Friday, July 29, 2011

Devil's Claw (Alaska)

On a recent hike in beautiful Alaska, the ground was literally covered with large green leaves. The guide informed us that it was Devil's claw, a plan that has been used for thousands of years in Africa to treat fever, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, and conditions involving the gallbladder, pancreas, stomach and kidneys.

In the early 1900's, devil's claw was brought to Europe. It is used to improve digestion, as the bitter taste of devil's claw tea is thought to stimulate digestive juices. The primary uses of devil’s claw today are to control inflammation and pain in the back, neck, rheumatoid arthritis, and tendinitis although tests show the plant gives little more relief than a placebo. Potential users should seek their doctor's advice before using this plant.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Legend of Dead Horse Point

Back to Moab (Utah) again this year because there is simply too much to see and do in one visit. Last year we visited the State Parks, but this time we took a boat ride (round trip about 35 miles) down the Colorado River. It was fascinating to see the canyon  from a completely different point of view, the artwork and wildlife were spectacular.

Following information courtesy of Utah State Parks:

In the 1800s, cowboys used Dead Horse Point to catch wild horses. With sheer cliffs on all sides and an access only 30 yards wide, the point made a perfect horse trap. Cowboys herded horses onto the point and built a fence across the narrow neck to create a natural corral. According to legend, a band of horses left corralled on the waterless point died of thirst within view of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below.

Dead Horse Point is nine miles north of Moab, Utah on US 19, turn west on SR 313, and travel 22 miles to the visitor center. The part is open year-round from 6 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

If you are traveling east on I-70, you may want to consider a "scenic route" that links up to I-70 at the town of Cisco. Take Highway 128 which is just outside the city limits of Moab. The journey takes a little longer, but well worth it in my opinion.