Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Colorado and New Mexico

We left Moab after much rain and a minor warranty repair to the truck and headed for Durango. The purpose of going to Durango was not to ride the famous train (we've already done that), but to buy some Indian pottery at a store in Silverton that has a great sale at the end of the season. We managed to meet that goal and spent too much on some beautiful pottery. From Durango, it was on to Santa Fe, where we are now. After another trip to the Ford dealer for the same problem, (you can't expect them to get it right the first time) we took the day and drove to Taos and toured the pueblo. Once again we spent too much on Indian pottery.
Tomorrow we head south to Albuquerque to visit with friends and to take care of some business for son Eric. Then on Saturday we head home, hoping to arrive sometime Sunday afternoon.
We have no adventures planned until next April (Hawaii), so this blog might be pretty quiet, but you never know.



Monday, October 16, 2006

Walk in the Park

Well, around 4:40 it looked like the rain would hold off, so we decided to hike the 1-1/2 miles up the slick rock to Delicate Arch to get a sunset photo. On the 45 minute hike up the hill, the clouds were approaching, but we figured we had plenty of time before it started raining. Rrrrright. We got the the arch and snapped a few photos before we lost the light. Why? Because the sun was covered by a cloud. A really big and ugly cloud. The photo of the arch is deceiving because the big cloud is in the other direction. When the thunder and lightning started we figured it was probably best to get off the hill. We started down with the lightning striking close and out in the open on the slickrock it got pretty hairy. About halfway down the rain started. Not just a little sprinkle, but the kind of rain that causes flash floods. It poured, the wind blew, and the lightning struck. Within about 30 seconds we were soaked clear through. The last 3/4 of a mile we walked as fast as we could, in hopes of getting to the truck before the wash we had to cross flooded.
We made it to the truck, dripping wet and cold. We crossed the wash just as the water was starting to run across the road. We drove to some high ground, and luckily we had some towels in the truck. We stripped off our clothes and wrapped the towels around us and drove back to town. Got some great pictures though.
Now you know why its called Gassaway's Adventures.






The Latest From Moab

I've been trying to download some photos to go along with this post without any luck, so you'll have to be content with an update without photos.

We failed after two tries to get our name drawn for the Wave. We promised ourselves that we would try again in the future. We left Kanab and headed towards Moab. This is one of our favorite places as evidenced by the fact that this is our fourth trip here in the past 5 or 6 years. It is red rock country and home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. On weekends and holidays the place is crowed with mountain bikers and jeeps, both of which traverse the slick rock which is in abundance.

Over the past week or so Southern and Central Utah has been hit with some real down pours, some places getting as much as seven inches. Most every back country road has suffered some damage, making many of them impassable. Most of this area drains into Lake Powell and some of you may know that it is only about half full. This one weeks series of storms raised the lake level by 5 feet. If you are aware of how big Lake Powell is, you will understand that is a lot of water. Now the ground is saturated and any small amount of rain becomes runoff. They are predicting rain for tonight and tomorrow with snow in the higher elevations.

We've been taking hikes most everyday, weather permitting. This morning we went on a ranger guided hike in Arches in an area called the Fiery Furnace. It is an area of narrow slots between towering rock formations. The hike last about 3 hours and is guided because it is very easy to get lost in. You scramble up slippery slick rock, through small crevices, and along narrow ledges all the time hoping you don't embarrass yourself in front of your fellow hikers. We managed to come through with only one skinned knee (mine) and a sprained finger (Cathie). This evening we plan, if it doesn't rain, on hiking to Delicate Arch in hopes of getting some great sunset photographs. If you don't know, Delicate Arch is the arch on the Utah license plate.

In a couple of days, we will start heading south, first to Durango, Colorado, then on to New Mexico. We I get a WiFi connection that is good enough, I'll send along some photos.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We are currently in Kanab, Utah after a week in Zion National Park. Zion was beautiful as usual and we hiked to new places. We had a couple days of thunderstorms which dropped 3 to 4 inches in the Kanab area and prevented us from hiking in some slot canyons due to flooding. We did manage one where we waded up the canyon to a waterfall. The water was extremely cold making our feet numb, but the narrow sandstone canyon made it worthwhile.

Kanab is in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The Monument is best explored via dirt roads, most of which are currently impassable due to the reicent thunderstorms. One reason we are in Kanab is to be able to hike to a sandstone formation called the wave. It is in a wilderness area and only 20 people a day are given permits. Ten permits are issued in advance on the internet and are grabbed up within a matter of minutes of offerred. The other ten permits are issued the day before you intend to hike. This morning we arrived at the ranger station in hopes of getting a permit and placed our name in the running along with 34 other hopefuls. Each person's name is given a number and the numbers are place in a bingo hopper. Ten lucky people got their number pulled. Tomorrow we will try again.

Check out the wave at this web site


I've attempted to place some photograps here but the wireless web site I am on is very slow and I can't seem to get the photos downloaded. I'll post some when I'm able.