Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Moody Hill, Northern Colorado

Jeep Off-Road Trail in the Mountains



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. 

Top 5 Tips When You are Wheeling in the Rockies 👉 Watch Here 



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.


Colorado Scenic By-way

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

Colorado's Scenic By-ways 👉 Read More

Friday, November 4, 2022

Heated Gloves - Product Review

Amazing Warmth While Winter Driving

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 and they did. Last winter temperatures were got down to the below 30's. Just driving around town was hard on my hands. These gloves came in handy and my hands were toasty warm on those drives to and from work and out running errands. 

One of my favorite features is the sensitive screen touch. It worked great when I needed to use my phone. 



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. 


Jeep Momma Sabot Gloves Review 👉  Watch Here

SabotHeat 2022 Upgrade Heated Gloves 👉 Buy Here


CA: https://amzn.to/3SIcE57


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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Grand Canyon Overland Adventure

Epic Journey Along the Northern Rim

I had an amazing opportunity I couldn't pass up -- an Epic Adventure with 4Xploring.

What is 4Xploring 👉 Watch Here


Camping on the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon

The 2022 4Xploring Fall Adventure was a five day, four night overland trip along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon in the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument


4Xploring Headquarters

We met up with part of the group Saturday morning in Cheyenne the headquarters of TNT Customs and 4Xploring. This was the start of the two day pre-adventure trek to Mesquite, Nevada where we were meeting the rest of the group at the starting point for the 22 Fall Adventure. 


Welcome to Colorado

We headed South to Colorado through the Rocky Mountains. My first time back since I left almost a year ago in that helter-skelter exit. A necessary departure to get back on my feet and heal my heart. Spending this the past year healing with my family was good for my soul.


Rocky Mountains

It felt good to see those majestic mountain ranges again. It only confirmed I made the right choice to leave the Midwest and get back out to the Wild Wild West. There is so much adventure in those Rockies and still so much left for me to explore. 


Cathedral Valley

As daylight was growing to a close we looked for a place to set up camp for the night. Cathedral Valley in Utah was our spot. By the time we arrived at the campsite, the sun had set and only the stars provided light. 



Like I have done many times in the dark, I quickly set up my ground tent. Then I spent several minutes gazing at the amazing night sky full of stars and planets. Even the Milky Way was out for display.



Cathedral Valley is a remote district at the Northern end of the Capital Reef National Park in Utah. A scenic back-country gem dominated by Southern Utah's soaring sandstone monoliths scattered throughout the vast high desert. 


The next morning we packed up our tents. I was able to get my tent back in the original tent bag. Pretty awesome! LOL! However, that was the only time during the rest of the trip. I came close a few times though.



Then we headed for Mesquite, Nevada. We were on a time crunch to get there by three pm for hotel check in. Our last chance for amenities before our five day overlanding trip.


 

Along the way we cut through Zion National Park. One of the five mighty National Parks in Utah. Zion is spectacular with breath taking views. We took the scenic by-way through Zion. Utah has 28 scenic by-ways around the state. 



The Zion Scenic By-Way is state road nine and flows through the towns of Rockville and Springdale, Utah. A entrance fee is required or a national park pass. We entered in from the East entrance and there was a slow moving line to get in. 



This by-way showcases stunning views of out of this world rock formations, mounds, towers and hilltops. Colorful layered strata's with a variety of colors of rusty red, orange, creams, yellow and brown fill the views. 


It's a landscape peppered with pine, sagebrush and wildflowers. Over a million years of water and wind shaped the landscape to the amazing views we see today. 

Once we reached Mesquite it was time to check into the hotel and a last minute check of the vehicles. 

DAY 1

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 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 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 cacti 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 meandered our way back into Nevada through a small section section 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.


The lights from Vegas

It was a great night up on the Grand Gulch Mine's unpaved airstrip with the Upper Grand Wash Cliffs in the background. 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. Korean meal of Beef Bulgogi with a gigantic chocolate chip cookie and ice cream for dessert. The food was amazing! 

Overland Prep Cooking Tips from Bob 👉 Watch Here

Dutch Oven 👉 Buy Here

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


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.

 


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.

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. 

DAY 5



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



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

Epic Adventure Day One

Epic Adventure Day Two

Epic Adventure Day Three

Epic Adventure Day Four

Epic Adveture Day Five

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