Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jaw-dropping Gorgeous Canyons and Four Wheeling

It started as a day to view some of the stunning canyons in the area and ended being so much more.

Dead Horse State Park

You won't find any horses here, dead or alive.  An active legend tells of a wild horse round up where horses not wanted were left to die on the point.  Today, this legend is not believed to be true though the story is still told around campfires.

The Colorado River flows 2000 feet below the bluff.


When I was a child, I hiked long hikes in the hills above where I lived.  I had a favorite large flat rock that I always ate my lunch on.  When hiking today, we found totally private view rock for our lunch.  It is always the highlight of my day to mesh the views of today and the memories of my childhood.  How great is this lunch table with a view?


Canyon Lands offers a view with each bend of the road.

While at Dead Horse Point and again at Canyon Land we visited with a brother and sister who were taking a road trip together traveling by jeep.  The had just finished a beautiful off road trail that they traveled on the way to Gemini Bridges.  They pointed the road out at the bottom of the canyon in the  in the picture below.


Canyon Lands offers a view with each bend of the road. 



Another view through the Mesa Arch with the LaSal mountains in the distance.  I became obsessed with taking pictures of the La Sal Mountains from every possible viewpoint with an ever varying views of scenery.  What awesome props for pictures the mountains make!!
















As we were leaving Canyon Lands National Park, I noticed a small sign pointing the way to Gemini Bridges.  Before I knew it, the truck was on its way to a new adventure.  At first the road was nice and smooth and level.  That of course had to change as we dropped down into the canyon on switch backs.  







Gemini Bridges are natural bridges that are formed from water breaking through the stone leaving an arch type formation.  Arches are formed when gravity causes the stone to break away forming the arch to form.
We spent considerable time rock scrambling in the area as we searched for viewpoints for the bridges.



Then it was on the road again.  The next section of the road was riddled with rocks that made the travel slow.  When looks at maps and descriptions of the trails there is very consistent information about the condition of the roads.  It was difficult not knowing what to expect on road.   But it was exhilarating and scary at the same time.




It is so easy to get in touch with what it must have been like to have been early explorers seeing this beautiful country for the first time.


 But of course then there were no roads to follow. 


Coming around each bend, it is difficult to anticipate what you will see or what the road will be requiring of you.  I kept asking myself "What have you gotten yourself into?"
  




It was a kidney jarring, back busting, brain scrambling experience.  Most of the last section had to be traveled at 5 miles per hour.


The road can be seen below as it circles around the bluff before it drops down to the highway near the Arches National Park.



It was a wonderful day, complete with a beautiful sunset.
 

Exhaustion foretold of an early to bed night.... 

It was a good day!

 


3 comments:

  1. Loving your photos from one of our favorite areas.

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  2. Wow, what a courageous drive along that road. You have memories of childhood places and are making new memories with your granddaughter, that is so great.

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  3. I'm so happy for you having your granddaughter along! A lifetime of memories from a gorgeous place--it doesn't get much better than that! It seems she shares your sense of adventure--always an admirable quality in young people!

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