Thursday, June 12, 2014

Canyonlands 6/12/14

Today was our last day in Eastern Utah and a day we set aside to explore Canyon Lands.

We woke up and made a delicious egg, hash brown, mushroom, and bacon casserole.  We were happy about how the experiment turned out!  We then got ourselves and the van ready for a day at Canyonlands.  Our campsite was only about 5 miles away from the Canyonlands entrance so it was not a long drive at all.  We got our maps and stopped at the visitors center.

Our first stop was a look out point that gave us a view that was unbelievable.  The canyons stretched for miles and miles.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen before.  We then headed towards the Mesa Arch.  This was a huge arch that stretched across a cliff.  The arch framed the canyons below it perfectly.  After the arch, we hiked to the viewing point for the Upheaval Dome.  This was 2 miles wide and was wonderful shades of browns and greens.  The dome was either created by a meteorite or it was a salt diapir that pushed all the salt and other materials upward.  We personally think it was a meteorite.  We sat down and enjoyed this amazing view for awhile.  We then headed to our last stop which was the Green River Overlook.  This was yet again an amazing site to see.  The canyons stretched farther than our eyes could see.  We found a rock close to the cliff to sit down on and enjoy the magnificent view.

After leaving the Green River Overlook, Brad and I had to decide what to do next.  I was afraid that I knew the answer before we even discussed it.  While at our very first look out point at the beginning of the day, Brad had noticed a very narrow driving trail called Shafer Trail that few cars were driving on.  They almost looked like hot wheels because they were so far down in the canyons.  When I saw his eyes light up I knew no matter what I said, we were driving that trail.  We looked at the map and saw that the trail started just past the visitors center and ended just outside of Moab.  The trail was along these massive cliffs going all the way down to the bottom of the canyons.  I was a little tiny bit scared but I accepted the adventure.  Brad was beyond excited to go.  We headed down the trail and before we knew it, we were riding on the edges of the canyons on one narrow lane dirt roads.  This was amazing and terrifying.  Brad had a huge smile on his face the whole time.  There were a few times that we had to pull off the rode to let the brakes cool down.  The decline was a killer.  We eventually made it to the bottom and worked our way along.  We had to keep declining and then hit a 4 wheel drive required road.  This was crazy!  All of our stuff got tossed around and we thought that our poor van might just break into a hundred pieces.  She kept going and really cleared some rocks and washouts or dip like a champ.  We really should have had a Jeep or an off-roading vehicle to have done this, but our moving home turned into an off-roading machine!  The Shafer Trail was a total of 20 miles of dirt and off-roading trails.  We then hit about 20 miles of paved roads.

The last stop was along the highway.  We came across several Native American cliff writings.  They were really cool and just along the highway.

What a wonderful and adventurous day we had in Canyon Lands.  Off to ZION TOMORROW!!!!

We apologize that we are unable to get photos uploaded, it is taking crazy amounts of time to just try and get one picture to upload.  We PROMISE that we will add pictures to the appropriate blog posts as soon as we get to our aunt and uncle's in Santa Maria.  That will be on the 19th.  Sorry :(


loved this road!

1 comment:

  1. Only Brad would take a van on a 4WD trail... Sounds like a good time though!