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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Our time among the canyons

Two days ago, I ended my post by mentioning why we call our Sportsmobile "The Labmobile". Here is the other reason. When we first got the van, we had three Labs in our life, including S, the yellow lab.
This photo still encapsulates what I visualize when I think of our Labmobile. I took the above photo of the trio in March of 2009 on our way to Moab, and it turned out to be S's last road trip with us. On the very day that we returned home, he showed his first signs of anal gland carcinoma. He passed to the Rainbow Bridge a couple of months later.

Now, I'll continue the story of our recent trip to the desert. After our excursions to the "Top of the World" and the valley below, we ended up staying in one spot for several nights far enough outside of Moab that it was peaceful and quiet. My back was starting to flare up (the problem that's continuing now) so staying in one place seemed smart. And, it was a gorgeous spot.
The weather was wild, ranging from the 20's overnight to sunny 60's during the day to 70 mph gusts of wind to rain!

On morning, we awakened to a storm but decided to head out for a combined bike ride and run as a foursome. The red rock looked unrecognizable as the rain glistened on its slick surface.
As we climbed upward for the first 15 minutes, a chilling rain pelted us as the wind drove raindrops that felt like stinging daggers into our faces. I halted to don a rain jacket. As expected, that caused the rain squall to stop.
Just a short time later, K panted in the sunlight as she stood in red sand with perfectly blue sky behind her.
Later, as we descended toward camp, K bowed in front of a rock face that looked remarkably like a courthouse facade.
By the end of our pack run/ride, the world looked almost normal again. The rain had already evaporated from the rock.
I spent time exploring the area alone on my mountain bike. It was a world of rock cliffs and a huge sand pasture in the middle. As I rode in intense wind, I realized that the deep sand in the pasture had been scoured off the cliffs and buttes by the wind and deposited downwind of them.
Some of the buttes that were gradually being whittled away by the wind were grandiose in their scale. Do you see my bike propped at the base of this ship-like butte? It looks like a tiny toy bike.
I loved playing on the "aprons" of the buttes, expansive stretches of slickrock that were fun for bike riding!

I also enjoyed the views of the snowy mountains not far away.
Each afternoon, we'd take a hike before dinner, enjoying the sun set. The sun would select certain rock faces to highlight each evening. And, with no one else around, the dogs could scamper as much as they wanted!
We'd usually finish our hike just as the sun set, setting the red rock ablaze.
K patiently let me photograph her in the setting sunlight.
One sunset was sublime. The soft orange light with storm clouds in the background made our canyon feel magical.
It was a wonderful get-away and a great break from winter. Usually, we still have numerous big snowstorms ahead of us at this point in the year.


  1. OK, I'm going to get a little gushy here. Aren't we lucky to live on this wonderful continent? There is so much beauty, no matter where we turn. The soft, weathered beauty of the East Coast, the mountains, the deserts, the plains, the majesty of the West Coast. All of it special, and magnificent in its own right. I hope that we remember to be good stewards of it all, in the years to come.

    OK, sorry, gush over. The dogs are wonderful, as always. I loved the picture in the Labmobile.

  2. Awesome pix... and yes, loved the boot full of dogs.

    Recently watched 127 hours movie - I did wonder about people who venture into the canyons alone!
    I also saw one programme - think it was "I shouldnt be alive" - about a woman rescued from this terrain by her dog - she sent him away and they found her just in time after some nights alone out there. Hopefully three of them would look after you.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Just magnificent!

    Your pal, Pip

  4. Khyra and I say THAT is our kind of weather!

    Great pics!

  5. These pictures are just beyond words for me, KB! They just take my breath away, except for the pups in the Labmobile and that rates a good laugh.


    Jo and Stella

  6. They're like photos out of National Geographics!


  7. I think to be in that rain storm would give a feeling of experiebcing magic. It must have been the most awsome storm to have it pour and then the sun come out to dry it all away.
    Beautiful, beautiful photographs and we feel so happy inside that you can experience all this.

  8. a little grand canyon..beautiful
    Benny & Lily

  9. How did you manage to leave there? It's so beautiful! I love all the pictures, and K seems to be completely in her element.

    A squawker is one of those things hunters use that makes a sound similar to what is in some squeaky toys. It's a long bendy looking tube. Most Greyhound people have one in case their hound gets loose. A lot of times you can lure Greyhounds back if you have one and can distract them from whatever they may have given chase to. It's also handy for photo ops, if used carefully! :P

  10. You do have photos of the most gorgeous scenery. Are you ever concerned about predators while riding or camping in these remote places?

  11. That rock pavement is amazing. Perfect running for the duo !

  12. Of course I loved all of the pictures, but you know my favorite was three labs being comfortable in the labmobile.

  13. Stunning as usual - glad to see you on again!
    That pic of the "Labratrio" is so sweet. I'm sorry you lost your sweet yellow boy.

  14. Beautiful pictures, KB...such a gorgeous area and such gorgeous doggies, too, of course :) And it is always wonderful to see pictures of the handsome S!

  15. Each photo is magical! Love this area, and you captured the amazing pieces of it's beauty and adventure.

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  16. These are some gorgeous photos!

  17. Truly magical. I can never get enough of Moab. Ever. You've brought home some precious memories!

  18. It's interesting to see the pups out of their usual snowy territory. :)

  19. I really think the colour of the sandstone makes the pictures that much more compelling...soft, warm shades and hues...K looks so well fitted in the the playful pic(No.6)! Cheers once more!


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