Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Stop in Boulder City On The Way to Yuma


After leaving Virgin, UT we spent a couple nights in Boulder City, NV to visit with John and Pam, whom many of you know from Oh, the Places they Go!. It was a fun visit, with lots of political talk between John and Jim, a great hike up nearby Black Mountain, a close encounter with bighorn sheep and dinner at the Boulder Dam Brewery. Oh, and their new house is lovely!

On the way up to Black Mountain, the one on the right, via the River Mountain Trail. Red Mountain is to the left.

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The trail was built by the CCC in the mid 1930s.

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There was a big group of people up by zipline platform on Red Mountain.

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Our destination.

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Looking down on the trail. The switchbacks are fairly gentle.

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Jim, Pam and John resting at the overlook after almost three miles and 1,200’ feet of climbing.

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We had a little incident at the top where we inadvertently got to test out our DeLorme InReach device. It was in Jim’s backpack and somehow the lock button got unlocked, so while he was leaning against the bench the SOS button was engaged. We heard it go off but in Jim’s panic to try and stop the SOS while not being able to see the print very well without his reading glasses, it was sent. The only good thing is we had phone signal so someone called a couple minutes later to verify whether it was a true emergency. At least we now know it actually does work if we ever need to use it. Jim was a bit embarrassed but I imagine they get quite a few false alarms.

Views of Boulder City and Lake Mead from Black Mountain. Vegas is also visible but it was too hazy for photos looking that direction.

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After the hike we stopped by Hemenway Park where the resident herd of handsome bighorn sheep were hanging around and grazing on the grass. You can see they are very accustomed to people.

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We didn’t realize that the males are so much darker than the females.

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The horns have such intricate detail.

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And I like their white butts.

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Since 2012 a large number of sheep from this River Mountains herd have died from a bacterial pneumonia infection but the numbers have been improving the past couple years so it may have run its course.

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On Monday we headed off to Yuma, AZ so I could have some dental work done in Los Algodones. Dr. Fonseca and two other dentists, including the one in CA I saw for the tooth infection in the spring, recommended replacing the crown next to the tooth I had to have pulled since it was chipped and has some gum recession. I was also ready for an implant but wanted to ask more questions and hadn’t decided where I wanted to have that done.

After many years of going to Mexico for dental work we have gotten accustomed to things being done a bit more casually, but I was surprised when we arrived at Dr. Fonseca’s office and her assistant informed us that she had surgery last week and would not be back for another week. You might have thought she would have called to let us know, but she said the oral surgeon who pulled my tooth back in April, Dr. Roy Castillo, would come over and do the crown if I wanted. Since I was there and I was happy with the extraction he did, I said that was fine. And since I was considering using him for the implant anyway I could get some answers about that, too. After looking at my x-ray he thought I needed a post put in by the endodontist since I had previous root canal done on that tooth. They called over and said I could be seen right then, so I was escorted a couple blocks away to the endodontist. After reviewing the x-ray he said there was not enough tooth left under the crown to support the post and they were afraid if they removed the old crown the tooth might break off. The consensus was just to leave it as is, and when and if it starts to bother me, which it is not (yet, anyway), I would just need to get the tooth pulled. Not what I wanted to hear but at least they were honest about it.

So it was back to Dr. Castillo to discuss the implant, and when he answered all my questions I asked when he could do it if I decided that’s what I wanted to do. He said he had time to do it right then, so I just told him to go ahead since I wanted to get this next step over with. Being my first implant I was apprehensive, but other than a feeling of pressure it was not the least bit painful. It’s been a little sore since the anesthetic wore off but that’s understandable considering the gum has been cut. Now it’s more waiting, four months until I can go back for the abutment and final crown. I will be glad when it’s all finished.

While in Yuma this time we stayed at Cocopah RV and Golf Resort on the west side. It’s a large, well-kept but older park with gravel lots, and being a bit early in the season it is still on Passport America. Well worth $20/night at the Passport rate. They have lots of activities, a pool, spa, fitness center, tennis and pickleball courts, clubhouse, golf course, restaurants, etc. I’m sure it’s crazy here once all the snowbirds arrive but it’s very quiet right now, and far enough from the interstate that it’s not annoying. Many of the Yuma RV parks are right on the highway, which always baffles us as to why anyone would spend months there. And their wifi worked great but it would probably be different if the park is full.

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Our view, which was nice until the wind picked up and the dust started blowing across the field.

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We could have left yesterday since I didn’t have to go back for the crown, but there were high wind warnings and lots of blowing dust so we hung around here so I could visit the Yuma School of Beauty, where I’ve been a couple times before, for a much needed haircut.  Being Halloween some of the students and staff were dressed in costumes. I am not sure what Ubando, the student who cut my hair, was supposed to be and I didn’t ask since I was more interested in what he was doing to my hair.

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It turned out he didn’t quite understand what his instructor was telling him about how to do my cut, so the instructor ended up doing it. I have had that happen before at beauty schools unless you get a student who is close to graduation, which is fine with me.

Today we’re making our way back to Jojoba Hills for a couple months. We’re looking forward to staying put for awhile.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Last Days in Virgin


Our two weeks here have passed quickly. On our last two days we biked part of the JEM trail, which we can access by riding from our site and going up nearby Sheep Bridge Rd.

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The section we rode is the easier lower portion that goes right along the edge of the Virgin River canyon, although there were quite a few rocky places where I had to walk the bike.

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The river had more water than we’ve seen, due to the two days of rain we had earlier in the week.

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Yesterday we took a nice easy four mile hike on some other nearby bike trails, including parts of  Dead Ringer, More Cowbell, and the JEM. If you make it up a gnarly section you get to ring the cowbell.

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The trail you see the biker on was a little too on the edge for my level of biking comfort.

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We were walking one mesa below Gooseberry Mesa, another great place to hike or bike. The possibilities are endless around here.

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Jim, Chris, Bobbie and Mark.

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Last evening everyone came over happy hour, along with our Airstream neighbors up the road, John and Charmaine. We met Charmaine four years ago while doing laundry at the Escapees park in Coarsegold, CA, and she recognized our Lazy Daze and came by the other day. It was nice getting to meet John, too. We had lots to talk about, as they are also into hiking and biking. It was a fun ending to our stay here in Virgin, but it’s time to move on.

And an update on our Japanese neighbors, shown here doing their morning calisthenics just outside of Chris’s door. (We have lots of windows, it’s hard not to look. Smile ) Turns out they are climbers, and yesterday attempted this climb up Moonlight Buttress in Zion. We’re impressed!

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Chris spoke with them this morning and said they made it halfway up, but are attempting it again on Monday. They have been gone most of the time and are very quiet while they are here, so it hasn’t been a problem with them being so close.

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Next stop, Boulder City, NV.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

No-Owl Canyon and Bad Etiquette


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Mark and Bobbie discovered this area a couple years ago, another unnamed canyon to explore west of the small Zion tunnel. They found an owl along the way, so they dubbed it Owl Canyon. After a steep, sandy climb down it’s a fairly level walk for a bit.

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Then we came to this spot where some of us needed a boost and encouragement to make it up. I hate having a panic attack so early on in a hike, because then I worry about how I’m going to get down on the way back.

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Luckily the scenery was a distraction from my worrying, and except for a few places, it was fairly easy hiking.

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Another tricky spot.

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The maples have really changed over the 11 days we’ve been here.

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There were a couple times when I thought I might be joining this poor guy.

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Recent rains and deep pools made for some difficulty getting around the water in places. After throwing in some rocks for stepping stones, Chris managed to get across but I had already decided this was my turn-around point. Mark followed Chris but had a slip of his foot, which resulted in an unintended split and a painful strain.

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But of course he kept going.

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Mark then tried to help Bobbie across but her legs weren’t long enough, so she and I turned back. They didn’t get too far before coming to another major obstacle that was impassable so we were glad we didn’t follow them.

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I noticed this interesting place in the rock wall that reminded us of a fossil.

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Much to my surprise, getting back down the places I could barely get up turned out to be easier than anticipated. More photos of us crawling around can be found on Box Canyon Blog

And no owls were seen on this hike, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t hiding out in the trees.

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Here’s a photo of our new neighbors, a Japanese couple who squeezed in between Chris and us as we were coming back from a walk this afternoon. Definitely bad boondocking etiquette, especially since there are plenty of other places they could have camped where they would have had privacy and not invaded ours. Chris gave up trying to communicate with them and was kind enough to move his truck, which was parked where their van is, because they were going to drive around the back of our rig to get to this spot anyway. Mind boggling.

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