October 28, 2012

Ready, Set, Go!

On a sub-freezing October morning north of Moab, Utah, an entire camp of eager endurance riders are up before sunrise.  The LaSal Mountains are outlined against the brightening sky.
After bustling around, feeding,watering, and saddling, the 50 mile riders and their dancing Arabians are ready to go by 7:30. (A few quarter horses and other breeds, and even one mule, join the fray.)
And they're off!  The 25 milers (us!) leave an hour later. 
Here I am about mid-way through a ride.  Sorry, the photo is a little blurry.  Both stops and photos are few and far between.
It's big country.  We traverse shifting sands and wind around Navaho sandstone formations.  Above, look closely for 2 riders on the left hand side of the panorama. 
We have views of the LaSal Mountains in the distance, but not a lot of leisure to admire the scenery. 
All in all, we learned a lot and rode some beautiful trails.  On our drive home, we stopped for a photo of Canyonlands geology.

October 14, 2012

Golden Cottonwoods

We ride toward the painted hills on the rim of Diamond Plateau, 2500 feet above our starting point on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument.
Cottonwood gold makes water sources easy to find this time of year.  In this case, the strip of gold grows along an aptly named Cottonwood Springs.
Coco enjoys his water, even when there's not much to be had.
At Boone Springs, he greedily slurps his fill from an old cow trough.
Mature deer don't grow very big in this dry country, judging by the size of these antlers.
A photo stitch taken from an overlook shows the Green River meandering through Island Park.  This two square mile horseshoe shaped curve of the river was first named by the Wesley Powell Expedition that passed through this area in the late 1860's.  Island Park is a popular launch location for rafters beginning a float through Split Mountain.
Poor Daisy had to stay home.  No dogs are allowed in the National Monument, more's the pity.

October 9, 2012

Strawberry Narrows

We started out on the southern shore of Strawberry Reservoir.
The Strawberry narrows trail is designated as hiking/biking/horsebackriding.  The views of the lake are pretty. 
As we rode about 6 miles down the narrow, winding trail, we worried a little about running into a biker, perhaps literally. 
So, on our way back, we followed a ravine up a few hundred feet and found a great little 2 track through the aspen.  That made a safer horse trail. 
As we reached the gravel road leading to the marina, we saw this sign.  Anybody have a few million dollars to spare?   You could build your dream summer home up there.

October 2, 2012

Falling Leaves

Our trails are carpeted with fallen aspen gold.
A few groves still maintain their full glory.
Daisy enjoys swimming with floating leaves in a reflecting pond.
We stopped at this fence for a quick lunch. 
The view toward Daniel's Pass still has lots of color. 
Aspen surround a rock fin on the side of a mountain. Willows are in the foreground, growing along a creek.
Gold leaves hang on the spruce boughs like Christmas ornaments lit by the sun.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin