No Vember

Super Mario BrothersI wasn’t able to take much vacation from work for the first eight months of the year, and now I’m having to take a lot of vacation days so I don’t lose them. Today is the last day of my three-day weekend, and it’s been a well-rounded one. Saturday (Halloween) was a bit busy. I had planned on taking the kids up to a geocaching event in Riverton, but I had so much else to do that the four hours of driving wouldn’t have worked into the schedule, so we skipped it. Instead I winterized the camp trailer, which made me come to the sad realization that camping season is over, and it was much too short. We drove the boys to several relatives’ houses to trick-or-treat, and later in the evening I had planned to walk around the neighborhood with them while they panhandled for more candy. Unfortunately Bradley got sick and he puked on his Mario costume (and yes, Michael was Luigi), so it looked like he wouldn’t get to enjoy Halloween. Fortunately he got feeling better later in the night, though his costume was still in the washing machine. We pulled out Michael’s Batman costume from a year or two ago and he was able to wear that and still go trick-or-treating, so it worked out pretty well.
Gentry MountainOn Sunday Mark and I went out near Wattis with the intention of riding ATVs up over Star Point onto Gentry Mountain, then hiking down into Gentry Hollow (or upper Tie Fork Canyon) to find a geocache that was placed in July and hadn’t yet been found. I made a really stupid mistake by thinking that, with the time change from DST, we’d have more daylight in the evening. Duh. Well, we stopped so Mark could find the geocache at Star Point that I’d already found a couple of weeks ago, then rode across the top of Gentry Mountain toward the next cache. It was windy up on top, and though it was mid-afternoon, I was already cold and wishing I’d brought a coat instead of just a jacket. There was some snow in the shaded parts of the road, but for the most part everything was dry. We reached where I figured (from looking in Google Earth) that we’d be able to park the ATVs, but we were able to ride another third of a mile closer to the geocache from there. The hike down was very steep and followed a fence line most of the way, though there were cattle trails on either side that made it easier going through the brush. It didn’t take us long to get to where the cache should have been, but after well over an hour of searching, we weren’t able to find it. There was some snow on the ground that may have made it more difficult to find the cache, but we looked under every rock, log, and fallen tree, inside every stump, and under every bush within 100 feet of where my GPS zeroed out. We gave up the hunt when the sun fell behind the ridge to the west and it suddenly got very cold. As we hiked back up along the fence line toward the ATVs, we got back into the sunlight, and the steep climb kept us warm. As soon as we got back to the ATVs the sun yet again set behind the mountains to the west, this time for good. It got cold and dark pretty quickly, and it was a long and cold ride back to the truck. We stopped a couple of times to warm our hands on the exhaust, and I was very relieved to get back to the truck to find that the engine was still warm enough that the heater was putting out warm air instantly. It would’ve been nice to find that geocache, though it was nice enjoying the mountains for what will probably be my last ATV ride there until next summer. Here are some photos from the ride/hike.
Book CliffsToday I was going to ride Traci’s ATV (since mine needed an oil change and I didn’t have time to change it) up into the Book Cliffs from Horse Canyon to find another geocache. My plans got changed because Bradley was yet again sick last night, and we didn’t want to send him to school this morning only to get a call to come pick him up after he vomits again. Since Traci was doing her preschool thing (I refrain from calling it a job because that suggests that she gets paid for it) in the morning, I ended up taking Bradley with me, though I had to take the truck because I couldn’t fit him and Torrey with me on Traci’s ATV. It ended up being a long and slow drive once I reach Horse Canyon. I kept the truck in 4-low because it’s such a hog and the rear tires tend to spin on steep grades. The views from the Little Park Road were amazing. I could see well into the San Rafael Swell and even beyond to the Henry Mountains. I only drove a small portion of the road before reaching the geocache, but I had to go so slow in the truck that I didn’t have time to keep going, so I turned around and headed for home. After this little taste I definitely want to return on my ATV, but it’ll probably have to wait until next year as well. Here are the photos from the drive.

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