April 30, 2023
Luke and I have spent more time this past week going down dirt roads. The weather is perfect for exploring as it is warm enough to enjoy being outside and monsoon season has not started yet. Luke also has his new drone that he wants to fly everywhere. The dogs are also loving playing outside. I was planning to take a trip on Cottonwood Canyon road, but decided to postpone it after we had a decent amount of rain the day before. I will be driving on this road eventually though. Instead Luke and I explored Big Flats area in town which is really beautiful. I had never been here before and it’s a great close by spot to see the canyon from the rim. I’m sure I will go back here to do some hiking, but for now we just walked around the rim snagging some photos and enjoying the peaceful scenery as we saw no people here.
Luke and I joined a new writing group in town that just started and we had our first group meeting. I think it will be fun and hope it will help me to become a better writer. I had some cooking adventures this week and made carrot cake mini whoopie pies to share with the neighborhood. I walked around with a platter and gave one to everyone. Not only did everyone enjoy them, but it also made me happy to be able to share something nice with people.
Luke helped me blend interval photos of the meteor shower we captured last week and I was pretty happy with the final result. We took these photos at Wide Hollow Reservoir in the middle of the night when there was a new moon. I had several hundreds of photos so I just kept those with the brightest meteors to blend together. This was the Lyrid meteor shower. I blended 16 shots here that I took at a 15 second shutter speed in intervals one second apart.
We are beginning to see lovely little wildflowers in our desert wandering. Luke spotted this Indian Paintbrush plant and these little purple flowers have also been popping up everywhere in the past couple of weeks. I’ll take better photos of wildflowers eventually when I go out with the camera.
We found this strange rock one day as well that looked like it was burned along the edges. I have no idea what this is or what causes it to look this way, but I’ll probably find out one day. Our best guess is iron content in the rock.
We had one misadventure this week when we attempted to drive up Hell’s Backbone road again and discovered that the road is still impassable! We again had passengers who said later that they noticed the impassible sign that we hadn’t noticed. This time we started the road in Escalante and it was fine for several miles so we felt confident about the journey. There were a few small snowy patches where the sun didn’t hit that didn’t look very deep. Eventually though, we hit a small snowy patch that was too deep for us and we were stuck. We crammed stuff under the wheels like sticks and rocks in hopes to give ourselves the traction we needed to back out, but the truck slid sideways and we were in danger of sliding off the side of the road and into some large trees so we stopped and called for help. If we had known that the tow truck in town was busted we probably would not have attempted this, but we hadn’t thought that there would be no tow available. We sent a few messages on the satellite phone and then waited for help to arrive. Help came from our friend Terry with his SUV and ratchet straps. He made sure to wear his new adventure hat for good measure and you know…I think that was the item that made his rescue efforts successful. Here is Terry and Luke building a little retaining wall in an effort to prevent the truck from sliding further down the slope. Also, you see me shoveling snow and Ace making trackways with sticks. Luke attempted to steer the truck while Terry pulled it with his vehicle and it worked, but damn it looked scary as the truck quickly slid right along the edge of the ditch. All of this adventure led us to decide that it’s time to invest in a winch.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.