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.


  1. As I mentioned in Bill's comments two days of great pictures. Patsy, what amazing scenery and I enjoyed seeing all your pictures from the morning sunrise to the sunset. Keep snapping. Stay safe.

  2. Another wonderful area that you explored and some great photos as well. Too bad you didn't get down 128 there is some real amazing campsite there along the river and we saw quite a fe cliff climbers as well.
    That camping area where you are was there last year, but so desolate looking, so we choose parking nearer the front with a couple of other rigs.

    1. It was another great day.
      128 would have been a good drive but not worth sitting there for any longer.
      We love this camping area back here. There have been as few as two of us and now there are 5 or 6. We like being away from the highway and closer to the mountain.

  3. Wow Pat, what an amazing state! Enjoy seeing the pics and your reaction to it. Definitely a place to return to. Travel safely! MB

  4. I am enjoying your pictures very much. We really look forward to visiting the western States and especially the National Parks, even more so as we hear and see more about them through blogs like yours. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. thank you, we are having fun here in Moab, just not long enough to see everything. we have commitments on Nov. 1

  5. What beautiful pictures! I never get tired of seeing that part of the country! Too bad about the construction because it is such a beautiful highway but I"m sure you'll see it sometime in your travels. I love Canyonlands just to see the people who are brave (or stupid) enough to drive the dirt road into the canyon ..Beautifl sunrise and sunset!

  6. Wow! You two really are getting adventurous! Love to see you out exploring these parks. Pile on the pictures; it's spectacular. Maybe you need more exercise so you can go on those longer walks....?

  7. Great pictures! The Sky Map app on your phone is very useful to identify all the stars you want as well as the planets.