A Day at White Pocket-Final in a series of three

 

White Pocket

There are moments in life, I believe, I will remember and carry forward with me for the rest of my life. Sometimes it is a chance meeting, Jim, or a wonderful movie or play. Often for me it has to do with nature. I love the outdoors. I love the wildness of it, the unpredictability of it. I have been known to stand in storms, watching the wildness of a very restless, big ocean with giant waves. Thunder-storms enthrall me. A perfect fall day, hiking through the woods can ease a restless soul.

When my friend and mentor, Mary and I arrived in Kanab, I was introduced to two good friends of Mary’s, Sky and Bobbie. They opened their driveways to us as well as their home. When camping there is nothing better than taking a nice, long warm shower. Bobbie and Sky were gracious and wonderful hosts. And–they gave me a day of their lives to visit White Pocket.

White Pocket

Mary and I have tried for reservations for “The Wave” several times. It is a place many want to visit for its natural beauty. They allow 20 people to hike in there a day. We were thwarted on each of our attempts to visit it. Sky suggested we visit White Pocket instead. He said that it is larger than the wave and just as beautiful, if not more so.

On a lovely fall morning I joined Mary, Sky and Bobbie for 4-wheel drive to White Pocket. The ride in was bumpy and definitely needed a high clearance vehicle to get to the formations. When I first walked into the area all I could say and think was “WOW”. It seems that this word applies to most of this back country journey into southern Utah, this fall.

A pocket is usually a small area of land, this one is approximately 1 square mile, that is markedly different than the surrounding area. White Pocket is a group of domes and ridges, white and gray being the dominant color. Doesn’t sound too interesting does it? But wait, Mixed in with the predominant color are yellows, reds, oranges and more and it is swirling. This area shows upheaval in geologic time.

Remember you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

For a photographer it is eye-candy, everywhere. Yep, you can take a lot of photos here. The formations are beautiful, amazing and just wow. We climbed up and down being careful of the fragile formations as we explored this area for approximately four hours. Sky was our faithful and great tour guide. I don’t believe we missed much.

Off to the side was a cave with petroglyphs. I love this stuff. I have for years been totally fascinated by the ancient ones of the southwestern United States. I love to sit and imagine what their lives were like many hundreds of years ago. And where did they go? Lots of theories and yet no one knows for sure.

This was a memorable day. It was one more highlight of a three week journey that had many. It was the final highlight for me. I enjoyed the company of the people I was with for this day. I believe that Bobbie and I would be friends if we lived closer. I enjoyed spending time with her in the formations talking of deep and wondrous things. These are my kind of people.

Sky

Bobbie & Cyo (not sure of the spelling)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All too soon we returned to Kanab. The ride back from White Pocket and the Vermillion Cliffs was a beautiful late afternoon ride. The photo-ops continued to occur. The conversation was fun. After spending one more delightful evening with Sky and Bobbie, Mary and I departed. She was heading north and west to Oregon and I was heading east to Durango.

The Drive back to Kanab

Departure was hard for me. I enjoyed the company of the people I traveled with as much as I did the awesomeness of the places I saw. It was hard to say goodby. Teachers come in all forms in my life. People come and go, sometimes for a brief moment and others stay much longer. I can’t thank Mary enough for being a good friend and mentor. Linda, the other travel companion at the beginning of this adventure hopefully will be a life long friend. I can’t thank these two women enough for including me in their adventures and lives. Hopefully we will travel together again. Chance meetings, Bobbie and Sky and Bob in Escalante make me feel so honored and special to have met them and even for an instant, shared their lives, feelings and laughter.

Mary, Linda, Janet

Today I am thankful for September, for the wide open expanses, for the quiet, peace and solitude of the back country.

Today I am thankful for friends.

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Birding in Patagonia….Arizona

Have you ever been to Patagonia??? Arizona??? I just returned from a week in southern Arizona visiting my friend Cat. Remember her…she was biking across the United States with her two dogs. She got as far as east of Tucson and had to change her goals once again.

Cat's home

Cat’s home

Cat’s doctors informed her that the “Bike across America” would need to go on an indefinite hold. She was without a home and wasn’t sure what to do. Cat fell in love with my small Roadtrek RV. Thinking that an RV would give her a home anywhere she wanted to be…she bought a 5th wheel (much bigger than mine) and moved in.

For the foreseeable future Cat is making Patagonia home. I decided that seeing her new RV was worth the drive and the visit. It was a great re-connection. When I arrived Dory the dog, came running out and up to the door of my RV and waited for it to magically open. She really likes me and my home on wheels. You might remember a previous post where I met up with Cat and the pups in Yuma.

What a fun 5 days that was. I have learned that people go to Patagonia to bird watch. I mean these are serious birders, folks. For a 5 day stretch I became a birder too, and, it was fun. There are a lot of birds there, of all kinds. We hiked the Nature Conservancy Reserve with  binoculars in hand. We went back to the Paton House, managed by the Audubon Society three times while I was there. For five days my binoculars were around my neck and my camera was close at hand.It was so relaxing and fun.

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Violet Crowned Humming Bird

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Gambles Quail


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Yellow Rumped Warbler

When I was young I was in the 4-H. One of my projects was bird watching. I remember it as a time when I had a close connection to my mom, as she helped me with this project. I have never lost the interest in wild life. I have found that since Jim’s death, I have become interested in birds again. There is something soothing about watching birds. And…they  are such pretty colors. Being outside also is another bonus for me. It is a challenge to photograph them.

Cat & Janet at Paton's

Cat & Janet at Paton’s

Spending time  with Cat was also special. She and I mutually inspire each other. Our friendship is new so we are still learning about each other. I love our conversations. They are so easy and natural. Her sense of adventure exceeds mine, although I could be right behind her. She is an example of taking one day, one hour, one minute at a time and never, ever giving up. This is a reminder to me as I age, gracefully, I hope, to be willing to accept the changes that occur in life and if need be, change course. I don’t need to stop just change course.

Friendships are important. Each one is of such great value to me. I would have been very alone without my friends to support me and helping me to keep looking forward. Mostly I am happy they are more than willing to come along with me and have fun and explore our world. Each trip I take reminds me again of the value of good friends. And…I am thankful.

Cat & Janet

Cat & Janet

For those of you who are reading my blog you will notice something new. On the left side bar is now a button that says Go Fund Me. This is something new I have started at the suggestion of friends to help raise money for the Jim Fenningham Memorial Scholarship. This is a scholarship honoring my husband’s dedication to education. It is a quick and easy way to donate anything from $1 on up.