Lassen Volcanic National Park: July 13-17, 2018


Upper Kings Creek Meadow, Lassen Peak in the background


Lassen Volcanic doesn’t seem to be overwhelmed by the masses like the more popular national parks.  In four days we barely saw any of it, part of the reason is there’s not a road that goes straight through the park.  The southwest and northwest areas are  accessible via the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway.  The northeast and southeast corners are only accessible by dirt road and in between is wilderness area accessible only by foot.

Denise, Rob, Rob’s daughter Leticia, and her two kids, Robin and Martin met us and camped a few sites down from us at Manzanita Lake Campground.  It’s always a pleasure seeing them.  Unfortunately Leticia and 18 month old Martin didn’t make it into any of the photos.  There’s no mountain biking in national parks so we hiked three days, with the highlight being Lassen Peak.  It’s an easy 2.5 miles up with 2,000 feet elevation gain and spectacular views the whole way.

We also went to a bird banding demonstration.  It was quite interesting how they catch the birds in a net strung across an area where they are known to fly back and forth.  Then they bag them and bring them to the banding station.  They identify the bird, sex, age, take measurements, put the poor guy upside down in a 35mm film container to weight it, band it, and then release it.

At 2am one evening thunder boomed and lightning lit up the inside of the Airstream like a disco strobe light.  It felt like it was directly above us.  It was absolutely magnificent.  Sara had a different opinion.  It scared the bejesus out of her.



Manzanita Lake early morning



Butter Lupine


Summit Lake, Lassen Peak in the background


Royal Beardtongue


Yellow Warbler before being banded


Lucky Amelia got to release the Yellow Warbler after she was banded.


Bye bye birdie


Chaos Crags, one of the hikes we did.


Sacramento Waxydogbane, I swear I didn’t make that name up.  It’s relatively rare.


White Veined Wintergreen


The best kabob dinner ever!  Four different kinds; top sirloin, chicken, shrimp, and baby portabellas with green bell peppers all grilled to perfection over charcoal briquets.


The base of Lassen Peak and the beginning of the spectacular hike.


Up, up, and up we go.



Golden Draba, found mainly on the summits of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range


Mountain Pride


Amelia going through the last snowbank before the scramble up to Lassen Peak


Lassen Peak Smelowskia, found only on the summit of Lassen Peak and the saddle between Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags.



The summit!


Lemmon’s Paintbrush



The last supper, we just polished off a batch of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

Bend again: July 7-13, 2018


Pat, Vaughan, Amelia, Roger, and me overlooking Paulina Lake on the Newberry Caldera


Five years later we are in Bend again with the same cast of characters sans R and Dona. Pat still lives here, but in a new house, and is still a gracious host and great ambassador for her community.  Roger and Gail again came out from Portland.

We actually camped at La Pine State Park, which was a little further south than we imagined, since it was another fifteen minutes to the campground after turning off of the 97.  When we first pulled in we were both quietly anxious as we kept driving and driving, both of us thinking the same thing but not saying it, where in the hell is the campground?  Are we on the correct road?

We originally contemplated boondocking, but it can get hot in this part of Oregon in July so we made reservations at La Pine.  La Pine is one of those rarities, a full hook up campground.  Not a big dollar RV Resort, or a RV Park where they line you up parking lot style, but a campground.

There are many obvious benefits to a full hook up campground, especially if you are there six days, but one of the biggest benefits in our book is no one is using a generator. Kids having fun is fine.  We actually enjoy watching them doing laps on their bikes around the campground, but generators are no bueno.  The noise is disruptive, the expensive Honda or Yamaha whisper generators aren’t too bad, but invariably someone has a 5,000 watt Champion generator or some other huge industrial one that can power an entire building.  It would be quieter camping on the shoulder of the I-15 in the Inland Empire.  That’s my version of the proverbial old man standing on his porch yelling at the kids to get off the grass.

It ended up being a smart move on our part not to boondock. It was the first time for us to fire up the furnace in the morning because it was 37 degrees and then on the same day crank the AC as the thermometer pushed past 90.

Five years later, Bend is a little larger and unless my memory is failing me again, it has a few more roundabouts, but it still has the never ending flowy single track trails it’s famous for, albeit, quite dusty and breweries everywhere.

Pat took Roger and us on two rides.  A 20 mile ride with a decent amount of climbing around the Newberry Caldera and then a 32 mile epic from Mt. Bachelor to Bend.  We also did a couple of rides by ourselves, the trail system around La Pine State Park and the famous Ben, Pinedrops, Whoops, Phils loop.  Pat and her beau, Vaughan, also hosted dinner one evening in her beautiful backyard.  We’ve been truly blessed this summer to meet up with friends on most of our stops.

We rarely pay to have someone shuttle us.  The Mt Bachelor to Bend ride is only the fourth time, (and we didn’t even pay, Pat used her punch card) but we always seem to get a good story out of the drivers. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth. In Downieville, the driver referred to the Tahoe trails as “doinky doink.” A decade later we still reference that phrase when we do a really easy ride. Then there’s the famous Shuttle Bob in Kernville. He gives all the ladies a gift and a hard time to the guys. This trip we had Todd from Cog Wild. Amelia was sitting shotgun and got to hear about all the places he lived, in between listing places he drops the hippopotamus joke on her.

“Do you know why you never see hippos hiding in the trees here?” pause… “Because they hide really well!”


Full hook up



What’s wrong with a morning nap with your dog?  Some people think it’s funny and take a bunch of pictures of you.


The lunch spot overlooking East Lake on the Newberry Caldera


Common Blue Butterfly on Amelia’s hand, doesn’t that mean good luck?






Rock art


Cog Wild shuttle van, that’s Pat and Roger on the right


A few miles from where Todd dropped us off, Mt Bachelor in the background, bug spray in hand, the girls are ready for the mosquito zone.


The most brilliant Paintbrush any of us have ever seen


As you can tell by the expression on Amelia’s face it was a barefoot cold water crossing.  And no time for dilly dallying around when putting your shoes back on because the mosquitoes would get you.  Photo courtesy of Roger


Action shot courtesy of Pat


Sara the killer got a chipmunk.  Amelia got the assist.


Sulpher Flower Buckwheat with a calm section of the Deschutes River.


Washington Lily


Benham Falls on the Deschutes


Bye bye Bend



Riding Bikes on a Trail in Ketchum


You don’t ride over rivers on cool bridges in San Diego.

On the trail Greg is almost always waiting for me. Mostly he is out in front, but occasionally on a technical section or a blazing downhill he says, “Amelia you get out in front.”  But on climbs, I get out of his way.

In case you didn’t know, he rides a single speed.  He talked me into riding a single speed and I did it for a couple of years.  I got stronger, but not any skinnier because as the saying goes: one gear, more beers.  Now I ride a full suspension geared bike and I don’t drink beer, but sadly I still am not any skinnier.  But I digress.

So, he rides a single speed and he’s a guy which means he rides faster than me which equals waiting for me.  On new dirt (code for new trails) he stops more often, “To keep you in my sights, Amelia.”

On our first ride in Ketchum about half way through the ride I came upon Greg waiting for me and said, “It sounds like there are people ahead of us singing.”

Not ten minutes later, there he is waiting again. “Listen, it’s not people singing, it’s cows mooing,” he said.

Half way up some steep ass grueling switchbacks that had me panting so hard I couldn’t even register what Greg was saying to me. (BTW, he does that to me a lot…talks to me at the top of a climb where he has caught his breath, but I am completely out of breath doubled over panting like a dog.)  Anyway, I catch my breath and look to where he is pointing.  Sheep.  Tons of sheep.  And of course, there was literally one black sheep.  On a steep ass mountain.  Bleating.  Eating.  Bleating.  Maneuvering over the steep ass terrain as if it were a walk in the park.  All the while bleating!  We laughed at our discovery and their funny bleating.  Then we mimicked them as we rode away to finish my favorite ride of our summer trip so far.

On other rides at the trailheads we read about the sheep, but did not get any pictures of the sheep on the trail.


Sheep facts


Greg waited until I caught my breath to take this picture.


Sun Valley: July 1-6, 2018



Our best boondock spot yet


Boy oh boy did we stumble upon an awesome spot.  It’s so good we can’t tell you where it is, except that it’s in the Sun Valley area. 🙂  We had done our due diligence, researched boondock sites for the area, got on google earth to get a clear picture, and defined our top four spots.  The spot we landed on we didn’t even know about, but a fellow traveler, who took our first spot, told us about it.  While on the road, for the most part, it’s refreshing how good natured and kind hearted most people are.  The same thing happened to us at the Valley of the Gods, so we naturally try to do the same, we’ll tell you in person about this site, but we are not going to send it out on the world wide web.

Again we shared the enjoyment of friends, Doña, originally from San Diego, now living in Boise, came out to visit for a couple of days.  And Acomb and his girl Lynn, flew out from SoCal to spend his birthday with us.

As for the mountain biking, there’s a crazy amount of steep climbs, breathtaking views,  well marked trails, and a lot of gulches.  And we had a couple of cold mornings for July, cold like 28 degrees outside and 43 degrees in the Airstream!  And lucky Amelia, she saw a Pileated Woodpecker.  The biggest woodpecker we have in North America.



One of the best signs ever.  This was behind Castle’s Corner Exxon Station in Carey, Idaho.


Someone looks happy on her first ride in the Sun Valley area, Fox Creek.


Evening pic of our awesome spot.  The sunset was around 9:30pm and it would be light until 10pm.  Because of the steep mountains around us we would be in the shade at 7:30pm.


This deer seemed oblivious to us, walking around outside of our dining room window.


Adams Gulch ride, right from the get go it was climb, climb, climb.


Doña & Amelia.  I don’t know if it’s true or not but rumor has it they were the first women mountain bikers in San Diego.


A view of Sun Valley Ski Resort from the White Cloud Trail


Loving our public lands



Our spot was way, way down in this valley.


Amelia on the Grinder Trail in Galena.


Senate Meadows, Galena



The creek below our spot, I can’t name it because that would give away our spot.


116 years between us and a lot of stories


Lynn and Amelia, spring chickens compared to their old men


You can take the girl out of Clairemont, but you can’t take the school crossing guard out of the girl.  True story, Amelia was on safety patrol at Longfellow Elementary in Clairemont.  Ketchum has flags at many of the crosswalks, so we were all having fun.  Some of the rich folks in their fancy SUVs had no sense of humor.


Having fun


Amelia collects heart rocks, so we had to get a picture of Heart Rock Ranch

Craters of the Moon National Monument: June 29-30, 2018


Squeezing out of the Buffalo Caves

It was nice to get Idaho Falls in the rear view mirror.  Heading towards Arco we saw antelope on both sides of the road and the Three Buttes were getting larger.

One of my classic childhood stories involved the Craters.  My brother and I, to say the least, weren’t the biggest fans of our paternal grandparents, Beaumont and Mildred.  It wasn’t until later we found out Mildred wasn’t even our dad’s mom.  They always seemed to be around, Sacramento, Idaho Falls, and San Diego, they were close by.  They wanted to see their grandkids, but when it came to taking us someplace they could only handle one of us at a time.

On this particular occasion I was the unlucky one they wanted to take on an overnight trip to the Craters.  It was a hot summer day and Beaumont had the AC going full blast in his blue Chevrolet Caprice.  Both of them were smoking cigarettes like chimneys, with the front windows cracked just a little for the smoke to escape, but plenty of it still engulfed me in the backseat.  We spent the night at a motel in Arco, where they smoked in the room until it was lights out.  The next morning we had breakfast at a diner, where they smoked straight through the meal, and then afterwards the waitress kept refilling their coffee cups and they kept smoking and sipping.  I remember just wanting to yell, “Let’s go!”

We did the Craters and and then came home in the afternoon.  Something happened and they had to leave which meant Eric didn’t have to go on an overnight trip with them.  He was ecstatic about it, but acted like he was bummed in front of them.  To make up for it they gave him $50 cash!  Once they left Eric was running around laughing and shaking the money.

The park is in great shape.  The rangers and volunteers do a wonderful job. At over 750,000 acres it’s big, but feels small because of what you can actually access.  It is perfect for a two day visit, especially if you are lucky enough to grab one of the first come first serve spots in the 42 unit campground, which we did.  The resiliency and stark contrast between the black lava and living plants is awesome.  It’s an other worldly experience.

You are allowed to go unguided in any of the five caves, you just need a permit, which is free and amounts to only answering a few questions.  We took a group guided tour.  Which is something we usually do not do, but may have to more often because it was really fascinating.  The Ranger did a great job talking about the volcanic activity and different types of lava, how they formed, and answering questions.  After the guided tour of Indian Tunnel  we did three more caves on our own.  Well, really two and a half, we started to go into Boy Scout Cave but got the heebie-jeebies about how dark it was and how low you had to crawl through some of the passages.  The iPhone flashlights are only so good, we would’ve felt more comfortable with our 800 lumens mountain biking lights.

My favorite was the Beauty Cave.  It was darker than dark, but no low ceilings, and at the very back there was ice!  I still can’t believe they let you trounce around in the caves unguided.  Even more amazing, we never saw any graffiti.

Craters of the Moon, a really different place worth visiting.




Caves make me think of Tom Sawyer.


It can certainly be spooky in the caves if you let your mind get the best of you.

Cinder Garden of Dwarf Buckwheat, Dwarf Purple Monkeyflower, and a few Primrose Monkeyflowers


Primrose Monkeyflower, the itty bitty tiny little flowers are something else.


Dwarf Purple Monkeyflower


Dwarf Buckwheat


Huge pressure ridge

Cushion Wild Buckwheat

Wax Currant

Limber pinecone


It looks like someone splattered yellow paint all over this lichen covered rock.


The hard to photo Blue Copper Butterfly on a Cushion Wild Buckwheat

My two girls enjoying the morning sun.

Atop the Inferno Cone looking east


Southern view


Blazing Star

I once lived in Idaho Falls



I once lived in this house.


As a child you kind of live in your own world and are oblivious to your surroundings.  If you are lucky you’re just a kid having fun, that was me in Idaho Falls.  We moved there in the middle of 5th grade and left for San Diego at the end of 8th grade, what I consider the formative years.  My recollections of that time are a lot of camping, fishing, hunting, learning to ski, and picking wild asparagus along the irrigation canals.

My Grid Kid football team (just like Pop Warner, but for some reason it was called Grid Kid in Idaho?) got to play in the Southeastern Idaho championship game on AstroTurf at the Idaho State University mini dome in Pocatello.  This is when AstroTurf was a big deal.  Our little league baseball had four teams.  The blue hats, light blue hats, red hats, and green hats.  I kid you not!  I was on the green hats.

I learned to play the trumpet and was even in the marching band.  I also remember the biting cold and having to walk to the school bus stop.  One time we all waited and waited and the bus never showed up, so we went home and school ended up being canceled.  The busses could not start in 20 below zero weather that day.

During the winter, the city would make ice skating rinks on the empty lots in the neighborhoods.  They would just snowplow the snow to form a rink and then the water truck would come by to fill it, it would freeze, and we would skate.

The last time I was in Idaho Falls was 1994, and before that 1978.  In the 44 years since we moved a lot of changes have occurred in the world and Idaho Falls.  My childhood memory of Idaho Falls was not meshing with what I was seeing and feeling.  I guess it’s silly to think it would, but it still brought me down.

It seemed like a clean, neat little Mormon town when we lived there.  What I saw was run down, dirty, and a rough crowd with a bad element.  I’m sure it didn’t help that our first stop was downtown to find a place for dinner.  Driving there we passed payday loan stores, vape shops, smoke shops, liquor stores, and seedy bars with rooms above.  Maybe that stuff was always there, minus the vape shops, but I don’t think so.

After dinner we drove down E 17th St.  The farmer’s field my brother and I used to walk through to go to Albertson’s to eat free donut holes (that’s right free, they hadn’t yet figured out yet they could sell them) was now a mile of strip centers and a Sam’s Club.  Amazingly enough the Albertson’s was still there.

All the old houses on the north side of the street looked worse than their age.  The backstops for the little league fields where still behind the old KID tv/radio building, but you could tell the fields haven’t been used in years.

I called my dad and told him what I saw, he confirmed my thoughts.  Back when we lived there it was a clean, neat little Mormon town.  I had plans to see all my old haunts but after one evening I saw enough, so we stayed around the Ririe area.  And I worked on getting my head screwed back on.  We didn’t go back to IF, we just drove through on our way to the next stop.



Field of mustard seed heading into Ririe


Sara chilling while we were setting up


Sunset over Ririe Reservoir


We did a short ride at this trailhead.


This part of Idaho is not known for mountain biking trails.  There’s a lot of shared use with ATV’s.


Osprey are a dime a dozen along the Snake River.  So many, that special platforms are built for their nests.  This couple was making a colorful statement.


Where I learned to ski, Kelly Canyon Ski Resort.  I can’t believe they are still in business!  It hasn’t changed a bit, still a rinky dink four lift ski area, heck still the same old slow chairs.  I guess 40 minutes from Idaho Falls is what keeps them in business.


An evening stroll on one of the docks at Ririe Reservoir.


Juniper Campground, a Bonneville County Park.  It was really quite nice, full hook ups, spacious and no mosquitoes.  It was also quiet mid week, but apparently it fills up during the weekend with loud water enthusiasts using Ririe Reservoir.


Utah’s state flower in Idaho, a Sego Lily



Grand Teton National Park: June 25-27, 2018


Teton Mountain Range

The Tetons are truly mesmerizing.

The National Park Service has a real dilemma on their hands.  The most popular parks are being loved to death.  The crowds overwhelm the roads, facilities, and trails.  On our one hike, we saw two trails that were closed due to damage because of heavy use and were being repaired, so the sign said.  You try not to let the masses impact your enjoyment, but it does.  The idea of getting out in nature, at least for us, has been to escape the crowds and detox from the hustle and bustle of everyday living.  I don’t know what the answer is to the problem, but they need to figure something out before we ruin these national treasures.

When we were planning this trip, even though Yellowstone is only 30 miles away, we decided to skip it because of the crowds.  I’ve been there many times as a kid growing up in Idaho Falls, and Amelia once, but she was so young she only has vague recollections.  Perhaps when she retires we’ll go off season, if there’s such a thing as an off season then.

Just like when we were at the Grand Canyon and Bryce, we boondocked right outside of the park boundary on national forest land.  Our site was just okay.  It’s become a popular boondock spot because of websites like campendium, so you’ll never be alone.  The dirt road is heavily traveled and dusty.  But the reason why we cut our stay short was the mosquitoes!  If West Nile Virus is still a thing, then we most certainly got it.  Our spoiled San Diego skin is not used to being penetrated by mosquitoes.  We must be a delicacy the way they were coming after us.  In the morning and evening, while taking shelter in the Airstream, the mosquitoes were outside clinging onto the screens.  I have no doubt those little rat bastards knew we were inside.

Serendipitously our paths crossed with the Lynch family and they camped right next to us.  It was a real treat to spend time with them.  Jim used to lay tile with my brother and we haven’t seen him and his family since we left Mammoth.




A wiseman (my cousin in Tahoe) once told me there are only two seasons in the mountains, white and orange.  He wasn’t kidding.  We hit numerous one lane flagman situations on the drive from Park City to the Tetons.


Our spot with a beautiful field of cinquefoils and geraniums.



My favorite shot: this was our first evening about 30 yards from our campsite.


Old lady jonesing on a rawhide.


The hike to Hidden Falls with the Lynch family


Me and Jim


The Lynch family and Amelia at Hidden Falls


Play the above video!


Trying to recapture the famous Ansel Adams photograph.


Amelia, ankle deep in the Snake


Love the sign, but it doesn’t matter.  People don’t pay attention.  It’s frustrating as hell to come up on someone, yell at them, and get zero response.


Amelia without earbuds on the Putt Putt trail.  There wasn’t anything putt putt about it.


Driving way from our spot

Jordanelle State Park, Utah: June 19-25, 2018


Every afternoon big puffy clouds would come in.


Interstate 15 in Utah has always been and still is a death alley for deer.  You can hardly go 20 minutes without seeing a huge blood splatter on the road and clumps of deer hair.  Then if you look over to the shoulder you’ll see a mangled dead deer.

Jordanelle State Park is located between Heber City and Park City.  Thanks to a pro tip from  Watsons Wander we booked site #44.  It felt luxurious to spend six nights at one spot with a great lake view and more space than some crowded boondock spots.  We had perfect breezy weather with occasional afternoon gusts and never hot.  An added bonus, the free showers had water pressure so strong you didn’t even need soap.  It would blast the dirt and two layers of skin right off of you.

Some communities thrive and grow, others stagnate and die slow deaths.  Park City is the former.  Granted it’s been 25 years since I’ve been here, but I didn’t recognize it at all.  It is now sprawling with a hoity toity upscale resort vibe.  While Heber City reminded me of Bishop.

The mountain biking is stellar, and lucky us, our friend Joy lives here.  She guided us on two rides, Wasatch Crest and some Mid Mountain Park City stuff.  On the other three rides we did she supplied us with great intel and detailed directions.  And as if all of that wasn’t enough, she invited us to a dinner party at her house.  Her husband Tim did a terrific job grilling for nine people.  It was a very nice evening of dining and socializing.

There were even more flowers here than Cedar Breaks.   Amelia and Sara were having a hard time with it not getting dark until 9:30pm.  The problem I was having with the extra daylight was it seemed like I should have one more beer, so I did!



Coexist, now that’s an idea.


Amelia hike-a-biking to the top of Puke Hill on the Wasatch Crest, just shy of 10,000 feet.


Wasatch Crest Trail


A Swallowtail and a Brushfoots butterfly


Loving her summer vacation


I couldn’t identify this one, but didn’t want to leave it out since it was so Dr. Seuss.


Richardson’s Geranium


Wasatch Beardtongue


Prairie Flax




Green Gentian: it can get up to six feet tall and live multiple years, but dies once it blooms.


Sticky Starwort


Finally a decent sunset


We did a little hike in the Pinebrook area up to this memorial ski lift bench.


I brought a little San Diego with us since Utah has such asinine liquor laws.


If this is what you’d imagined riding in Park City looks like, then you are correct!


Kudos for the awesome trail system!


Joy and Amelia

Cedar Breaks National Monument: June 17-19, 2018


Point Supreme 10,350 feet


Cedar Breaks lived up to our expectations.  It was uncrowded and both the scenery and high altitude were breathtaking.  We did a four mile hike to Ramparts Overlook.  There was no doubt we were no longer at sea level.  Everyone knows Amelia loves flowers, and there were flowers galore.  We were told it was still early flower season and in 2-3 weeks it would really be going off.

Unknown to us, but a known issue to Dometic, their refrigerators do not work well while on propane at high elevation.  Every few hours the flame would go out.  I guess it was a good thing this was only a two night stop.

We are off to the Park City area for some mountain biking!



Sitting pretty and getting plenty of afternoon sun for the solar panel


The meadow across from our campsite. The Spruce Bark Beetle has killed thousands of trees.


Definitely dangerous, but it’s nice not having everything fenced in.


Aspen Bluebells, these were everywhere.


Colorado Columbine





Silvery Lupine



Yellow bellied marmot enjoying the morning sun


One tough tree, Ancient Bristlecone Pine


Parry’s Primrose


Ramparts Overlook


I couldn’t identify this one.


Lanceleaf stonecrop


Cushion Phlox


Free range puggle at Lake Panguitch


Creeping Barberry



Three mile dirt road to the summit.  The Civilian Conservation Corps was a pretty amazing public work relief program.


Brian Head Peak looking down on the Cedar Breaks amphitheater




Snow Canyon State Park, Ivins, Utah: March 29 – April 1, 2018


Glamour shot for the campground brochure, site 18


Here is reality.  Asphalt with a dumpster and dump station located outside your front door.  If you go to Snow Canyon try not to get site 18.  On the plus side there was no one camping right next to us.


The campsite was a dud but you get over it quickly when you are surrounded by stunning natural beauty.  No wonder this place is often called the mini Zion.  The two parks are only 50 miles apart.  Of course, Snow Canyon is a lot smaller and not nearly the  crowd scene that is Zion.  But if you want to camp here you should make your reservations 6 months in advance.  The campground is small and only has 24 sites suitable for trailers.

We turned the campsite into a humorous situation and said things like, “The dumpster is conveniently located outside the front door.”  Then instead of putting a piece of trash in the trash can under the sink, we would just walk it out to the dumpster and toss it in.

It’s kind of gross, but interesting watching everyone dump their tanks.  Some people get really aggressive with the water hose.  The best/funniest thing was this father and his 6 year old son doing laps on their bikes through the campground.  The boy was a real talkative kid and was having a blast riding his bike.  On one lap, the boy points to the dump station and asks his dad, “Do you want to go smell that?”

The dad replies, “No! Do you?”

The kid spouts, “No way!  There’s probably like a 100 poopers in there!”

Amelia and I were just busting up laughing and repeating ‘poopers’ for the rest of the trip.

Snow Canyon has been a filming location in movies, including three Robert Redford movies: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Electric Horseman, and Jeremiah Johnson.  The pictures we took really do not capture the beauty.

As for the biking in the St. George area, we did three rides, two which we’ve done before, Santa Clara River Reserve and Zen.  The one new ride, Barrel, is next to Zen.  Barrel was my favorite.  In my opinion, the St. George area offers great “backyard” riding but not what I consider a destination.  It’s not Hurricane.

And finally, we took the scenic route from Boulder City to Ivins along the westside of Lake Mead.  The 93 to Lakeshore Rd to Northshore Rd which turns into 167, then to the 169 past Valley of Fire State Park through Moapa Valley to the 15 for only 43 miles to the Littlefield/Beaver Dam Arizona exit.  From there east to the backdoor into Ivins via the 91.  It was a fantastically beautiful stress free drive and only about 30 minutes longer than the mind numbing I-15 from Vegas to St. George.  The only thing you miss is the Virgin River Gorge.



Amelia on petrified sand dunes


Oops!  This is actually a Silverleaf Sunray.  On the previous post, Bootleg Canyon, I made a mistake and called it a Nakedstem Sunray.  The error has been corrected.


Ah…a hot cup of Huehuetenango and the morning glow


Great Basin Rattlesnake.  A couple hiking the bottom of Zen trail almost stepped on this beauty.  When we were riding by they were pretty excited to show us.


Desert Rock Nettle


Scrambling in mountain biking gloves and shoes.  The day before we walked up the petrified sand dunes and looked down on a small canyon that really caught our attention.  So the next day we rode our bikes on West Canyon Rd, hid our bikes behind a Utah Juniper, and hiked in.  It was amazing and there was one guy climbing the rock wall with two of his friends watching and three other guys just getting ready to climb.


Basaltic lava flow


The canyon


It’s a completely different kind of person that does rock climbing


West Canyon Rd


Desert Indian Paintbrush


Barrel trail




Ready to go home


Here are four bonus pictures from a hike we did on the drive from Boulder City to Ivins.  It’s in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a hike from the 33 Hole overlook.



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