A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

More on the Horse Races

Near Bryce Canyon, Utah

I came to find out the rides were to go on all week along with a couple days off in the middle of the week.  Every ride day was a new route.  50's mean those doing the 50 mile route. LD's means limited distance which is a shorter route than the fifty miler.

As I was returning home from a hike storm clouds were brewing.  I got back just before the rain began.   I received notices of lightening strikes within two miles from us.
I was wondering about the horse riders.

Soon one rider passed by in front of us.
(taken through the front windshield so it looks worse than it was)

Then two women passed by and I took their picture out the side with the window open.

It was still raining but not as hard.

After them three women came by, one walking her horse.  She used the stump in camp to get back up on her horse.  All three ladies were all smiles and having a grand time rain and all.

Friday, August 30, 2019

More Pretty Scenery

Near Bryce Canyon, Utah

Out riding exploring new areas I came upon some of the geology Utah is famous for.

This iron and manganese rich sediment layer covers all of the lower half of Utah.  It is just a matter of geological uplift and erosion taking place to expose this layer of rock for us to see. 

I was making my way over to view this canyon (excuse the crappy photo)...

...when I came upon this sign on top of the ridge.  This is miles out in the middle of the wilderness.  From a distance I thought it read WARNING FLYING SAUCERS.  That would have made more sense.  
Anyway, I turned back at this point.
Hey, I was all by myself and if I got attacked by flying debris no one would know.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Custom RV Paint Job

Near Bryce Canyon, Utah

Out hiking one day trying to find my way back home I came upon this nicely painted trailer.  She was from Wisconsin and had been living on the road for a year now.  She did the painting herself.  
"I just wanted something different than what was on it."  I think this is great.  
We had a nice long visit until I sucked in a bug and nearly choked to death on it. 

I don't understand the thinking within the RV industry.  Why do they put on those gaudy graphics with all the swirls, curls and waves?  They are the ugliest thing to look at.  You'd think they would naturally do a theme along what this young lady had done.  After all, these RVs are designed for life in the great outdoors.  I am so glad The Little House on the Highway was the first year of the new View and Winnebago just didn't have the time to come up with some butt-ugly paint scheme before getting them out on the market.  Subsequent years of Views have the horrible swirls, curls and waves.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Horse Race

Near Bryce Canyon, Utah

For several days trucks towing horse trailers passed by camp stirring up clouds of dust.  Fortunately the breeze blew all the dirt away from us.  Then Sunday morning the riders started coming by.  Beans did not like that one bit.  She ran off down into her hidey-hole safe from these four-legged monsters.  Later in the day while out riding my iron horse I stopped to view yesterday's sign and had an opportunity to talk with a few riders as they watered their horses.  I learned it was a fifty mile horse endurance race.  They had started at 7am and it was nearing three o'clock when I had taken this photo.  All the riders (not just these in the photo) said they were hot and tired.  I even came across two ladies walking their horses.  I asked why.  "Our legs are tired.  We need to do something different."  I asked how the horses hold up for fifty miles.  "It's the same as for people. You train them for it."  I'll ride my iron horse Gracie fifty miles before I'd ride a horse ten or even five.  My butt gets tired on the bike.  I cannot imagine being in a saddle for that long and that far (yeah, I'd be walking too).  It looked anything but comfortable as they rode the marked trail by camp that morning.  It gave me a deep respect for the horse riders of the old west including the Indians with no saddle. Don't ask about why the guy on the left was dressed as he was.  Everyone else had appropriate clothing and head gear.  The other guy in the ball cap was the only one I saw without a helmet of some sort.  Which got me to thinking on my ride back about how nice it is to wear a full brim hat for sun protection, much like the cowboys do.  So why hasn't someone invented a protective helmet for horse riding that is full brimmed?  I did see one old guy wearing what looked like a cowboy hat pulled down over his helmet.  Maybe he had cut the center out of a cowboy hat.  That's what I'd do.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Beautiful Country

Near Bryce Canyon, Utah

Here is a map of the area we are in.  
As you can see there are numerous dirt roads and trails to explore.

We are camped at 001 & 002 to the left of the letter C in Coyote.

Being alone I don't travel too far on any of the routes.

Getting into the back country I am continually impressed with the beauty surrounding me.

Pictures just don't capture it.  But when you're enveloped in your surroundings
 its a whole other visionary experience.  I just ride along overwhelmed.

Some areas show recent burns.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Broken Arrowhead Camp

Near Bryce Canyon, Utah

When we turned around from Bryce Canyon my plan was to go to where I had suggested the young family to go, Losee Canyon.  But just a few miles down the road was the Forest Service road to Tom's Best Spring.  I thought I'd check it out.  There were numerous spots along the road to choose from, hardly anyone there, quiet, good cell service and at an altitude of 7807' (2379m) it was quite pleasant.  We had beat the heat.

The name for the camp comes from the fact that I found a broken arrowhead there right away
while taking Beans out for her initial exploratory survey.

There is no obsidian anywhere around here.  
This was definitely brought in by a Native American hunter long ago.


I don't think I'll see one of these strange two-headed creatures while here.
But if I do, I'll do my best to get a picture for you.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Heat Wave and Bryce Canyon

When we left Sun Valley, Idaho a heat wave was just settling in over the rest of the country unbeknownst to us.  The only relief from the heat lay in altitude so we headed for the southern part of Utah as I had an idea.  The Salt Lake City area is a place I do not care for and the camp areas in the mountains there are loaded with SLC inhabitants.  So it was just a matter of getting through there in  one long day.  Three years ago we were near Bryce Canyon but didn't go in.  The last time I was there was around forty years back.  Maybe it was time for a revisit.  I had a back-up plan if the campgrounds were full.  After a couple long days of driving we were finally there and turned off Highway 12 for the National Park.  I was immediately hit with all this development that wasn't there four decades ago.  There were motels, hotels, monster hotels, a mega RV park and campground, diners, restaurants, ice cream shops, souvenir stores, ATV rentals and tours, horse back rides, and worst of all a huge paved parking lot staging area for the Bryce Canyon Shuttle.  This did not look well.  I pressed on and came upon the entrance sign.  I pulled in to park and another RV our size pulled in right behind us.  I climbed out and the young lady behind the wheel opened her door to say Hi.  We got to talking.  It was her and her husband and two little girls.  I asked if they had reservations.  "Oh no. They aren't taking reservations.  The south campground is closed as they are rebuilding it."  Why rebuild a campground during the height of the tourist season?!  "Well there goes half our chances of getting a campsite" I said. She agreed and said the north campground is on a "first come first served and it's $30 per night!"  They lived in Phoenix, Arizona where it was 112 degrees and had come to the mountains to escape the inferno heat.  I decided I wasn't even going to try to get in the park and casually mentioned "I saw it forty years ago anyway".  Her faced reflected surprise for neither she or her husband were that old.  I told her where they could go if they couldn't get in.  "Go back up the road ten miles to the Losee Canyon turnoff.  There's a sign.  Two miles in its free Forest Service camping and the canyon is like a little mini Bryce Canyon you can hike around in.  No one is there and there is cell service."  She was very grateful for the information.  I took my picture and left.  I hope they got to stay but if not, they'll like where I sent them.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Butch Cassidy Childhood Home

Near Panguitch, Utah

A pretty drive on Highway 89 following the Sevier River we came upon this.

Beans was a little live wire exploring the yard and stable.  

I thought it best to take her back to the RV before entering the house.

It was Beans proofed.  They had Plexiglas partitions in place.

What a nice little home.
That's all I need, a one room cabin.

The back door.

Oh I bet the winters are miserable though.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Less Than Ideal Camps

Sublet, Idaho

This is twenty some miles north of the Idaho/Utah border.  The highway is off in the distance.  You can't see it.  There was a Forest Service campground somewhere up in those mountains.  Two miles off the highway the road turned into dirt and gravel.  We still had over ten miles yet to go.  I didn't feel up to over ten miles of dirt road so we turned around.  There was another campground at a McClendon Spring on this side of the highway.  It was a wee bit closer and all paved road except for the last few miles.  We went for that.

Well, the dirt road part of only a few miles was barely wide enough for RV with nowhere to turn around.  Once I got on it, I was committed (sometimes I should be I think).  I had to continue on.  When we crossed this cattle guard there was just enough space to turn around.  We still had a mile and a half to go.  Nope!.  This is as far as we're going Beans. 

Once the sun went down and it cooled off some we went for a walk.  I found this cow earring.

That had to have hurt when it was ripped out somehow.

Dad, I'm hot...

...and tired.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Tire Cover Art

I saw this on the back of a trailer, the spare tire cover.
Weird but I like the art style.
Kind of like Dr, Seuss.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Everlasting Extraordinary Cyclonic Snow Scrambler

As we passed through Shoshone, Idaho I caught a glimpse of this along side the road.
I just had to go back.

I thought it was the Time Machine from the H.G. Wells story but it was not.

 It was still cool.
Boy, this baby can put out the power!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Fly Away

Sun Valley, Idaho

We enjoyed our time here in the Sun Valley/Ketchum area of Idaho for the past two and a half weeks.

 I'd stay longer but the propane is running low and it seems the nearest place to fill up is south to Twin Falls, 85 miles away.  I'll do a resupply of goods while there then where we go next I don't know yet.  Beans just hopes there are some mice for the grasshoppers here were no fun.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Sheep Herder

Sun Valley, Idaho

I had an opportunity to talk with the guy who lives in the trailer featured on the other day's post.  He is of one company in the Ketchum area of Idaho grazing sheep.  He said he's the fifth generation in his family in the sheep business.  It's not something you get rich doing as you will see.

They bring the sheep down from their grazing areas during the second week of October and herd them down Main Street in Ketchum.  Its a big deal for the town with a parade and all the other festivities that go with the event.  The sheep are then loaded up and trucked off to one of two places for winter grazing and lambing.  One is BLM (Bureau of Land Management - a Federal agency) land at Wendover, Utah.  This is one of the places we go to stay near the Bonneville Salt Flats.  They have to pay the BLM ten cents per head per day for grazing rights!  Other sheep are trucked all the way to Bakersfield, California where they have to pay thirty to sixty cents per head per day!!  Here he mentioned sorting out those for sheering and lambing at Bakersfield.  He didn't mention sheering and lambing for the Wendover bunch.  I didn't ask why the two different locations as my head was spinning at the per head per day fees.  Anyway, the trucking of sheep is completed in November.

Come April the sheep from both places are trucked back to Idaho in April.  They are unloaded near the Craters of the Moon National monument southeast of here.  We drive by the Monument on our way here from Arco where Honey's Park is.  There the fresh grass of spring is just beginning to sprout and the sheep will work their way up into the high country following the new growth as it ascends in altitude.  Yep, they are once again paying ten cents per head per day for Idaho grazing.  The process is repeated come October.

Like I mentioned its a business they barely make any money at when its all said and done.  I told him what I wrote about it seems like a peaceful occupation compared to herding cattle.  He said no way would he deal with cattle that yes, it is a very mellow tranquil life raising sheep. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Sheep!

Sun Valley, Idaho

The very next morning after making yesterday's post I heard the baa of sheep.
They were across the canyon coming down from the mountain.

I couldn't see them without my binoculars and only then did I see the herder and his horse.

There are two sheep dogs in there but you can't see them.  I don't know if they continued on down the canyon and across the stream or what.  I think being a sheep herder would be much more to my liking than a cowboy herding cattle.  He just walked along slowly with his horse following him.  The life of a sheep herder seems a lot more mellower, easier going and peaceful.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Sheep Herder's Wagon

Sun Valley, Idaho

This is not your typical sheep herder's wagon that
 looks more like the Conestoga Wagon of the pioneer days.

He bought it from a sheep herder in Utah who was retiring.

The sheep are in the high country nearby.  The herders and their dogs will be bringing them down through here soon before the snow flies.  I saw a crew making repairs on a corral nearby during one of my rides.  I think I'll miss it as we have to move on this weekend.