We drove two hours south on scenic US191 from Moab to The Needles District of Canyonlands NP. We parked in the same place as we did two years ago just outside the park on BLM land with nothing but horizon to see.
The last time we were here we were thwarted from going north on Lockhart Basin Road because of the steep and deep dunes. We had no problem with the fat tires on the Rubicon. We drove to a lookout point for The Needles, but they are so far away there was not much to see. We ate lunch next to the brown and white turtle rock below and returned to KoKo for our nap.
You do know that you can click on any picture and see it close to full size
Rubi parked at our camping spot ready to go
After a much needed 20 minute nap, we headed to Elephant Hill Road. It’s one of the reasons we bought the Rubicon. Geeze, this trail is worse than any we encountered around Silverton. [It’s rated with a difficulty of 5 with 1 being easy and anything over 7 requiring heavy mods with a high likelihood of damage] Rubi handled it all without a problem. Dorothy got just a tad concerned whenever the slope was so steep all we could see was sky. However, when we got to a second hill, I walked it and decided it was too risky since we were by ourselves and it was getting late in the day and it was miles to walk back. We carry emergency camping equipment, but we don’t really want to use it.
This is why we like Utah
Anywho, we have still not gotten to Chesler Park or the Confluence which are the reasons for tackling Elephant Hill. Oh to be able to hike the distance and not depend on mechanical conveyance.
It was hazy Friday morning, clearing by noon due to a strong breeze. We took another Jeep trail towards a river overlook. We stopped behind a highly lifted Tacoma figuring we were at the overlook. Nope, he said he had scouted the trail and was not going to take his modified truck on it. I walked a 100 yards down the trail and decided the Jeep could could do it, but the slick rock was so uneven with so many steps we would be rocked and rolled for the hour I estimated it would take us to get there. Foiled again.
Saturday was supposed to be partly cloudy. It was almost full clouds at 7:30, but the weather man knows his stuff, so it will clear. We were on the trail at Elephant Hill at 8:30 with full cloud cover. We had hiked part of the trail in 2012 and I hoped to go father this time. Perhaps even glimpse the elusive Chelser Park. We both made it farther this time, but not far enough. I did about two miles and Dorothy made it one mile. Maybe I can juice up some of the pictures as though they had some light on them. Still good exercise and wonderful views.
There was a trace shower Wednesday night and it woke the flowers up. We saw white, blue, purple, yellow and red flowers plus red and yellow cactus.
The last one is out our back door
On the road into The Needles section of Canyonlands is Newspaper Rock. Indians decorated the rock with symbology that meant something to them as it’s all over the southwest. My theory is that is was two Indian brothers from Encino that traveled making a living from their art work. Of course, it could have just been the latest rage for a period of time. Near Newspaper Rock, there are Cottonwoods for shade, a creek for drinking and bathing, canyons to herd the game, a rock to carve on and juniper berries for making gin. Life was not all that bad.
It Rained In Utah – There was only a 20% chance, but it started around 9pm after a lengthy lighting show. It lasted off and on until noon the next day. Normally if there is rain, it evaporates before it reaches the ground. Not this time. The flowers will be happy. Thankfully the dirt road we were on did not contain bentonite that is so common in southern Utah. [Bentonite is slicker than owl shit and will coat your tires making traction impossible. Other uses include drilling mud, “beauty packs”, cat litter, and cleaning] We exited our parking area, through four sippy holes with no problems, very little mud attached to us.
You may have read/seen about the armed ATV nut jobs that protested the BLM near Blanding, which is about 50 miles south of Moab. Last week when we drove through our favorite CG on the Colorado, the host had their Camp Host sign out. That’s normal. Today, when Dorothy drove through looking for a space, she saw the sign was down and a regular ticket was on the post. She thought that the host was leaving and she wanted the site. When we talked with him about it, he told us that the militants, his term, had made threats to BLM folks and they wanted everyone to not wear their uniform and take down host site signs. And so it goes.
I want to call attention to the photography of David and Mary Gardner. If you get to thinking that my shots are good, take a look at their work and you will be set straight in short order. Access to all of their public work is from http://www.lightight.com. They both have blogs that you can read there. David has been working on a project for a few years he calls Life on Wheels. It shows what life is like for those who choose to full time in a RV. The project shows the common daily events of life on the road. We happen to know some of the others pictured in his project. Small world out here. By chance, we meet the Gardner’s at Canyonlands two years ago. He took this shot of us, which has been in several exhibitions and the Russian edition of Esquire. [Who knew there was one] The more I look at the picture, the more we appreciate that we have both lost 20 pounds since then. Hey Dave, if another picture will take off another 20, tell us where to meet you. Anywho, that shot shows where we were parked last week. It was good to be home again. [in Utah]
Here’s shoutout to the MPD in Community Policing and the VIPs reading this blog. Now get back to work.