During the first part of December 2015, I spent a lot of time in Moab. My new laptop had arrived and it took many days to upload my new programs, transfer my files and so on (Thank you Red Rock Bakery for the free WiFi and unlimited hours on it). However, at one point I decided to go to The Needles area of Canyonlands National Park for a break from things.
I only spent a couple of days there because it was so cold that I decided to return to the relative warmth of Moab. I recall one morning in camp when I poured some water into my stainless steel mug, and right before my eyes it froze as I poured. The water ‘piled up’ as it froze, and ended up looking like a pile of frozen ice dung! It was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen. I tried to replicate it, but it wouldn’t work a second time. I simply LOVE moments like that.
Above: the Needles in winter. Below: a frozen ephemeral pool at The Needles, in Canyonlands National Park, and a canyon wren.
Below: The LaSal Mountains and some red rock fins, Moab, and a reflection in the Colorado River along Potash Road.
I had hoped to be in a warmer zone by the time my birthday came around on December 11, and had intended to treat myself to a soak in some hot springs, but a snow storm kept me from traveling south. I just didn’t see the point in risking icy roads when there was no real reason to drive them. I didn’t have to be anywhere in particular at any time, so I just waited out the storm. Therefore, on my birthday I had a camp fire, music, and wine with nomad friend I’d met in November. It was nice to have company on my birthday after spending my previous birthday all alone and in extremely cold temperatures in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.
Below: 1) Waking up in Mitzi one morning to fresh snow (in Moab). 2) On my way (finally) and camping in one of my favorite spots along the San Raphael Swell. If you look carefully you can see Mitzi trying to be like a chameleon.
Below: 1) Capitol Reef from the east side (approaching from Hanksville) 2. Capitol Reef on the west side. 3) Driving along the Burr Trail Road near Boulder, UT. 4) Camping along The Burr Trail Road. No complaints about this camp spot. This area is located in Grand Staircase Escalante, and in my opinion is one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
Boulder, Utah is a very small town, and I mean VERY small, but it does have a little health food store called Hills and Hollows Grocery Store, and I love dropping in to chat with whoever is working there that day. They always have time for a chat, and I’ve never met such wonderful, down-to-earth, genuine folks as these. No matter who is working there, they are always pleasant. Be sure to stop in and support them when you travel through Boulder, but don’t blink, you might miss them. I’ve also eaten at The Burr Trail Grill and love the menu that adds just a touch of uniqueness to every dish, and the little coffee-shop-come-artisan store/gallery next door. I’d love it if you’d share your recommendations on eating or other information on places in Boulder (or Escalante) UT, by posting a comment on this post.
I also spend time at the Escalante Outfitters in Escalante. (I love places that will let me sit there for the best part of a day using their WiFi and catching up on things, without putting a time limit on how long I can stay).
After visiting Escalante I spent a night down Hole in the Rock Road, and while there took a little jaunt around The Devils Garden. I’d intended to do some more hiking in this area, but I was growing weary of the cold days and nights.
Then my journey took me past Bryce Canyon (but I didn’t visit Bryce). In the second picture below you see a cow and a heron; I was driving when I saw this, and actually stopped and backed up to watch the show. This young calf and the heron were playing with each other. The calf would approach the heron and touch it with its nose, and the heron would leap into the air then land in front of the calf again just far enough away to entice the calf, who would approach again, and on it went… it was very interesting. I LOVE moments like this….
After this I drove down to Kanab, UT, just north of the Arizona border. I rarely travel anywhere this quickly (LOL) but it was time to find some warmer weather…you see every time I got cold, the area on my body where I’d had a shingles outbreak would itch. I’d had the outbreak in the spring of 2015, and it was long gone, but the nerve endings had been damaged and were very sensitive to the cold and any kind of stress, and were not yet fully healed. This was one of my reasons for not staying in Colorado for another winter, I just couldn’t bear the thought of those long cold nights and days, and I felt sure they would trigger another shingles attack. It was the most painful thing I’d ever experienced, and I did not (do not) want it to return…ever.
So that’s all for now. I left Moab on December 16 and arrived in Kanab on December 20 (yes, this is me hurrying). I’ll cover the rest of December 2015 in another post.
Remember to Savor the Journey…. Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature