Still Finding Time to Explore

15 June 2012 in Trails/Hiking, Traveling

 

Some of you, if we still have readers, may have noticed a massive decrease in posts over the past couple months. We are still adjusting to working again, Lindsay full-time and me part. This has seriously bitten into our the time we have for hikes and adventures, but we have no complaints worth mentioning. Lindsay loves her new job and despite my steady vents of fire breathing, complicated, thousand tangent rants on doing graphic design I really have little reason to complain. It’s good money, I’m pretty decent at it and it allows for a lot a flexible schedule and lifestyle. All that said I am looking forward to working in the parks next year and abandoning graphic design outside of a few fun projects for friends and family.

With our new schedule we basically get two days a week to hike, bike, camp and explore the area. With so much to see and do our days of leisure have almost completely disappeared. Any time Lindsay has off is already booked through the end of the season and we’ll still end up missing out on a bunch of great stuff. But we’re going to try our best to make the most of this wonderful opportunity and see as much as we can of this magnificent landscape.

This past stretch we drove out to the old Pariah Townsite (pronounced Pa ree ah, and spelled Pariah, Pareah and Paria). This area used to contain a movie set where several western films were shot in the 1960s. Unfortunately vandals burned the set down, but the landscape was still stunning. Set on the Paria River this was a early settlement in the late 1800s, but repeated floods eventual forced the inhabitants to leave. The valley is surrounded by a vibrant mixture of painted mounds, water sculpted white stone, and red rock walls. There is an abundance of plant life do to the water source so rich swaths of greens carpet the valley floor.

Our next destination was to be Mollie’s Nipple, also spelled Molly’s Nipple. The local inhabitants of this area seem to care very little about consistency. But anyways, the legend states that John Kitchen, an early pioneer named this peak of rock after his wife, which I’m sure she was flattered by. The drive back to this formation, like the drive to almost any attraction around here requires the search and identification of the correct unmarked gravel road (there are many) and the willingness to traverse rough terrain at the risk of an expensive tow and/or repair bill. It seems we spend almost all of our time on highway 89 or an ever growing collection of these unmarked dirt roads. I have to admit it adds to the excitement and the feeling of adventure. You have to keep an eye on the mile markers, then find the right road, often times you’re opening and closing cattle fences to enter, then you’re relying on your odometer for the right turn off or unmarked parking area. And by the time you find that you haven’t even began the hike which will most likely require locating the correct, little used footpath amongst a maze of deep sand and shrubs.

Our drive back to Mollie’s Nipple was a bumpy one, but we’ve definitely seen worse. On the way back we passed an old corral fenced in entirely by the straightest selection one could find of crooked Cottonwood and Juniper branches driven straight down into the ground right next to one another. Later we passed an old mining chute and a pair of iron wheels roughly three feet in diameter and probably weighing in at well over 500 pounds. As we proceeded back the road became progressively sandy and as this deepened we began to worry about getting stuck. Eventually the road dipped down and the sand stood 6 inches deep and loose towards the bottom. That was enough for us to shift into reverse and call it a day.

I’m not one for big trucks, big tires and 4×4, but out here I can see where it would serve a purpose. Without four wheel drive good portion of the roads are off limits.

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15 June 2012 Trails/Hiking, Traveling

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