Friday, April 26, 2013

The Pickle

Another hard core trail north of Moab...

Bashful & Winnie at the first obstacle

Bob with one wheel off the ground & a big smile on his face

Tom saving rubber on his tires

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bitten By A Duck

Occasionally, I come across something so bizarre that I have to wonder if it is fiction. Here's a great example of what happens when government gets involved in healthcare...

It turns out that the government has a book (ICD-10) of medical codes that doctors have to use when billing Medicare and other third-party payers for their services. One of the codes is W61.61XA which means "bitten by a duck"W61.62XA means "struck by a duck".

ICD-10 stands for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases. The "10" means that this is the 10th Revision. ICD-9 contains outdated and obsolete terms, doesn't capture enough data about a patient's condition and fails to describe the current medical practice. The people who create the codes were running out of new numbers and letters in the ICD-9 system. With ICD-10, physicians can more specifically identify the area of concern. But the changes make the new version nearly five times larger than the old one. It is expected that next year's book will be ten times larger. Is it any wonder that healthcare costs continue to rise.

Now, if you are "bitten by a dolphin, a shark or a duck", there's a code for the initial encounter and subsequent encounter (if there is one). They are more descriptive and detailed. One is for "walking into a lamppost". Others for "walking into a wall or a piece of furniture". There is even one for "burned due to water-skis catching fire" (V91.07XA). Most of us would be hard put to make this stuff up.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Corona & Bowtie Arches

It's a 1.5 mile, moderate hike back to the arches that is well worth the effort. You will want to wear good hiking shoes/boots that grip the sandstone as there are a couple of places where you will welcome the extra traction...

Much steeper than it looks

Bowtie (left) & Corona (right)

Corona Arch (note people at bottom)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Moab Rim

The Moab Rim is another one of those great Moab trails that combines challenging obstacles with awesome views. Unfortunately, we had vehicle problems and were unable to complete the entire ride (you come down the same way you go up).

The "Z Turn"

Colorado River & Hwy 279


Friday, April 19, 2013

Hells Revenge

If you can ride only one trail in Moab, in my opinion, it should be Hells Revenge. I would not recommend it for beginners or anyone who has a fear of heights but for experienced riders it has a little bit of everything including two really gnarly climbs, "Hells Gate" and "The Escalator". Fortunately, they are optional so you can still enjoy the ride without having to take them. There is a nice track of the trail at EveryTrail which can be downloaded free to your smartphone.

Here are some examples of the more difficult sections and as you veteran riders know, hills are actually steeper than they appear on film/video...

"Hells Gate"

"Hells Gate"

"Mickeys Hot Tub"

"The Escalator" (that's motor oil flowing down the hill)

Hells Gate video from inside the jeep...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hole N" The Rock

The Hole N" The Rock is a tourist attraction 12 miles south of Moab that features a unique 5,000 square foot home carved into the side of a solid rock cliff. The entire business is "For Sale" and the asking price is only $2,900,000.

Click on photos to enlarge

Miner humor

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shafer Trail & Long Canyon Loop

Bob and I drove from Potash up to Canyonlands National Park via the Shafer Trail and then took Long Canyon back to the Jug Handle Arch at Highway 279. This is one of the more scenic routes you can take here in Moab. It's like driving through the Grand Canyon. Click on photos to enlarge.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mashed Potatoes

While everyone else drove Mashed Potatoes, I pretty much walked it. It was my job to mark the difficult and optional routes over or around obstacles. If you are on this trail in the future and see a bright green stripe marking the way, I'm the one to thank (cash donations are accepted). A track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


On Saturday's ride, there was a very unique vehicle, made by Mercedes-Benz, called a Unimog...

Although it was too big to handle the narrow trails and sharp turns that the Jeeps could, it appeared to be able to go up and over just about anything it came across. If I ever had to drive across Siberia, I think this would be the vehicle I would choose. Click here for more information.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Poison Spider, Golden Spike, Eagle's Dare, Rusty Nail

I enjoyed yesterday's jeep ride so much that I joined Bob and a smaller group to tour Poison Spider, Golden Spike, Eagle's Dare, and Rusty Nail. If you would like to test your and your vehicle's limits... or just scare the crap out of a newbie passenger, then these are the trails for you. A track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

You would not think that riding around in a jeep all day would tire you out but I am absolutely beat. Then again, wondering if you are going to slide off the side of a cliff and go up in a fiery ball of flames may have been a contributing factor. Click on photos to enlarge.

What do you mean we're going up that!

What do you mean we're going down that!

Corona Arch (note people in bottom left)

Here's a video of Bob going up the Witch's Crotch (I did not name it) on Golden Spike...

Here's a video of a hill climb taken from inside the Jeep...

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Flat Iron Mesa

My neighbor, Bob (The Grey Fox), invited me to join him and a group of his rowdy friends to go "jeeping" on the Flat Iron Mesa where you encounter obstacles such as the Easter Egg Roll, the Tilt A Whirl, and the Intimidator. Bob is one of those ORV veterans (million plus miles), whose driving skill and encyclopedic knowledge of the area, made my first "jeep experience" an absolute delight. A track of the ride including time, distance, speed and elevation has been uploaded to EveryTrail.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Moab ORV Trail Guides

In researching ORV trails in the Moab area, I came across two great online guides, Rally on the Rocks and Red Rock 4-Wheelers. Trails are rated from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most difficult. So far, the most difficult trail I have ridden has been "Steel Bender" (trail rating 6)...

I am waiting on my friends from the Arizonian to attempt "Pritchett Canyon" (trail rating 9+) so I can get some really good action shots like these...

Highway 279

The day started out overcast with a 20% chance for rain but the sun popped out after lunch so I drove Highway 279 south along the Colorado River to Potash. The climbers were out en masse scaling near vertical rock faces...

Click on photos to enlarge

Jug Handle Arch

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Sand Flats Recreation Area

Back in January I was contacted by a representative of the Sand Flats Recreation Area asking if they could use one of my photos for a informational kiosk that was to be posted at the entrance to the area. Of course, I said "yes" as I figured this is as close to fame and fortune as I will ever get...

Posted at the entrance to the Sand Flats Recreational Area

Click on photos to enlarge

As you are returning to Moab just outside the Flats entrance, you will see the "Lion's Back", a stone structure that people used to ride down (it's now closed and privately owned). If you look closely at the following photo, you can see in the bottom right hand corner a vehicle that crashed and is wedged between the rocks...

Click here to see a video of a jeep driving down the Lion's Back. Click here to see a vehicle crashing at the base - fortunately, the passengers suffered only minor injuries.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Back In Moab

It's no secret - Moab is one of my favorite places to visit. Over the next month or so, I hope to document why I enjoy this area so much.

Here are some photos I took while walking around the park after dinner...

Spring is here

La Sal Mountains

Having this many buzzards circling your RV cannot be a good sign