We headed south and had Ollie set up at Goosenecks State Park by mid morning. We were going to Natural Bridges National Monument by way of a stretch of road called the Moki Dugway, and we knew we didn’t want to have Ollie in tow.
It was a beautiful drive, but they were serious when they said the speed limit is 5 MPH.
We toured the Natural Bridges (among the largest in the world), then spent the rest of the day at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museumthat tells the story of the Ancestral Puebloans who have populated this area since 1200 B.C.
Our camping spot is 1000 feet above the San Juan River, a prime example of an “entrenched river meander.” It forms several goosenecks as it flows for 6 miles while making its way only 1 1/2 miles closer to Lake Powell.
Tonight we enjoyed a quiet sunset over the distant Monument Valley (tomorrow’s destination), followed by a lovely show of stars amid the Milky Way.
For a place that wasn’t even on our radar, we found The Needles of Canyonlands hard to leave. We spent four days hiking the canyons and rock formations, and our evenings at Ranger talks and gazing skyward – all exceeded expectations. In the end, it was the need to restock our provisions and do our laundry that pushed us on to our next destination.
It’s hard to capture this place in photos, but these next two will give you a better perspective.
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The Needles of Canyonland wasn’t even on our “to-do” list, but Colorado friends Sue and Clint gave it such a high recommendation, we couldn’t resist. We lucked out and got the last campsite, and is it a winner – possibly our favorite campsite ever! A huge rock is our next door neighbor, and we’ve climbed it 3 times to get a 360 view of this beautiful park.
Before our hike this morning we spent an hour on the rock watching the sunrise.
We’re posting this from the Visitors’ Center, which closes in 2 minutes, so we’ll continue this post tomorrow.
We left Colorful Colorado and headed west to Utah, which is proving to be just as colorful, but in different ways. The drive on Highway 128 from Cisco to Moab was beautiful as we followed the Colorado River into town.
Names like Horsethief Campground and Dead Horse Point State Park make for interesting tales in this part of the country, and the sunsets can’t be beat!
Yesterday was cloudy and cool (70), perfect conditions for a 4-mile hike in Dead Horse Point State Park just west of Moab. The rim trail is 2000 feet above the canyon floor and overlooks an ox bow in the Colorado River far below.
Canyonlands Island in the Sky section is just down the road from Dead Horse, so after our hike, we drove to several of their scenic overlooks before the fierce canyon winds sent us back to the campsite.
Despite an overcast day, we were once again treated to a spectacular sunset.