June 19, 2021

Busy day. Started with a sunrise ride at RAT

Then off-roading Engineer Pass

Michael Breen Mine ruins

As we got above the tree line and onto the shelf road, a hail storm hit – Watch the video here

but it cleared up on top, notice the hail on the windshield. Lunch spot!

Since the pass isn’t the top of Engineer Mountain, we hiked last 1/4 mile up to the 13,218 foot summit.

The actual pass…

A waterfall

Ute Ulay ghost town

A big hole in the dam

We took the long way home, something like 12 hours over the mountain and through the woods.

Two majestic elk and one derpy elk

June 8, 2021

After yesterday’s disappointment, we decided to find more ruins and less people. Sand Canyon Trail in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument was picked.

It is listed as a mountain bike trail too, but wouldn’t be a fun ride we we hiked the 8 miles round trip.

There are 7 different ruin sites on the hike.

None as big as Mesa Verde, but they are very cool! Like most days, I captured way more video than stills, one day I will have time to edit.

Everyday I photograph cactus flowers, I don’t know why, but at least I got a bee in flight.

Surely you didn’t think I would not get another picture of Pongo….

June 5, 2021

Today was a calm day, set up camp, breakfast in Mancos (may have been only the 3rd time we had eaten out in 3 weeks) and I explored the trails around the camp, turns out there is an awesome trail – Ramparts – at the entrance of our little dead end. I didn’t bring anything other than my cell phone, to bad I didn’t have the GoPro, I crashed pretty spectacularly on a downhill, but the next day I made a video Click to Watch

Seriously gorgeous sunsets!

As I said, a calm day and at elevation, it was chilly, so we fired up the Mr. Buddy heater and settled in for movie night – really watching our favorite YouTube channels.

June 4, 2021

Day 22 of 49, and the 9th state of the trip.

We love traveling back roads (I even named my YouTube Channel Backroad Capers – with the suggestion from James and Elizabeth) and Beth loves her “shortcuts” but this might be too back road…. cowboys were driving teh herd down the road….

We explored forest service roads in the San Juan National Forest outside Mancos and found this dead end road.

with this view from camp.

June 3, 2021

We decided we were not going to miss the Milky Way and the sunrise at Delicate Arch again, so this morning we hiked up to be there at 3am. (left camp at 1am)

It was perfect and we had the place to ourselves.

I had not realized as the moon rose, I would loose the Milky Way, this is all moon light casting the shadow of the Delicate Arch on the bowl below

I loved this shadow and played with it till sunrise. We were still alone till after 5am but could see the headlights of hikers making there way up the trail, including the one poor woman we were shouting with as she was WAY off trail and on the wrong side of the bowl.

Painting with light

Now that people were arriving and ruining our solitude, we hiked down as the masses were heading up.

It was a wonderful sunrise

Since we had an early start, we beat the crowd to Devil’s Garden and hiked to a couple more arches, including Landscape Arch

Tunnel Arch

Pinetree Arch

Skyline Arch

We knew better than to go out the 4×4 trails from the day before, none of us wanted another 6 hours of off-roading, so we headed out the main entrance, which was already closed to new cars coming in and it was before 10am, and we took a nap, checked the forecast (calling for temps over 100) and decided to make a run for elevation and Colorado. One final sunset looking over the La Sal Mountains.

May 26, 2021

Newspaper Rock, a rock panel carved with one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs.

I loved the details – The first carvings at the Newspaper Rock site were made around 2,000 years ago, left by people from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures.

The site is the beginning of Canyonlands National Park and one of longest days of off-roading in my life.

The 4×4 trail to our campsite starts with Elephant Hill, a classic off-roading challenging and begins with steep switchbacks and long drops before slow and technical driving.

In 8 hours or so we traveled 17 miles, 1 mile of which was hiking.

The view from the Colorado River and Green River confluence.

We made it to camp without any damage to the trucks and decided to hike out to find Horsehoof Arch as the sun set, we never found the arch, but it was an amazing hike.

We beat the sunset back to camp

Camp at Bobby Jo –