Little Wildhorse Canyon

The Girl and I hike partway up Little Wildhorse Canyon. it was my first slot canyon and I hope it will not be the last.
The Girl and I hike partway up Little Wildhorse Canyon. it was my first slot canyon and I hope it will not be the last.

A few days ago, the Girl and I hiked up Little Wildhorse Canyon. We didn’t go quite all the way, but far enough to get the geocache up there and to get a taste of hiking slot canyons. Both are addictive, I think.

There were a couple of spots where the Girl needed a hand. Mostly she’s independent, but this was a five foot jump and I don’t think she can do that without hurting herself. So, I lifted her up until she got purchase and she was off and running, literally.

On the way down we had a navigate the spot again, but this time I found a way she could do herself. Just like a two-year old, “she’d rather do it herself.”

By the time we got back to the car, she was done. It’s not often she’s trailing behind me. This time I ran away from her.

Green River, Utah

While geocaching on Tuesday afternoon, the Girl and I hiked up Black Dragon Canyon to the petroglyph site (and geocache). It was a great hike and the views were stupefying.
While geocaching on Tuesday afternoon, the Girl and I hiked up Black Dragon Canyon to the petroglyph site (and geocache). It was a great hike and the views were stupefying.

The Girl and I started early Tuesday morning with a long walk about the circuit I chose that takes us along the railroad tracks, the golf course, and back down Main Street to the hotel. We were up and walking before most folks were out and about. It isn’t that there are that many folks here out and about. Green River is pretty quiet.

We bought a bite of breakfast and then stopped at the park for a few minutes for me to spend some time in my journal and think about the day. Then we drove out to see the new diversion dam that was recently updated to keep the irrigation canals operational. As part of the upgrades, fish and boat passages were added to the structure. However, the river is high enough that there wasn’t very much to see.

We visited the Powell Museum and watched the movie of Powell’s exploration of the Green River and Colorado River. The movie was excellent and worth the price of entry into the museum. The Girl didn’t like the thunderstorm sequences much, but settled back down when the thunder ceased.

After a bite of lunch, we drove over to public library where there I could get a desk and Internet connection. It’s a nice little library and seemed to be busy enough. I chose a few geocaches and loaded my GPSr for an afternoon run.

After waffling a little about the heat, the Girl and I headed west to the San Rafael Uplift area. I’ve driven through it a dozen times or more, but never gotten off the road to explore. The geocaches on my list took us to some fine sights and I’m glad I made that trip.

The afternoon brought some thundershowers and some cooler air. I’m fine at 90F outdoors so long as I have water. The breeze and break in the bright sun made the afternoon excursion much more fun.

I came away with a few captures that I really like. One of them is attached.

Dead, Green River, Utah

On morning Walkies, the Girl and I came across this dilapidated old building along the railroad tracks.
On morning Walkies, the Girl and I came across this dilapidated old building along the railroad tracks.

The Girl and I got out early for morning Walkies. It’s hot — damned hot — here in central Utah right now. On the way here yesterday, I spent a lot of time hunting geocaches in 100F weather. The Girl mostly elected to stay in the rig. She was hot.

So, this morning we got out early before the heat. It was a wonderful, if uneventful walk. I made a few captures around town on the way. This is one of them.

Stepping Stones

After finding our first geocache Sunday morning, we continued hiking up the trail along Rifle Creek. This tributary had to be crossed. Someone conveniently placed stepping stones across the water for those of us who don't like wet feet.
After finding our first geocache Sunday morning, we continued hiking up the trail along Rifle Creek. This tributary had to be crossed. Someone conveniently placed stepping stones across the water for those of us who don’t like wet feet.

Yesterday’s outing to Rifle Creek and the Three Forks trail was very good for me. I decided to go find a geocache located a quarter-mile from the trailhead, loaded that location (and a few others) into my GPSr, and we headed out. The drive out was healing, moving at a modest velocity so the windows could be down and we could take in the glorious morning air.

We drove up to the trailhead, past many rock climbers. There were so many rock climbers out there that there was no parking. I would have stopped to make some images of them working (and find a geocache) had I found a place to park.

We got out of the rig and the Girl started sniffing about, as usual. I met another old guy who was perched on top of his RV. We chatted a few minutes and I gather that he works on telecommunications. My gut feeling is that he’s a network engineer of some kind, but I never got clarity on that.

Saying goodbye, the Girl and I headed upstream. The water in Rifle Creek burbles along its path here. The water sound was musical and refreshing. The sound of the wind in the fir and spruce trees sussurated comfortingly. I listened for critters as walked. The Girl stayed fairly close after so many days on lead.

I found the geocache without too much trouble, pawed through the contents in case there was a travel bug or other trackable (no joy), signed the log, and buttoned up the container. Instead of turning around, we continued our path upstream. It was simply too beautiful to return to the motel room without more time in the field.

So we hiked another half-hour, me mistakenly thinking I needed to be out of the park by noon. (I had a day pass from the State Park that expired at noon. We were on Forest Service land; not State.) On the back, I picked a nice shady spot to rest and did my meditation regimen. The Girl stayed pretty close, there being many things to sniff. Being outdoors for a meditation was very nice and is something I should do more often.

We turned around and headed back downstream toward the rig. The sky had a few puffy clouds and we had intermittent periods of sun and shade. It was warm, but not hot. It was nearly a perfect day.

I paused at the stepping stones on the way back. The life metaphor of the stones in the clear, talkative water struck me as I stood there, listening to the water, listening to the Girl being a dog, and listened to the winds speak in the evergreens.

I appreciate those stones, literally and metaphorically, even if I sometimes slip and get my feet wet anyway. (I did.) Although we humans like to think we know where we are going in this thread of time called life, we don’t really know. Life changes, sometimes drastically over a short period of time. The plans we make often do not work out, sometimes because the plans were faulty (unforeseens) and sometimes because we change and the plans are no longer appropriate. It doesn’t really matter, I think.

Don’t get me wrong; plans are important. It’s good to have goals and measure progress toward those goals. However, life is more than plans and goals. It’s a journey I’m on and a part of that journey is to touch the lives of those people I encounter as well as have my own life touched by others I encounter along the way. There is learning and ministry that is part of this process. That’s important.

So, with that reflection, I’m going to ready myself for some travel today. The Girl and I are going to make an easy day of it, geocaching and playing outdoors along the way to Green River, Utah. We’ll spend a night there, or maybe two if there are interesting things to see there. Then we’ll move on towards western Nevada.

This time I’m going to stop at the Great Basin National Park. I’ve meant to stop there a number of times and never have. This time I’m going to.

Rifle Falls

The Girl and I went out exploring yesterday and really enjoyed the stop at Rifle Falls.
The Girl and I went out exploring yesterday and really enjoyed the stop at Rifle Falls.

The trip yesterday to Rifle Falls was well worth the stay in Rifle, Colorado. The Girl and I had a blast exploring. We even found a few geocaches while we were out and about.

Rifle, Colorado

After several weeks in Denver, I finally finished my report and my visit. I left Friday morning, headed west. My destination is eventually Carson City, Nevada. But when I get there is not yet determined.

I want a few days to spend centering myself and spending outdoors. I thought about stopping in Grand Junction (and might yet), but was tired when I hit Rifle, Colorado. So, I pulled in here, found a place to stay, and unloaded for the evening.

I’ll have an image and maybe a story about Shooters Grill. I might have more stories and certainly have lots and lots of captures (already). But I love this bit of video that I captured up at Rifle Falls this morning.

A lady I met in the liquor store parking lot told me to go visit the falls. The Girl and I got out not too early this morning and headed north. I had a few geocaches on my list to try for as well. I’m out in the country again, happy, loving to hunt for geocaches in the rural environment, and just loving being outdoors.

We found a couple of them on the way north, then pulled into the lot, paid our access fee, and chatted with the ranger manning the station for a few minutes. Then we found a parking spot and started walking.

The air from the falls is quite cool and it was in sharp contrast to the warm summer air nearby. The sound was wonderful and I stood there for a few minutes, making a few captures and simply enjoying the moment. I began collecting the data I needed to log the earthcache at the falls. Then we started the hike up to the top of the falls.

I could not find the standard geocache at the top of the falls. There was too much traffic to really focus and I just didn’t feel like tramping around in the brush. So, we abandoned that one and went back to the falls. On the way down the trail, there were a couple of nice overwatch areas. We paused to look and listen. I grabbed the Girl’s ass now and again, just to keep her engaged.

She jumps when I surprise her and that’s fun. She’ll spin around, grinning at me, laughing “play?” Sometimes we just get after it then, running around like crazy. But we were more sedate at the park, not wanting to scare anyone… because, you know, pit bulls are killers!!!.

I finally decided I needed food. So we started back down the trail to the parking lot. There we came across a couple of Ranger and Sheriff rigs. They had a man in the back seat of one of the rigs. He did not look happy.

My rig was blocked in the lot, so I got a protein bar and some water out. We wandered back to within earshot, but out of the way. I never did figure out what the guy did. He was shouting some at his friend/family nearby. But what a way to ruin a family outing…

I was finally able to get my rig out and head back to town. We picked up a bite, returned to our room, and after I showered had a big nap. I was quite tired. I suppose I’m shedding some of that stuck city energy I picked up over the last few weeks. I know I’m much happier here in Rifle than I was in Denver.

I’m not sure what’s up for tomorrow. I have some chores I need to do. But I think I want to go back up to the state lands again. Maybe we’ll drive up a little farther in the canyon this time. Or maybe we’ll just find a nice park in town and hang out there for some fun. I could take some toys and give the Girl a good run.

Handful of Change

This is what's left of the driver's window of my 4Runner.
This is what’s left of the driver’s window of my 4Runner.

Last Friday I had a service appointment for the 4Runner. When Older Son and I left the apartment together, he to walk me to the rig and head for work and me to head for the appointment, we discovered that someone had knocked out the driver’s side window with a rock. Older Son called the Denver police and I called my insurance company.

As I made arrangements to have the window replaced, I looked through the rig to determine what might be missing. A $600 radar detector was still in its mount. Nothing was taken from the center console. The back seemed to be intact. The best I can tell, the thieves took only a handful of pennies, nickels, and dimes from the bin in the center console. There were no quarters in that bin because I hold them for laundry.

Of course, I could not get the window replaced until this week (tomorrow, precisely). Therefore, I needed a secure place to stow my rig until the glass could be replaced. After clearing the glass from the seats, I headed for the Toyota House to have the service completed.

When I got there, Matt took my key to check my vehicle in. “I’ll tell you about what else I need when you get done.”

“You mean, like this busted window?”

“Yeah…”

So, Matt checked on availability of a glass from Toyota. There was not a replacement in the country. But, when I asked, he agreed to hold my vehicle for me until I can get the window replaced. So, although I do not have a vehicle, at least it’s secure. The window will be replaced tomorrow. Soon I’ll head out. I’m ready to be out of the city for awhile.

South Side Food and Drink, Limon, Colorado

While spending the night in Limon, Colorado, the hotel proprietor recommended South Side Food and Drink. It's a local watering hole.
While spending the night in Limon, Colorado, the hotel proprietor recommended South Side Food and Drink. It’s a local watering hole.

After checking into the Limon Motel, I asked the proprietor about food. He recommended South Side Food and Drink, which was a short walk from the hotel.

The Girl and I settled in, then walked down Main Street a few blocks in the cold wind for a bite. They had no issue with my service dog. A group of locals was playing cards at a table. Another group was seated at the bar, watching TV and chatting. The vibe was good, so we decided to stay.

The server came over and took my drink right away. She knew what they had on tap and the characteristics of those beers I did not know. I selected one and perused the menu while waiting.

The daily special was tacos. I chose the special and asked for chicken. They were decent, if not great, and a little salsa made them tasty enough that I enjoyed my supper. The Girl begged chicken from me, but I refused given she was working.

I love local watering holes, particularly those with a good vibe. This one had it.

Construction Worker

When I took the Girl out this morning, I noticed the construction workers working on the adjacent property. The light was a little interesting, so…
When I took the Girl out this morning, I noticed the construction workers working on the adjacent property. The light was a little interesting, so…

The Girl needed to go out first things this morning. So, I stuck my Panasonic in the pocket of my hoodie and stepped outside. The morning light was just filtering through some thin clouds, but was still interesting. They men working were not paying any attention to me. So, I captured a few nice shots.

Wife’s Memorial

On our way out of town, the Girl and I stopped to visit the place where we dispersed Wife's ashes. Her family keeps a cross and flowers posted here to remember her. It's a beautiful field and I love to stop here and remember her at her best, not at the end.
On our way out of town, the Girl and I stopped to visit the place where we dispersed Wife’s ashes. Her family keeps a cross and flowers posted here to remember her. It’s a beautiful field and I love to stop here and remember her at her best, not at the end.

I love to visit this place, where we dispersed Wife’s ashes. It is across the county road from my old place, where I moved when I was 15-years old, finished high school, helped dad with the farm, and where Wife, I, and our two older children lived while I was working on my master’s degree.

I still believe this is a happy place for Wife’s ashes. It is a place that is meaningful to her, her family, and to me. That makes it right, at least to my mind.