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Arches National Park

2018-09-10 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 23 – Travel Day to Torrey, Utah and Capitol Reef National Park

Another travel day… We took our time packing up and hitching up, and left the RV park about 10:00 am.  We drove past Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and soon we were heading west on Interstate 70.   We were quickly reminded that we are not in California anymore…

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As we drove we were accompanied by several other caravaners…

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We pulled off into the little town of Green River.  Not surprisingly, the Green River passes through here…

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The Green River originates in the high plains of Wyoming, and feeds into the Colorado River in Canyonlands National Park, near Moab, Utah…  We stopped here to see the Powell Museum…

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The museum commemorates the journey and explorations of John Wesley Powell, who, in 1869, took several men and boats down the Green River and into the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon… We watched a video of the journey and saw many exhibits of the trip.  Very interesting!

We continued our journey west, then south.  This part of Utah is not covered in rocks…

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But, course, soon we did find more rocks…

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The road south went straight south… For miles and miles and miles…

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We soon came to Capitol Reef National Park, one of the country’s newest National Parks… We saw many of the same type of rock formations that we had seen before…

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One difference is that we were much closer to them…

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We did not stop – there will be time for that tomorrow.  Soon we arrived at the RV park in Torrey, Utah…

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We enjoyed dinner at the Cafe Diablo, dining outside amongst the trees, with another caravan couple from New Jersey…

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We were soon treated to a brilliant sunset…

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And an enjoyable Time was had by all…

2018-09-08 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 21 – Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park

Another long day enjoying the beauty that is Utah…

We started with Dead Horse Point State Park.  This park in on one of the many mesas or plateaus, with steep cliffs all around dropping precipitously into the canyon below.  At the bottom of the canyons is a river.  In the case of today’s parks, it is either the Green River or the Colorado River…

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One of the fingers of the mesa sticks our as a point or peninsula, connected to the main mesa by a narrow neck, about 90 feet wide.  Legend tells the story of cowboys who rounded up a herd of wild Mustang horses.  They herded them onto the point and blocked the neck with rocks and branches.  It made for a natural corral.  But these cowboys took the horses they wanted, and left the others penned up on the point to die… Thus the name.  I don’t know if the legend is true, but it just may be apocryphal…

We do know that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the various points were used as natural corrals for herds of sheep from time to time…

Anyhow, we drove out to the park.  Along the way we stopped off to see the Monitor and Merrimac…

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I don’t always get the images some people see in the rocks, but I’ll take their word for it…

We stopped at the Visitors Center… Quite a nice building, by the way…

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We hiked from the Visitors Center to the viewpoint of the point.  It is hot this time of the year in Moab – about 100 degrees…

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This is the point, with the narrow neck…

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And so we pressed on – lots of territory to get through today…

Canyonlands National Park has three sections, each separated by steep canyons.  Island in the Sky, Needles, and The Maze.  You cannot get from one to the other unless you hike, or have a 4WD vehicle and you drive the steep gravel roads cut into the sides of the canyons.  While we do have 4WD in the big red truck, we chose to confine our visit to Island in the Sky…

Our first stop was the Mesa Arch.  It was a short walk off the road.  What is so special is not only the view through the arch, but the fact that the arch is literally on the edge of the mesa.  Walk through it and you will drop over 1,000 feet to the canyon below…

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The drop is precipitous…

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The view through the arch is fascinating…

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The views all around show the rugged canyons below…

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Walking back to the big red truck we found it interesting that the park service builds cairns or Ebeneezers to mark the trails…

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We stopped at several overlooks and viewed the canyons below…

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We found these posters interesting in that they explained why the canyons and mountains look like they do…

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But it was time to go.  We headed back to The Villa and relaxed.  It was close to 100 degrees, so we huddled inside with the AC on.  We had a little Happy Hours and light supper.

This evening we had another Fandango, meeting new friends.  We had met all the folks already, but we still enjoyed learning a bit more about their lives.

After the Fandango, when we returned to The Villa, we found that college football was in full force.  Great games were aplenty…

Florida was beaten by Kentucky for the first time in, like, a millennium.  Big Bad (over-rated) Clemson barely survived Texas A&M, LSU and Alabama both beat up poor Jr. College gimmie games that are so much a part of their soft schedules.  Stanfurd played U$C, which is always difficult for us, because we want them both to lose… U$C scored the fewest point against Stanfurd in 86 years, and didn’t even score a touchdown.  UCLA got walloped by another mediocre school for the second time this season, and Colorado beat Big Red Nebraska.

And, 190 miles north of here, in Provo, Utah, Cal beat BYU !  Go Bears!

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-07 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 20 – A Jeep ride and Arches National Park

This morning we went for a little ride in a Jeep.  Not just any Jeep…

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This Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has about $200,000 worth of aftermarket parts and other enhancements.  While a standard Jeep can handle inclines of 35 degrees, this one can handle 70 degrees!   (This is another one of our caravaners who took the Jeep ride…)

We headed up the adjacent hills to the east…

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It was a beautiful day…

We were on “slickrocks”, which are really slippery when wet, but actually slightly sticky when dry.  We did what they called “crawling” – engage the extreme low four wheel drive gear and let the Jeep “crawl” over these rocks.  With the extreme independent suspension and shocks with the anti-tipping mechanism we crawled up the mountainside over rocks that would tip over an ordinary Jeep…

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Up the steep rocks and down the other side…

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Pictures don’t do it justice… But it really steep.  We went up and down over 4′ rock ledges…

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(This is another of our caravaners who took the Jeep ride…)

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None of this was really dangerous because, while the rocks were steep, they weren’t really tall… The extreme Jeep maneuvers go up rocks 200 and 300 feet high… We didn’t do any of that.  We did go fast, after the boulders were past… It was riding on a roller coaster going around the curves in the path…

So we survived and returned to the RV Park.  The rest of the day we spent in Arches National Park…

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I know… More rocks… These are really fun rocks.  The arches are a short walk from the road.  Lynda climbed up into one and appears to be having an enjoyable time…

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These narrow rocks are called fins – fins are what will eventually form arches if the conditions are right… We walked among the fins on the softest, finest, powdery sand I had ever seen…

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We spent all day in Arches NP, but we did have to return to Moab to go to dinner.  The Sunset Grill is in the former house of a uranium miner who got fabulously rich in the rush to find and extract uranium in the 1950s.  The house has a commanding view of the Moab valley, including our RV Park…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

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