Friday, July 16, 2010

Day Thirteen - Moab UT - July 11, 2010

With picnic basket in hand and plenty of water for us and Jake, we stop at the Visitors' Center in Moab to get information on Canyonlands National Park area.  The ranger says Gemini Bridges is a must-see, as well as Long Canyon, which will take us to Pucker point, and downhill all the way.  There is breath-taking scenery along the drive, and when we arrive at Gemini Bridges, our challenge is to find a walking trail between and over rocks to get to the bridges.  When Jake speeds away to chase a squirrel who knows how to navigate the rocks, he is put on leash, and especially because of what we see at the bridges.  There are two natural rock formations side by side connecting two mountains, and 160 feet above the canyon floor, and wide enough to drive on. It is said that an awesome sight is to be there when it is raining and see the water cascading off the bridges into the canyon below.  We are heard to say, "Wow!" and "Oh, my goodness" several times. 

   At Deadhorse Canyon we see more beautiful scenery and have lunch on their picnic grounds.  Canyonlands National Park includes Island in the Sky, which is the highest point and where we see a panoramic view of the canyon and the Colorado River.  The ranger at the entrance gate welcomes us, but warns of Long Canyon's Pucker Point, where we will encounter boulders, narrow road, and an arch that we may not fit under because of the trikes we carry on the back of the Jeep.  Herb has a solution.  After much picture taking, we start toward Long Canyon and enjoy the smooth, straight gravel road for a time.  Then the GPS shows us some zig-zagging and we know we are in for it.  The boulders we crawl over are larger than the large rocks on other canyon roads, but we are going zero miles per hour.  Jake sleeps through the entire trip, except when Herb negotiated some exciting boulders and got his attention.       The arch ahead is formed by a fallen rock leaning against the mountain; and as we near it, Herb gets out and lowers the trike rack as a precaution.     We make it under, then secure the trikes on the other side of the arch, as another adventurer waits and watches behind us, taking pictures of us I am sure.  It is equally scary going on down the mountain with the switchbacks in the road and the grade appearing to be 6% at some points.  Gravity vs Jeep!  The Jeep wins!  An hour of jam-packed action gets us back to level ground , and we live to tell about it.  I admit that several times I am thinking "never again" but as we accomplish whatever it is that is scaring me, I thrill.  Herb is already thinking about the next 'Jeep road.'  Maybe in a few years................  

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