Monday, May 4, 2015

Canyonlands National Park, Newspaper Rock and Looking Glass Rock

Sunday, May 3 and Monday May 4

After that tough ATV ride on Saturday afternoon we decided to take a couple days off—from ATVing that is!  Yesterday we jumped in the big red Dodge and headed south to Canyonlands National Park.  We visited Canyonlands with Geri and Larry last spring while in Moab but were in the Islands in the Sky district.  Canyonlands is divided into three districts—Islands in the Sky, the Maze and the Needles which we visited on Sunday.

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Just outside the park entrance is Newspaper Rock—I expected the site to be larger.  It was sad to see the defacement—I highly doubt the natives drew the peace symbol!

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The weather would go from sunny, blue skies to dark, brooding—it’s going to rain skies making for some good photos!

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 DSCN0978Geri even had us doing a little hiking and ladder climbing!

Today after a leisurely start we again jumped in the big red Dodge and headed this time to Monticello, Utah.  Our first stop was a BLM office—I think we could have gone to a local kindergarten class and gotten more information about the area!!!  Seriously—the guy manning the desk was clueless and they had NO maps!  The BLM wants the public to follow the rules but this guy couldn’t even tell us which lines on the map constituted ATV trails—and he was supposedly their expert!

OK, deep breath—on to the visitor’s center where at least the young man could produce a map!  There is a nice little pioneer museum attached to the visitor’s center too.  Lunch, then we were heading toward home to retrieve Emmi and take off on another adventure—Looking Glass Rock.  Gorgeous and we had the added bonus of seeing an owl nest with mom and two babies in residence!!!

DSCN0997DSCN1001Emmi, aka mountain goat!

DSCN1004DSCN1029From the back side—the black arrow shows where we spotted the owl nest—geez they have terrible bathroom habits! 

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Another great day in southern Utah!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

We’ve Moved

Seven days without internet—wow—can you believe I survived??  We did go into the town of Blanding, Utah a couple times and I was able to post blogs but any other internet pursuing went by the wayside!  We are now near the town of Moab, Utah and have good 4GLTE signal—hallelujah!!   Seriously we were so busy riding, exploring ruins, and just having fun it wasn’t too hard to do without internet. 

But now I can see Lora Elizabeth photos whenever I want!

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We arrived here about noon after dumping tanks and taking on fresh water at the Shell station in Blanding.  Geri and the cowboy quickly started planning a ride—let’s make hay while the sun shines or something like that! Smile

Off we went to find Wilson’s Arch from the back side—this is the arch you can see from the highway when traveling south of Moab, Utah.  We were also looking for the Whale Eye and the Indian Bathtub—score!—found all three!  The riding was skill building to say the least!!  At the base of one VERY steep slick rock hill I stopped, looked back at the cowboy and said with eyes wide, “can I DO this???”  Geri and Larry had all ready gone up successfully and Michael too headed up—OK, I gritted my teeth and went for it!  As I am writing this blog, you know I too made it to the top!  Winking smile

Along the trail we crossed paths with another couple, Jay and Amy from Price, Utah.  They were looking for Wilson Arch and joined up to ride with us the rest of the afternoon—what pleasant, fun people—we are glad they took the time to ride with us! 

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IMG_1970See the faint white marking on the rocks to the right of Geri—I love how they paint “highway markings” on the rocks so you know where to follow the trail!

IMG_1982The flying EmmiIMG_1984Amy, Jay and Geri hiked up to the Indian Bathtub—we think there used to be a ladder so you could look  over into the “tub” but no ladder today and the edge is too tall to see over.

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IMG_1964Whale Eye

IMG_1998Wilson Arch in the background.

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Gorgeous country around here to say the least.  We rode about 26 miles yesterday through some rugged, challenging country and loved every minute of it—we didn’t get back to the rigs until after 6pm and we were all beat, even little Emmi!

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The weather at home for the next seven days is not looking so great with a combination of rain/snow—to go home or not to go home, that is the question!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Eight Ruins, Lots Of Water, Views and an Arch

Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1

Geri and I went to Blanding early Thursday morning to do laundry and a bit of grocery shopping.  We were back at the rigs by 10am and packed, ready to go riding by 11am.  The cowboy chose the Arch Canyon trail for our ride.  Twenty miles, eight ruins, Cathedral Arch outstanding views and about twenty water crossings later our senses were in shock!  Red rocks, ruins, running water, a massive arch—amazing!!

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The trail traveled alongside a creek and was lined with cottonwood trees making for a pleasant ride. This trail is a little more used and well known—we met up with more people on this trail than on any other we’ve traveled.

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IMG_1828Hand prints in the clay and shelving—something we’ve not see before.IMG_1830

IMG_1836Mushroom rock.

IMG_1841IMG_1850This one was WAY up on the cliff side—is it not amazing the wood structures are still standing after so many hundreds of years??

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IMG_1878And Cathedral Arch—massive, the pine tree is on the other side of the arch.

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Access to Cathedral Arch is over a well used trail but suitable for high clearance four wheel drive or ATV only. 

Friday morning dawned with beautiful clear skies once again.  We were attempting a ride onto the mesa above Arch Canyon where we rode on Thursday.  Nope—not happening!  Once we left the county road the trail quickly became a serious black diamond pile of rocks—even Larry and Geri with all their experience decided this wasn’t the trail for us.  I have some video I will post when my internet connection improves.

We called it a day shortly after lunch and spent the rest of Friday taking it easy.  After another delicious dinner Geri and I drove up the road to the Mule Canyon Ruin site—an Anasazi site occupied from AD 750 to about AD 1200.  The state of Utah and the BLM have preserved this site—

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DSCN0906When viewing all the ruins we’ve been privileged to see all four of us have speculated as to why the Anasazi disappeared.

IMG_1917Geri being Geri!

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IMG_1928Checking out the trail—that’s my rig at the bottom—we decided not to attempt this particular hill—it only got worse!IMG_1933

On Saturday, we are heading north toward Moab, Utah.