Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Buddy comes to Moab July 4-6

July 4----July 4 in Moab is festive, but it doesn't compare to what we are used to in Canonsburg, Pittsburgh, or Wheeling. We went into town for a parade, starting at 9:30. It was over at 9:45 and it went around the parade route twice! There were four fire trucks, the first of which was a field fire fighting vehicle, and it hosed down all the people who wanted to get wet. There were about 25 kids on bikes, and the Lone Ranger who had a sign about the bill of rights. That was about it. Don't forget the dinosaur float!!

The parade led off with the brush truck hosing everyone.  When it's in the 90's, nobody really minds!!

There was one tractor....

This guy wasn't in the parade, he just was VERY patriotic!

The dinosaur from the rock and fossil store joined the parade.

      After the parade we listened to a concert by the eight piece town band. The Boy Scouts presented the colors, but the Utah flag kept tipping over in the wind. There was free watermelon, a volleyball tournament, some middle school cheerleaders selling Navajo tacos, and a bake stand. There was free swimming at the town pool, which was really nice, but no one went while we were there. We couldn't stand all the excitement so after eating lunch downtown at Pasta Jays, we headed to the campground to hit their pool.  So did everyone else. It was crowded, the water was refreshing but slimy, and a good time was had by all. 
     Pam left for the airport, which was 16 miles out of town to get Buddy, who was supposed to land at about 8. His flight was late leaving Denver, so he landed at about 8:30. Moab airport might be the smallest I've ever seen!  There was one gate, and a seating area that was like a living room.  A few minutes before the flight was due, they turned on the runway/landing lights and the girl who worked the desk, put on her earplugs, grabbed her 2 neon orange sticks and went outside.  I stood by the door and watched for the plane, but instead heard it zooming overhead and it flew over our building, "coming in hot" onto the runway!  The girl then waved it over to us, unloaded the bags from the plane, set them near the gate and opened the plane door!  Everyone unloaded, sprinted to the restrooms (none on the plane!) and then left.  Buddy said there was a seat on either side of the aisle - little plane!!
 I hopped on my old Soma bike, which we carry for my backup, and rode into town, to the park, and Pam and Bud met me there for the Moab fireworks display. It was really pretty nice, but it was shot off five miles out of town, on a slick rock mountain, where no one can be near the show, and there is no chance of sparking a fire. The display was very small and quiet because of the distance, with the booms getting to us five seconds after the fact. There was no grand finale, but still, they weren't bad fireworks, just not up to Pittsburgh area standards. Bud was exhausted, so we went home and crashed, so we could get up a 6 AM and take a one day rafting trip that had openings only on July 5.
      July 5-----We got up and were at the Adrift Adventure lot by 6:45 am for an hour and a half bus ride to Westwater Canyon, which was nearly to the Colorado state border. We were in the water by nine, and the trip got off to a great start when we saw a bald eagle swoop down in front of out rafts and pluck a fish from the river. That was awesome. The trip was of course different from our Grand Canyon trip, but it was great fun, for sure. Buddy really seemed to enjoy it, and that was the main reason I scheduled it. He hooked up with the paddle boat, while Pam and I took an oar boat, rowed by a guide, just like in the Grand Canyon. The walls of the canyon didn't close in on us for quite a few miles, but once they did, after lunch, the rapids really rocked! Our guide was a young guy named Alex, and Buddy got along really good with his guide, named Kevander.  His parents couldn't decide between Kevin and Alexander, so they combined the names. Our four boat mates were a family who were all living in New York City, but Mom was Turkish, two daughters were by a Swiss father, and the one boyfriend was Canadian. They turned out to be okay after a slow start. Bud was with a family of five, three kids, one high school, one junior high, and a ten year old.
     There were eleven major rapids that we hit when the canyon narrowed down, some very technical and quite narrow. We had some great scenery for a while, then the river widened out for the last six miles of slower water and swimming in the much warmer water than what we had in the big canyon. The trip was 17 miles of floating total, with a lunch break, and we were on the bus for an hour ride and back home by 6:30.  We were all glad we did it, as it was a great day. 
       Afterwards we went to dinner and Bud had a burger with duck bacon on it, I had buffalo meatloaf, and Pam had relatively normal pasta.

Just starting on the trip, that's Buddy's boat up ahead.

This is our son Buddy

Old and abandoned cabin

Having lunch on the shoreline.

End of the trip, the boats are coming out.

    July 6-----today we went back to Arches National Park and did some rock climbing, especially Buddy, and hiked some great trails that we had saved for when Buddy was with us. The weather cooperated nicely as it wasn't too hot, and even rained a few drops as we were leaving at about five thirty. We did one long hike on the last, furthest away trail in the park (Double O arch trail in the Devil's Garden), and saw an arch that was over a football field in length. The highlight of the trip was the trail itself though, over some great slick rock terrain with some pretty strenuous climbs. The pictures can describe it better that words.

If you look through the front window or arch, you can see the  second window or arch, and a hole in the "roof"

On the trail hiking towards the arches - as you can see, alot of people are at the arch

Pam and Buddy are almost there

Pam sitting up in the arch watching Buddy climb the walls!

Buddy up near the top of the arch

I wasn't joking when I said Buddy was climbing the walls!  One other guy was doing this

Buddy is the top person, the other guy saw him up there and followed.  Once he got up there (other guy), he looked a little green!  Buddy was just looking around taking pictures!!!

Buddy in the same area, working his way down.  

Buddy at North Window

Little white dot in middle of picture is Buddy climbing up the backside.  In case you haven't figured it out, our son is a monkey.


He always goes for the best views...

Hiking to Turret Window

In a side cave/slot in Turret window, Buddy climbed up.  He had an audience that was taking pictures and videos of him!  When he came down, they applauded!

Looking through one window at another

Hiking back in the Devils Garden, we made a friend!

He just randomly stops at walls and climbs!

Landscape Arch, which is as long as a football field.  You can't walk near it anymore because the right side dropped alot of rock in 1991 while people were under it - no one got hurt!

Landscape arch from a different angle

Hiking up the Double O trail - Pam still had her hiking poles, but soon hid them because you need both hands to climb up the next part!

Walking up slick rock.  Slick rock is sandstone that is really grippy to hike on.  It was given it's name by pioneers whose horses and mules slid on the rock with their metal shoes - it was "slick"

Getting into 2 handed climbing up the rock mode!

Taking a look at Black Arch - right in front of Pam and Buddy is a drop-off

Believe it or not, that is the trail!

Taking a water break at the Double O Arch

Buddy hiked down to the base of the Double O Arch to see if he could climb the arch.  No luck!

Just some cool split rocks!

Pam on the narrow path - and it was windy up there!

Getting the idea that this trail was rated "extreme"?

Climbing down the slick rock

Mike took this video at the top of the plateau where we viewed the Double O Arch.  What a view!  We were standing on a part of the trail that was very narrow, very high up (think drop offs) and very breezy!

Added note!  On a previous posting, we talked about our trip to the Hole n' the Wall and the tour of the house.  We received a comment asking if anyone still lives there.  The answer is no.  After the widow died (by the way, husband and wife are buried outside their home), family turned it into a tourist attraction.  All of their furniture is in there as they had it, the old electrical wires are exposed as it was when they lived there, but now it is just for tours.

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