Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 13 2006 Blanding UT

Left the Capitol Reef area on Saturday and headed to Hite Crossing to do a little kayaking on Lake Powell. There wasn’t any water in Lake Powell and we talked with a park ranger there and said we would go on to our next stop at Natural Bridges Nat. Monument. He told us the campground was closed due to the plague. Bubonic that is. We wanted no part of that so we headed to Blanding and found a lovely national forest campground that was only charging $2.50 a day. We could afford that. Paved roads, cement patios, view of a mountain. 7000’ elevation so cool days and nice sleeping weather too. Bob set up the internet dish for the first time in over a week and we relaxed the rest of the day.

Sunday we drove to Natural Bridges and did the loop stopping and hiking at a couple of the overlooks. Went to a bridge. It was so cool under it and real glad the crack in it held until we left. Also saw a couple of Anazasi ruins. On our way home we took off cross country on dirt roads thru a national forest. Stopped along the way a few times and gathered wood for our campfires. Saw lots of deer and some pretty scenery. Back in town Bob washed the truck then we went out to dinner. I had Navajo Indian Tacos. It is the usual taco fixings but put on Indian Fry bread. Hmmmm. Back home we built a fire and sat out until we got to cold. There was a stiff wind blowing and that chilled us. Couldn’t have been the iced marguaritas.

Monday we took off on a day trip toward Mexican Hat in the southeastern corner of the state. We took a 17 mile side loop thru the Valley of the Gods. Beautiful mesa’s and buttes in all sorts of shapes. At the end of the road we turned north over a series of switchback that rose over 1200 feet in 3 miles called Moki Dugout built into the side of a cliff. Bob drove and I hung on for dear life. I never was afraid of heights but that one did me in. So, of course, we had to come back down it as we wanted to go to Goosenecks State Park and to Mexican Hat. After seeing both of those interesting places we decided to return to Blanding via the road we had not been on. Except that was the road going over Moki again. This time I was driving and it was much easier as my eyes were on the road and not looking over the edge.

Tuesday we did the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. After checking in at the visitors center we took off on a 7 mile road to the Canyonlands Overlook. They told us about a road to an overlook that a 4 wheel drive vehicle would have no problem doing. It was NOT a road most of the time. Just slick rock and they were like driving on stairs. Bob finally gave up after an hour and 5.2 miles. The wildflowers were beautiful and Bob stops many times for me to take pictures. Backtracked then did the paved roads and viewpoints. On the way home we took a side road that really surprised us as it was paved. Climbed about 5000 feet and had some awesome views of the valleys on both sides. We could even see the snow topped mountains in Colorado over by Durango/Silverton.

Wednesday we again headed for Canyonlands. The next road up to the Needles Overlook and another road to Anticline overlook that overlooked Moab. We even saw an arch at Arches National Park off in the distance. It was an easy day altho one of the roads was dirt it was well graded. Again we had a lovely campfire and cooked hot dogs and marshmallows.

All for this time as we are moving up to Moab Thursday. But first we are going to go to a Mountain Man Rendevouz in the morning.

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