The Janke Family


Red Man Pictograph

This is a two part adventure. Our first attempt at finding the Red Man pictograph we started at the Fort Pearce ruins and hiked down (West) the Fort Pearce Wash. We found many great petroglyphs, but Red Man was elusive. We made it approximately 1 mile down wash, but some of the troops are short legged so we didn’t make it far enough down the wash to where I suspected Red Man to be hiding. On our second attempt we navigated the Fort Pearce Ridge Trail in the Jeep. It was fun to give the Jeep a workout. Anything larger than a Jeep would have a very difficult time on that trail as it is primarily an ATV trail. When we were approximately 2 miles down the wash from the Fort Pearce ruins we started glassing the north rim line of the wash. Once we located his lofty perch above the wash we set our bearings and headed across the wash and up the mesa. It was a bit of a walk, especially the last couple hundred yards up the mesa. Overall it was approximately a 1 mile round trip from the Jeep to Red Man and back. According to the Dixie Archeology Society, Red Man “is thought to be a “sky watcher” waiting for the return of Pohana, a white god who was prominent in Meso American mythology. Pohana departed to the east with the promise that he would return. The Native Americans look to the eastern sky in hopes that he would return.” It was a great adventure, and definitely worth the effort to find him!

GPS Coordinates:

Latitude:    37°00’24.4″N
Longitude:    113°25’47.5″W

West Rim

I did a little exploring today in the St. George desert. I had heard of a fun Jeep trail nearby called the West Rim. This trail is part of the Winter on the Rocks off road event (it’s like the Easter Jeep Safari of St. George). Wow! It was really fun! To give some perspective, it is kind of a mix of Fins ‘n’ Things & Elephant Hill, with the views of Top of the World. The views were awesome, and the obstacles were fun and challenging. There was one casualty, I smashed my tail pipe up pretty good. Oh well, my tail pipe sees a lot of abuse ;). I made a .kmz file of the trail, so if you are interested you can download it HERE, then load it up in your GPS, Google Earth, Google Maps, etc.

On a separate note, my good buddy Mike was driving by Rice Eccles Stadium this morning and spotted some deer in the cemetery across the street from the stadium. In the herd was a giant 8 x 10 buck! He sent me a picture, this is a magnificent specimen! Here is the picture of the big Utes buck!

Moab Adventures

We recently returned from an exciting trip to Moab. We have made a tradition of heading down there the week of Erik’s birthday. This year that coincided with part of the Easter Jeep Safari. There were super wicked Jeeps everywhere! Uncle Dan and Aunt Beth joined us this trip, we really love spending time with them exploring the desert. We adventured out to Tusher Tunnel and parts of the Seven Mile Rim trail on Thursday. Determination Towers, Merrimac & Monitor Buttes are awesome sights along this trail. Aunt Beth navigated their Land Cruiser Wagon on this trail so that Mo & Maci could tag along for Maci’s first trail ride. Of course a trip to Moab is never complete without a run on Fins & Things, and Hells Revenge. Hells Revenge is an epic trail with the perfect balance of difficult butt clenching obstacles, breath taking views, and pure fun. Definitely one of our favorites! I’ve included some pictures and video from this trip below. Henry was the designated camera man this trip!

Halloween in Canyon Country

Thanks to The Discovery Channel, I have been introduced to punkin’ chunkin’, and have seen it in high definition no less (for those of you that are unfamiliar with this mostly Mid-Western past time;HERE is a link to quell your curiosities). But when I randomly discovered that a punkin’ chuckin’ festival was being held in Moab, Utah on Halloween weekend, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to witness the spectacle first hand (it was a good excuse to go Jeepin’ too!). The Boys & I arrived on Thursday, and had made arrangements to stay in a wee cabin at the Moab Valley RV Resort. The cabin was great, and the park was perfect. We spent every night after dinner swimming in the great pool. Actually we were kicked out of the pool every night trying to push closing time “just a few more minutes…”! We spent all day Friday down in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. There is a great new visitor center that we spent some time exploring. The boys actually became sworn in Junior Park Rangers! We hiked to Road Side Ruin, explored Cave Springs & Cowboy Camp, and hiked the trail that crosses the mesa between the two Squaw Flat campground loops. They have put a hand rail (similar to Angel’s Landing in Zion) at the top. People must have been getting to close to the edge. I know I went way past “to close” countless of times growing up. Of course you can’t make a trip to the Needles without traversing Elephant Hill! It was in the worst shape I have every seen it! It was Wicked! I queried the Ranger regarding the condition of the Hill, He said it was mostly due to having been washed out twice since the last trail maintenance was performed. It was hard work getting over & back, but some great people from Boulder driving tricked out FJ80’s gave me some great spotting help. I haven’t been down to the Needles for about 15 years, even though we have been in and around the Moab area countless times during that same time period. Of course, some things have changed. But all the sights, sounds, and smells that have filled my memories were all confirmed and reinforced in that short day. I hope my next visit is after a much shorter interval! We spent most the day Saturday at the Halloween Festival. They had two “World Champion” punkin’ chunkin’ air cannons, some trebuchets, and a couple catapults. The air cannons were the most amazing thing I have ever seen! The sound they made was incredible, but what was most unbelievable was how far they were hurling those pumpkins! The air cannons were blasting a basketball sized pumpkin 5,500 feet! Over a mile! It was so amazing to watch a pumpkin fly a mile through the air! I know it probably sounds pretty silly, but this is one event that is much more exciting to witness in person than to watch on The Discovery Channel! I hope you have enjoyed this mini travel log, we really enjoyed the adventures. I have included some pictures, including one of the the cannons!

Moab for Erik’s Birthday

Erik turned 8 today! He is an incredible boy, I am so lucky to be a part of his life! Erik’s birthday wish was to go to Moab. How could I deny that request?! We hit the road Friday morning, and visited the Sego Canyon rock art panels, and Sego ghost town on the way. The Sego Canyon rock art panels are very impressive. The panels span many Native American cultures, with some paintings dating back to 7000 B.C. A couple more miles up the canyon are the remnants of the mining town of Sego. There is an interesting graveyard, and a very well preserved two story rock building. Most of the other structures have collapsed. After checking into our lodgings for the weekend we headed to Arches. We had planned on going to Tower arch because it is off the beaten path, and requires four wheel drive to get there. But we were running out of daylight because we spent so much time in Sego Canyon. So we took some short hikes to Sand Dune Arch, and Broken Arch. Saturday morning found us preparing for a day on the trail. We ran the first section of Fins ‘n’ Things, then headed over to Hell’s Revenge. What a great trail! We stopped at the Colorado River overlook for lunch, and a little exploring. We explored Hunter Canyon later that evening. Hunter Canyon is a side canyon along Kane Creek Road. It is a beautiful box canyon that is approximately 2 miles long. It is a pretty flat bottom canyon, with great cottonwood trees and tons of desert flora. Approximately half a mile into the hike, way up on the side of the canyon is Hunter Arch. It is very impressive, but a little camera shy. I did my best, but was unable to capture the fullness of the arch. Sunday morning we packed up and checked out of the hotel. We headed back to Arches for some more exploring. We spent some time at the Arches National Park Visitor Center, which Erik thought was fascinating. Then we headed for the windows section, and a short hike to Double Arch. The boys like Double Arch because it is in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade. We took the Willow Springs Road out of the park instead of heading back to the entrance. Along the way we stopped to study the dinosaur tracks, we do have a Palaeontologist in training that made sure of that. We had an incredible time celebrating Erik’s birthday. We love the desert, and can’t wait to get back for more exploring.

Little Sahara

The boys and I played hooky and spent an awesome day exploring Little Sahara sand dunes with Uncle Dan! What fun! Everything i was ever taught, or ever believed about driving off-road was thrown out the window! Instead of taking it slow and keeping the vehicle horizontal, I was encouraged to gas it and race around the sand dune bowls tipped forty five degrees to the side! The boys had a blast launching themselves off the sand dunes. When we got home they were as caked with sand as the Jeep was!

Most of the sand at Little Sahara is the result of deposits left by the Sevier River, which once flowed into ancient Lake Bonneville about 15,000 years ago. After the lake disappeared, the winds that flow across the Sevier Desert picked up the sand. Sand Mountain (a 700 foot tall mountain of sand) in the middle of the dune field, deflected the wind upward, causing it to slow and drop its load of sand. The quartz sand particles fell downwind among the sagebrush and juniper around Sand Mountain creating a 124-square-mile system of giant, free-moving, sand dunes.

Here are some pictures, and a video:

Rattle Snake Canyon

The Boys and I joined Uncle Dan and the Wasatch Cruisers 4×4 club on a trail ride up Rattle Snake Canyon on Saturday morning. Rattle Snake Canyon is out near the Five Mile Pass Recreation area, the approximate GPS coordinates of the area we were exploring are: 40° 16′ 40.01″ N 112° 11′ 37.45″ W. It was a blast wheelin’ in the snow, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves exploring the abandoned silver mines and collecting bones! On this trip Ol’ Red turned 100K! I can’t believe it, she is 12 years old now and sporting another digit on the odometer. I’ve posted a bunch of photos below. I hope you enjoy them, we sure had fun making them! The Boys kept telling me “Dad, this is the funnest day ever!”

Moab in October

We had an awesome time in Moab a couple weeks ago with Jonny, Noemi & kids. We hit Dead Horse Point on our way down. It was Mo & the boys first time to the point. Instead of heading all the way back to Highway 191 we drove down Long Canyon and Pucker Pass to Potash Road. What a great drive! It offers views of Moab you don’t get to see all the time. The next morning we loaded up and tackled Hell’s Revenge. Epic! It is no accident that Hell’s Revenge is one of Moab’s flagship trails. There is a thrill around every corner. We ran into Johnny Lange on the trail, and watched him tackle Hell’s Gate. Wow! We took a short drive up Kane Creek Canyon on Sunday. Took a hike up a side canyon, and visited the birthing rock. It was interesting explaining to the kids what was hanging between the legs of all the people in the rock painting. And of course, we visited the rock shop. A trip to Moab is not complete until you visit the rock shop.

5 Mile Pass

Uncle Dan and I took the Jeep and Skulls (the Cruiser) out to the Five Mile Pass recreation area after work the other day. The area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Pony Express passed through the area during 1860-1861. The area also was traveled by the stagecoach and pioneer families heading west for Nevada and California. Most of us are probably familiar with the area for either ATV/Motocross riding, and/or rabbit hunting. Dan took me to some of the old silver mines way up the canyons. All that remains are giant tailings piles, and big deep vertical mine shafts that have been closed with iron grates. When we were up on top of those mountains overlooking the desert valleys at sunset it was very breathtaking. If the view of the mountains and valleys didn’t take your breath away, a glance down the seemingly bottomless mine shafts would! The approximate gps coordinates of the area we were exploring are: 40° 16′ 40.01″ N 112° 11′ 37.45″ W. I have included some pictures of the tailings piles, and the mine shafts. Each shaft had an ID button on it, I have included a picture of that also. We had a blast!

Jp Magazine Article

Almost two years ago I emailed a picture of us Jeepin’ through Salt Creek in Canyonlands to Jp Magazine. I had found the great picture in Mom’s basement, and submitted it in response to a request for “vintage” Jeep photos. I just received my June issue of Jp magazine and was shocked to find my picture! It had been so long I had forgotten that I had sent it in. Here is the photo, and the caption I had submitted with it: