Metolius River, Oregon and Wok Cooking at the Campsite!

28 05 2012

May 12-13 we headed to our favorite campsite down on the Metolius River! There is something about the Metolius River Valley. The river is so bubbly, urgently moving down the valley, so clear. Fly fisherman walk up and down the river casting their flies. Red Ponderosa Pines line the banks, and the meadows below are green, the river blue. The air is dry and the temperature is in the low 80’s. It can’t get any better than this!

We feasted! Saturday morning we do a blueberry pancake breakfast, with bacon, and strawberries and blackberries.

There’s nothing like that smell of bacon cooking at the campsite!

Rod & Lisa make blueberry pancakes & bacon!

Saturday, we grab fantastic sandwiches prepared by the Camp Sherman Store and then do a four-mile hike around Suttle Lake. During lunch a lone slalom water skier gives us a show.

The hike around the lake is relaxed. High rewards and low effort. Perfect!

From the trail, you can see down into the clear waters. Today it’s not breezy. Most times I’ve visited Suttle Lake, the mountain breeze kicks in, and it can blow beachside sun shelters off.

Laura, Lisa, Kent kick back!

Saturday evening we put together a stir fry bar! Lining the picnic table were little bowls filled with water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, peanuts, broccoli, onion, chicken, shrimp, carrot, pineapple, fresh green beans, with at least a dozen Asian sauces to go with them. WOW! YUM! And super easy.

Then it was time for entertainment…primitive weapons competition. We had blow dart guns, throwing axes and knives!

Check back. I have to get the weapons competition video from Lisa! I successfully threw the hatchet several times.

April Obern joined us for Saturday evening dinner and a Sunday hike on the river.

It was another perfect day. It is always SO hard to leave this slice of heaven!

I will return to the Metolius for many years to come.





Million-Year-Old Buddha Image found in Utah Canyon

11 05 2012

Morning broke bright and clear in our canyon. Some of the deepest blue skies I’ve ever glimpsed. At one end the canyon is watched over by the Gooney Bird rock. However this morning we see a column strikingly resembling a sitting Buddha at the head of the canyon! Could it be that this is a sign?

Buddha image from my collection.

I gazed upon it with awe.

Uncanny!

Hmmm. We also had other ideas. Perhaps it was a gigantic monument to the morning constitutional?

I could not help but think how it could have been that Mother Nature could sculpt such a figure. It sat facing southeast. In the sun most of the day.

It is another crystal clear morning to wake up to. I fixed the coffee and then we got the breakfast going.

In contrast to the canyon where we spent last night, there wasn’t any trouble finding a camping spot.

And here the canyon walls crept way skyward. So beautiful, all the different bands of colored rocks.

 

 

Even here there are a number of arches in the canyon’s rocks. It looks like there is something about this region that favors forming these arches.

This might be a box canyon. The end looks as if there might not be a way out. We walk up there.

Today, there are only two other cars camping in the canyon.

It’s desert. The sun quickly becomes warm and as we’re storing things for our trip back to Park City I can already see my skin turning red!

But we must get moving. It’s another bumpy ride back out over the rutted dirt/rock road back to the highway.

We’ve got a deadline back in town! Ed’s a goalie on one of the local amateur hockey teams and it’s playoff time!

The game takes place at the Park City Hockey arena.

This was actually a nail biter.

It went into double OT.

Then there was a shootout to decide.

It didn’t turn our way. But the players were still stoked as it was such a great game!

Our last day, Friday, Alex and I skied at Park City Resort, which is walking distance from Ed’s house. This was a real spring skiing day. Upper slopes OK, lower slopes too slushy – snow grabbing at your skis sometimes. But SO MUCH FUN!

 

 





Arches National Park Utah

6 05 2012

I wake up incredibly refreshed and stoked to visit Arches National Park! The downstairs of the van is super comfy and the desert air dry! I’m the first to awake. I step outside and fix myself a nice hot cup of coffee. Sipping the nectar, I witness the cascade of sunrise light gradually bathing the banded redrock walls of the canyon.

Ed and Alex begin to stir. I take a stroll along the canyon creek wending its way around our site. It’s interesting checking out the details of the canyon, the rocks, the cactus, and smelling the clear air.

Today’s breakfast is eggs, bacon, onion, peppers, with cheese mixed up. A good hearty breakfast! We make toast by sauteing bread on a pan.

As the sun’s warmth makes us comfortable, it becomes hard to want to pack up and get moving. But we’ve got big plans – to visit Arches National Park. I have been to Utah at least ten times, but incredibly I have never been to the canyon country! I’m very excited to be here! We are also meeting two women Ed knows from Park City. Rhoda and Susan.

Driving back down the dirt road we took to our campsite, we re-criss-cross the creek many times. I’m still amazed how the road clings to the rocks with the river just beside. There’s no room for a car coming the other way!

View to the mountains in the distance…

After an hour we reach the park. There are sandstone formations everywhere, and we personify each! Some look like furniture, others like a person sitting. Then there are the arches themselves. They’re everywhere!

We are here about lunch. So we avail ourselves of the camper’s kitchen! And, since we’re in the parking lot, we’re obvious to those who know us – Susan and Rhoda! They show up and join us. Perfect timing!

Okay. All fueled up, we head out on the trail.

Like elsewhere, it’s high season down in canyon country! Spring is the time to visit here. It is anything but a secluded experience. It’s spring break plus vacation time for those escaping winter’s grip.

Ed emerges from the kitchen!

Here, it’s going to reach 80 degrees fahrenheit.  There are single arches, double and triple arches, collapsed arches, and towers sometimes impossibly balanced in the air.

Rhoda and Susan check out the valleys beyond…

Some have incredible views of the valleys beyond.

We hike through arches and climb around.

Then, we head to another area where there is a super long arch that looks like it’s not going to last a whole lot longer.

It’s called Landscape Arch, and it’s the longest natural arch in the world.

Landscape Arch

Once we had our fill of all those arches, we engaged in another search-for-a-campsite adventure – Ed knew of a special spot, off the tourist track, called Gooney Bird.

To get there, we had to head off the highway and then 800 feet up this dirt road clinging to a cliffside! The van held on, though, and we made it.

See the trail? 800 ft below that cliff is the hwy!

This road descends and then comes through a little valley, which is totally empty. Inside, there are side canyons with camping!

Ed’s target is a canyon where the entrance is marked by a tower named Gooney Bird. It really does look like a Gooney Bird!

We quickly settle in to a new spot. Well, we’ll see about tomorrow!








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