Monday, 29 May 2017

DRAG N DROP: SPRING 2017, Trailering With the Creekside 23RKS in Red Rock Country.



We saddle up the Ford F350 and hook up the Creekside  23RKS for our first long trip with these rigs. The skiing is still fairly good but considering that we started late October, it is nice for a "Desert Country" break. Crossed the border on March 31st at Osoyoos, BC , had lunch at Deep Bay Park north of Oroville and headed down through Washington, Oregon, Nevada and then onto Hurricane Utah. 

First night was spent at a Walmart in Kennewick, Wash. Picked up some supplies and headed out ending up at Twin Falls, Idaho, overnighting at a Walmart. Put the slide out over some grassy area and early morning had to bring it in because of the irrigation sprinklers. Picked up more supplies at the Walmart and drove south down #93 and stayed overnight at a truck stop in Wells, Nevada in a wet snow storm.

Stayed west of SLC as the traffic can be crazy at times and there was a lot of backed up traffic last time we tried to motor through. Ended above Hurricane, Ut. in a quiet boondock spot April 3rd.

Somewhere heading south through Nevada. Lots of snow on the high mountains. Pulled into Wells for fuel at a truck stop as wet snow started falling. Pulled in for the night and in the morning there were a number of RV's parked next to us. Temps were a little above freezing with slush on the road. Knowing we had to climb over a pass before heading south, we waited awhile as the temps climbed a bit. No problems.

Pulled into a boondocking area above Hurricane. Because of the wet spring, even the desert was green. For cast was for rain the next day. Probably will not get any good biking in before the clay dries up.
Gooseberry Mesa in the background as the sun sets. No problems hauling the Creekside down the road with the F350 6.7L towing beast. Climbed up fairly steep hills at 1800 RPM. Nice.
Some Utah school districts were having a break so at the trailhead to our destination today, Red Cliffs Recreational Area, there were a lot of families.
Because it was supposed to drizzle  we decided to hike the Red Reef Trail, a nice 10km loop. This is the junction where all of the families turned back. 
All alone as we climb up the left fork of the Harrisburg Creek I think. First time seeing the red rock since last year. Always looks so dramatic.
These shrubs had a gujillion bees on them. Have to look up the name in a plant book.
Pat hiking through a cute little canyon.
Up a steep staircase of red rock. Rain is starting to fall as predicted.
After a winter of skiing, a little rain and cool weather is sort of fun.
After a few hours of climbing, we work our way down following a dry sandy wash. Just about out of the red rock.
Met this guy from North Carolina? Bike shop said that the Prospector trail was about the only good place to ride in the St. George area when it was raining if you didn't want to encounter clay. They was wrong.
End of the hike was a little muddy but all was well. Nice to stretch the legs. Back at the Trailer, a good sunset photo of the Mesa behind us. Because the for cast is for more rain, we decide to head out in the morning for dryer areas until the bike trails dry up.
Sedona is supposed to get dryer weather in the next few days so we head out on #59 and at Kanab right on #89 to south of Page. Must have snowed last night. Glad we were not driving.
Head down #89 to Cameron, through Flagstaff and on the Sedona. Pull onto a dirt road and find a good boondocking spot.
Breakfast in the sun. This will be our home for awhile as we get re -acquainted with our mountain bikes. We are expecting our 2 boys and their families to meet us in Cottonwood in the next few days. They will be flying into Phoenix renting a van and all 5 of them will camp with us at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park.
Because the trails are still wet, a hike up to Chicken Point is in order. Busy time of the year possibly because of the school break in different parts of the States.
Ahhhhh! What would life be without a pink jeep. Attaining the pass after an hour of hiking, we could hear a bunch of excited chatter coming from some rocks above us. Soon we bumped into the Jeep and its cargo of lickin and waudlin tourists. They were having pretty good time. Pretty amazed to see where this Jeep could go. 
We were having coffee in the morning and these guys floated over us headed to somewhere near Cottonwood. They are a commercial operation that gives tourists rides from Sedona.
This might have been our first ride of the year. It had been almost 8 months since we had been on our mountain bikes.
We will ride the loop, from Long Canyon road, up Mescal, right Deadman Pass trail, right Long Canyon, cross road to Gunslinger, right onto Chuck Waggon, then back to the truck. Maybe 3 hours riding plus view stops.
We got into the habit of cycling in the morning and going for a 2-3 hour hike in the afternoon. Hikes are not that strenuous in Sedona. Here we set out on the Boyton Canyon Trail, maybe 6km return. 2hours.
Today's morning ride starts at Fays Canyon trail head. Along Eerie, Cockcomb, right at Ruup, left at Girdner, across Dry Creek road to Chuck Waggon, onto Long Canyon road, down to Dawa, right at Cockcomb then back to the truck. Easy 3 hours.
Afternoon hike starts at the Soldiers Pass trailhead. Meet a few hikers but generally quiet. This is the view from the pass looking over to Wilson mountain and possible Steamboat rock.
Uptown Sedona. Nice, peaceful 2-3 hour hike.
Our site at Dead Horse State Park in the upper camping area. Because there was going to be 6 adults and 1 grandchild, we decided to take the serviced site rather than back to the boondock site for a few days because of the ease of everybody to shower in the Park facilities and also the fact that our grandson had a glider that he loves and riding on pavement would be better for him.
Here is Nana putting together a puzzle with Ronen. Our Creeksite 23RKS became the mother ship for everyone when it came to happy hour, breakfast etc. Ronen slept in the pull out coach. The boys and their pregnant wives,(have now given birth to 2 girls), slept in the tents.
Pat and Grumps(that me), walk the trails above the campground with Cottonwood spread out below.
While Andrew our youngest son, Ronen and the 2 DIL go visit Jerome, Shane our oldest, Pat and I go for a burn on the Mountain bikes. Shane is a better cyclist than us so he splits from us at Cathedral Rock trail and heads out on Highline a double black diamond trail.
He said after that it was tough but doable for him. This is also his first time riding this year and it takes awhile to get your legs and balance back into it.We started at Yavapai trail head, up to Slim Shady, across to Cathedral rock, down the trail to Easy Breezy, up and under the highway to Llama, Little horse trail, up Easy Breezy again and back to the TH.

Next day we hike the Highline trail that Shane biked the day before. Looking across to Cathedral Rock from the Highline trail. Lots of hikers on the trail. Nice views of the surrounding areas but not a lot of vertical. We start from Yavapai TH and just do a 3 hour out and back. Much easier hike than mountain biking.

Looking down at the Verde Valley from the Highline trail. It was the weekend and all of the trailhead parking areas were crowded. If you can believe it, we ran into gridlock driving through Sedona on our way back to Cottonwood. Pretty popular place.

Heard a familiar rattling sound as we rounded a corner of the trail. As Dave tried to get as close as he could, Pat who hates snakes yelled at him to stay away from the reptile. This snake had a more greenish tone. A local couple said that this was the more rare and aggressive Mojave rattler which was a little slow because they we just coming out of hibernation. Neat to see because all we ever saw were the common Western Diamondbacks and Bull snakes and some common Garter snakes.

Shane and Dave biked a bunch of trails from the Adobe Jack TH at Soldiers Wash and the next day Pat and Dave rode down from the Airport  and did a loop of the Carroll Canyon area before meeting up with Shane who was on a more difficult set of trails before riding back up the narrow road to our truck parked at the airport. It was time to head off to Lost Dutchman State Park. Temperatures were much warmer than in Sedona. Kids were going to fly out of Phoenix in a few days so we wanted to do a little hiking in the area before they left.
This guy with Wisconsin plates was classic skiing on roller skis. Always looks funny in the desert. Superstition mountain in the background.
Our setup with the 2 pregnant DIL and our 2 sons in the 2 tents and Grumps and Nana with GS Ronen in the Creekside mother ship. No services at this site but we have plenty of water, solar so life is easy and showers/toilets are a 5 minute walk from our site.
Apache Junction is somewhere down there to the right of the Flat Iron. Shane, Pat and Dave hike up to the Flat Iron a steep  trail with vertical cliffs at the top not for the faint hearted. 
We continue on heading towards the Peralta road leaving everyone behind. Far in the background is the mountain a couple of hours from the trail head on the Parralta road  which is part of the 10 hour hike/bike that Pat and Dave did a few years before. (From Lost Dutchman, hike up Flat Iron, hike ridge and descend to peralta road TH. Jump on mountain bikes and ride the 2 hrs. back to the CG. Started shuttling bikes at 6:00AM and finished the trip just before dark at 8:30PM).
Today's hike will start at the Crosscut TH and follow the Massacre Grounds trail before route finding up a few valleys until attaining the ridge above the Fat Iron. We hiked to the head wall and tried to go straight up but turned back because of short cliff bands that were beyond our skills. Hiked back down the trail and found a cairn that leads us across a dry creek and up the ridge which eventually took us above the Head wall.
Everything was real scratchy when route finding and as we only had shorts and little else for protection, blood was starting to flow from the millions of cactus spines. Somewhere down in the upper right corner of the photo is where we left the Massacre Grounds trail and headed up. Pat maybe 20 minutes from the ridge.
We decided to hike to the left around a steep set of cliffs instead of the much shorter route to the right where the Flat Iron is. Because of the cactus, it took us almost another hour  before we made it back to the trail leaving the Flat Iron and a million more cuts.  Back to civilisation watching the red cliffs of the Superstition Mountains in the sun set and the Flat Iron poking up in the middle.
It seems that every time we go hiking in the Peralta TH area we see a snake. Just a common western Diamondback rattler. Notice the colour is almost exactly the same as the sand. Our acreage, although in BC, has a fair few Western Diamondbacks but they are much darker in line with the black soils which harbour the many ground rodents which are the snakes main prey.
There has been a lot of rain for the desert this spring of 2017 and the canyon bottoms see creeks flowing which we haven't seen before. A bit scuzzy to drink without a filter but makes for good bathing on a hot day.
The hike today starts at the First Water TH and will take us 13.6km round trip on Second Water Trail, Boulder Canyon, Cavalier Trail, Dutchman's Trail. Daytime temps in the 90's. Meet a couple of women hiking from the Canyon Lake TH who were supposed to hike a 22 km loop but had run out of water before they were half way. Not good. We shared some water and snacks and suggested they take a shortcut to the First Water TH where they had left a vehicle. Good idea they said cuz by this time, it was cookin.
We are amazed how green the desert is this year because of the rains. The hiking is not tough but the rough trails head over high points and cross rocky creeks. The trails are narrow and you have to follow cairns especially when going back and forth when crossing a wash.
Not too far from the truck. Glad we took a fair bit of water because it is really hot and sunny by the time we reach the TH.
See the kids off at the Phoenix airport. Shane takes his mountain bike back home. Leah is 5 months pregnant so did not do too much rockem sockem mountain biking. Son Andrew and his wife and son have already left for Smithers BC in the northern part of the province. I think they liked being with Grumps and Nana in the Creekside mother ship. Already planning for a family reunion in Moab, spring 2018.
After the kids leave for home, friends say why don't you guys come down to Madera Canyon south of Tucson. They are avid bird watchers and Dave thought it would be fun to mountain bike and hike Mt Wrightson(9453'), one of the many sky islands in Arizona. Drive south through Tucson and climb up to the Bogs Springs CG @5500'. The Creekside barely makes it in the campsite due to the fact that these sites are quite small.
The ride today starts off at the Proctor Road TH which is below the Bogs Springs CG. Tom, Sandra, Pat and Dave all saddle up for a cross country ride called the Elephant Head Bike Trail on a rough cattle trail.
Nice barrel cactus starting to bloom. The trail is a bit overgrown and soon we are all bleeding from cuts and scrapes caused by the different cactus's and shrubs which are native to this area.
Make it to the junction with FS4073 which heads up to Chino Canyon.
We hang left and and bike up the sandy road. After a few km,s we turn back. We never saw any snakes but there were lot of wiggly trails left by the reptiles all along the soft sandy sections of the road.
Next day sees another cloudless sky with moderate temps because of the elevation.We head up the trail to hike Mt Wrightson.
3/4 of the way up, the peak of Mt. Wrightson comes into view. Hiking is moderately steep and the trail is good.
Pat attaining the summit. Because these mountains are in an island, we have an unobstructed, 360* view of the whole area including Tucson to the north.
Still a little snow lingers on the north side of the mountain.
Decide to hike down a different way which means following an over grown road to a pass. Big mistake. There is a plant that grows along this road that tears small chunks of flesh off of our bare legs when we brush against it. We endure probably more than an hour of this torture.

Ahhhhhh. But the Margarita at the end makes all of the lost blood worth every second of the hike. Temps are moderate because of the elevation and there seems to be lots of birds because of this.
Decide to head back down to Tuscan and camp at Catalina SP as Pat and Dave were going to hike up to the summit of Mt. Lemmon, another one of these sky islands. Sandra and Tom were to drop us off at the Romero Canyon TH(2500'), drive our truck up to the  top of Mt Lemmon(9148') with their touring bikes and they would ride the 90 km,s back to the campsite. As the temps were to hit 103F, we figured it would be nice to have electricity to power the A/C when we got back from the hike. Had to do some maintenance on the mountain bikes that day.
Nice view of the Catalina Mt's. from the campsite with the top of Mt. Lemmon just to the right of some sharp peaks in the top, left ,third of the photo.
Because of the heat and the length of the hike(8hrs), we get dropped off at 7;00AM. This shot was taken 1/2 hr from the Romero Pools.
Romero Pools. There were already a number of folks who had decided to hike early because of the sun and heat. After the Pools, we met a few folks that were going to different places but when they asked where we were headed and finding out it was Mt. Lemmon, they seemed a bit concerned and asked us questions about how much water we had as there was no water after we left the Pools.
Some sort of a horned toad.
Had lunch here at Romero Pass. Great views everywhere.(6080'). Pat was dressed fairly lightly compared to the other hikers we met and Dave wore nothing more than shorts and a baseball cap with a rear fabric sun shade. One old guy who had a large, broad brimmed hat and covered head to toe on finding out where we planned to go said, Well if it ever gets too hot, you could always strip off some cloths to keep cool." Funny guy.
Arriving at the truck. Pats Garmin GPS watch says we ascended around 8000' which was due to the fact that there were times when we went up over a ridge and then had to descend to the bottom of the canyon only to ascend to make up for the lost elevation. Around 8 hrs of hiking.

Because of the heat, Pat and Dave decided to drive up to the Grand Canyon which over the last 6 years has been one of our favorite hiking areas. There is nowhere else in the world that can compare to the size and grandeur of the Grand Canyon.
Get a campsite and we decide to take an easy ride from the visitors centre to Hermits Rest and back. The road has only buses or vehicles with special permits which makes for an enjoyable, stress free ride. There are over 10 places where you can stop and admire the immensity of the canyon. We take out touring bikes for this short trip. Pat standing for a photo op at one of the popular viewing points.
The canyon has a number of trails that will take you down from the rim to the river or the Tonto platform which is the greenish layer above the river. This is the only relative flat section in the whole canyon and there is a trail that traverses this layer from the Little Colorado to the South Bass Trail called the Tonto Trail..
Today's hike is from The New Hance trail(7000') to the Grandview Trail(7399')via the Colorado river(2548'). We park our truck at Grandview TH and ride our touring bikes 10km to the New Hance TH and cache them in the bush.
The New Hance Trail is much more rugged and more difficult to descent/ascend than the much more popular "corridor" trails which are the Bright Angel and the South Kaibab trails. We are passing through a narrow canyon to access the Colorado river. Temps are cool when we started in the morning but quickly warmed up as we drop down in the canyon.
Arrive at the river after a 3 hr hike down. The river, because of the amount of rain this spring, is higher than we have seen it in the past. A few years before we hiked down the Tanner Trail, camped overnight and hiked to the Little Colorado and back via the Beamer trail for a day hike. Next day hiked via the Escalante route to the Popago Wall. Camped , and then hiked down river to this point in the photo and up the New Hance Trail.
From the river, we start the long 6 hr grind up to the Grandview TH via the Hance Creek canyon. Always rafts on the river whether they be private or commercial.
Leaving the green waters of the Colorado as we ascent up through the dark rock of the Vishnu Schist.
Cross Hance creek and up the steep canyon trail to Page Springs, usually a good water source.
Pat hiking up on one of the original mule trails. There used to be a lot of mining activity in the canyons below and they used these trails to haul ore up to the rim for future smelting.
Back above Hurricane, Utah at one of favorite boondocking site with the weather looking promising and the mountain bike trails drying up.
Today's ride will start and finish at the campsite. Go down JEM until it runs into Hurricane Rim trail, cross hwy#59 above Hurricane, climb up on Gould's Rim until you cross #59 again and then follow JEM back to the campsite. A fairly technical and strenuous 5 hr ride for us.      
Pat on Hurricane Rim with La Verkin in the background.
The Virgin River with more water in it than most years.
Riding on Gould's Rim before heading up to the #59 crossing and then back down on JEM.
Decide to take a break from from riding and drive up to Kolab reservoir and do some sight seeing and hiking. Never been up this way before. Kind of a windy narrow road. As you can see, still some snow along the shore and leaves haven't come out on the trees yet. And this is on April 30th. 8118'.
Looking south east from a red rock ridge past the end of the Northgate Peaks trail. We hiked into the Wildcat Canyon about halfway to the Lava point lookout and headed back and out to where this photo was taken.
Back at camp, a nice warm fire burns as the spring winds pick up.
Today's ride starts at the parking area that you access  by driving under #15 halfway between Coral Canyon and Harrisburg. After a short climb, turn left on Prospector trail.
After  an easy ride down the trail, you get to Church Rocks, a nice set of red slick rock where you can play on your mountain bike for hours. When you get tired of the slick rock, head back up Prospector to the TH. 4 hrs.
Got a call from my DIL's dad saying he had some time in-between work and wanted to come down and have some fun with us. We said sure. He hooked up his Desert Fox TH and he and his girlfriend Cathy, headed down to Red Rock country.
Next day they said they wanted to stretch their legs so we took them up to Cable Mountain where a head frame was used to lower milled lumber from the sawmills up on the plateau. It took them 2 minutes to drop their load by cable the 2000" down to the Virgin River. The Zion Lodge was built from sawed lumber and beams that were dropped by this head rig in the photo. Too bad there are only remnants of the steam engine that powered the rig.
The hike up from the Weeping Rock is pretty spectacular traversing the cliffs below the head rig before travelling through Echo Canyon. The trail leaves the Observation Point trail and heads up a canyon before climbing steeply to gain access to the plateau. Angles Landing is just to the left out of sight and the Virgin River twists its way down the canyon. The Narrows is a few km's around the bend.
We always seem to run into snakes on our hikes. Can you spot  the reptile so well camouflaged in the bush?
Cathy's knees were bothering her after the steep down hill hike the day before so a nice easy mountain bike ride is on the program today. From our boondocking spot, we head up on lower JEM until we get to Dead Ringer. Get back on upper JEM from the top and ride down to Goosebumps. Hang left at the JEM access road and then left on Crytobionic then Goosebumps, right on JEM and back to camp. Nice couple of hours ride.
Grab a boondock spot near the Paria Contact Station. Tom had heard about the Buckskin/Paria canyon and we all thought it would be fun to hike it.
Nice glass of wine and a BBQ as the sun goes down. Pretty nice after 5 months of snow. The ranger said that there was no chance of rain forecasted but the Buckskin Canyon did have waist deep cold, muddy pools to wade through. Yummy!!.
Next day is a short walk around the Toadstools which are just up the road from our camping spot. There are lots of these unusual formations in this area. Lots of tourists because of the short distance to walk from the TH.

Before we hike down the canyon, we take a short few hours to hike the Toad Stools which were just up the road from our camping area. This is looking at a dry wash from a ridge near the toad stools. #89 is in the back ground.




In the morning, we  drop one of the trucks off at the White House TH on the Paria river and drive the 15km shuttle down #89 turning left on the rough House Rock road till you reach the Wire Pass TH. Here we are ready to hike at 8:00AM. The total hike is 14 miles down hill to the Paria canyon then 7 miles up the Paria river to the White House TH. Easy Peasy.
First choke stone on the Wire Pass part of the hike. A little scrambling required.
Dave thinking he can take some firewood back to camp. Not. There were places where the drift wood is  wedged 20-30'  high up in the canyon. When the summer thunderstorms hit, the amount of instant flood waters to flow through this narrow canyon must be some sort of raging torrent.
Knew we would reach this cold muddy water at some time. The girls down to their underwear. It is probably  45F at the bottom and 85F up on the plateau as the sunlight seldom gets to the bottom. Must of waded through 20 of these pools.
A few rock falls have to be climbed over and down. Glad someone left a rope. There is only one place to exit the canyon in case of an emergency. It is about half way down the Buckskin. After hiking a number of hours and not seeing anyone, we heard some voices. Came across a group of 4 women and a man who was their guide. He drove his Jeep to within 1/2 mile of the ramp which takes you into the canyon. The girls who were from NYC did not look like they could or would want to hike the whole canyon but they saw a pretty amazing chunk of nature at work.
Water starts flowing as we get closer to the confluence with the Paria river. At the confluence, there was no water flowing in the Paris. Lots of footsteps bearing to the right so Dave and Pat who were in the lead kept hiking down the canyon. Tom and Cathy followed blindly. We hiked 2 hours downstream before meeting backpackers who were camping for the night. We had just about hiked right through the Paria Canyon. So now at 5:00PM, we were 5 hours down river from the truck. It was getting dark at 7:00. Only thing to do was motor on back up the Paria. At the confluence, Dave and Pat said they would go ahead, drive the truck from the White House TH to Wire Pass, pick up the other truck and come back to pick up Tom and Cathy.
Pat and Dave's hike was 13 hours while Tom and Cathy,s was 14 hours. Lucky, we had a partial full moon, because a lot of the time we had to hike in the river  which made for tricky footing in the end. One time as we were walking by a wall, a rattlesnake coiled at our feet and rattled ready to strike. It was parked by the warm wall for the night as the night started to cool. Our route took us right by his lounging area. Glad he rattle or things could have gotten nasty. We got the truck and by the time we got back to the campsite, Tom and Cathy just arrived. They begged for someone who was camping at Whitehouse to give them a ride back to the TH. Cathy was so tired, she made it up the few stairs and collapsed on the floor.

Next Morning we headed to the Goosenecks State Park. This is where the San Juan river  makes a huge set of bends in the river. Except for the strong winds, it really is a nice place to camp.
Tom and Cathy are still talking to us and so we set up the site for some food and beverage and to take in the great views. We had camped here before and started to hike down below our camping site to get better views of the river. We started running into cairns making us believe there was a hiking route that would take you to a piece of land which juts out between the 2 arms of the river which is in the upper right of the photo. Ran out of time and said that next time here, we would see if there was a way to get out on that point.
Pat though to give the hike a miss but Dave, Cathy and Tom start scrambling down the rock bands to try and find a way to this plateau between the rivers.
Near a pour over on an impassible rock band was an old ladder. Tom had brought a rope just in case and it came in handy belaying each other down this very old and sketchy ladder. Now we had to walk back down river along a ledge to find a way to the plateau.

Looking back, you can just make out our trailers and trucks in the top left 1/3rd of the photo. The cliff bands look small from here but without the ladder, we would not have been able to proceed to this point.
Looking back at the lookout near the ticket booth where all of the tourist line up for their photo ops. Just to the left of Tom and Cathy is the where we started. We had to hike a long way below the plateau because of severe rock bands and eventually got to a cairn which had a place to scramble up a short chimney in the band. Had a short hike across the flats and scrambled up more rock bands to get to the top.
We wave to Pat who has the glasses on us as she sips coffee in her camp chair. The hike back was no big deal. 
As Tom and Cathy has only limited time left before heading home, we thought that a trip to Needles might be nice. Pulled into a nice boondock spot and set up for the night.
Next day we drive into Canyonlands National Park(Needles) and park at the Elephant Hill TH. Today's hike will take us out on the Chestler Park trail. Cathy squeezing through a tight slot canyon.
The Needles. We have found that most of the hikes in the park are quite easy but the scenery is very special and of course the colours unique.
Pat looking down on a canyon that will take us eventually to Druid Arch.
Looks a lot like Stone Henge hence the name "Druid Arch".
Looking back down the valley we hiked up with the contrasting red and beige layers of rock standing guard. The  hike back was not difficult, just an easy ramble. It is the colours and shapes of the rock formations that really make this park stand out.
We drive to Moab and get a boondock spot off of #313. While Cathy and Tom go exploring Moab, Pat and Dave go for a hike to Fishers Towers. This will be their first time and the walls of rock are pretty amazing.
Pat at the end of the trail looking down over the valley.
It is a favourite hiking area but people actually climb these towers.
From the lookout, the rugged canyons and valleys of Fisher creek.
Looking back down to the Colorado River which is that green fringed area and #128, which is at the bottom of those cliffs. The hiking trail out follows directly below those tall spires on the right..
Our friends that were with us in Madera Canyon and Tucson arrive at the boondocking spot as do Tom and Cathy. Tom and Sandra, also from Vernon, have a Bigfoot camper. 
We decide to do an easy mountain bike ride as Cathy is not strong on technical trails yet so we drive out to Dead Horse Point SP and do a loop of trails that follow the canyon overlooking the Colorado river. The snow covered mountains in the background are the La Sals.

We head out from the visitors centre, right at the Great Pyramid trail, Big Chief, cross #313 onto Crossroads,Whiptail, Twisted Tree, Prickly Pair and then return via Prickly Pair, Whiptail, Crossroads and back to the vehicles on Raven Roll. Had some pretty spectacular views of the Colorado from different vantage points. Drove to Dead Horse Point after and hiked along the rim for an hour.
Next day , as things were getting warmer, Pat and Dave hike up Mill Creek. This is one of the lower pools that someone is having a lot of fun in. We bump into lots of families and kids. 
We hike past everyone until we get to a nice pool and a canyon wall. Dave going climbing up for another splash. Turned around at this spot although Dave hiked up the canyon for awhile. Coming back we scaled the heights above the pool and there is a narrow ledge that by passes the pools on the left if you did not want to go swimming to access the trail up canyon. Bit of exposure.
Lots of kids diving in these pools which is around 1/2 hour hike below where we turned around.







Tom and Cathy have to head for home which is in Kamloops BC. This will be their last ride. From our camping area, we head up the road towards #313 and turn left on Lone Mesa trail. We ride the slickrock until we are above the parking area at the start of Ramblin Ralphs, which is part of Navajo Rocks. We all say goodbye and the 4 of us continue around the complete loop, from Ramblin, onto Rocky Tops, Conney Island, Big Lonely and then back to our camp.
Next day, Tom, Sandra Dave and Pat head off from camp and ride along the road turning right on Big Lonely, then right again on Chisholm until we arrive at the Horse Thief CG. Keep going until we cross #313 and then onto Getaway.
Lunch break part way down 7Up with Monitor and Merrimac Buttes in the background.
Heading down 7Up we run into the Navajo Rocks trails and crossing #313 again. From the parking area , up to Lone Mesa and right on the road back to the campsite. A long 4 hour ride.
The winds have been pretty strong up at our boondock spot so after the weekend, we decided to try camping down lower along the Colorado at Gold Bar CG. Very little wind and the temps are warmer as we have dropped almost 1500'.
This is our view from the camp chairs as the sun starts to set.
Today, sadly will be our last mountain bike ride in Moab.Tom leaves his truck at a parking area at the Couthouse Wash TH and the 4 bikes along with the 4 riders, Pat,Dave,Tom, Sandra get shuttled up to the TH at the top of Getaway just off #313.
Its a blast down to the TH for Bull Run. This is typical of the canyon we follow. Mostly slick rock with lots of ledgy sections.
Looking back at the trail which follows the tan coloured rocks along the Bull Canyon walls. After saying goodbyes to Tom and Sandra at Arth's corner, we will ride up Getaway to our truck and Tom and Sandra ride Arth's, Little Canyon and then down Gemini Bridges road to #191 and then back to their truck.
May17th we head out of Moab and head up to I70 and turn west for our eventual destination Bend where we have never been. Pull into a campground north of Salina as the temperature starts to drop below freezing and big flakes of wet snow start to fall. CG pretty empty. Sites are all electric. Wake up next morning to snow on the windshield and snow covering the higher ground. Lucky, all would melt from the highways.
As we head north towards Provo and then east on #80 then north on #93 towards Twin Falls the weather turns nice but there is a lot of wind. Trailer get slapped around by strong side wind gusts. We are now travelling west towards Bend with lots of snow still on the local mountains.
Checked out a few campgrounds on #26 heading to Bend but because of the holiday weekend coming up, all the CG's along the highway we full. Thought we would try the Prineville Reservoir SP and what a nice site it was. Pulled into the non serviced area as we are don't require any services but the manager quickly escorted us to the electric and water sites. This one overlooked the reservoir.
This is the view we have in the morning as we sip our coffee watching the fishermen head out in their boats.
Head to Redmond, then south to Bend. This is a view of one of the volcanoes in the area with lots of snow still lingering after a long, snowy winter. Find out that Bend's CG are full because of a large event so we head north to Sisters where we got a non serviced site at Sisters Creekside Campground.
Got some directions from the local bike shop to ride the Peterson Loop mountain bike trails so we did the 20.8 mile outside loop. Fairly easy riding after Moab. Some lava rock riding but mostly Ponderosa Pine sandy single track. Got back to the campsite and found out there were longtime friends from Smithers BC camping next to us. What a coincidence. Got together with them and after catching up on all of the Smithers gossip over a fire and beverages, decided to ride up the #242, the MacKenzie highway on our touring bikes. The road is closed to motor vehicles after the gate and it is a popular ride to the top where they quit plowing the road. These are Smithers friends at the turn around point. Big snow year!!!!!!
A group photo. Dave is up on the snow bank taking pictures. Dave and Pat rode right from the campsite while all of the others got a shuttle up to the gate. Next day we all went o the MTB riding ares out of Bend called Phils. Lots of vehicles in the parking area this being Sunday the 21st of the long weekend. Didn't take any photos but we rode for at least 4 hours. Rode up Kent's, then Phils to Storm King(had to walk some of Phils. Pretty steep up). Down Storm King, C.O.D. (which took a long time) and then back to Phils TH on Marvin's Garden.
Said goodbyes to our Smithers friends and decide to head to Leavenworth ,Washington before crossing the border. Son Shane has riddin here before and said it was fun and the camping good and the Oktoberfest town kind of funky. Get direction from the local bike shop and here were are at the ski area ready to ride the big loop.
Pat ridding down towards #7702 after climbing all the way up from the ski lodge to the lookout on 4 The Boyz. 
We ride up the Freund Canyon road until we get to a parking area where the single track starts to climb. It is a 4 mile climb to 3000' which is where this photo is taken. Check out the green valley and mountains surrounding Leavenworth which is in the valley below. Quite the change from the browns and reds of the southern desert where we have just been.
Pat viewing the valley from the Rosy Boa trail. Lots of clay, flowey single track as we make our way back to the lodge.
The trail heads out to the point left of the rocky knob and then intersects with 4 The Boyz.
Our campsite is about 10 miles up Icicle creek at a USFS campground. Few services but fairly private because of the big trees. We find that the solar output is down because of the shade but temps are low, kinda on the cool side.  Thought it would be nice on the last day to hike up in the alpine. Because of the lingering snow we did not know how far up the mountain we could hike before turning back. The TH is not that far from our CG.
Pretty typical Cascade mountain scenery. Snowy peaks, steep valleys. The trail up was good but fairly steep in places. We are in pretty good shape after some of the hikes done down south so we hiked up to the snow in no time.
Got fairly close to the pass behind us before turning back due to snow. In the summer, it is a nice hike over the pass, past some lakes , then down into Leavenworth.
Heading down through an old burn.
Time to head back home. This is Pateros which is situated along the mighty Columbia river. Fruit is king here and the climate has changed to semi arid compared to the interior wet belt in Leavenworth.
Cross the border no problem and decide to stay one more night camping at the Okanagan Lake Park (south). Great to just relax and chill out around the campfire. Sites here are quite private and lots of room for longer rigs at the back up against the hill. Hard to believe it has been 8 weeks since we crossed the border at Osoyoos.



Got back home to Coldstream one day over 8 weeks since leaving. Had not missed much as May was extremely wet with floods everywhere. What no one could predict, was that it would spinkle 10mm of moisture in the next 3 months making it the worse forest fire season on record.