Monday, October 31, 2016


Similarities and differences...

We visited Montezuma's Castle National Monument and Arcosanti Sunday.  

The similarities and differences between what was and is no longer, and what could be but probably will never come to pass, was jarring.

Shelley's great king Ozymandias comes sadly to mind, in both cases...

Photo Credit:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Scenic Vistas Galore

Finally fixed that "Never been to to Zion or Bryce Canyon" problem...

Bryce Canyon National Park is mostly limestone.

Thor's Hammer

Navajo Loop Trail

Queen's Garden Trail

Zion National Park, on the other hand, is mostly sandstone...

Kolob Canyons

Upper Emerald Pool

Middle Emerald Pool

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Funky Finds

On our trip to Bryce and Zion...

We made a fine four day getaway to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks this past weekend.  Along the way we encountered some neat little places you might seek out when you're next in the neighborhood.

Diablo Burger offers gourmet burgers as big as your head and a serving of fries that would fill a laundry basket.  Program your wayfinder for 120 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff, AZ, 86001.  Parking can be a pain but the greasy deliciousness is worth it.

The Quail Park Lodge has a Route 66 motor lodge sensibility.  In the past couple years this Kanab motel been remodeled, refitted, and refurbished with a funky '60s vibe.  Unlike most complimentary hotel breakfasts, their's features good coffee.

While the Quail Park Lodge has good coffee, Willow Canyon Outdoor, also in Kanab, has great coffee, and all the usual frufru coffee-related beverages the hipsters thrive on.  They also have no end of books and outdoor gear, just in case you forgot something...

We spent two days in Bryce Canyon National Park.

We enjoyed a very nice dinner at the Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge Dining Room.  Great food, excellent service.  Not cheap, but a really fine experience.

The south entrance to Zion is in Springdale, UT.  There we found...

Wildcat Willies, which features huge servings, pleasant service, and sensible prices.  We ate there the first night and still managed to waddle back to the hotel.

The second evening we ate at the Bit & Spur Saloon. There, I was served the best ribeye I've  ever had, and I've more than a few ribeyes in my day.  Unless you're of the abstemious sort, try the Instant Gratification Winery's Seduction red wine, a blend sold apparently sold only to restaurants.  Reasonably priced and very tasty.  

Right next door to the Bit & Spur is Frontier Plunder Antiques.  I'm glad we overlooked the unfortunate marquee.  It features an deep collection of Native Americana (including appropriately papered pottery), desert southwest accoutrement, other collectibles, and books.  It's much much bigger on the inside, with rooms within rooms behind rooms...

If you need a "venti dark roast, no room" on your way home consider stopping at River Rock Roasting Company in La Verkin, UT.

At the north end of Zion is Kolob Canyons.  It's some 38 miles from the south entrance, but definitely worth a look.  It has probably the smallest National Park Visitor center I've ever seen.

Pipe Spring National Monument offers a respite to weary travelers - now as in the past.  It documents and interprets an intriguing glimpse into Paiute and Mormon history.  There are even real live longhorn cattle  in the corral...

It was a wonderful long weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Books Upon Books

Heaven protect me from used book stores and National Park gift shops...

Went away on a very nice four day weekend, visiting Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.  More on that later.  

Of course I found books at the gift shops of said national parks and a used book store in Springdale, Utah, as well.  Purchasing ensued.

Hiking the Southwest's Geology: Four Corners Region

Bryce National Park: Impressions

Zion National Park: Impressions

Arrowheads & Projectile Points: Identification & Values

Themes in Southwest Prehistory

Neanderthal: Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins

It was a fine long weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Man Cave Is About To Get Cozy

A home improvement adventure in daily doses...

This summer my new deck was unplanned and quick. My new roof has been carefully planned but long-delayed, due mostly to the high desert's monsoon season. This will be a standing seam metal roof (forest green) laid over three inch nail base insulation. I'm having it installed by a Lowe's contractor, they having done right by me on my window replacement project last summer. When the roof is done the walls of my log home will have the lowest R-value of the entire place - compared to the floor, windows, and roof. We'll track the progress of the roofing saga on a daily basis. Stay tuned.

Day One - Wow! The shingles are off the front of the house, the three inch nail base insulation is in place, and the tyvek has been applied over it. They found some bad planks on the corner near the chimney. Upcharge #1 I suppose...ChaChing! There was an inch of styrofoam under the shingles, which I didn't expect. What a weird little house. The job site is spotless; I'm very impressed.

Day Two - Less progress, more mess. Seems the north side of the roof is more complicated. The whole roof is stripped and insulation laid down over 1/3 of it. The existing addition on the back of the house (which we think was created by enclosing an even older porch) was so weirdly built that roof debris ended up inside the laundry room. The more we dig into my little log home the stranger its construction appears.

Day Three - Repairs were completed in the southwest corner by the chimney and the work continued Thursday. The metal roof panels start going on Friday.

Day Four - Ooh! Aah! The roofers said they'd make progress in front so I was more than pleasantly surprised to find the back essentially complete as well!

Day Four - This picture of the front of the house is pretty dark, but I wanted to capture the sight that awaited my arrival home this evening.  They still have some detail work under the porch to complete, the fascia wrap to install, and the ridge to cover, but this is coming together very much as I had hoped it would.  Very, very nice!

Still looks great the morning after.

UPDATE: Some roofing material was damaged in transport and had to be reordered.  As of 1 November 2016 the job is essentially done.

There was a time in a darker past when guided imagery and meditation stopped a downward spiral and showed me the way back into the light.  One image that comforted me was that a of cozy log cabin in a pine forest.  It looked like this.  

Did I create this place or did it find me?

Monday, October 3, 2016

I Can See For Mile And Miles

A Hike To Spruce Mountain Lookout...

We took a hike to Spruce Mountain Lookout Sunday.  After parking at the intersection of Spruce Mountain Road (Forest Road 52A) and Watershed Trail 299 (1.6  miles in and 600 feet up from Senator Highway) we made the 4.8 mile round trip on foot.  At 7,700 feet elevation, the change was about 900 feet.  We could see the San Francisco Peaks of course (~80 miles), but also west into Skull Valley and southeast toward Bumble Bee.  

It was a very nice day...