June 24, 2021

The new campsite

A drive through the Gilman Tunnels

which lead to this great swimming hole and lunch spot.

Then Beth found an awesome “short cut” back to camp that passed Sandia Man Cave, so we had to explore it. The cave has an interesting history and what was found in it and by whom, as I tell my students, Google is your friend.

June 17, 2021

Another exploring day, we started hiking to the Beaver and Belfast Mine ruins

Then explored the ghost town of Ironton

wallpaper on cloth over the wood

1930’s Ford pickup, some rust, no low ball offers, I know what I have.

Colorado Boy mine head frame

from the morning hike we saw this bridge, it’s not listed on the map, but is called Corkscrew Gulch bridge, we choose not to cross it.

June 3, 2021

We decided we were not going to miss the Milky Way and the sunrise at Delicate Arch again, so this morning we hiked up to be there at 3am. (left camp at 1am)

It was perfect and we had the place to ourselves.

I had not realized as the moon rose, I would loose the Milky Way, this is all moon light casting the shadow of the Delicate Arch on the bowl below

I loved this shadow and played with it till sunrise. We were still alone till after 5am but could see the headlights of hikers making there way up the trail, including the one poor woman we were shouting with as she was WAY off trail and on the wrong side of the bowl.

Painting with light

Now that people were arriving and ruining our solitude, we hiked down as the masses were heading up.

It was a wonderful sunrise

Since we had an early start, we beat the crowd to Devil’s Garden and hiked to a couple more arches, including Landscape Arch

Tunnel Arch

Pinetree Arch

Skyline Arch

We knew better than to go out the 4×4 trails from the day before, none of us wanted another 6 hours of off-roading, so we headed out the main entrance, which was already closed to new cars coming in and it was before 10am, and we took a nap, checked the forecast (calling for temps over 100) and decided to make a run for elevation and Colorado. One final sunset looking over the La Sal Mountains.

June 2, 2021

The sun rises on Delicate Arch (in back) as seen through Frame Arch (Twisted Doughnut Arch)

We had planned to be there for the sunrise, but breaking down camp at 5am, the drive to Arches National Park and the hike took a little longer than expected (we will fix that tomorrow) but the light was still amazing!

Ute Rock Art on the trail to Delicate Arch

Arches National Park is one of the most popular and crowded parks, however it also has 4×4 roads that few people use and they lead to many other arches.

Tower Arch in middle and Parallel Arch on right

Beth looks through Tower Arch

Parallel Arch

It was a long day of off-roading but with views like this out your window, I was in heaven!

Therapod Track (a dinosaur)

This is what the trail looked like.

Eye of the Whale Arch – by the time we got here, we were tired, so all 3 of us took a nap in the shadows.

Pongo was at home!

May 31, 2021

We started the day with a hike in the La Sal Mountains to Brumely Arch, it included a waterfall, ice at the base of the waterfall and a slot canyon at the top.

I love hiking in Aspens

The arch was pretty, just tough to photograph

Then we drove toward Geyser Pass, I am never tired of this view out my windshield

Pretty trees, light and still clean Pongo

I was goofing around in the snow and got stuck, a quick tug by James and I was free. As we continued up Geyser Pass, we found a Ford Raptor deep in snow, I was able to pull him out as Beth walked ahead to report the shelf road was covered in snow and off camber… with a huge drop, so time to turn around.

So we decided to move campsites to the other side of Moab to be closer to Arches NP and a planned sunrise hike. Pongo was no longer clean…

May 26, 2021

Newspaper Rock, a rock panel carved with one of the largest known collections of petroglyphs.

I loved the details – The first carvings at the Newspaper Rock site were made around 2,000 years ago, left by people from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures.

The site is the beginning of Canyonlands National Park and one of longest days of off-roading in my life.

The 4×4 trail to our campsite starts with Elephant Hill, a classic off-roading challenging and begins with steep switchbacks and long drops before slow and technical driving.

In 8 hours or so we traveled 17 miles, 1 mile of which was hiking.

The view from the Colorado River and Green River confluence.

We made it to camp without any damage to the trucks and decided to hike out to find Horsehoof Arch as the sun set, we never found the arch, but it was an amazing hike.

We beat the sunset back to camp

Camp at Bobby Jo –