So why haven’t I posted on my regular schedule?  Because we have been doing the “Adventure Thing.”   Here are some pics to tell the story:

Kids climbing rocks

Yup, we are in Moab.  Yesterday we rented atv’s for an all day trail ride.

Hittin' the trail!

After riding all morning we stopped at Catacomb Rock for a picnic lunch.

View of picnic from inside Catacomb Rock

We explored Catacomb Rock and discovered that someone was using it as a campsite.

Tent inside Catacomb Rock

We rode to the Chicken Corners area and enjoyed the view.

Bein' brave looking at the Colorado River below.

Son on the edge.

Hub and Huh decided to walk the rest of the trail to see where it ended up.  The rest of us didn’t dare…

Huh and Hub walking the trail (Hub near the point)

Close up of Huh and Hub on the trail.

Today our adventure continues with hiking in Arches National Park, sledding on a sand hill, and checking out a swimming hole we’ve never visited.  

Got Adventure?

“I’ve lived in this state for all of my 65 years, and I can’t believe I never came here before this.”

So said my dad while experiencing Moab this past weekend for the first time ever.  Hub and I took my parents on some ATV trails and hiking in Arches National Park.  They wished we were staying longer than just a weekend.

Here are a few images from our Moab excursion over Halloween weekend:

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Colorado River

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Hub walking out for a "Photo Op."

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Dad taking a picture of Delicate Arch

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Hiking back down after seeing Delicate Arch.

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Moonrise

Isn’t it amazing how we sometimes don’t appreciate what is in our own backyard?

 

It is fun to take people to places you love and let them experience it.  It is even more fun if the person you are “playing tour guide” for is enthusiastic and gung-ho about all that you have them see and experience.  It is priceless if they are appreciative and lend a hand whenever needed.  That was our experience with Ryan from Florida this past weekend.  Here are a few highlights from the weekend (allowing for some anonymity on our part–I won’t be posting some of the best pictures because they show our faces):

*We camped!  Because our condo was rented out until Saturday morning we had to camp the first night.  This was extra fun for us because Ryan had never been camping before.  And?  He had never had s’mores before!  True story!  We enjoyed his enthusiasm about the campfire, the s’mores, and sleeping out under the stars.  In the morning we explored the area on foot. 

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Hiking back down after exploring the rocky bluffs above our campsite.

Hiking back down after exploring the rocky bluffs above our campsite.

*We went jeeping!  Ryan wanted to “experience” Moab, so he rented two jeeps for our group and Hub led us all through the areas called Elephant Hill, Devil’s Kitchen, SOB Hill, Silver stairs, Chessler Park and the Joint Trail.

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Moab with Ryan 073

Moab with Ryan 081

Huh took this picture and didn't realize the shutter wasn't open all the way.

Huh took this picture and didn't realize the shutter wasn't open all the way.

*We hiked, explored, and (the kids) climbed rocks! 

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Moab with Ryan 104

*We experienced slot canyons!

Squid climbing the walls of a slot canyon.

Squid climbing the walls of a slot canyon.

Hiking down into a slot canyon.

Hiking down into a slot canyon.

Shroom scaring Mack in a slot canyon.

Shroom scaring Mack in a slot canyon.

*We experienced Cairns!  Because many of the trails for hiking and jeeping are “off-road” you have to follow “cairns” (stacked rocks left by those who have gone before) so that you don’t get lost.  One slot canyon has become the “City of Cairns” because of all the cairns left behind.

City of Cairns

City of Cairns

The arch was one of our favorite cairns.

The arch was one of our favorite cairns.

The cairn Yawlin contributed to City of Cairns.

The cairn Yawlin contributed to City of Cairns.

*We went to church!  No pictures here.  It’s just simply what we do on Sundays.

*We explored Arches National Park!

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Moab with Ryan 230

Double Arch

Double Arch

Squid and Shroom climbing Double Arch.

Squid and Shroom climbing Double Arch.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Slightly different view of Delicate Arch (That's me under it).

Slightly different view of Delicate Arch (That's me under it).

*And of course there was all sorts of other scenery!

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Moab with Ryan 112

Ryan and Squid stayed for one more night in our condo in Moab and booked an ATV tour.  The rest of us had to come home for school and work. 

The best part of the weekend was watching Ryan enjoy every part of the trip.  He was so enthusiastic, so appreciative, so positive about situations and people.  He is truly a joy to be around.  We count ourselves lucky that he chose to befriend us last year.

Would you go off-roading on a trail called Hell’s Revenge?  How about one called Cliff Hanger?  Would you try Metal Masher?  Or Poison Spider Mesa? 

Those are some of the choices of off-roading trails I had this weekend.  Hub and I, along with his kids, his brother and sister-in-law and their kids, and a family friend were all in Moab, Utah to do the spring cleaning in our condo.  Since I am new to “jeeping” or “off-roading” the group thought it would be fun to let me get my first taste of it before we dug in and started cleaning.

I was happily eating my breakfast burrito when Hub’s brother, “C,” plopped an open guide book down in front of me and said, “Choose one of the trails beginning here,” he pointed to a spot on the page about three quarters of the way down, “to here.”  His finger ended at the last trail listed.

Assuming the trails he had pointed at were simply the trails closest to the condo I continued munching my breakfast and started reading the names of the trails, “Fins and Things…Porcupine Rim…”  I looked closer at the page.  “Hold on, what are these little letters for?  Holy cow, there’s easy, moderate, and difficult trails here.”  I looked up.  “The trails you’ve told me to choose from are all the difficult trails!”

Laughter.

My suggestion of doing an easy trail was quickly nixed.  I resigned myself to the fact that my afternoon was going to be a nail biter and resumed reading, “Elephant Hill…Steel Bender…” I read to the last of the list, a trail called Behind the Rocks (just what is behind those rocks?  I don’t think I want to know!). 

“I don’t know what to choose, guys.  At least tell me some of the trails that will provide good photo ops.”

“Oh, if you want to get some good pictures we should do Moab Rim.”  The others all agreed that that was a good choice. 

I scanned the page until I  found Moab Rim.  “This is fourth from the bottom.  “That means this is the fourth most difficult trail!”  Grumbling, I turned to page 125 and read aloud, “Difficult.  This trail wastes little time getting down to business.  The first mile scares the wits out of most people.”  I stopped reading and said (with just a slight hint of panic in my voice), “Are you kidding me?”

Again, laughter.

I continued reading aloud, “A long climb of tight, tippy, and extremely difficult ledges requires excellent driving skills and a very capable vehicle…Roll-overs are not unusual.”  I looked at my husband.  “It says that roll-overs are not unusual.”  Hub just grinned.  I went back to reading, “stock vehicles and inexperienced drivers should stay off this trail…Do not drive this trail alone.”

And thus began the day of my very first jeeping experience.  I was told that if we continued to the end of Moab Rim we would be able to look down into the valley and see our condo, but we most likely wouldn’t go that far because it would take too long.  We still had a condo to clean.  We arrived at the starting point and C’s wife, “K,” pointed and said, “That’s the trail.”

I saw no trail.  All I saw was a mountain of rocks.  And we were going to drive up that mountain of rocks!  C insisted on taking me in his jeep (I think he just wanted to see me panic the entire way up).  Hub and Juju went in “A’s” jeep.  Squid and Shroom went ahead of us on their mountain bikes.  As we started up the trail I glanced sideways at C and asked casually, “Sooo, have you ever rolled a jeep?”

“Nope.”  C wasn’t even paying attention to me.  He was too busy concentrating on the trail.  I grabbed the door side handle and decided I should try to relax.  K offered to take pictures for me so that I could really focus on the experience.  I obviously survived, or I wouldn’t be typing this.  Here are some pictures of our adventure:

Getting ready to hit the trail.

Getting ready to hit the trail.

 

I didn't like getting too close to the edge! (Colorado River below)

I didn't like getting too close to the edge! (Colorado River below)

 

Hub lovin' it in A's jeep.

Hub lovin' it in A's jeep.

 

No road?  No problem!

No road? No problem!

 

Some of our group enjoying the view at the top.

Some of our group enjoying the view at the top.

 

Way off in the distance you can see some of Arches National Park.

Way off in the distance you can see some of Arches National Park.

 

On the way down I couldn't resist getting a pic of A's jeep in the side mirror.

On the way down I couldn't resist getting a pic of A's jeep in the side mirror.

My first jeeping experience turned out to be a lot of fun.  And I only panicked a few times!  Next time…Hell’s Revenge! 

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We used to use a management company in renting our condo out to vacationers but have recently decided to try Vacation Rentals By Owner ( VRBO.com ).  We have been pleased with the results.  The calendar is filling up and we are receiving inquiries from Illinois, Florida, Colorado, and even as far away as France.  Check out our VRBO site at http://vrbo.com/226117/.

The view of Moab Rim from our condo's living room.

The view of Moab Rim from our condo's living room.