Monday, October 30, 2017

Canyonlands National Park, BLM Search, Black Beauty Gets a Wash

We were up and at ‘em at just after 6 am this morning. I looked at the clock at 5:00, opened my blind and gazed at the stars until I dropped off again for the last hour. The sky was filled again this morning and I picked out Orion’s Belt. After we made the bed, Clemson had a tough decision to make. Come down with us and hope for sunshine or stay up there. He joined us and when Bill opened the blinds at 7:30 the sky did not disappoint.

Just the reflection from the pink sky to the east
We read posts and I must say that I am thrilled that you are all enjoying the pictures. I know it was an overload from both Bill “On Our Way” and my posts but trust me, it was a challenge weeding some out.
The sunrise was gorgeous!

Today, we are looking forward to another adventure in another National Park. I’m going to try to be more selective in my snapping. hahahaha Try, I said. We had our showers and our breakfast before packing water, snack bars and hit the road by 9:15.

This little Volksie was parked in our front lot this morning
Today, the weather forecast said partial sun around 9 am and then a cloudy day with a high of 64F. Hmm, okay, so not as warm as yesterday. I wore the same amount of layering and higher socks. I soon was stripping down as the sun remained out all day and the heat of the sun had us toasty warm. Bill meant to wear shorts but forgot that plan when he was getting dressed. He would have been quite comfy.

These train cars have been sitting here since we arrived on Saturday

Hwy 313
Canyonlands National Park was in the opposite direction of Moab on 191S and we were soon turning onto Hwy 313. Before we even got to the park we started to see some pretty neat mountain ridges and rock formations. Entering the park, we very confidently showed our newly purchased pass and a passport for I.D. to get our map and newspaper of the area.
After entering the park, we went from seemingly flat expansive land
To this view at Shafer Overlook
The road, like in Arches N.P., was really nice to drive on, two lanes and this one with many sections of winding snake like turns. It is a nice feeling that states take care to keep their National Parks so welcoming for visitors. The turn offs and viewpoints are well kept and many offer washrooms. There are no places to buy food or water along the park road so signs are posted advising guests to stock up at the Visitor Centre or home before you venture through. Wise advise. We stopped at the Visitor Centre to pick up a few small souveniers and post cards.

Baa Baa is what I tried to write so you could see all the sheep
I'd hate to think they'd lose Lamb Chop!

I’ve got an overload of pictures again (get ready) so I hope you don’t mind. We were blown away, right from the very first viewpoint and it continued. So different from yesterday’s views, these being more scenic heights and low crater-like valleys. We really enjoyed this day and took our water and snacks when we left the truck for a hike. Live and learn.

It didn't matter which way you looked

It was crazy!

See the little red car on the cliff?
And this was just our first overlook
At mid-point we came to Upheaval Dome and Crater Overlooks where you couldn’t see anything unless you hiked. There were two options. 

Here, I had hope that I would make the last 500 ft.

One was .3 miles and the second overlook was .8 miles. If this was our first day of hiking, maybe we would have opted to go the full .8 miles but that meant one way and then we’d have to come back. This is where I experienced difficulty. Bill had no problem.

On the way to the top, I'm still admiring the trees and stumps
It looked easy enough with these steps cut out but.........

Their first thought is the slow-moving salt dome 300 million years ago
The second thought that they have is a meteorite landed 200 million years ago

this picture does not it justice at all
The white part is like a meteorite landed and exploded
  The climb was steep and even though there were some ‘homemade’ rock steps made up to make it easier, I was struggling. I had my walking stick or I would never have made it. At one point, I stepped off the path and told Bill to go on ahead. So far, we weren’t seeing what we were supposed to be seeing. He went to the next rise and said to come ahead as it wasn’t as steep. I followed breathing easier and was I ever glad I did. The huge crater left us walking away wondering ‘how the heck did that happen?’

Bill is trying to figure out the mystery of the crater dome
The descent was easy but I still needed my stick to guide me down. I once or twice, a long time ago had a bum left knee that seemed to twist on downward walks. We were both careful to avoid that happening, especially on a steep trail. We got to the bottom and followed the paved road on to the Green River and the Grand View Point Overlooks. Stunning and that word comes nowhere close to what we were seeing.

The walkway to heaven?

This young couple braved this height and they looked so picturesque and relaxed
I asked if I could take their picture

And then another family took a picture of us on a much lower accessible rock

Lovin' the trees too

We did the 300 ft overlook NOT the 2 mile Rim Walk
although many people did

Detail in the below picture

Even rocks look out for their loved ones!

Bill living on the edge

Leaving the park, we were seeing a different side of things so of course there was more snapping. I think I did take less today, by about 10 or so! We drove past our site on Gemini Bridges Road and into Moab so we could wash the truck and top up with fuel before heading out in the morning.

this road was fun for Bill
There was hardly any traffic so the perfect day to come

Along the road back down, you can see how the rocks are
scored to prevent them breaking on their own
Before going into town, we tried to drive east on Hwy 128 to check out the blm lands offering camping but there was road work and we were stopped for long enough to decide “we don’t have to do this” and turned Black Beauty around. Who knows how long we would have sat there. Yes, we’re retired and in no hurry but we also value what little time we have.

A mirror image of Bill washing Black Beauty
This place has stolen my heart and we only wish we had more time, and probably more free cash, to explore Moab at greater lengths. It goes on the list of one of my favourite places. I told Bill that I would like a small jar of the Moab, Utah red sand so he stopped at the slide hill and I took care of that ‘itch’. Sssh, it is a secret.

Looking at our Suite from Hwy 313

Oh, there we are on the left from 191S
 We arrived ‘home’ around 3 pm and noticed another sign at the very front section before the tracks that we didn’t see the other day. It clearly shows that the $5 fee is for day use only. We have deduced that last year, the section where we are camped was not here. Looking on Google Earth it clearly did not offer these overnight spaces so we are happy to come this year because we have a nice large site.

And after our wee snooze, the sun was starting to say goodbye
Clemson was the first to get attention when we got home still on ‘home’ time but the little guy deserves no less. He looked after the house allll daaayyy again! We were both feeling whipped and decided to try and have a snooze. By the time Clem settled down between us, I think we dozed for maybe 15 minutes and decided we weren’t going to sleep any longer than that. Just enough to get a second wind before supper.
Clouds bunching up for the evening
After downloading our pictures, the sorting began once more. Tonight, for supper, I am going to fry up some butt pork chops and make a salad on the side. It’s time we started eating right again. We had a wonderful day and both feel that we got some great exercise in over the past two days. I hope you can say the same after your day.

Good night from Gemini Bridges Road

Thank you for reading today. I’d love to hear your comments.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Amazing Views, Arches National Park, Fuel, Propane and Food

Sunday, Oct. 29th I was awake at 5 am and couldn’t seem to drop off to sleep again. I was well rested having gone to bed at shortly after 9 pm. Actually, we both went to bed that early, couldn’t keep our eyes open to read. Now, we have had our morning drinks, checked our blog posts and comments and I’m watching all around me for the sun to pop up over the mountains.
It is a cool 41F/5C this morning just after 7:30 am. I had an email for a spot the station viewing at 6:29 but I was too late reading the email so missed it. Darn! Not sure if it would be the same here as in Arizona but I would have checked. Let me tell you something. What they say about this being the state with the darkest night skies to view stars in is bang on! I looked out this morning at 6:15 and the sky was black but full of the most spectacular sparkles. Some towns call it “the greatest earth on show”, I like that.

At 8 o’clock, it popped, the sun I mean and it was illuminating the red mountains behind and around us like nothing we’ve seen. The colours, well, you get my drift. After taking a few morning pictures, I watched as 4 campers busied themselves around this little setup. Okay, yes, we are spoiled. We’ve certainly moved beyond this type of ‘boondocking’. Hoorah to them though! Not sure where they all slept though.

The sun across our spot
Boondockers, extraordinaire
Inside we had some cereal, yogourt and banana and had a ‘sink’ bath. Trying to decide what to wear today, I’m sure it will be on the chilly side if we hike at all. Now that we know there is a biking event on this weekend, it explains all of the vehicles throughout town with 2, 3 4 and 5 bikes loaded in or on them. There is quite a nice path, a very long path on the east side of 191S and we noticed many adventurous bikers climbing the steep inclines. Not for me. I bike only on flat surfaces.
This is just a tease to get you interested
By 9:15 we were ready to go and give Clemson his ‘look after the house’ treat. He accepts the duty with pride. First we drove into Moab to fill up the tank, even though we were sure it wasn’t necessary we don’t need to be worrying about things. The entry to Arches Monument National Park is $25 per vehicle. We tossed around how to handle this, since we want to visit at least 2 more either in Utah or Arizona. So, we bought a yearly pass for $80, we think this makes sense for us.

Follow me
Oohing and aahing all the way, oh wait, it was honestly more like “Holy shhit!” and “Can you believe this?” This crazy natural display of rock for the next 40 miles cannot be described in mere words. My pictures will not do it justice but if you haven’t been here, they will at least knock your socks off, I think. I’m going to let them speak for themselves with the odd caption. Enjoy!

See Bill in the front corner?
The Delicate Arch off in the distance

You can read about it here

Sand Dune Arch

They needed to place a ladder up to this cave
I would have loved to see in there!

Only stick people allowed

My guy

Tunnel Arch
I will follow you, follow you wherever you may go
There isn't a mountain so steep.........

Not a rock, I admit, but a very very interesting dead tree
The softest red sand
this looks like the dinosaur from the Dinosaur Highway we traveled on (191S)
Can you see him?
Apparently, the more you look at these rocks, the more you see in them
These look like a gathering of monks
After leaving the last arch sighting that we were going to see today, we turned around and headed back. There was one more we specifically wanted to see called the Double “O” which is two huge holes side by side. 

We turned around here where others trudged forward
Unfortunately, we were tired from all the climbing, hot from the weather and dry from our stupidity of not bringing water. The last two arches involved a fair bit of up and down on steep rocky inclines as well as least another couple of miles.

Okay, now time for some fun pictures
Before hopping in Black Beauty I needed to use the facilities
I got a kick out of these instructions especially the 3rd one
We felt awesome with what we’ve seen and don’t feel the need to go back tomorrow. We have another park we wish to visit. We drove into Moab once more and Bill got his propane tank filled by this cowboy 
Our propane cowboy
and I got groceries at City Market. The Suite fridge was looking pretty sparse. Now at least we can eat for a few more days! We got back home around 3 and were very happy with our day. Clemson was happy to see us and he got his supper soon after. As Bill said “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”.

Is anyone looking? Hey, look at me! I'm the driver!
We sat and sorted through pictures and deleted some. Trying to decide what to put in our posts is the tough part. I’ve gone easy on you all, believe me, we each took just under 200 today. The sun has been awesome all day, full blue sky and sitting here now at 5 pm the temperature outdoors is a glorious 73F/22.7C. Wow! I’m a little blown away by how lucky I feel, being able to do this and our trip is just beginning.
And if you have really good eyes, you can see that one 'crazy, dare devil' had to
"Climb every mountain"
It is going to be a simple supper tonight. Since we haven’t had bacon and eggs for a few days, I’m cooking up a mess of mini sausages and eggs. Bill has some great ideas…………..some time. 😊 This is also an early sign off. I figure with all the pictures and my gabbing, you’ll be tired too at the end. I hope this day has been wonderful for you too!
This picture shows just how much rock actually breaks off the formations

Across 191S, from the park entrance, is the most fun-looking sandhill
It was full yesterday but this morning only a couple of kids

Where we got our propane

the 'new' sign at the gate to where we are camped
We heard the dog from the travel trailer behind us barking up a storm
when I looked, this is what he was barking at
It is a black metal statue that the owners have placed here
In answer to Bill's question "Are you still posting?"
I am finished now.
Good night!
Thank you for walking with us today. If you have time and wish to comment, I’d love to read it.