Back to the mines (Thursday Travels)

When we left off last week, we were just working our way down to the Paint Mines.  It was cloudy, breezy, and storms were rumbling off in the distance.

I almost used “back to the salt mines” as my post title today, but thought better of it for two reasons:  1) These are not salt mines; and 2) I read this article about using the metaphor “back to the salt mines.”  Visiting the Paint Mines was pure pleasure, and had nothing to do with dangerous or slave labor.

I have a question pertaining to hiking for you ladies out there.  Gentlemen, please scroll on down to the next photo now as I doubt this will be of much interest to you.  Then again, perhaps you’ll know of someone who is knowledgeable on this subject so I’ll leave it up to you.

One of the problems with hiking, especially when you’re out in the wilderness, is the lack of a loo.  For men, it’s not a problem at all as far as I can tell.  For women, it involves a bit more work and a lot more exposure.  I can handle that, but… I’ve been wondering about using a product called Whizzy.  Have any of you ladies out there used a Whizzy?  If so, was it easy to use?  Not so easy to use?  Were you better off with the tried and trued method?  I’m doing some planning for our upcoming trip and thought the Whizzy might be worth a try.  Any advice on the matter will be much appreciated.

Back to the hike.  There are approximately four miles of trails, roughly shaped like a figure eight, in the Paint Mines Interpretive Park.  The mines are near the center of the eight, to the southwest.  As mentioned in previous posts, it’s an easy hike.  There is no shade until you get down into the rock formations so I wouldn’t recommend it on a hot, sunny day unless you like hot, sunny days.


I found it difficult to capture the beauty of the place.  I’d love another try at it someday.  Because of the storms, the mosquitoes, and the lateness of the day, we had to move pretty quickly and didn’t spend nearly as much time exploring as I’d hoped.

The trail leads down into a labyrnthine landscape, meandering around the various rock formations (hoodoos and sandstone-capped spires).  I think I could spend days in there, exploring and taking photos.

We did not see any wildlife although the descriptions of the park mention to watch for red fox, coyotes, mule deer, and pronghorn.

That’s it from the mines for today.  I’ll have more for you next week.  Here in the Bogs we are enjoying another beautiful day of sun and clouds and breezes.

Today’s view of the pond

See what I mean?   Isn’t it gorgeous?  I did not want to come back inside after my walk.  I probably wouldn’t have if there hadn’t been some work that needed to be taken care of today waiting for me.

Another view. Because it’s so pretty out there.

I reckon that’s enough from me today.  Thank you for dropping in and putting up with the display of vacation photos.  Hopefully it hasn’t been too dull.  I would like to finish going through and posting the Colorado pics before we take off for Maine and the Eastern Canadian Provinces.  *fingers crossed*


37 Comments on “Back to the mines (Thursday Travels)”

  1. I always enjoy seeing photos like your bunch here – since we have nothing even remotely like this around here! I have never used a Whizzy, but it would probably be better than nothing, right? Especially if they don’t have any Porta-Pottys on the trails!!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Holly. 🙂

      That’s my take on it, too. The Whizzy might be better than nothing and in the wilderness, porta-pottys are a hard find.

  2. Gosh, no need to apologize, Robin. The Salt Mines are amazing. The landscape looks down-right other-worldly. I especially love the 3rd photo. What incredible shapes!

  3. Strange to get feedback from a guy on this subject, but I read on a hiking blog (not WordPress) about a woman who used and reviewed the “You Go Girl” product. Probably the same concept. She said it worked great and was very comfortable with it after the first couple of times. Be sure to bring some water to rinse it out and a towel or something to dry it with after using it. Probably good to carry it to and from your hiding spot in a “business bag.” Good luck and happy trails!

  4. Hmm, I use a device like a Whizzy, but it’s not paper. It’s plastic, easy to use, pop it in its container and cleans with soap and water. I’ve never had a problem using it and used it hiking through out the desert. I will never do it the old way again…

    If interested, I can get the name. I got it for about 8 dollars at the local Community Pharmacy.

  5. tedgriffith says:

    A great trip to the mines today! And I can see why you wouldn’t want to go back inside. Beautiful. 🙂

  6. Joanne says:

    Wow, the Paint Mines are breathtaking Robin! My son, Ben, arrived home last Friday and as he was showing me his photos, he kept on saying “the photo doesn’t show how good it really looked”. It can be quite frustrating, can’t it? You want so much to share the beauty you have seen. Ben will be putting his photos on my computer this weekend (I didn’t want to rush him when he arrived home, jet-lagged!) and he has said I can show them to everyone on my blog. Can’t wait to show you your own country, through the eyes of a 27 year old Aussie man! 🙂

  7. aFrankAngle says:

    And I love the Paint Mines pics the second time around. And to think it just there in the prairie. A beautiful day around the pond!

  8. Ok… first off on the whole potty thing…. are you unable to squat? If you can squat, the trick is holding on to your pants/shorts and keeping them out of the way. 🙂 If you can do that, it’s not bad. It is definitely an art form!! :0

    Speaking of art, these are great. Down here in Texas, we’d call the wavy formations with color on them “Spanish Skirts”. You see them all over the place in what I call canyon country and you did a great job capturing their texture and color. 😉

  9. Dana says:

    I haven’t used the Whizzy, but isn’t there a reusable funnel-type thing available, too? I haven’t been hiking enough lately to try something like that out, but the next time I’m planning a multi-day or multi-week excursion, I’m definitely going to look into a female funnel! (The worst was our 6-week trip to Alaska. Mosquitoes EVERYWHERE! Marty was able to go discretely without subjecting himself to any bites, but my poor privates had bites all over. 😦 More info than you needed to know, I’m sure, but I’m just letting you know that I feel the outdoor loo pain!)

    On a different note, these photos are spectacular. What gorgeous geography!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Dana. 🙂

      Mosquitoes are yet another reason not to have everything exposed. Poison ivy comes to mind as well. Yikes.

  10. Robin, your paint mine pictures are beautiful. Maybe, as you said, you didn’t capture it totally, but you still gave us readers a great feel for the place. I would love to visit when I return home this summer, but we’ll see if I can make it to Colorado from Virginia!!

    As far as the Whizzy, I’ve never heard of such a thing but it would be great to check out. You should try it and let us know. I don’t think I can get them in Oman, but maybe I could stock up when I go home this summer. I hate squatting because inevitably stuff is spraying everywhere and getting the bottoms of my pants wet!! I hate that. Please let us know!!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Cathy. 🙂

      I’ll let you know how it goes (so to speak). I’ve ordered the Whizzy product, but think I’ll check out the funnel possibilities too.

  11. eof737 says:

    Great photos! What is that white rock formation…? It reminds of the calcium rocks we had back in the old country… As per Whizzy, I have no idea about the product but it’s good to learn. 🙂

  12. mobius faith says:

    I’ve been totally fascinated by your “paint mines” series. What a great location. Wonderful images.

  13. Love these photos, Robin. Oh yes, squatting in the wilderness, what a treat! I look forward to hearing of more options 🙂

  14. I’m so wanting to visit the paint mines now. Hubby is already talking about touring US once we get home from year in Europe. Bring it on, I say.

    • Robin says:

      It’s a good place to have on your list, Joss. It’s off the beaten path, unlike some of the other places we’ve visited in Colorado. You and hubby are gonna be doing some serious traveling! Good for you. 🙂

  15. Sallyann says:

    Holiday/vacation pictures are all part of the fun, its great to be able to see all the different places people go to.
    I very often look for Oxford posts just to see the place from a tourists point of view, its surprising what I don’t see by living near enough to not need to visit. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Sallyan. That’s an excellent point. I know I’ve learned more about where I live just by getting out and acting like a tourist. 🙂

  16. Kathy says:

    Those are so gorgeous, Robin. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do a mini vision quest among these grandfathers and grandmothers?

  17. dragonfae says:

    Robin, those formations are fascinating and absolutely fabulous! Thanks for sharing your pictures of the mine. 🙂

    I’ve never heard of the Whizzy either … seems a tad odd to me. Then again, I just find a “ladies tree” and threaten hubby with death if anyone comes near. As long as the pup isn’t around (she has a very inquisitive nose!) I’m good. 😉

    • Robin says:

      The ladies tree works for me, too, DragonFae, but sometimes there isn’t a ladies tree or a place that gives much in the way of shelter. I’m hoping this will be easier, with less exposure. 🙂

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