Posts Tagged ‘dog

03
May
16

Pups Go West 2016 – Posey Lake or Bust

Camping is great, but a good night’s sleep in a real bed, followed by a shower is pretty OK too ūüôā ¬†I gassed up the Jeep and grabbed a breakfast sandwich before hitting the road, making my way to UT-12. ¬†The mountains on either side of UT-20, the route that connects I-15 to US-89, were socked in with clouds, quite a surreal drive.

Head in the cloudsimage

Last October, we picked up an America the Beautiful pass prior to a trip out to Yellowstone to fish. ¬†I’ve never stopped at Bryce with the dogs given the fact they can’t go anywhere except the paved parking lots and viewpoints. ¬†With the pass, I didn’t feel guilty about spending the cash to make a quick drive through just to hit a couple of viewpoints. ¬†Bypassing the busier overlooks, I stopped at a handful of the less occupied to take in the¬†sweeping views of other worldly formations. ¬†A light dusting of snow contrasted nicely with the deep red of the hoodoos as we moved up in elevation.

Bryce Canyon Viewpointsimage

image

Panoramasimage

image

Mira enjoyed the viewimageimage

A fellow park goer kindly offered to take a family photo – like trying to herd cats ūüôāimage

Exiting the park, we saw some of the park’s resident wildlife – mule deer, pronghorn antelope and prairie dogs all roaming in the meadows along either side of the park road. ¬†Escalante is a scenic 1 hour drive east of the turn off to Bryce, the surrounding hills all had a new dusting of snow from the previous day’s flurries. ¬†Posey Lake Road up to the campground changes drastically as you drive up in elevation. ¬†Juniper and sage make way for tall pines and aspen as the road winds up to the lake. ¬†The ground was covered with patchy 4-6 inches of wet snow. ¬†The campground empty, I selected the site we stayed at the year before. ¬†I quickly unloaded some gear and headed down¬†to the dock to get some evening fishing in.

The past couple of springs fishing this lake had me spoiled – the fish had readily taken flies, spinners, whatever was thrown at them, the truly difficult portion of the fishing being battling the incessant wind. ¬†The wind was still present on this visit and trout were rising after bugs left and right, but I couldn’t pay them to bite a fly. ¬†Cast after cast, multiple fly changes and yet still nothing. ¬†It looked as though I’d be eating a freeze dried meal for dinner this evening.

The collection of birds on this lake, ruddy ducks and coots, bring a soundtrack of mechanical clucks, whistles and whirrs. ¬†If I closed my eyes, I could easily believe I was surrounded by their prehistoric counterparts that roamed the area in the Late Cretaceous. ¬†A loon and its haunting, wavering call sounded out over the lake as returned to the surface after a bit of subsurface fishing¬†(hopefully having more success than I had). ¬†Seeing that a trout dinner wasn’t in my future, I packed my gear into the Jeep and drove back to the campsite. ¬†The dogs happily played in the snow surrounding the site while I heated up water for my dinner.

Rewind to 3 months earlier, early February, I found myself under the knife to repair what the MRI showed as a torn rotator cuff. ¬†I woke up in a sling and instructions for post op care for a biceps tenodesis. ¬†What? ¬†Apparently, once they opened me up, they found that it wasn’t a torn cuff, but rather a frayed biceps tendon and a torn rotator interval. ¬†They clipped my tendon from its original attachment point and used a screw to reattach it to my upper humerus. ¬†When I left for Utah, I was just beginning to work on strengthening the biceps muscle in physical therapy. ¬†I’m sure my ortho doc would have been thrilled to see me chopping and sawing firewood with my freshly repaired arm, but what’s camping without a campfire? ¬†I got enough wood together for the night, my arm held out, ¬†nothing a beer and a handful of Motrin couldn’t make better!

My wood selection was damp and the resulting fire was unimpressive and very smoky.  The temperature dropped, and while it was still light out the dogs and I retired to the Jeep to warm up and read for a bit before drifting off to sleep.

Mira enjoying the campsite, and her new ballimage

Our accommodations for the trip – a bit smaller than the old Jeepimage

Mira cuddled up, watching the campsite as I readimage

02
May
16

Pups Go West 2016 – Snowed Out

Up early, the surface of the water was like glass, I unloaded the fly rod and headed back to the water with the dogs.  Knowing that the prolific Utah Chub was a major food source in the reservoir, I tied a bunch of white and gold streamers in the weeks leading up to departure.  I tied one on and made a couple casts, still targeting stumps and their roots.  Just as the fly neared shore, a cutthroat shot out from under the stump and grabbed my fly.  Unfortunately, it was a short lived fight as the fish shook its head and gained its freedom.

The reservoir’s water was¬†so clear, anything cruising near shore is visible. ¬†I saw a couple cutthroat swimming back and forth¬†and shortly thereafter a musky, about the size of the one I caught the night before, was on the prowl along¬†the shoreline looking for a meal. ¬†Very neat to see! ¬†Another of the reservoir’s resident aquatic life was slowly crawling from the shore looking for deeper water, a large crayfish I named Pinchy. ¬†No wonder the fish get big in this reservoir, the food sources are large and plentiful!

Pinchy, my new crayfish friend. ¬†WARNING: ¬†Doesn’t like hugs!!13151555_10103133460207635_4257204435007531465_n

13164296_10103133460202645_262632788616104627_n

With the dogs again wet and muddy, it was time to make our way to the day’s intended final¬†destination, the Escalante area. ¬†Thankfully, since we were sleeping in the Jeep, it didn’t take much time to break down camp and be on our way. ¬†Driving south on UT-72, the winding road and scenery were beautiful, eventually opening to the alfalfa fields and pastures of Loa.

Panorama of the view to the east of UT-72image

Our first stop of¬†the day would be to a panel I had recently read about, the Fish Creek Cove Panel. ¬†While the panel has some visible vandalism, it’s still¬†very nice with large headless elk in a procession, dual color shields, hunters bearing bows. ¬†Nobody was in¬†the parking lot when we arrived, so the dogs and I wandered the area, looking at the amazing images.

The road in to the panelimage

Mira relaxing in the cool sand under the elk procession on the panel13100748_10103133442463195_7935185213939966467_n

Procession of headless elkimage

Hunterimage

Additional images on the panelimage

image

image

There were a couple of geocaches near the panel, so we hiked the surrounding terrain, looking for them.  We found the first, after a bit of searching, I chuckled when I finally noticed it.  As we were heading to where I thought the other cache was, a group of people arrived at the panel.  The dogs were wound up at the surprise appearance of strangers, so I decided to save the second cache for another time and hightailed it back to the Jeep.

Found it!13094249_10103133698959175_8296038805328287261_n

13083215_10103133698984125_5185550629863383260_n

I’ve hit all kinds of weather traveling over Boulder Mountain: ¬†fog, bright sunshine, hail (on a motorcycle) and this time heavy snow. ¬†I hoped this wasn’t a sign of how the rest of the day would end up. ¬†Part way across the mountain,¬†I drove down into Lower Bowns Reservoir to take a look, the snow stopping as I left¬†UT-12. ¬†Last year, we didn’t have any luck at this reservoir so I didn’t break out the rods, just driving through the campground and heading back up.

The road into Lower Bowns with the Henry Mountains in the distanceimage

Took Lower Bowns road rather than end up in Tartarus eternally chasing fruit I could never eat ūüôāimage

Back up on UT-12 over Boulder Mountain heading west toward Boulderimage

¬†Once down off the mountain and into Boulder, the heavy snow turned into rain and continued on and off, all the way to Escalante. ¬†I stopped at Head of the Rocks, as I always do, because I love the different colors of rock layers segmented by the winding road below. ¬†Over the Hogback and past Calf Creek campground we pulled into Escalante. ¬†I hoped to head up to Posey Lake for a couple of days to fish brookies and rainbows and enjoy the solitude of the mountain. ¬†Unfortunately, weather wasn’t our friend and the mountain was shrouded in snow clouds. ¬†After a bit of thinking, I decided I’d make a quick trip over to Beaver for the night and come back the next day for a night at Posey Lake. ¬†I made a quick stop out on the outskirts of Escalante to fish North Creek Reservoir for a few minutes, but after one hookup, heavy rains and stormy clouds again pushed me back into the safety of the Jeep. ¬†The nasty weather would follow be all the way to the night’s motel where a rainbow awaited.

Head of the Rocks panoramaimage

North Creek Reservoir panoramaimage

Bad weather all the way to Beaver, UTimage

image

The rainbow at the end of the dayimage

01
May
16

Pups Go West 2016 – Joe’s Valley Reservoir

My furry navigators snoring loudly, I was thankful I didn’t need help finding my way¬†to the reservoir. ¬†I drove the windy scenic road that heads through Straight Canyon to the reservoir. ¬†There were vehicles at nearly every pullout for Cottonwood Creek, either bouldering or fishing, so I decided to forego¬†fishing the creek this time and head right to the campground.

As it was last year, the campground was empty, only a small portion of it is open during the spring with¬†no water available. ¬†After driving the short loop, I decided to pick site 7, the same site we had set up on the previous year’s trip. ¬†A cute little ground squirrel was checking us out from the fire pit as I was getting the dog tie outs, camp chair and dog beds laid out. ¬†I was anxious to wet a line so loaded up the dogs and started driving toward the channel where Seely Creek enters the reservoir.

Our little squirrel buddy – thankfully Yukon didn’t notice it ūüôāimage¬†

Last year we neglected to check out any of the small creeks that dumped into the reservoir, so I pulled off near the bridge over Seely Creek to take a look.  The smell of creosote and sulphur were strong as a I walked down to the water.  The creek a milky white-blue color, I tossed some spinners out in a couple of likely looking places but came up empty.  Back to the Jeep, I drove down to the parking lot near the boat launch to start fishing the reservoir.

It was pretty windy, so I grabbed my fly rod and spinning rod, leashed up the dogs and made my way down to the rock breakwall. ¬†With the wind blowing directly in my face, I selected the spinning rod from my arsenal and hooked a size 2 Mepp’s spinner¬†and started working my way down the shoreline. ¬†I found an interesting stump with a root system reaching out into the deeper water so tossed the spinner out, counted to 20, then started to slowly reel in. WHAM! ¬†Something violently hit the spinner, when it surfaced the first time I could tell it was not a small Splake like we had caught a number of¬†last year. After 4 times surfacing and the diving back down, I finally was able to, with difficulty, net the fine fish. A beautiful¬†male¬†Cutthroat Trout, bigger than all three of the big Yellowstone Cutts I’ve caught in the past¬†and those were 20″, 22″ and 23″. ¬†My best guess¬†was a thick¬†24-25″, unfortunately the photos don’t do its size justice. ¬†If this was the last fish of that I caught on the trip, I’d still be happy!

Gorgeous male cutthroat trout, this photo makes him look tiny, but he was a beast!image

After working the shoreline for a little while longer, it was time to wear out the dogs a little more. ¬†The boat launch was gated off and the water at its base quite shallow, so I tossed out a stick for the dogs to retrieve. ¬†Up until that point, Yukon was losing his mind because I wouldn’t let him swim in the 20 foot deep water. ¬†He would swim forever if I let him, Mira waiting in the shallows so she could try to snipe his stick ūüôā

On the walk back up to the car, I was keeping an eye on the ground and saw a round track, 4 toes with no claw marks about the size of my hand. ¬†It appeared as though a big cat had been prowling the area recently! ¬†My mom loves getting photos of tracks with the caption “Here kitty, kitty!”, it really sets her at ease about my solo travels.

Swimming!!image

Here kitty, kitty ūüôāimage

Worn out again (and wet, and filthy)image

We made it back to the campsite without being eaten by a mountain lion (one of my life goals-don’t get eaten) and after getting two seemingly starving dogs fed, I started making food for myself. ¬†Now, I’m not a horrible cook, just lazy, especially in camping situations. ¬†Compound my laziness with¬†the fact that everything I seem to cook in the desert ends up having an appreciable amount of sand in it, I usually just end up eating sandwiches. I could happily survive on PB&J tortillas (tortillas survive road trips with dogs better than bread). ¬†For this trip however, I’d put my trusty old Jetboil to work. ¬†I found some Mountain House meals on sale and bought enough for a week; just add boiling water and wait sounded about my pace. ¬†The dinner selection for my evening at Joe’s Valley would be beef stroganoff. ¬†Considering that it came from a pouch, it was pretty fantastic!

Dinner Time!!image

image

The wind had picked up after I finished my food and I seriously considered scrapping a second round of fishing for the evening. ¬†Thankfully, I fought my urge to sit around the campfire and went back down to the reservoir. ¬†I worked down the same piece of shoreline I had earlier, quickly catching a bright 14″ cutthroat. ¬†Before leaving on this trip, I looked at the contour map of the reservoir and noticed that the depth dropped quickly from 20 feet near shore to 60 just a little bit offshore. ¬†Again,¬†I cast a spinner out (copper this time), let it sink for about 30 seconds. As I started to reel in, it was like a hammer hit. I started fighting whatever was on the other end of the line and was thinking to myself “If this is a trout, it’s huge!” ¬†When I finally got it to the surface I realized it wasn’t a trout but a tiger musky. ¬†A totally unexpected catch that made my night!

Joe’s Valley Reservoir Pano – the stump where this musky was caught is visibleimage

TIGER MUSKY – such a beautiful fish!!image

image

image

Figuring my fishing luck had all been used up for the evening, I loaded up the dogs again and headed back to camp.  A nice campfire and a beer, one dog in my lap and another at my side, the evening finished as wonderfully as it started.

Mira, the 40 pound lap dog (really, she’s just a little scared of popping embers from the fire)image

Fancy beds a few feet away, these two weirdos curl up on on the hard ground ūüôāimage

Upslope IPA and the first campfire of the tripimage

 

01
May
16

Pups Go West 2016 – The Hunt for Rock Art

The alarm sounded, waking me from a very deep sleep, Utah was waiting and it was time to ¬†continue westward. Being a dinosaur nerd, I’ve always wanted to get a photo of the Fruita, CO grain elevator featuring a huge mural of a¬†T-Rex. ¬†Immediately after snapping a shot, I thought of the terrible joke I told to coworkers a couple days before vacation.

Q: ¬†What do you call a guy who sticks his right hand in T-Rex’s mouth?

A:  Lefty

Groan…

Pushing toward the border, the La Sal Mountains came into view to the southwest; their appearance always feels like coming home.

Fruita grain elevator

Tricera-van?

Made it!

My ultimate destination for the day was Joe’s Valley Reservoir west of Orangeville. ¬†We camped there last year, and along with being nearly alone in the campground, we caught a number of decent Splake from shore. ¬†Before making camp, however, I wanted to¬†explore¬†around the Moore area, looking for rock art.

The San Rafael Reef, a fantastic monocline that I-70 cuts through, is one of my favorite features in Utah.  The dogs and I made a quick stop at the rest stop just east of the Reef to take a couple of photos, stretch our legs and breathe in the dry Utah air.

Camera is over here dogs!

Westbound I-70 cutting through the San Rafael Reef

Moore Cutoff road was waiting, so I eased the Jeep back onto I-70 and continued westward. ¬† ¬†I-70 through the Reef always impresses me, it’s hard to fathom the massive amounts of work that went into that short stretch of road.

I turned onto the Moore Cutoff road with Short Canyon as my first intended stop.  After a couple of misturns (and some pretty bumpy two-tracks), I found my way to the mouth of the canyon.  I loaded my pack with camera gear and water, got the dogs ready and started the hike into the canyon.  We made our way down the trail until we reached the location of the geocache we were searching for.

Bumpy drive to Short Canyon

Michigan shaped pothole and Molen Reef

Strike a pose

After the GPS jumping around, trying to find the cache’s coordinates, I¬†located the geocache in a crack in some boulders. ¬†I knew there were pictographs and petroglyphs in the canyon so we continued hiking a bit to try and find them. ¬†We didn’t go far before high up on the canyon wall I spotted a pictograph. ¬†While I knew there was additional¬†rock art further into the canyon, we were running low on time and I had another panel I’d¬†been looking for the past couple of years. ¬†The rest of the canyon’s rock art would have to wait for another trip.

We turned around and headed out of the canyon, the dogs running and wrestling, burning off some of the energy they stored up on the trip out.  We reached the Jeep and started the short drive back to the Moore Cutoff road.

Found the geocache!image

Pictographs high on a canyon wallimage

Heading back to the Jeepimage

Pent up energy from the long drive from Michigan


 Back on Moore Cutoff road I headed west to the Molen Reef petroglyphs to walk around a bit.  It seems as though every rock holds an ancient image, one can find new figures on every visit.

Molen Reef Petroglyphsimage

image

image

Moving on, again westward, I was looking for a panel that I’d wanted to find for several years. ¬†I had written down clues I found in blog posts and forum trip reports, pored over maps¬†looking¬†for likely places and spent far too much time on Google Earth. ¬†I was pretty confident that I had it this time. ¬†The dogs and I started off up the steep slope to where I thought it was, this asthmatic flatlander and her¬†flatlander dogs sucking wind as we went. ¬†After a bit of searching, I decided I was thwarted again, which was fine – the view was pretty fantastic and it gave me another reason to visit the area and explore more next time.

Moore Cutoff Roadimage

Mira is still a little mountain goat, even at 10 yrs old!image

Mira and I (and my four chins – not the most flattering photo LOL)image

Spanish Bayonet (I think) – take care, very stabby!!image

We made it back to the car, Yukon barking like a doofus at the cars as they went by below, and started toward our destination for the evening, Joe’s Valley Reservoir and what would turn out to be a great night¬†of fishing!

Rarely seen in the wild, a sleeping Australian Shepherd ūüôāimage

11
Apr
13

Pups Go West 2013 – Begin Again

After weeks of anticipation, the morning was finally here, time to leave for vacation with the dogs to Utah. Since I worked a late shift yesterday evening, I packed the remainder of my gear and clothing this morning…that, extreme weather in the area and two overexcited dogs underfoot delayed departure a bit. It was cold, wet and gloomy, which would continue throughout the day and across five states (with a little snow an sleet thrown in).

I made my traditional stop in Davenport, Iowa to grab the amazing sub that is Capriotti’s Bobbie (shredded turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo). During the time I was in the sub shop, Mira, the crafty little Aussie that she is, figured out how to open the cooler and had dragged a 2-pack of vacuum sealed New York Strips out. Thankfully she didn’t have time to get the package open. I think my future dogs will need to be stupid, that speckled little nut is always a step ahead of me ūüôā

The Bobbie
Rain and cold were a constant throughout the day
Wet weather = muddy paws ūüôā
Mira was enjoying the windy day (so much that she forgot she was out to potty)

My original destination for the evening was North Platte, Nebraska but between battling the Jeep in the heavy crosswind and dealing with the rain and snow I was very sleepy and stopped short. One thing that always appeals to me about driving rather than flying, are the amazing things you see while on the road. In the last hour before stopping for the night, I saw hundreds of Sandhill Cranes – I must have lucked out and hit Nebraska during the crane migration. What an absolutely amazing thing to see!

Tomorrow…Utah or bust!

12
Aug
12

A day a the dog beach with my Go Pro

Since my motorcycle endeavors have been few this summer, I’ve been enjoying other facets of Michigan summer. Taking my two dogs to the dog beach on Lake Michigan has been a regular on enjoyment list for the summer. I decided to take my Go Pro out the other morning to give its waterproofing a good test and document some of the fun.




Archives

Instagram Feed

Yesterday was a Surf N Turf kind of day.  Turkey hunting in the morning, bluegill fishing in the afternoon.  First time out with the new @cabelas CGR 3 weight-what a hoot! #flyfishing #fishing #bluegill #panfishonthefly #bluegillonthefly #glassisnotdead #michigan Didn't think I'd be able to get out for this turkey season, but made it out this morning.  This Tom came in strutting with another tom and two jakes following a hen.  Talk about getting your heart racing, the hen yelping angrily and the boys behind her gobbling their heads off!  21.5 lbs, 10" beard and 1 1/8" spurs - turkey schnitzel pieces and fried heart for lunch (after bluegill fishing ūüėČ). #turkeyseason #turkeyhunting #wildturkey #michigan #spring #womenhunt #woodstotable #compnchoke #browning Did some last minute packing for the one day I'd get to go turkey hunting this season.  I guess I forgot my hunting boots.  My non-waterproof Salomon trail runners must have attracted the birds in because it was a successful hunt!  My feet are soaked ūüėā #turkeyhunting #wildturkey #turkeyseason #michigan #spring #womenhunt #dressforsuccess Finally made time to visit the McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs on this trip.  It's on private property but the owners have kept the rock art accessible to the public as long as they respect the property (small $5 donation, totally worth it). I lost some of my photos from here in the phone drowning but thankfully still have some good examples of the amazing Fremont rock art.  We saved the Three Kings panel located in a different spot on the property for a different trip. #rockart #petroglyphs #fremontculture #utah #vernal #mcconkieranch #roadtrip #dryforkcanyon
Follow heronwheels on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 249 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 11,737 hits