Thursday, May 02, 2013

CANYONLANDS AND MOAB



We arrived in the Needles District of Canyonlands after a short drive from Bluff.  By arriving early in the day we figured to grab a campsite inside the park.  We arrived around 11 am and the campground was already full, so we opted for a BLM side called Hamburger Rock just outside of the park's boundary.  A great spot and with our National Parks Senior Pass only $3 a night.  Such a deal!

 HAMBURGER ROCK CAMP


On our first night we were rewarded with a full moon.  Out here in the open spaces with no artificial lights to be seen, the full moon really brightens up the night.

After our last hike to Perfect Kiva (see previous post) Cathie decided to sleep in while I ventured out to Chesler Park, a little 11 mile jaunt through some over the top scenery.  The hike starts inside the park and for the first 3 miles traverses slickrock, and canyon or two.  You then arrive at on a high point overlooking Chesler Park.

 BEST TO GET AN EARLY START

 VIEWS ON THE WAY

CHESLER PARK

As you continue along the well worn trail you skirt around the edge of Chesler Park.  This part of the hike is mostly on a level surface and easy going.  Upon reaching the far side of the park the suggested route continues on Joint Trail,  a short section that’s just like a slot canyon: sheer, vertical walls 20- to 40-feet high, as straight as a hallway, pinching down to less than three feet wide in some spots. You’re not in an actual slot canyon, just the space between giant boulders that somehow lie parallel to each other for about a quarter-mile. You may have a hard time resisting the urge to chimney your way up between the walls.

THE JOINT
AT THE JOINT EXIT
Upon exiting The Joint you're about halfway done and the superb views continue.  After climbing up more slickrock you arrive back at the Chesler Park overlook and finish up walking the last 3 miles over the same trail you started on.  With the exception of the last 3 miles, I only saw one other hiker.  It doesn't get much better than that!



As is our custom while traveling we usually take a break around 4 pm for happy hour.  Some wine or beer along with cheese and crackers and the like is the normal fare.  While enjoying our respite at Hamburger Rock Camp, we were paid a visit by one of the camps inhabitants.  Didn't want any of our wine or beer, but just visited for about 30 minutes.


After 3 nights, we continued north on Hwy 191 to Moab, a town we've visited many times before.  Since our last visit several years ago, Moab continues to grow.  We saw new housing and business, so it appears that the recession bypassed this tourist mecca.  The town was crowded with people and the traffic leaving town on a Sunday afternoon was backed up several blocks.   We managed to find a great BLM camp right on the Colorado River several miles outside of town.  Once again we used our Senior Pass and snagged a riverfront site for $7.50 at Goose Island Campground.



 Being right on the river we decided to drag out the kayak and float down a calm section of the Colorado.  With the help of fellow camper Don, we put the kayak in about 6 miles up river from camp.  Don drove the truck back while we took a leisurely trip down a lazy river.


Cathie used to ride in the back, but after several kayak adventures I discovered that she wasn't paddling.  Now she rides in front so I can keep my eye on her.  We managed to make it back to camp in about 3 hours and as luck would have it, before some forecast high winds hit.  You don't go far down river against 40 mph head winds.  You actually get blown up river.

We were kept awake much of the night with the windy conditions, with blowing dust and sand seeping it's way into the trailer.  Then we had just enough rain that lasted about a minute and turned most of the dust covering the outside of the truck and trailer to mud.  We spent several hour in the morning getting things back in shape.

MORE HAPPY HOUR GUESTS

To be continued..................



2 comments:

Hansjörg + Silke said...

Was it a real snake or a joke?

Gassaway's Adventures said...

It was a real snake. Silke will be glad to know there were lots of lizzards too.