Outdoor Fun in Moab Utah

Experience the most beautiful and accessible outdoor adventures in the USA near Moab Utah.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Sunset on the meadow from front porch

Each evening on the mesa is special but with clouds in the sky and close to the ground it is extra special. Sunsets are spectacular and this photo shows the orange red of the cabin contrasted with the darkening sky and the alpenglow of the meadow from the front porch.
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Road to cabin

One of the major hoodoos on the way up to the cabin on the Sand Flats road. The clouds and bright blue sky at sunset make for a magical time of the day for photography. The shadows over the scrub oak and cedar trees soften the transition from the bright sky and rock face.
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A dive into the cold water of a mountain lake

Dane and Emily dive headfirst into the cold.
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More bravado than brains

With 20 minutes of "I dare you" and "I double dare you" Emily, Dane and Amberly plunged into Miner's basin lake and came out numbed with cold.
Years ago I would have felt duty bound to respond to such a dare, but in my old age I can gladly let others make themselves the fools while I enjoy the shenanigans from a distance.
Lesson learned here is you don't dare Emily or Dane unless you plan on the follow through.
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Miner's Basin Lake

Located East of the cabin up in the LaSal mountains, Miner's basin is a family favorite. Out of the way and generally left alone by the maddening crowd, this lake reminds me of the one Andy Griffeth used to take Opie to on Mayberry RFD. Stocked with trout, surrounded by beautiful steep mountain sides, pine trees and Aspen dot the banks. In this shot a slight breeze broke the still on the lake yet a mirror image of the trees is still visible. Two dead trees highlight the beauty of the living trees alongside and seem to draw the eye into the lake.
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Delicate Arch at Sunset

The beauty of Delicate arch, royal in it's setting of Southern Utah geography, is highlighted with the LaSal mountains forming a backdrop.
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Trail to Delicate Arch

Every chance we get, we hike to Delicate arch near the cabin. The process is akin to a spiritual experience. I don't mean to demean spiritual experiences, on the contrary I intend to elevate the hike to a higher status than just putting one foot in front of the other. It is a moderate rated hike and I have seen many elderly folks slowly going up or down. With moderate health everybody can do it. Last year my family members went on ahead much faster than I was willing (able) to go so I made friends with a lady that was resting under a small section of shade on the bare rock climb.
She was from England and told me she was 79, obviously overweight, suffering from arthritis, thirsty and considering turning back. I explained we were over half way up and the hard part was finished. Encouraged she said she would plod on hoping that the effort would be worth it. I assured her it was. 20 minutes later as we crested the corner of cliff rock the Arch stood before us in silent majesty. She gasped and said ohhh my...it is worth it! This is the sense that everyone I know experiences as the arch comes into sudden view. I have hiked to it a number of times and never been disappointed. It has become iconoclastic as the image of Utah. Not the biggest arch nor the most ornate in structure, it is the most rewarding arch to view. This photo reflects the steady uphill climb on bare rock to the arch.
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Dane & Katy

Dane and Katy Lundberg found a tree around Warner Lake with the somewhat unique name of Dane. Fortunately the knucklehead that carved this 13 years ago is not our Dane.
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There is a bear up ahead

Katy is explaining that we just saw a black bear on the trail up ahead. The faces on the girls faces say it all. Curious but a bit scared.
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Dedicated hiking mother

Emily Jones, one of my favorite people in the world was an example from day one. She had three children, one being a LARGE 14 month old, Bourne. She took them hiking nearly every day. The fact that Bourne couldn't yet hike didn't phase Emily, she strapped him on and hiked as if he didn't weigh an ounce.

On one hike, from Warner lake to Oohwah lake we had a memorable moment. A small black bear ran down the trail in front of us for nearly 20 yards or so. Not very big, he was intent on making tracks away from us and we hiked with an eye out for the remaining trail.

With a determination not to be outdone by the female while hiking I volunteered to hoist Bourne, our 29 pound non hiking baby in his hiking backpack on my shoulders and hike out to the pickup point from Oohwah lake. Emily, his mother had carried him with no complaint, in fact nothing but smiles and cheery attitude to the midway point, oohwah lake and made it look easy, so I figured it couldn't be too hard. With my offer to take a turn, Emily politely said it was unnecessary and she was happy to continue along the trail with him on her back. I insisted primarily due to masculine chivalry and a touch of curiosity. About 3 miles later I had a blister on my right heel that I didn't mention until the next day when they wanted to go hiking again. They did but without me this time.
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Crhis & Emily Jones family

Shirttail relatives by marriage the Jones were guests at the cabin and brought a wonderful sense of adventure and family values. They were relentless in their pursuit of "doing" something everyday. Emily and girls hiked and Chris reconnected with his boyhood love of dirtbiking.
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Jones Sisters at overlook

Two of the nicest girls on the planet. Amberly and Cameron Jones
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Big sister Amberly

Amberly was cut from a different bolt of cloth than her younger sister and was adventerous right from the get go. She is a somewhat typical first born child, nurturing and sort of like a little adult. She cared for, cleaned after, and generally acted the part of camp counselor all week long. One of the most pleasant little girls I have ever known.
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Solo bravery at cougar canyon

Cameron climbed the second set of rock faces on her own and with no whimpering. Read below how this was process. Justifiably proud, she climbs with no help from family members
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The moment of courage and change on a little girls face

This photo represents the actual moment that Cameron Jones, scaredy cat little girl changed into a courageous little explorer. Literally one moment before this shot, she was whining and crying (literaly) about how scared she was and more than once screamed she thought she was going to die despite her mother's best efforts to reassure her all would be ok. Her father Chris seemed to be keeping a safe distance out of earshot in order to avoid any critical words. As Cameron came by me positioned on the other side of the rock I asked her to look up for a picture. She put on a smile and quit cyring. We quickly praised her and sure enough for the rest of the trip she was much more inclined to make fun of her Aunt Katy for being a fraidy cat than being one herself. Over the course of the next few days Cameron proved to be quite an intrepid little girl.
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First day at Cougar Canyon

We left Phoenix at different times but all managed to meet at Monticello Utah so we drove into the cabin together. Dane & Katy with Katy's sister Emily and her family spent the first evening climbing and familiarizing themselves with Cougar Canyon.
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Moab 4rth of July

With slick rock as the background, the city of Moab held their annual fourth of July fireworks program and we were there with a lot of locals. Cameron, Dane, katy, & Amberly Jones utilized some foam pads in the back of the pickup to watch the show. For a small town, Moab really puts on a great show. Torrin and I were the only ones that attended last year but with our report on how good it was, we had a number come this go around. Chris and Emily Jones along with their 3 children, while Dane, Katy and I rounded out the group.
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