Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Moody Hill, Northern Colorado

It was so incredible to be off road in my Jeep back in the
Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The mountains are grand and spectacular. The views are breathtaking and awe inspiring. The mountains bring an incredible inner peace to me. 

However, I never take the Rockies for granted because even though these mountains are amazing they can quickly turn on you. You need to be prepared in several areas. 

My Top 5 Tips when wheeling in the Colorado Rockies - YouTube Video 

My first trail back after a year's hiatus was Moody Hill in Northern Colorado. The trail is an intermediate trail with a rocky climb at the beginning of the trail. This trail leads you to a quarry which is only for the serious rock buggy off roaders. 

Moody Hill is in the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest in the Front Range Mountain Range. The longest mountain range in Colorado. This range stretches about 180 miles North to South from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado.

Once off the trail we took one of Colorado's many scenic by-ways.

Scenic By-Ways Colorado

Monday, December 19, 2022

Epic Adventure Grand Canyon Day 5

Our last day on the Arizona Strip was fabulous. Bob ad the crew filled our bellies with the best breakfast yet, Waffle Egg Bake. It was like a Quiche from a Dutch Oven.

A few last views of the Colorado River and we were back on the trail. Bob with 4Xploring had a few more surprises left for us before we made it back to civilization.

Our first stop was the Nampaweap Petroglyphs. Nampaweap is site of several petroglyph's. Petroglyph's are rock carvings made by using a stone chisel or rock hammer.

Our next stop was a random cave on the strip full of rare color pictographs. Then the long trek back to civilization.

The adventure on the Arizona strip was amazing. The meals were delicious and the nights by the campfires gazing at the black dark sky with millions of twinkling stars was awe-inspiring.

YouTube Videos

What is 4Xploring

Overland Cooking Tips with Bob

Epic Adventure Day One

Epic Adventure Day Two

Epic Adventure Day Three

Epic Adventure Day Four

Epic Adveture Day Five

Monday, December 12, 2022

Epic Adventure Grand Canyon Day 4

After our tasty breakfast of blueberry pancakes and sausage plus the spectacular sunrise at Kelly point it was back to wheeling. 

We headed back out the 27 miles from the point to the Waring Ranch, then on to our next location point overlooking the Colorado River with views that will take your breath away. 

Our group was on an adventure of a lifetime with 4xploring. We were on an overland adventure along the northwestern rim Grand Canyon. Our overnight camping stops were overlooks located in Parashant National Monument including some of the most remote locations in the continental United States. 

It definitely was an adventure of a lifetime with amazing views, delicious dutch oven meals and meeting new Jeepers that are now life long friends.  

YouTube Videos

What is 4Xploring

Overland Cooking Tips with Bob

Epic Adventure Day One

Epic Adventure Day Two

Epic Adventure Day Three

Epic Adventure Day Four

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Epic Adventure Grand Canyon Day 3

Day 3 of the 4Xploring trip along the Northern Rim of the
Grand Canyon on the Arizona Strip started with a hearty breakfast of sausage and egg pinwheels. Another Yummy breakfast from Bob and the crew that did not disappoint.  

We spent the night at Twin Point Overlook with the  most spectacular views. Day 3's journey was leading us to Kelly Point for another night of camping 

YouTube Videos

What is 4Xploring

Overland Cooking Tips with Bob

Epic Adventure Day One

Epic Adventure Day Two

Epic Adventure Day Three

The road to Kelly Point leads to amazing views but the road is only for those with the fortitude to withstand 4-5 hours of bouncing around in your 4x4 vehicle. It is one of the roughest and slowest roads in the National Parachant Monument.  

Right before the rough road began we made a pit stop at the Waring Ranch.  A remote homestead and ranch established by Jonathan Deyo Waring in 1925. 

The site has cabins, corrals, fence lines, water tanks, and two holding ponds. Cattle ranching back in the day was the main economic activity for the settlers in this remote arid land. 

Jonathan Waring grew up in New York State, however, he admired Teddy Roosevelt and the ment of the Rough Riders. Waring was intrigued by the cowboys, miners, hunters and gamblers so he headed West to Phoenix. Later his adventures lead him to the Arizona Strip via Grand Gulch Mine. Something about the strip called to him and he began acquiring government land.  

Preston Nutter, an Arizona Strip cattle baron, was a rival of Waring's.  Both ran cattle at the same time and both believed they owned a certain parcel of land at the rim of the Grand Canyon. When Nutter built a fence around the contested parcel,  Waring retaliated by burning it down. 

Later ironically Waring was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve during World War I. He ended up in the in the Argonne Forest trenches of France, fighting in the largest offensive in United States Military history. 

He later returned to the Arizona Strip to acquire more land and cattle eventual selling his land to the National Park Service. The Waring Ranch is now a historic National monument.

Back into our Jeeps it was time for the bouncy four hours to our next stop. Then Bob and his crew whipped up some Hungarian Goulash while Mary baked us some tasty beer bread. Then topped off with hot fudge brownie and ice cream.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A Journey into the Wild - Day 2

We woke up on day two of the 4Xploring adventure to an amazing sunrise, blue skies, fresh air and the smell of sausage and chorizo cooking. Bob and Chris were already preparing breakfast before some were even out of their tents. 

Breakfast was absolutely delicious, a five layer egg bake cooked in a dutch oven.  Once our bellies were full it was time to hit the trail.

Our morning started out on dusty desert paths surrounded by Arizona's majestic mesas. We were headed to Snap Point for our first look at the Grand Canyon. It's the official western end of the Grand Canyon North Rim. 

The road to Snap Point is deeply rutted and during certain parts of the year can be closed.  The deeper you drive into the trail the tighter the squeeze as the bushes are taking over the dirt road. Definitely expect scrapes and scratches on your vehicle. 

The squeeze was getting a little tight, so we found a small
clearing at the edge of the high cliffs. We decided to get out here for our view here. It was simply breath taking.

After our amazing first view of the Canyon, we headed back out what I like to call pinstripe alley. Then it was on to Twin Point for our second night of camping under the stars.

We arrived to camp early in the afternoon which gave the
guests of 4Xploring a chance to chill on the scenic vista. The majestic cliffs sparkled with color as the sun began to set. 

Bob and his crews were busy preparing another fantastic meal for dinner. This time a Dutch oven Italian dish

Overland Cooking Prep Tips with Bob - YouTube video

4Xploring Fall Adventure Day 1 - YouTube video

What is 4Xploring? - YouTube video

4Xploring Fall Adventure Day 2 - YouTube video

Monday, November 14, 2022

Overland Cooking with 4Xploring - Day 1

As the sun began to set on our first night on the Arizona Strip, it was time to set up camp for the night. Most of the adventurers had roof top tents, I opted for the old fashioned ground tent. 

Bob, Mary and the crew from 4xploring got to work on dinner for the night. A Korean meal of Beef Bulgogi with a gigantic chocolate chip cookie and ice cream for dessert. The food was amazing! 

Korean Beef Bulgogi, broccili, rice and pickeled radishes. It didn't end there. Bob cooked a huge chocolate chip cookie in a Dutch Oven that was served up with ice cream. DELISH!!!

There are no nearby sources of artificial light other than a faint glow on the horizon from Las Vegas. It was a great nigh up on the Grand Gulch Mine's unpaved airstrip with the Upper Grand Wash Cliffs in the background.

Stay Tuned for Day 2's adventure.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

60 Before 60

I am half way there of trying to come up with 60 Reasonable
things to do before 60. I still need to come up with 30 more ideas. 

The year before I turned 50 I was having a hard time with the upcoming milestone birthday. I decided to have fun with it. 

50 Before 50 List

This time I will give myself a few more years to complete my
60 Before 60. 


Cigar Smoking Bar (do they still exist)
Hookah Bar
Stand Under a Waterfall
Write a Life Poem
Viking Compass Tattoo
Design My Own Cocktail
Start Running Again
See the Northern Lights
Visit the Big Horns
60 Days of Random Acts of Kindness
60 Days of Gratitude to Make it a Habit 

Eat in a 5 Start Restaurant
Practice meditation for 60 Days
Get Ordained
Complete a 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
60 Days of Prayer for others
Visit 60 National Parks/Monuments/Preserves 
Reach My Goal Weight
Drink a $100 Bottle of Wine
60 More Blog Posts 
60 More YouTube Videos
Hike or Wheel 20 New Trails
Create a Jeep Momma Calendar
Attend a Rodeo
Murder Mystery Dinner
Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
Jazz in the French Quarter
Blues Bar
Axe Throw
Cirque Du Soleil Show

Friday, November 4, 2022

Heated Gloves - Product Review

Sabot Heat reached out to me and asked me to try out their
battery heated gloves for a review. I thought, why not. I live in a place were they might come in handy one day. One of the favorite features is the sensitive screen touch. 

Gloves can sometimes be cumbersome. These were not. I loved how flexible they where when I wore them. I was also pleasantly surprised at how light weight they were. I was expecting the batteries to be heavy but they weren't. When I wore them I couldn't even tell there were batteries in the gloves. 

For more on my review check out the video on my YouTube Channel.   Click Here to Watch the Video

SabotHeat 2022 Upgrade Heated Gloves

Epic Grand Canyon Adventure Day 1

After we filled our belly's at the continental hotel breakfast and had a short drivers meeting, it was time to roll out for 5 days and 4 nights of camping among the stars. 

Once we hit gravel, we stopped to air down our tires for a more comfortable drive on those rocky paths up ahead. 

Little did I realize, I was traveling with a fellow YouTuber - The Gear Bunker. More with Eric from The Gear Bunker on Day 5. 

We left Mesquite, Nevada with full tanks of gas and a trailer of 56 more gallons.  Eleven vehicles in all; FJ Cruiser, Jeep LJ, 2-door JL Rubicon, 4-door JKU, 4-door JLU Rubicon, a Ram Powerwagon and 5 Gladiators. 

We were on a journey of a lifetime with 350 miles of open
wilderness and no amenities. Just us and the unspoiled nature of the Arizona Strip. 

The Arizona Strip is the part of Arizona lying along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon north of the Colorado River. There are scattered settlements through out the region, the Kaibib Indian reservation & land protected by the National Park Service, BLM & US Forest Service. 

The Strip is typical of the West with it's red rock canyons and
dry climate which leads to the vegetation of c
acti to grassland and sagebrush, to Junipers and Pinyon forests even a Ponderosa of Pines, Spruce, Fir and Aspen trees on the Plateau.

It contains magnificent cliffs, spectacular canyons and valleys that transform from the vast high desert to pine covered mountains. 

We began our trip into the Virgin Mountains with a moderate climb over Lime Kiln Pass to the canyon.  This rugged desert path is highlighted by rocky twisting canyons and vast high deserts filled with Joshua trees and red towering sandstone. 

We meandered our way back into Nevada through a small
Gold Butte National Monument  to our second mountain climb over Whitney Pass. 

Once through Whitney pass you could see for miles on the
high desert plains - the 
Grand Gulch Canyon. The views were spectacular. One of the most challenging trails on the Arizona Strip. 

We were making our way through the Grand Parashant National Monument - the scenery was breathtaking, and the deeper we went, the more spectacular the views. Parashant is remote and vast.  No crowds! No lines! 

Endless blue skies, isolated cattle corrals, lone cowboys (I
saw one near the end of the trip) and one of the best places in the world to view the dark night skies. 

We came upon an old abandon mine and decided to make camp for the night  -- up the hill from the mine at an old grassy airstrip over looking the canyon on a solitary vista. 

Grand Gulch Mine -- Mining engineers once said the mine
contained some of the richest copper ore ever produced in the Arizona territory. However, the copper ore didn't mean get rich quick.
 Ore was hauled four hundred miles by horse and wagon to Salt Lake City, Utah for smelting. 

A costly endeavor.  A slow expensive trip. In 1918 when WW1 ended the copper prices plummeted. The mine shut down for 20 years. 

Then during WW2 the demand for copper rose again and
Grand Gulch Mine came back to life. No longer using horse and wagon to haul the copper instead trucks successfully hauled out the ore. 
Copper mining continued until a fire in 1955 that destroyed the main buildings. Eventually in 1958 the miners abandoned the mine.

Exploring the old mines can be dangerous with rusty metal strewn about and vicious flying insects -- you need to be on your top game. I was not. Some how a bee flew down my shirt and stung me twice on my boob. How that bee got into my shirt I will never know. I thrashed around to get it out of my shirt, it was quite a site. Thankfully, no one saw me but only heard me. One of the adventure ladies was nearby and our first meeting was her pulling the stinger out with her fingernails. Her husband came to the rescue with his first aid kit, excited to finally rip it from the Velcro.  

It was an amazing night up on that airstrip. The light pollution from Las Vegas was still visible on the horizon, but the stars were abundant. 

Bob, Mary, and the crew were preparing a  gourmet meal while the guests got to know each other on the first night of this amazing adventure. 

Stay tuned to see what was on Bob's menu for the night! 

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...