Colorado & Utah 2019:
Day 4 - Moab


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Colorado and Utah 2019: [Day 1 - Steamboat Springs] [Day 2 - Grand Junction] [Day 3 - Moab] [Day 4 - Moab] [Day 5 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 6 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 7 - Boulder] [Day 8 - Denver] [Day 9 - Denver] [Day 10 - Denver]

Tuesday, May 21, 2019: We were up bright and early ...
... and on our way to McDonald's by 7:30 AM.
Our next stop was Walker Drug, ...
... where we stocked up on all of the essentials for a cold, since Debbie had used up nearly the entire stash we had brought from home.
After learning about the uranium mining history of the area the day before, it was interested to see this vintage Uranium Building in Moab.
Dinosaur!
Back at the Airstream, we photographed one of the areas we didn't show on yesterday's photo tour: some of the many labels that indicated non-working parts. Understandable, because it is so old, but it became comical the more we found. Less understandable was how poorly cleaned the trailer was - it really could have used a deep cleaning.
Shortly before 9:00 AM, we waited outside for our friend, Tom D., to join us. We will now refer to him as Other Tom for the rest of this day, not to be confused with Other Tom from the previous and next weekends. OK? OK.
Tom picked us up in his Jeep with top off, ready to give us the full Moab experience.
We crossed the Colorado River via the second of the three Utah bridges that cross it. The third would be coming up two days later.
We were on US-191, then turned left onto ...
... SR-279 in the direction of the potash mining operation we had seen the day before, but that wasn't our destination on this day.
We were headed to the Corona Arch Trailhead.
We started our hike at 9:30 AM.
We were lucky to have gorgeous weather, thanks to our amazing Bundlings Weather Luck.
We crossed railroad tracks on land that had been carved into the rock.
Fences with narrow entrances on either side kept large wildlife off of the tracks.
The scenery is gorgeous.
Other Tom and Debbie have been friends for 20 years and it was great to catch up. It had been a year since the last time we saw Other Tom.
More scenery.
Pretty flowers.
A rock cairn.
It was an easy hike with lots of interesting features, such as this wire railing to help prevent slipping on the slickrock.
Just over a half hour into the hike, we could see Corona Arch up ahead.
We encountered another wire support, ...
... and this one led us straight up the rock.
It was great fun.
Next up: a ladder.
We still had a ways to go.
That large arch to our left was Bowtie Arch.
Fifty minutes into our hike, we were nearly there, ...
... and five minutes later, we were standing right under it.
This thing is huge! Other Tom and Debbie (on the left), plus some random people, provide some perspective on its size.
Here's the view looking back from where we came.
Other Tom was in his element. He and his wife, Ruth, fell in love with this area many years ago, and moved here from Denver.
The arch is huge up close! Other Tom and Debbie provided some perspective on its size.
Tom insisted that they stand under the arch to give even better perspective.
Next, we continued a little farther, following this rock around the corner.
We were rewarded with this view of the rock wall, ...
... and this view of an extremely tiny arch.
Can't see it? It's right there!
Tom got a panorama of the area, ...
... and one last shot of Corona Arch before heading back.
It was great fun going back down the steep rock in reverse.
We passed a rock cairn garden ...
... and Other Tom added a stone to one of the cairns.
More fun guide rail hiking.
Debbie set a new personal record for meeting her exercise goal this early in the day. Normally, this only happens at night after hours of playing Playstation.
More hiking.
Pretty cactus.
More scenery.
There's the Colorado River again, just a short ways upstream from where we'd be starting our trip the next morning.
We stopped for a short snack break ...
...and to check out the huge rocks across the river and railroad tracks from us.
Let's zoom a bit. That little piece of stone that has broken off is probably larger than our living room. Whoa.
We crossed the railroad tracks one last time ...
... and were back on the road by 11:45 AM.
We stopped to see some petroglyphs right next to the road.
This sign explains it all.
Let's go take a look.
There were markings all over the rock, but it blended in fairly well.
The more we looked, the more we saw.
Here are some more.
At the base of the cliff was a pretty datura plant.
We passed rock climbers regularly along the road.
Here are some more.
Soon, we were back in Moab, flying down the road past our Airstream.
Other Tom drove us past the property where he and Ruth used to live before selling their home the previous year. The new owner razed the property and was building a new home, because land is at a premium in Moab.
Next, we drove past their new home.
We passed a building with a giant lizard on it ...
... and more Moab street art on our way to pick up Other Tom's wife, Ruth, for lunch.
We headed to Moab Brewery for brunch after discovering that the Thai restaurant we planned to visit was closed.
We were very pleased about this because we wanted to buy a bottle of Moab Distillery's Class 5 Vodka to commemorate our river trip this week.
We opted for the larger bottle because it came with larger bottle art, which was really the whole point of our purchase.
Ruth and Debbie were happy to smile for a photo but Other Tom was uncooperative, ...
... so Tom snuck another photo when Other Tom wasn't paying attention. We had a delicious meal of hamburgers and a great time catching up with Ruth for the first time since 2006.
In Utah, the bar area in a restaurant has to be hidden from the dining area, which explains the frosted glass dividers in the back of the bar.
On our way out, Debbie admired the boat suspended from the ceiling. Let's run some river! Patience, Debbie. One more day.
As we drove to drop off Ruth, Debbie glimpsed this sculpture and asked Other Tom to back up to get a better look. Could it be? Was it possible?
Yes! It was! It was a match to the puma statue we had seen in 2017 in Colorado - part of Pumas on Parade. Since we hadn't been successful in finding another statue in the series on that vacation, we were amazed to find a match in Utah over a year later.
We said our goodbyes to Ruth and headed out for some afternoon sightseeing. We passed the Apache Motel, which has a huge sign on Main Street reminding people that it exists just a few blocks away.
Here's an adorable trailer. Travel trailers were quickly turning into a recurring theme of the vacation.
It was 2:00 PM when we headed out to Sand Flats Recreation Area.
There's part of the famous Slickrock mountain biking trail.
The La Sal Mountains were looking beautiful.
We were about to experience our very first 4x4 trail. This one is called Fins and Things.
Let's go! Looks safe enough so far.
Hmmmm, this hill is slightly steep.
Oh, my, so is this one.
The Jeep seemed like it was facing straight into the ground on the way down.
There were straighter sections, ...
... and much, much lumpier sections.
We pulled over to let some motorcyclists past.
Tire tracks from hundreds of 4x4s marked the trail.
We're going down hill ...
... then back uphill. This was more like rock climbing than driving at this point.
Other Tom cackled with glee at how much fun he was having.
The scenery was beautiful.
Seriously, these are angles that no vehicle should attempt.
More pretty scenery.
This was the first time we had scene a vehicle-based tent in the wild. We've looked at them online before. What a cool idea!
Here's a campsite where Other Tom and Ruth stayed when they were first coming to visit the area.
We were just about done - would we make it?
Yes! After 38 heart-pounding minutes, we were back on a relatively flat road once again.
On our drive back to civilization, we could see Arches National Park in the distance. Where?
We'll zoom in to the horizon just left of center in the photo above. There are the Three Gossips on the left and the Organ on the right.
From here, we enjoyed paved roads for the short drive back to Moab.
It was shortly after 3:00 PM when we returned to our campground.
Other Tom came in for a few minutes to check out the Airstream, then we said our goodbyes until next time.
A few minutes later, Debbie was passed out in bed because her cold was kicking her butt.
A half hour later, it was raining. Why? Because we were no longer outside. Bundlings Weather Luck, my friends.
Later that evening, we ventured out for some fast food, ...
... then came back, packed our suitcases, and prepared our river gear for the next day.
We watched a little TV and went to bed early.

Day 5 >


Colorado and Utah 2019: [Day 1 - Steamboat Springs] [Day 2 - Grand Junction] [Day 3 - Moab] [Day 4 - Moab] [Day 5 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 6 - Cataract Canyon] [Day 7 - Boulder] [Day 8 - Denver] [Day 9 - Denver] [Day 10 - Denver]

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