Tourist around Moab
And yet we had to get up early.
going horseback-riding, and she had to be at the corral no later than
8.30 am, and as she wanted to have breakfast before her ride, we had set the
alarm clock to 6.30.
When she and I were ready, we walked to the hotel restaurant, where you had to
choose between Sunday brunch and Sunday brunch.
So we chose Sunday brunch, and it turned out to be very delicious with various
hot dishes, such as eggs in several varieties, bacon, sausages, roasted ham,
various potatoes etc.
In addition, of course, pancakes, bread and cold cuts.
Furthermore, there was a very large selection of fruits, both whole and cut, so
it was really fine.
There was, moreover, a large variety of the usual American breakfast cereals,
such as cornflakes and other similar grains and corn things that neither Tina
nor I wanted any of.
But there were also
baked beans, which I like very much for breakfast - and also for other meals.
Coffee, tea and juice were also included in the feast.
breakfast we went over to the corral.
Here we met the two wranglers that should guide the trip,
but we did not know that at the time, as there were several other women/girls who
walked around, leading horses.
Before the ride Tina had to sign a paper saying that she rode out on her own
responsibility and that she could not sue anyone if something went wrong and she
broke her neck. At that time more
people had arrived, all going for the ride, except me. I was only going to take
pictures of Tina.
One of the wranglers brought a four-legged animal with as addle, while another
handed out bandanas.
The wrangler with animal
parked it the front of the porch, where all participants waited and presented it with the words:
"This is a horse." Even novices could have
She also explained that this particular animal was called Thunder,
because he was definitely no lightning, and then she explained how to manage
a western horse.
Tina later told me that the "most difficult part" was, that you had to ride with loose reins
as opposed to what she was used to in Denmark, where you learn to keep the reins
tight at all times, but western horses are trained to stop when the reins are
tightened, so if you hold the reins too tight,
the ride is not going to be long - as the horse will simply stay still.
Gradually everyone, including Tina, got their own horse (I have forgotten
what Tina's horse was called, but it was something with "star" - Daystar,
Morningstar, Rock Star or something like that).
As the riders mounted their horses they rode into the paddock, where they had to
ride around a bit before the tour started.
I took my pictures, and then I walked back to the room, leaving
Tina on her own
When I got back, Tim was ready and we left the hotel immediately.
Our plan was to visit Canyonlands National Park, or at least the area of the
park, called Island in the Sky.
We drove the
14 miles into Moab and then some 10
miles to the north.
Here we found Utah Route 313, which leads towards this part of the national
At one point the road splits and 313
leads out to Dead Horse Point State
Park, which we did not visit on this occasion.
fork you must remember NOT to stay on 313, but keep to the right on the Island in
the Sky Road, which leads the rest of the way.
From the main road there are about
20 miles to the park's entrance.
From here there is 1.5 mile to the site's Visitor Center and yet another
12 miles to Grand View Point, which is the furthest you can get.
Here we enjoyed the view of the Canyons, that the two rivers Colorado River and
Green River has created.
The confluence of the two rivers is found 10 miles south of the Island in the
Sky, but unfortunately you can not see it from the overlook.
About 30 miles further west in the rugged landscape, is an area that is known as
Robber 's Roost.
It is in some side canyons of the Colorado River tributary, Dirty Devil River.
Here in Robber's Roost outlaws Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay had one of their main
strongholds, and here they formed The Wild Bunch, who also used the place as a
hangout between heists.
Despite the inaccessibility and warm and dry desert climate, there were actually some ranches
in this wild area, and the people of these ranches who may not themselves have
been pure and law abiding, helped the outlaws with, among other food.
We couldn't see
Robbers Roost either from the Island in the Sky, as everything in that direction
was covered in haze.
we saw a fine fossilized imprint of a leaf in a rock tile.
had seen enough, we returned to the car.
6 miles from Grandview Point a side road that led to a couple of other
viewpoints, so we went that way. It was approx.
4 miles each way, but there wasn't really much new to see - just more
canyons, or the same canyons from new angles.
Further back towards the Visitor Center another side road lead off towards
another viewpoint, this time a place called Upheaval Dome, which most geologists
believes to be a meteor crater.
We skipped that though and returned to Moab.
in Moab we visited a gas station to fill up the car, and then we took off again.
This time we
two miles north to Utah Road 279, which meanders west along the Colorado River.
Where this road leaves the main road is the remains of one of America's
largest uranium mill tailings piles.
Removal is underway because the authorities are afraid that radioactive water
into and pollute the river.
The waste will be dug up and taken by car and train 25 miles into the desert,
where they have isolated a deep hole, so nothing can escape, and here the
waste will be kept.
On the way back we took a few pictures of both the area and a warning sign on the
fence around it.
About 6 miles along Ut 279 there is an area where you can see fossilized
dinosaur tracks, and also some petroglyphs, and here we
stopped and climbed up the cliff to the dinosaur tracks.
You don't have to climb far, but the temperature was around 105, so we both got
a little swat.
After having seen and duly photographed
the footprints we continued about 17 miles further down the road. Here in
is a factory producing potash.
The factory was OK but what I really would have liked, was to see the potash
evaporation ponds which has a nice blue color, but they were in the hills
above the factory itself, and we were not sure that our car could manage the
dirt road up there. Later I found out, that it would have been all right,
but at that time it was to late. The above picture I have therefore borrowed from
Wikipedia. If you have a
high clearance vehicle
you can continue on the road as a wheel track across slick rock cliffs and through
narrow gorges, round serpentine loops and you can actually go on, right up to Dead Horse Point and
but the route is not well kept.
We turned around and headed back to the hotel where we arrived at
After visiting their winery and tasted some of the products, we went back to the
Here we found Tina, who had come home from the ride around noon and had
been spending two - three hours by the pool.
Now we relaxed until we again headed into town to get on our sunset cruise in a
We had to be
at the Moab Adventure Center's office at six, and so we were.
When we arrived a
Hummer was ready outside.
We had already submitted our waiver of the right to sue in case of accidents, so
we were ready to go.
Our driver/guide was called Molly, and she claimed that she was the only female
Hummer driver that was employed by the Adventure Center.
But she had been running tours
and guided hikes
etc. for 27 years, so she had some experience.
were going to share the car with a family with two adults and two children.
They took the back seat (hard to the kidneys) while the three of us sat inside the
car. Later we
changed places a
took us to the area known as Hell's Revenge.
From the entrance we drove up the same fin as in 2010,"Devils
Fin" or "Chicken Fin" as it is called, but from there the trip was somewhat different
from last time, when we used another tour company.
The trip in 2010 was probably more fun and a little more breakneck, but in
return this year's trip was more interesting because Molly not only acted
as driver but as a guide as well and told us much more about what we saw.
We made a stop to admire some dinosaur footprints, and to change seats.
Tim and I took the back seat with the son from the other family.
Mother, father and daughter got into the car, where Tina stayed.
She didn't like it, when we got to close to the edge, and preferred to stay
We continued the trip to a place where we walked to the edge of the rocks from
where we could see down to the Colorado River.
There we enjoyed the view for a while, but as a thunderstorm was approaching
from La Sal Mountains south of us, we took off again.
Molly didn't think it was particularly wise to stand on top of a
bare cliff during a thunderstorm, so we headed back in direction of the exit, after having
changed seats once more.
Fortunately the thunderstorm decided to bypass us and we only got a few drops of
rain, and the sun slowly shone through the clouds.
It was fortunate enough for us, because we were on the sunset cruise and it is
not very fun if you can't see the sun.
Molly, however, was not so happy.
Moab usually gets about 8 inches of rain per year, of which 4 inches falls in the
spring, but this year they had to the end of June only received 0.3 inch!
Molly stopped the car on a hill from where we enjoyed the sun's last rays on
La Sal Mountains, and we also watched it go down behind the slickrocks.
When the sun was down, we drove around the rocks for another half an hour
before we headed back to town where we were around 10.30.
After saying "thanks for the ride" to Molly, we found our own car and drove to a
nearby Denny's to get some dinner.
Denny's is open 24 hours a day, and it was pretty much the only place that was
open at the time - and it was also where Tim and I had eaten after our previous Hummer
After dinner we drove back to the hotel where we were around 11.45 after a long,
and for all of us eventful day.
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