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We are finally back out west! Although we enjoyed our trip out to Florida and then back up to Minnesota/Wisconsin we were always longing to be back out west. One of the goals of our RV’ing adventure is to find where we might want to live when we settle down again. Leaving Colorado and entering Utah we started to see the open buttes, mesas and the open range country….second to Wisconsin, it felt almost like coming home.Our destination…….OK RV Park in Moab. We had chosen this location because our friends Dino and Lisa are workamping there for the next few months. We had met them at the boondocking rally in Arcadia Florida. Dino and Lisa are from Fergus Falls Minnesota and are in their first year of full-timing. They are an incredibly nice couple who travel with their newly adopted cat Moose. It was great seeing them again and catching up on our travels.
First impressions was that the campground itself was OK (get it!?) The location is awesome but the campground itself could use a little TLC. As the week went on the place started to grow on me. A great place to stay if you just want a relaxing few days without a lot of frills. It was a very quiet park with nice owners and they even let us wash our rig for $5.00. That is a deal! It is a Passport America campground so the price was right at ~$20/night with free Wi-Fi and good showers.
We had a great stay and were able to put together two videos of our adventures which I posted below or can be seen on our YouTube channel. The video on the Jeep trips is a bit shaky as the roads were pretty rough.
After settling in, setting up and showering we headed out for dinner with Dino and Lisa to the Moab Brewery a good restaurant within the town. They have about a dozen local brews to choose from and a large menu with good food. I tried two of their brews; Derailleur Red Ale and Moab Especial. The red ale was a little dark for me but the Especial was good. Barb had a Long Island Iced Tea which she later confessed was quite strong.The Moab area is known for many things; Arches National Park, Canyonland National Park, Dead Horse State Park, not to mention their miles of off-roading trails and biking and hiking trails. Our first order of business was to hit the hiking trails, we had been missing our hikes since leaving for Florida in January. Along with Dino and Lisa we hiked Negro Bill’s. Here is a brief description of the trail from GOMOAB.com:
On a politically correct scale of 1 to 10, Negro Bill Canyon gets a 1. It has kept its name for historical reasons and a reminder to current and future generations of the climate and insensitivity of the early 20th century here. The canyon was named for the early 19th century African American pioneer William Granstaff who grazed his cattle here.
This is a very popular trail in Moab. It follows a year round stream through a deep sandstone canyon among willows and cottonwoods and sandy trails for several miles until you reach a natural stone arch called Morning Glory Natural Bridge. The arch is 243 feet which makes it the sixth largest span for an arch in the country. However, it is only about 10 to 15 feet from the canyon wall. The hike to the arch is about 4.5 miles round trip
I have to say that it was good to get back on a trail! We had a great hike with high wall canyons on both sides and a small river flowing down the middle. We had several river crossings on our way to the Morning Glory Natural Bridge. We continue to be amazed by the rock formation created by both wind and water. Although it was a fairly easy hike, having not hiked in so long, we certainly felt it at the end of the day!
|Barb, Lisa and Dino ready to hit the trail!|
|How are formations like this created?!?!?|
|Spring means the flowers are blooming|
|The bridge from afar|
|Again, how are these created?!?!|
The next day we gave our legs a rest and went for a Jeep adventure to Gemini Bridges. Gemini Bridges are two large parallel natural spans that bridge a deep canyon cut in the sandstone. The bridges are 89 and 70 feet long, each having a width of 26 feet. The trip to the bridges is pretty easy navigating up the edge of a bluff, down into a canyon and then up a long slope to the bridges themselves. Barb and I (and Daisy too!) made our way to an area overlooking the bridges and walked out to the ledge to have a picnic lunch. The views were awesome!
|Daisy, ready for her adventure!|
|Goony Bird rock along the way|
|Our view of Gemini Bridges from our picnic location|
|The three of us just hanging out|
|View from along the edge|
|The crevasse separating the bridges|
|This guy was just hanging out on the rocks|
There is so much to do here there is just no way to even get a taste of it in 5 days. Day 3 we decided to hit the water. We have been itching to get on the water since reading the recent adventures of fellow FT’er Take To The Highway. She had recently spent several days kayaking down the Colorado River in Arizona. As luck would have it, the Colorado River flows right through Moab! Although we did not do a 3 day’er, along with Dino and Lisa, we did do a 4 hour trip from the bridge in Moab to Gold Bar Recreation Area 10 miles down the river.
|Dino and Lisa floating down the Colorado|
|Daisy and Barb admiring the view|
This stretch is pretty quiet and has beautiful scenery as the river flows along high rock walls on one side and rugged rock formations on the other. The water in this section was running about 2.5-3 mph and has no rapids. We paddled at a leisurely pace taking in all the sights and sounds (or lack of) of the river. It was a great day on the water and by the end of the trip we were actually whooped from the paddling and spending the day in the sun.
Shortly after the trail enters Canyonlands National Park where there are numerous switchbacks as you ascend the mesa on a narrow trail. As we were coming around one of these switchbacks we noticed a Ranger parked in the middle of the road. Upon closer inspection there was a car that had gone off the trail and was stuck against the wall. What this person was doing out here in a car was a question in itself, how she got off the road is another! We were able to skinny by with inches to spare on both sides and continue on our way. Shortly after we pasted a tow truck heading the opposite direction. I wonder what that tow bill cost her!
The views from the top were awesome! Once we were on top the trail came to blacktop (Hwy 313) which we traveled on for a few miles before turning towards Dead Horse State Park and then taking an offshoot down Long Canyon whish descended steeply on multiple switchbacks. At one point we even had to drive under a rock which had fallen on the road! I cannot begin to describe the varying rock formations you can see from one spot; mountains, red rock fins, buttes, mounds..... all in one area.....incredible!
These day trips are just but a fraction of what is available in this area. We definitely need to return to hit more of our Moab bucket list adventures!