Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Musical Thoughts

Sometimes people ask me if I ever write music. I guess my response is "no, not really. But sometimes I like to sit down and make up music.". Here's an example of my recent musical thoughts. I'm a bit embarrassed at the delay difference in my video and audio but I was too lazy to fix it. Please forgive.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Change of Plans

Original plan for today was to load the bikes in the truck and head for the east side of the old pioneer trail "Hole In The Rock". From there we would ride the bikes to the Glen Canyon park boundary and come back. I've traveled the west trail many times from Escalante, Utah. For some reason I've had the east side on my list for years. Probably because it's much more remote, less traveled and pretty much requires a Moab style 4x4 or equivalent. The west side out of Escalante is family van friendly but long and full of washboards.

After holding a brief round-table, we decided that the skies looked a bit unsettled and decided to lock the bikes up and go to plan "B". Here's the view of my back patio from base camp. Notice Navajo mountain far in the distance.

We locked the bikes to a tree and climbed in the truck and headed for Butler Wash road which is essentially the east side of Comb Ridge. I've never spent any quality time on this side of Comb so I was feeling good about plan "B". First hike for the day, Fishmouth Cave.

After being eaten alive by the bugs, we arrived at the first of two decent sites. Very large and quite trashed. You really have to let your mind wander and imagine as restored and pristine as Mesa Verde.

What do you think your home will look like in 800 years?

After checking out the ruins, we climbed up to the cave. Any guesses why they might call this "Fishmouth Cave?" I'm still wondering.....

The back wall of the huge cave was covered with faded pictographs overtaken by the graffiti of modern man. It's always fun to find "negative handprint" images. Luckily no one had destroyed these.

Should we PARTY before or after we destroy the ancient history of our beautiful state?

A once beautiful Anasazi clan symbol riddled with bullet holes. Sure makes me proud of our fellow modern day people. Sheesh.

Next stop further down Comb ridge. I've been wanting to see this one for quite sometime. The hike was less than 30 minutes from the car. I'm sure I've stood in line longer for a ride at Disneyland.

It's quite rare to find multi-colored hand prints. Both negative and positive.

The rub marks in the rock are where the ancients ground corn. Because their pots had round bottoms, the would chip concave holes in the rock to hold them steady.

Anyone for a wild guess as to how they started a fire?

On our way back up the comb, we had just a few hours of daylight left. I decided to go back to a little canyon right off the main highway and look for a ruin that skunked me last year with the kids. After searching high and low, I found it and was quite amazed. Many people have come looking for it and never found it. It's really quite easy to miss.

After scouting all aspects of this ruin, it was pretty obvious we wouldn't be climbing inside this one without the canyoneering equipment. Because of the location of the door, it's obvious they had a big tall ladder to climb in and out.

As we drove the highway back to base camp, I spotted a pretty good site i've never seen from the highway. We parked the truck and scurried to the bottom of the wash. The site was pretty badly destroyed. As I was climbing out of the wash, I noticed a nice site panel full of petroglyphs. Definitely a bonus for a stones throw from the highway.

There is really something about this place that captivates me. Must be the magic of the ancient ones.

Friday, May 13, 2011


After the Maze adventure, we cooked some potatoes and ravioli and loaded the bikes. We then headed east on 95 to the Cedar Mesa. We started up the dirt road in the Manti LaSal national forest around 10 and found a nice little base camp.

Next morning we loaded the bikes and made our way to a little ruin i've been trying to find for over a year. There are many photos of this on the web but no one is willing to reveal it's location. Long story short, I found it. After the long and arduous journey, it became clear while it's a rare find. According to the logbook, It hasn't seen visitors since November of 2010.

The roof is fully intact and the place hasn't been trashed like most ruins in the cedar mesa. Yet another testament to the fact that it's rarely visited.

Here's a photo looking back as we climbed out of the canyon. Truly magical. Can't wait to take the kids back. Located literally 5 minutes from the parking.

After the 50 mile ride to the "secret" ruin, we had a quick bagel sandwich and made our way south to the "Citadel" ruin. While obtaining a permit, I just had to show the ranger a photo from my iPhone of our secret ruin. They had never seen or heard of it and offered to reveal some other ruins in exchange for it's location. I politely declined. It sure was fun to taunt the ranger with some "eye candy".

The citadel was truly cool. Located at the end of that rock peninsula, it must have been a lookout or defense location.

I felt like I was stuck inside a rock version of Mario. There were huge rock mushrooms everywhere.

I love to mix cactus and anasazi homes. Even the cactus looked like a mushroom.

Definitely not a place I would have let my little anasazi kids play.

Just a quick photo of the blog station. Talk about a geek fest.

Maze Mesa and Motos

A little summer welcoming activity. The Maze (Maze district Canyonlands) The Mesa (Cedar Mesa) and The Motos (the filthy orange beasts).

Meeting Van after work and performing the gear transfer before heading for destination Hite Marina, Lake Powell. This is where we will launch north on a jeep road into the Maze district of Canyonlands National Park. The Maze is considered the most remote part of the park. I must agree. Price of admission is 50 miles of rocky nasty road.

This is Van waking up in Hotel Hite. I think it dropped to 30 degrees during the night. Seriously.

Cruising the good section of road out of Hite. It teases you a bit.

Our first real glance of the Maze and we climbed a big mesa north. This would be the souther end of the Maze. Our destination was Maze overlook.

From the overlook, we parked the bikes, changed into hike gear and made our way down into the canyon bottom 600 feet below. I was fascinated by these formations which later served as the ultimate landmark to find our way back out.

Once in the bottom, we hiked the "Harvest Scene" pictograph panel. The lighting was terrible, but sometimes you don't have much control when you have a schedule to keep. I think Van counted 16 of these "people" painted on the wall by the ancient ones.

This was my favorite. Notice the cool googles and claws.

To give you an idea of size, here's Van posing by the "morphs".

7 miles of hiking later, we arrived at the top of the overlook. Notice the famous "chocolate drops" in the distance. The Harvest scene is located on the other side of these.

On our way out of the Maze, we snapped a photo by the fee station, minus the ranger and the fee. If you want a National Park to yourself, this is a good choice for a destination. I'm certain it will be a few years before they see a shuttle system here.

A good ride is never complete without a few maintenance problems. This is called operation "pierced hole in rear tank and transfer leaking fuel to front tank". My deepest apologies to the good folks of SUWA for leaking some fuel on your precious road. Allison take note for gift ideas?

I think this was my favorite formation I saw the entire day. "The fins" were located just a few miles north of Hite.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Adventure In The Works

Prepping the bike for a little spring adventure. Notice the fuel bottles mounted on the front fork. Amazing what $6 in home depot parts can do. If your bored you can track our progress on the SPOT map at the bottom of the page. I will most likely turn it off on occasion to conceal the location of some Indian ruins that I've been seeking for several years. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting Old

This weather is killing me! I feel like I have truly experienced Siberian living. Here is a recent bike ride up Big Mountain. My favorite training ride. This photo is a good 1/2 mile from the 1st major switchback. Guess I'll have to wait a few more weeks to hit the pass. Sheesh.