New Book – Backroad Excursions – Exploring the 4 corners region

Backroad Excursions   Blurb Books

Purchase here

Thinking of a visit to Moab or the Four Corners Region?  Interested in exploring ruins and petroglyph’s which were created by prehistoric Indians as early as 1200 AD? Maybe explore the remains of an abandoned ghost town  or walk the path of no extinct dinosaurs viewing their petrified remains embedded within a rock wall?  Then this guide is for you, it features directions and images that will provide you and your family with hours of enjoyment through out your stay.

  • The Beautiful House on Fire Ruins
  • Three Castle Kiva
  • Mill Creek Dinosaur Grave Yard
  • Cisco Ghost Town
  • Sego Canyon Petroglyph’s
  • Monument Valley
  • The Canyonlands
  • Newspaper Rock

Just to name a few each description  provided comes with easy to read directions and images to assist you and your family in getting the most out of your visit to the Four Corners region.  Each one child friendly and most handicap accessible, purchase and download the ebook the information is as easily accessible as your cellular phone

book

Published in: on April 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM  Comments Off on New Book – Backroad Excursions – Exploring the 4 corners region  

Unmet Friend To Bill Kettler written by Phill Randall

Unmet Friend,

by Phill Randall on Wednesday, 9 January 2013 at 16:36 ·

Came from the same mold him and I,

Reckon they threw it away after that day,

Not many can say two are one of a kind,

Two were friends and uncorse words we never say,

Agree on most things we were taught,

Didn’t listen to most cause we knew,

Back then when it all ment alot,

We agree on the things that were new,

Travels we have never seen on the same line,

Seen em all I guess we can say,

But we both know the places left by time,

Been there and seen em, we left it lay,

Shook a hand of many but not ours,

Maybe past each other on some trail,

If we did, I doubt it was in any cars,

Guessen we told our storys, never told a tale,

Sat by a fire and ponder we have not,

Poured coffee in a cup yet to be seen,

Probley cured the worlds problems,

Of course in a way that isn’t so mean,

Been accused of brothers to the core,

Think alike in most cases unlike some,

One fear we don’t have is a closed door,

When one hears family mentioned with out name,

Brothers of most so we might contend,

We’ve been them, an unspoked fame,

For us we agree, brothers to each, unmet friend,,

Phill Randall,

Custer,SD.

97e52c89f837c9fd0b93941487ae4258

Thank you to my brother closer than kin Phill I will always have your back!

Published in: on January 9, 2013 at 9:55 PM  Comments Off on Unmet Friend To Bill Kettler written by Phill Randall  

Expanded Functionality of this Blog

Several Changes have taken place to expand the functionality and your access to the information contained within this blog.

1) A downloadable app for the I Phone & Android so while you are hiking or driving you have the information and images at your fingertips.   Download Here

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2) We have set up a new website FOUR CORNERS EXCURSIONS.COM  or to be exact http://www.fourcornersexcursions.com or those of you viewing this on a smart phone can go with QR readers can scan here:

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As usual you can still follow us on our new Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/HikingTheSouthwest

our sister blog  Hiking The Southwest

and last highlighting the photography and still under development @ Southwest Photography by Bill Kettler

Any further updates will be published as they come along

Falling Man Petroglyph Site, Whitney Pocket, NV

Falling Man Petroglyph Site, Whitney Pocket, NV

Rock art “is abstract, and made by prehistoric hunter-gatherers some 1200 years ago. The images are symbolic, and even though archaeologists can’t interpret most of them, they still had meaning for the migratory people who once lived here.” The images may have functioned as territorial markers, as ways of telling stories and documenting events such as the falling man.
Once this area was covered with archeological features such as agave roasting pits and a prehistoric campsites although now only the petroglyph’s remain.

Falling Man Rock Art Site

Falling Man Trail head     Latitude 36.51166       Longitude  114.18454
Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 2:51 AM  Comments Off on Falling Man Petroglyph Site, Whitney Pocket, NV  
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Cave Valley, UT

Ghost Rock

Feature Name: Cave Valley
County: Washington County
Latitude: 37.32637
Longitude: -113.1091119

Feature Name: Cave ValleyCategory: Utah physical, cultural and historic featuresFeature Type: PhysicalClass: ValleyCounty: Washington CountyLatitude: 37.32637Longitude: -113.1091119

Cave Valley, UT

Cave Valley Pictographs – These are some of the best in Zion and are found along the Kolob Terrace Road. Again this rock art is protected and are settled among federal and private property lines ask at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center for directions.

Entrance to Large Cave

Cave Canyon in the Kolob Terrace is a remote site with nice rock art. There are also the well-known and protected Parunuweap ruins, but again, a park ranger needs to be contacted for more information and most of the sites are off limits to all but research personnel.

How to make Wood Charcoal in the Wilderness

Lump Wood Charcoal

How to make Wood Charcoal in the Wilderness
a. Let wood age for 6 months.
b. Cut wood evenly and place in a fire and keep turning it so that it burns evenly.
c. Burn until you can just poke a stick into it and or break a piece by striking it with a shovel.
d. Remove it from the fire and place it into the ground and cover it up until there is no smoke coming from it.
e. Let it remain there for about 2 weeks
f. Crush to size.
Note: I have made charcoal this way many times, and you can speed thing up and let it sit for 1 day in the ground and still have  Success.
Why Charcoal?
There are many uses for charcoal.
1. You can cook with it and it will burn better and hotter then wood.
2. You can use it to clean your water and make a water filter or to make sweet water. If your water is a little skunky boil water with 2 pieses of charcoal for about 15 min to remove the smell.
3. You can use it to help stop poisoning. For instance if you eat something by mistake that would kill you and their was nothing you could do to stop it, just take 2 teaspoon full’s and eat it three times a day. The poison will be absorbed into the charcoal and just may save your life.
4. Charcoal is one of the main parts of black powder as well as other things.
5. It also can be used as a top dressing on a wound to absorb infection.
6. Can be used to add Potassium to the soil and raze the ph levels as well.
7. Can be mixed with white ash for a cleaner and soaps.
This is just some things that charcoal is used for and is very important to your survival
Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 3:08 PM  Comments Off on How to make Wood Charcoal in the Wilderness  
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Calico Mine & Ghost Town, CA

Calico Mine & Ghost Town

Calico is a ghost town located in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California. Founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, today it is a county park. It is located in unincorporated San Bernardino County off Interstate 15, 3 miles from Barstow.

Calico Mine & Ghost Town

At its height, shortly after it was founded, Calico had a population of 1,200 people and over 500 silver mines. Besides the usual assortment of bars, brothels, gambling halls and a few churches, Calico also supported a newspaper, the Calico Print. In the mid 1890s the price of silver dropped and Calico’s silver mines were no longer economically viable. With the end of borax mining in the region in 1907 the town was completely abandoned. The last original inhabitant of Calico before it was abandoned, Mrs. Lucy Bell Lane, died in the 1960s. Her house remains as the main museum in town.
In 1951, Walter Knott, founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, purchased the town and began restoring it to its original condition referencing old photographs. In the late 1950s, a western garbed man with Custer whiskers known as Calico Fred was a local fixture.  Though five of the original town buildings exist today, many others were recreated as replicas of their originals on preexisting foundations. In 1966, Knott donated the town to San Bernardino County, and Calico became a county regional park.
Today, the park operates mine tours, gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, a restaurant, the Calico & Odessa Railroad and a number of general merchandise stores. It is open daily, and requires an entrance fee. Calico is a registered California historic monument and the “official state silver rush ghost town” of California.

How to Search a Creek Bed for Indian Arrowheads

Dry Creek Bed
Authentic fragments of history, Indian arrowheads fascinate the young and old alike. Finding them isn’t difficult if you know where to look. In areas where Native Americans settled, you will find spearheads and arrowheads in and around rivers and creek beds. With a few hunting techniques, you’ll be well on your way to attaining a piece of the past.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Instructions

Things You’ll Need:
Metal garden trowel
Sieve, at least 8 inches wide
Plastic zip-type bags
Step 1
Research for the location of former Indian settlements at your public library or by talking to friends. Indians camped near water whenever possible so locating old riverbeds in areas where they lived is a good idea. Be sure to get permission if you want to explore on private property.
Step 2
Determine the time of year when the water in the creeks and rivers is the lowest. Some creeks are seasonal and can be completely dry for months. These make excellent arrowhead-hunting grounds.
Step 3
Dress for the occasion by wearing rubber fishing boots if water will be an issue. Don a multi-pocket vest to hold your “finds” and the implements you will use to locate them. A backpack is a good idea for bringing search items and snacks.
Step 4
Study the creek bed to determine which way the water flows when it is running. Not only did Indians camp by the water, it was a favorite spot to hunt animals as they came to drink. When an arrowhead was lost, it would sink, but due to the flat shape it often swept downstream when the water was rapid.
Step 5
Locate the front side of a bend in the creek. This is the most likely area for an Indian arrowhead to settle. These bends are easy to find because they usually have an additional accumulation of old branches and debris. Remove as much of the debris as you can, but if it is too heavy, don’t worry, you can search around it.
Step 6
Use your metal garden spade to scoop out small amounts of sand from the deposit. Use your sieve to sift the sand from rocks and arrowheads. Alternately, you may slice downward through the sand, listening for the sound of a rock surface hitting your metal spade. Search only the sand; arrowheads are rarely located in the clay sediment layer beneath.
Step 7
Scrape your spade between the exposed roots of trees that grow at the edge of the creek. This is another good place because these roots will often trap small arrowheads and hold them. Again, listen for the sound of metal hitting rock.

Explore, Be Patient and have fun

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 5:09 PM  Comments Off on How to Search a Creek Bed for Indian Arrowheads  
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How to keep ice COLD in the desert.

Mojave Desert
One of the challenges of camping in the desert is keeping your ice cold and thus keeping your food and beverages cold and edible. How can you preserve your ice so it doesn’t melt so quickly? How can you keep your food from getting soggy from the melted ice? How can you keep a cooler cold for 5 to 10 days if ice is not available for purchase nearby? These are some of the most common questions asked by campers.
What type of cooler should you use?
There are many types of coolers to choose from, including metal, plastic, Styrofoam, soft-sided nylon and hard-sided plastic. The soft-sided nylon coolers and Styrofoam coolers are suitable for day trips. If you are camping overnight or going on a longer trip, it is very important to get a durable cooler that can keep your food and beverages cold over a period of time. Metal coolers hold heat longer when left in the sun, so plastic coolers are the most popular choice for campers.
One brand of plastic cooler mentioned numerous times in reviews, in blogs, and in articles, is the Coleman Xtreme Cooler. The Xtreme can keep ice frozen for up to five days in 90 degree F heat. It’s available in a variety of sizes including 52-, 62-, 70-, and 100-quart, and can be purchased with or without wheels. Another thermal-efficient cooler is the Max Cool Series made by Igloo.
When selecting a plastic or hard-sided cooler, make sure to choose a cooler that has an insulated lid with a tight seal. Make sure your cooler has a plug on the bottom for water drainage.
Preparation
Pre-chill your drinks and food before placing the items in the cooler. You’ll extend the life of your ice by pre-chilling all items. You can also pre-chill your cooler by filling it with ice to chill the interior, prior to packing it with food and beverages.
Freeze plastic bottles of water or canned drinks that are not carbonated, such as  fruit juices. The frozen drinks will act as ice and will keep the other items in your cooler colder. You can also freeze water or other non-carbonated beverages in gallon milk or juice jugs. They can be consumed when the liquid inside melts.
Freeze meat, and any other food that can be frozen, to help keep the food cold and fresh. Freeze bread and other food items that don’t require refrigeration, and store these items in a dry cooler without ice to keep food fresh and dry.
Line your cooler with Reflectix (aluminized bubble wrap). You can find it at most home improvement stores. It was invented to insulate homes and buildings. Smart campers came up with the idea to use Reflectix to keep the heat out and the cold air in coolers. Cut the Reflectix into pieces that fit, lining the inside of your cooler, including the top/lid. You can even throw a sheet of Reflectix over the outside of your cooler to further insulate it.
Packing your cooler
Pack items in your cooler in chronological order based on when you plan to use or consume the items. Put the items you will use last on the bottom of the cooler, and those you will need access to first, on top. Cold air travels down, so pack the items in the cooler first and then pack either crushed ice or block ice on top. Make sure you pack your cooler tight as air pockets can increase the temperature inside.
Pack perishables such as meat or dairy products directly on the ice. Put food in zip-lock plastic bags or in plastic containers to keep it dry as the ice melts.
For longer trips it’s a good idea to keep your beverages in a separate cooler that can be opened more frequently. Put all of your food in another cooler and open it less often.
The Ice
What type of ice should you use? Crushed ice cools items faster, but ice blocks last longer. Block ice is recommended for trips that are more than one or two days. Dry ice will last the longest and keep your food dry, but requires some special handling.
You can freeze water in quart-sized zip-lock bags. They will work just like ice packs, but won’t leak water as they melt. In addition, the bags of water, once melted, can be refrozen and used again. As noted above, frozen water bottles, milk or juice jugs filled with water or juice can be used in place of, or with ice cubes or blocks. Frozen blue ice packs also work well in place of ice.
If you are going on a trip where you will not be able to purchase ice or where you need your cooler to stay cold for several days or weeks, consider dry ice. Dry ice comes in blocks wrapped in paper. Keep the paper on the dry ice or wrap it in newspaper or craft paper. Don’t pick up the dry ice with your bare hands. Use gloves or some sort of barrier between your skin and the dry ice as it will burn your skin.
Dry ice will crack a plastic cooler if it is sitting directly on the bottom of the cooler or touching the sides. The dry ice needs to be wrapped in paper (NOT plastic), and placed on a rack or barrier so it doesn’t crack your cooler. You can cut down a cheap Styrofoam cooler, place the dry ice in the bottom of the cut down portion, and then place that inside of the plastic cooler. This creates a barrier between the dry ice and the plastic sides and bottom of the cooler. You might also try putting a stainless steel dish rack with legs in the bottom of the cooler and then placing the dry ice on the rack. Stainless steel dish racks can be found in most stores that sell kitchenware.
Anything stored right next to dry ice will freeze. Keep this in mind when packing fruit, dairy products or other items that you don’t want to freeze. Dry ice does not melt, it sublimates and keeps items cold or frozen, and dry.
Another idea is to pack the dry ice in a separate cooler and surround it with frozen blue ice packs. Don’t put any food or beverages in this cooler, just the dry ice with frozen blue ice packs. Once the blue ice packs in your food or beverage cooler are used up, switch the blue ice packs with fresh ones out of the dry ice cooler. It’s a great way to refreeze your blue ice packs and avoid damage to your food by freezing it too much with dry ice.
Does Salt Keep Your Ice Colder?
Fact or fiction . . . does salt keep your ice colder? Well, kind of. Salt melts ice. When salt is mixed with water and ice together, it can bring the freezing temperature of the water to a lower degree, making the water colder without freezing it. What this means is that the combination of salt, ice and water creates really cold water. The down side is that salt also causes the ice to melt, and the goal of keeping your ice cold for a long period of time is to keep the ice from melting.
The ice/water/salt combo is s a great trick if you are having a party, run out of cold drinks and need to chill something quickly. Put some water in a big bucket or pot, put the canned beverages or bottled beverages into the container, add ice and salt to the water and stir the mixture. Put the container with the salt water mixture and the drinks in the freezer and those beverages will be chilled in a matter of minutes. Or keep the mixture out and spin the drinks in the fluid – that will also speed up the chilling process. If you don’t spin the beverages or put the mixture in the freezer it will still chill the drinks faster than ice alone or your refrigerator would without the ice/water/salt mixture.
During your trip . . .
Once you arrive at your camping location be sure to keep your coolers in the shade and out of the sun. You can put an old sleeping bag over them for further insulation. You can also use a tarp or Reflectix to keep the sun off the cooler. Ice will last twice as long when your cooler is placed in the shade.
Only open your coolers when necessary and when you do open the cooler, close it right away. Don’t drain the cold water from freshly melted ice out of the cooler, as the cold water helps keeps the items in the cooler cold. Drain the water only when necessary to create more space in the cooler or when adding more ice.
Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 6:19 PM  Comments Off on How to keep ice COLD in the desert.  

The Colorado Scenic Byway (Hwy 128) , UT

The Colorado Scenic Byway (Hwy 128) , UT

Length: 44.0 mi / 70.8 km
Time to Allow:
2 hours

This spectacular route along the Colorado River gorge in Moab, UT begins at the Colorado River Bridge on the north end of Moab. For the first 13 miles (20.9 km) it parallels

the Colorado River within a narrow section of the gorge, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding red sandstone cliffs. Popular attractions along this portion of the route include viewpoints of the river, public camping areas, and Negro Bill Canyon, which contains a delightful hiking trail to Morning Glory Natural Bridge.

At 13 miles (20.9 km) the gorge widens as the highway proceeds past Castle and Professor Valleys, which have been the shooting locations for many western films including Wagon Master and Rio Grande, along with numerous television commercials. The Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission has a museum at the lodge located at Mile Marker 14. Admission is free. After 24.7 miles (39.8 km) the highway passes a viewpoint for one of the grandest views in the west, the red rock spires of the Fisher Towers set against the often snow covered peaks of the La Sal Mountains.

The Colorado Scenic Byway (Hwy 128) , UT

After leaving the valley, the road winds farther up the river gorge until arriving at the site of historic Dewey Bridge at 29.8 miles (48 km). Unfortunately Dewey Bridge was destroyed in April 2008 by a brush fire. The road then follows the northern bank of the river for a few more miles before exiting the Colorado River gorge. At this point the highway proceeds across open desert toward the ghost town of Cisco at 44 miles (70.8 km). Cisco was founded as a water refilling station for steam locomotives along the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. After another 5 miles (8 km) the route intersects Interstate 70.