Hike

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My sweet daughter has let me use her Cannon EOS 50D digital camera. Today, we took it out for a test drive. I have even purchased a book, David Busch’s Canon EOS 50D Digital SLR Photography. Thankfully, I found it used on Amazon and it was even Prime! So far I am learning all the buttons on the camera and what they do. So please don’t expect “expert photography” YET!

I thought flowing water would be a good test so we headed east on 138 to find us a waterfall. Hwy 138 has many waterfalls as well as the North Umpqua River. This part of Oregon is so picturesque and beautiful. We stopped at Susan Creek Falls trailhead and hiked up to the falls. The weather held here and there but we did get wet by the intermittent rain.

This is Dale’s rendition of “Rain on the Windshield.”

We can’t go by the North Umpqua River without getting a photo! This would have been great if an eagle had come by!

I took a bunch of photos here with different settings and filters.

Susan Creek Trail is a very easy trail. Well maintained and wheel chair accessible. You will agree it is very beautiful.

I can’t go past a flower. I HAVE to take a photo. I used the little flower setting or Macro setting for up close photo’s.

The Trilliums are flowering in pink and white.

It has been so wet in our part of Oregon. We wanted to see how much water was coming over the falls. We were not disappointed.

These were taken with a slow shutter speed 1/30th. A polarized filter was used also.

Walking bridge over Susan Creek by the picnic area.

And finally – are you ready for it! A selfie.

See that big white spot? That is water on the lens. Lesson learned.

A wonderful day with a stop at Steamboat Cafe for a quiet lunch. I encourage you all….get out and enjoy nature! 🙂

Life is good. God’s power in the cross of Christ.

One Hike

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We finally decided to hike on the trail made from Davis Dam to Laughlin. Don Laughlin donated the money needed to put in this 5 mile “walk.” to the dam. The road above the dam is closed to traffic so one can walk across the dam.

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Walkway across Hwy 95 to Las Vegas

We parked Miss Scarlet above the dam and walked across the dam and down the hill to the park. The path was all pavement so we were disappointed as we like to walk in dirt! We hiked a mile and a half before we realized we couldn’t make the complete 5 miles before dark. So we turned around and got in a good 3.5 mile hike.

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We got a late start so we couldn’t go all the way to the walkway and back before dark. It was a great hike along the Colorado River.

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Davis Dam

 

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Riverside Casino boat that goes from the casino to the dam. The tour includes a narrative of the history along the river.

Oh, just a side mention. This was my birthday. Yup, 66 years young. It was a great birthday!

That evening we had a birthday dinner with Anita and Bud at Chili’s. We decided on their special – 2 for $20 and it was delicious. And so much the better with friends.

Again, seizing the moments in life and being very thankful and blessed for life and this crazy RV lifestyle.

 

A Beautiful Day

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Today was the Lord’s Day. We had planned to attend Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel for the 9 am service. However, we were up at 6:30 so thought we would go to the 7:30 am service. We figured there wouldn’t be many folks there at that early time. We were wrong. The parking lot was full when we arrived about 7:20.

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We found the property of this church huge with many buildings. They have a K-12 grade school here. Our service was in the sanctuary. The services at 9:00 am and 10:40 am were in the big building called the Thunderdome. When we drove home, going by the church, the 10:40 was a packed house according to the parking lot.

The service was very uplifting with music, stories and Bible teaching. We were once again told by God to “not be afraid” of anything! The Bible teaching was about Abram and God and the binding contract they had. Abram believed God! And that is all we need to do also – Believe God. My soul was refreshed and ready to tackle the week.

After church, we went to a local restaurant for breakfast. The Paradise Cafe. Yelp and Google had great reviews. I just know my scrambled eggs were very light and fluffy and the potatoes where crisp. It was good.

The gas stations prices are all over the board in a 5 mile stretch of this town. The affordable price at $3.51 at Faststrip. After filling up Miss Scarlet we took her over to wash off all dirt from Imperial Dam.

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Since it was such a beautiful day – in the upper 60’s and hardly a wind – we went Geocaching.

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When we went back to the trailer, had lunch, we set off for another Geocache that was actually a rock. The National Park system does not allow treasures to be left in it. Dale got to about 300 feet of the rock but it was down in a gully. He had to go over a mountain to get that far! I walked the trail provided. After our day of hiking 2 miles and 11,000 steps, we are bushed and in for the evening.

It really was a grand day! Life is good. God’s people are amazing!

Joshua Tree NP – Day 1

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We got ourselves in gear after a long travel day and headed to Joshua Tree (the town) and Joshua Tree National Park. Our first stop was at the Visitor Station to check in and see what goodies they had in the gift shop. I did purchase a T-shirt! And of course, we got the stickers for our “places we visit” wall on the side of our trailer slide!

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Entering a National Park is always a treat because we get in free!

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We started down a very nice paved road and stopped at each “looky loo” there was to see. The landscape was different from other areas we have seen only because it all looked about the same – Joshua Trees and rocks.

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Our first stop was Oasis Springs. Here there are picnic tables, restroom and garbage. It was also a rock climbers paradise, which we are finding love this area. From short rocks to the very high mountains to climb.

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Oops, that is only a “wanna-be” rock climber.

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Time for lunch. Morgan was able to get out with us here in the picnic area. She can’t go on the trails in a national park and we miss her. She’s very patient to wait in the car.

Our next stop was Hidden Valley. Once in the parking lot we thought the trail might begin at the end of the parking lot and loop around to the front of the parking lot. Off we went. We didn’t see any signs but followed a well-traveled path.

I was approaching a Joshua Tree and heard that “peck, peck, peck” sound of a woodpecker. I looked and looked but had a hard time locating the bird. Awww…there it is.

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That is a Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris. So tiny.

As we hiked out into the back country it was so beautiful. Although we didn’t see any signs leading us on this loop they said was here, we enjoyed what we were seeing.

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This clump of rocks were a dark red color. When we got closer to it we could see the slit in the top rock. Pretty cool!

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A rock climber at the top!

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We went about 3/4 of a mile and decided we were NOT on the right trail. We hiked back to the car and went to look at the sign we saw when we first came in! Yep, the description of the loop through the Hidden Valley. (more on that tomorrow) Off we went to see the Hidden Valley and added another mile to our already 1.5 miles. A nice day for a hike or two. ((I’m glad we did the first hike and got to see some beautiful country.))

Life is good! Boy, God has given us some beautiful places to visit. He is so gracious.

A Hike

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As we sit at Imperial Dam (Senator’s Wash) along with other people (our neighbors are from British Columbia) escaping the winter cold, we have excellent opportunities to go hiking in the desert. Morgan and I try to get out first thing in the morning to wake us up and get our bones moving.

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It was a cloudy morning, but those have since blown away and left us with beautiful blue skies and sunshine.

Since we are sitting on the edge of the hill leading down to the wash, our hike begins downward.

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At the bottom of the hill we come out into the wash a start to follow a trail I think was made by the donkeys. If not them, than man over the years.

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I think that is Picacho Peak in the distance. There is a state park there along the river.

I think this January is the greenest I have seen the desert here. Check it out.

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That is Dome Rock in the distance.

In about an hour, we turned toward home. As I watched Morgan trot down the trail, I thought that my 91-year-old dog does very well on the trail.

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Did you notice Dale’s new toy on the rig? He has wanted a Whirly for quite some time and finally went for it!

Life is good here in Arizona. God tells us to be strong and courageous in this life! That’s victory.

What Fun!

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Since we had so much fun hiking in Death Valley we had to find a hike around Laughlin/Bullhead City. What we found was Grapevine Canyon down the Christmas Tree Road. Miss Scarlett’s GPS got us there without a hitch.

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There were a few cars at the trailhead so the internet was correct on this being a popular place. The info on the hike was that it was 2 miles long and would take 3 hours. We were looking forward to a good hike.

grape15This is the mouth to the canyon. Our goal was to find the petroglyphs and the spring. Thankfully, there was a trail on the ledge above the wash and we didn’t have to walk in deep gravel.

grape16Morgan got to go on this hike and off leash. She was so excited and did very well for her age. I think she was just glad to be with us instead of laying in the back seat of Miss Scarlet!

grape14As we pass this Cholla on the trail, we see that there is a bird nest in all the prickly thorns. We learned a few years back about birds nesting in cactus. It is always a marvel to us.

grape13Not far into the canyon we came up on this huge boulder that had all kinds of petroglyphs on it. As with all my photo’s you can click them to get a larger photo and better look at what the photo is. We were kind of dubious about some of these “markings on rock” as being authentic. Ones that said “hi” or looked like letters we use today were suspect.

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We pushed on, looking for the end of the trail at the spring. We had seen some YouTube video’s that made this hike look very challenging and fun.

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We do like climbing over rocks! As Dale goes up this one, following the trail, Morgan tries to follow him. All of a sudden she was  sliding down this rock unable to dig her claws in! We got her up the rock but then I see the easy way up to the right in the tulles. Duh!

grape11Looks like some barrel cactus up at the top of this mountain.

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Part of the trail we had to go up!

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Some beautiful rock formations all around us. The canyon was narrower than most we hiked in Death Valley.

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Petroglyphs were all over the canyon.

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Morgan, back where she belongs behind Dale and enjoying every moment. She was one happy dog.

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grape6We came to this water made pool. I thought it was man-made but upon closer examination, that is all rock. Have you ever been out in the forest or hiking and wish you could take home a certain boulder or tree or grouping that would look so nice in your backyard? I have. This was one of those “nature” things that would great in a yard.

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Well, not far into the canyon we came to the spring and the end of our trail. This trail was not a maintained trail and we could tell. Morgan was glad to get a drink. Dale went up the mountain looking for a trail to go farther. We probably could have gone further but Morgan couldn’t have gone with us.

grape2Look to the left at the top of the photo. That’s Dale. Also notice the huge boulder resting in the gap between the walls of the canyon. Dale is adventuresome and sometimes it scares me. I can’t drive two vehicles home!

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Aren’t these angles made by nature and water beautiful.

This hike wasn’t as far as we were led to believe and maybe those people went on. It was a beautiful day to be  in the outdoors and we did enjoy the time on this hike. Morgan was glad to get back to the car and another good drink of water.

Life is good. God is lovely and we praise Him for these wonderful outdoors.

Salt Creek Hike, Death Valley

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Ok, we were told at one of the ranger talks that we could see the pupfish at the springs to Salt Creek. She told us that if you hike past the boardwalk you will come to the springs.

So we set off to find the pupfish at Salt Creek.

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They had a very nice 1/2 mile boardwalk around this area.

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Pickle weed grew beside the creek.

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After reading about the pupfish we knew we had to go see them.

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The trail took us along the creek and through some sand.

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We saw some pretty big bird tracks in the creek along with some coyote prints.

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The trail kept going and so did we. We hadn’t seen the springs yet. As you can see by this photo the trail took us up on top of the mountains and along the edge.

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Here a Killdeer is in the creek searching for food. Remember, this creek is named Salt Creek for a reason. We have learned that the fish and birds adapt to drinking salt water.

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The view from the top of these mountains showed off the creek and marsh lands. Yes, marsh lands in the middle of the desert.

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We scared up a flock of ducks out of one deep pool in the marsh.

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If you look closely you will see the trail we took from the boardwalk to the spring. A faint while line that sticks close to the edge on top of each mountain. It was a “hairy” hike!”

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Off in the distance we see a flat area next to the creek and head for it. Yikes! If we would have known this steep trail was coming we may have turned around. I decided to scoot down on my fanny rather than stand up right. Dear Dale was able to come down walking.

Did you notice we are not carrying our trek poles! We didn’t think we would need them. Silly us.

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Once we reached the flat area we stopped at this pool. Since the pupfish likes the deep pools, we had hoped to see one here. Then we found a man-made dam and other pipes and we think we found the spring.

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As I walked up to this pool I scared away a swarm of pupfish and they never did come back out. We sat here for some time watching big bubbles find their way to the surface. A pupfish is about the size of a minnow. However, we can say, “We saw the pupfish.”

Then we head back to the car.

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I was reminded of the song we use to sing as a child at Thanksgiving – “Over the hills and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” Only it was over the hills and through the desert we go…..

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I did see a lizard but he took off. You can see half of his body and tail in this rock.

It was a great hike and I’m glad we went in search of the pupfish. I felt good and the next day I wasn’t all that worn out. Yay, God.

Life is always an adventure!