first stop is a viewing area on the far side of the mountain. The wildflowers are in bloom and it is really lovely here on the mountain.

View of LaSal Mountain from Abajo Mountain
Wildflowers on Abajo Mountain
Kaylee and Ren on the sagging bench
The viewing spot on Abajo Mountain – bench to the right looks out to Canyonlands

Our next stop is “Newspaper Rock,” a rock panel covered with petroglyphs. There was vandalism at some point, but the panel has been protected and is in very good condition, for the most part. It is fascinating to look at all the etchings, recognizing what some are and trying to guess at the meaning of others.

Newspaper Rock
Newspaper Rock
View from the parking lot at Newspaper Rock

From there we continue west through BLM land until we arrive at Canyonlands National Park. It was quite warm on the mountain, but much more so here in the lower elevation of the canyons. We stop at the Visitors Center to see the displays, then continue on the scenic loop.

Scenic drive through BLM land toward Canyonlands National Park
It is very surprising to see this pond in the otherwise arid region
Scenic drive through BLM land toward Canyonlands National Park
Iconic formation seen from Needles Visitor Center

We stop at Pothole Point to hike the loop. Even though Clifford and I have hiked this loop before, it seems the cairns have been moved and a portion of the loop is missed. However, it is much too hot to go back and redo it. As it is, we appreciate the unique formations and the shade of rock overhangs.

Kaylee, Ren, and Clifford on the Pothole Point Trail
Looking toward the Needles District from the Pothole Point Trail
Formations seen along the Pothole Point Trail
We missed part of the loop, but too hot to go back
Where did it come from?
Enjoying the shade of an overhang

Our last stop is a side road that gives us a closer view of the iconic Wooden Shoe Arch.

Iconic Wooden Shoe Arch in Canyonlands National Park
Good-bye to Canyonlands for this trip

Back at home base, the guys nap (Kaylee has a long drive ahead yet tonight), while Ren and I chat as she writes wedding invitations and I edit photos. For dinner, we all sit outside at one our bistro tables, enjoying the mild evening temperature. Then our friends finish packing their car and are soon on their way. We wish them well and look forward to seeing them on our journey south next winter.

Monticello Springtime – May 2019

The days of Wednesday May 15 to Monday May 20 are spent with the busy work of taking care of emails for CI, paperwork for this and that… things that have been on a back burner while traveling. More interesting for me are blog writing, editing photos, editing for my daughter Ang, sending letters to literary agents, and sending texts with photos to family and friends.

One day Clifford and I make another trip to Abajo Mountain, to Monticello Lake again, so I can gather a few rocks for the landscaping project in the back yard. It is a windy day with a smeary jet-trail sky, so not many photos. However, Clifford takes his dulcimer and I have my journal, and we improvise outdoor seating out of the wind in the lee of the Suburban. We have hot tea and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine out of the wind. Too bad I didn’t bring snacks!

The road to Abajo Mountain
Windy at Monticello Lake
Clifford plays dulcimer in the lee side of the Suburban
La Sal Mountain to the south

Some mornings I can sit outside to write in my journal, but other days, the wind and rain, and even snow, keep me inside.

Snowing

Some days the high is only in the 40’s, which seems quite chilly for this time of the year. However, my morning writing table at the sliding glass doors provides a view of the backyard, the early morning light, and the activity of the birds coming to the feeder.

Sitting inside at the sliding glass door

I am using the food dryer to dry bananas, apples, spinach, and other veggies so as to have a better supply of food when we are traveling. It is time-consuming to prepare the food for drying, but worth it to have the greens and fruit available.

Clifford continues research in the lab, and we both play our instruments – Clifford with his dulcimer, and me with either viola or cello – whenever time allows.

Research in the lab continues

We enjoy outdoors when the weather allows, whether Abajo Mountain or our backyard.

Enjoying the outdoors