Thursday, October 27, 2011 (Archview RV Park, Moab, Utah)

We woke to clear sky this morning...but it was chilly.  It was going to be a beautiful day for an ATV ride, but we would have to wear our long johns and bundle up.
We headed out at 9:30...after stopping at the office to pay for one more night, we made our way to the trailhead. We were going to take the Sovereign ATV Loop.  Ahh...it was good to be out on the quads again...and a great way to see more of this unique and beautiful area. 
Here we are at the trailhead...
We had purchased a map from the office but the trail was also well marked.  All was going well until we came to this “difficult” section...it was downhill (an issue for me to start with) and had large boulders as well as a curve.  Steve made it down and then came back up to coach me down...but nope...I just couldn’t muster up enough courage...so he took my quad down while I stood at the bottom taking pictures....
I start down the first section...
But then, I let Steve take my quad down the rest of the way...I held my breath here...a particularly difficult section...
Whew...we made it through that section...I wasn’t looking forward to the other “difficult” section...oh well...put it out of your mind and enjoy the ride!

It was awesome...as usual, pictures just don't do it justice (remember, you can double-click on the picture to enlarge)...



As it turned out the next “difficult” section wasn’t as bad...and it was uphill...I made it no problem.  This picture was taken as the top of a fairly steep climb...
We stopped at the top of a cliff with a great view and had our lunch (well, we both weren’t that hungry, so only ate half of our sandwich).
We stopped many times along the trail and took pictures....


It was 1:30 when we arrived back home...we had had a fabulous 4 hours ride...blue sky, sunshine, beautiful scenery and a great trail...and this is only one of many trail systems in the area.  But we will have to explore them another time...we are continuing our trek south tomorrow.
For a look at all pictures taken on our ride, check out this link... Sovereign ATV Loop, Moab, Utah
The beautiful LaSal Mountains with a fresh layer of snow...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 (Archview RV Park, Moab, Utah)

This area is supposed to get about 9 or 10 inches of precipitation annually...well, I think we received it all at once...it poured through the night!  And it still wasn’t very nice out...a good morning to spend inside.
I worked on our blog while Steve watched “The Big Red One” a long war movie that he had recorded.  About mid-morning I decided I had better get the laundry done, so I headed over to the laundry room...3 machines...3 loads, perfect. 
It was around 1:30 when we decided to go into Moab and pick up our quads...they were sitting out front waiting for us and after going in and paying for the service, we loaded them into the truck.  It was cold and windy out with a skiff of snow on top of the canyons (where we had been camping a few days before) but at least it wasn’t raining.
Here is a picture of the Colorado River taken yesterday...
...and here is a picture of the river after all the rain we had last night...

After stopping to pick up some groceries, we headed back to the trailer.  We had a pretty uneventful night watching TV.  The weather is supposed to improve tomorrow...mainly sunny with a high of 51F...that’s only about 10C...definitely a lot cooler than we had been experiencing over the past week but we’ll take the sunshine!  With the lows predicted to be 27F/-3C, Steve decided to fill the trailer with water then put the hoses and filters away. We are looking forward to going for an ATV ride tomorrow...burrrr.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 (Travel to Archview RV Park, Moab, Utah)

We had a very lazy start to the day...no need to hurry, we didn`t have far to go. It was cloudy this morning...totally different from the mornings we have been having over the past week.  There is a cold front moving through...apparently there is some major snow forecast for Denver, Colorado, east of us.
We left Horsethief BLM Campground at 11:30 and with the short drive down the mountain, arrived at Archview RV Park at 11:45...that was a tough drive...Steve was exhausted!
After registering, we made our way to site #83, a pull­-through, full hook-up site.  We got all set up and Steve managed, again, to get a satellite signal at first try...no adjusting.  He’s getting pretty smug about that!  I fired up the laptop and was happy to find a fairly good Wi-Fi connection...YAY!  Now I have my work cut out for me...must get our blog up-to-date!
We headed into Moab just after 1:30...on our way to see how the work on our ATV’s was going...hopefully, they will be ready for pick-up.  It was not to be, though...to our surprise, they hadn’t even started!!  Even if the warranty work hadn’t been done, we thought that they would have at least completed the servicing.  TJ, the fellow Steve had dealt with on Saturday wasn’t in so poor Justin was left to apologize...he would try contacting Yamaha and call us in a half hour.
We decided to kill some time and go wander along the main street of Moab...a very typical touristy town with lots of shops and restaurants.  We stopped in a little cafe for a light bite to eat and then carried on...but today wasn’t the best day for “playing tourist”...the wind was howling and there were big dark clouds with some lightning and thunder.  A huge blast of wind had the leaves flying...time to get out of it and into a t-shirt shop...The Original Red Dirt Shirt.  We each ended up buying a “Moab t-shirt” and as we were leaving the shop...it was pouring out!  We stood under the awning for a bit hoping that it would lighten up...then we did a power walk the few blocks back to the truck.
Well, it had been over an hour and we hadn’t heard back from Justin at Moab Powersports about our quads, so back we went.  He hadn’t been able to contact Yamaha and again was very apologetic saying that he would have the service done on them today.  It was late in the afternoon by this time so Steve told him we would pick them up tomorrow.
We headed back home...wow, what a difference in weather today...good thing we had visited Arches yesterday! 
We were watching TV when Mother Nature decided to give us one heck of a light display...quite a storm!  The sky was lit up constantly from lightning followed by the boom of thunder...and the wind was just howling.  This is the storm that is supposed to be bringing snow to the higher elevations...and cooler temperatures.

Monday, October 24, 2011 (Horsethief BLM Campground, Moab, Utah)

We arrived at the Visitors Centre of Arches National Park shortly after 10:00 this morning.  It was a gorgeous morning...going to be another beautiful day.  We found out that there was going to be a guided walk at the Windows section of the park at 11:00.  Since it was going to be about a 25 minute drive, we decided to head off right away...we will check out the displays at the Visitors Centre later.

Such an incredible area....
This picture was taken as we drove up into the Park from the Visitors Centre...






We arrived at The Windows trailhead parking lot where half of the spots were closed off as workers were tarring cracks...sheesh...but we managed to get parked in the lower lot. We met Ranger Gretchen, a nice young lady from Virgina.  Another couple, Derek and Claire, from Surrey joined in the guided walk as did another young fellow.  We were chatting before we headed off on the walk...they too had done a similar trip down to the eastern and southern States as we had last year. 
After a 45 minute walk up to the South Window, stopping along the way and learning more about the desert, vegetation and how the arches were formed, the guided walk ended. We said out goodbyes and continued on our own.  We took the trail to Turret Arch and then back towards The Windows.  Rather than going back the way we came, we chose to take the primitive trail that looped around back to the parking lot.  Steve took lots of pictures...
North and South Windows...

It was 12:30 when we got back to the truck so we decided to have our lunch.  There were no picnic tables so we were sitting in the truck when there was a tap on the door.  It was Derek and Claire...as it turns out, they recognized our truck...we had met them last year where we were both camped at the same campground...we can’t remember where but it was down south somewhere.  Wow...what a small world...what are the chances that we would be at the same place at the same time again this year?  We had a nice chat with them...they are on their way down to Mesa, Arizona where, for the first time, they have rented a spot for 4 months.  This is the first time they have chosen to stay put in one spot...Claire isn’t sure how they will like it.
There was still one more arch to see in this area, so Steve headed out on the trail to see the Double Arch while I finished my lunch.  I met up with him just as he was on his way back...
Since it was already 1:30, we decided to drive right up to an area called The Devils Garden where some of the main Arches are...it is at the furthest point the road goes in the north end of the park.

One of the most popular Arches to see is the Landscape Arch...it is featured on the brochure we received about the park.  It was a moderately easy 2.6km (1.6 mile) trail with some elevation gain...okay, we‘ll start with that and then see about going further to some of the other Arches that are further out.
 It was a beautiful and very scenic walk...



After taking a bunch of pictures of Landscape Arch, we decided to continue onto Double-O Arch, about another 2 ½ miles.  My knee wasn`t doing too bad...that knee support I had bought the other day seems to help.

The trail between Landscape Arch and Double-O Arch is described as “difficult with many short elevation changes, rocky footing, some exposure to heights”...and they weren`t kidding!  It was quite a hike!  But the vistas were absolutely amazing...

It was well worth the hike in!  

On our way back a hiker “Joe” asked how much further to the Double–O Arch as he left his wife behind on the first steep part (she apparently has my phobia).  We said it was about 20 minutes away. He thought about it for a bit then asked us if we would tell his wife that he will be awhile. He started off then turned and asked if we would give her his car keys in case she didn’t want to wait on the trail. We asked what kind of car...her name and what’s she wearing.  Away we went and 45 minutes later we saw Laura patiently waiting. Steve approached her and asked if her name was Laura. Yes, she said.  Steve then said “Joe didn’t make it and he gave us the keys to your Jeep. Do ya need a ride?” She laughed and said “so I got to go and drag his bones back!”  Too funny!
It was just after 4:30 by the time we got back to the truck...hot and tired but very glad we had hiked to see both Arches.  There were also some side trips off to other Arches but we did not take them.
On our way back towards the park entrance, we made a number of stops to take pictures.  We even got out at Sand Dune Arch trailhead to take the short hike in to see it...very cool...

 The Fiery Furnace...
 Petrified Dune...
  Courthouse Towers...
Park Avenue Trail...

If you would like to see all pictures taken during our visit to Arches National Park, please see our web album at Arches National Park Pictures

It was after 6:30 by the time we got home.  What an incredible day!  We were thoroughly enthralled with all the rock formations that dotted the landscape...all of it was amazing!
We managed to get the oven lit (it has been acting up again) and I put a tray of lasagne in for dinner...we would be having a later than usual dinner tonight.  It was the second tray that I had made when preparing dinners for Steve`s hunting trip...and it was very tasty (if I do say so myself!)
We went to bed exhausted...what an awesome day...

Sunday, October 23, 2011 (Horsethief BLM Campground, Moab, Utah)

Rather than pack up the trailer, we thought we would drive to Dead Horse Point State Park first to make sure we can get a site.  So after breakfast and getting cleaned up, we headed off just after 10:00 a.m. 
Once we arrived at the gate, the attendant said that they had a 60 foot pull through but the people hadn’t check out yet...check out time was noon.  That sounds good, we could drive back and pack up the truck and be back...the attendant couldn’t reserve it for us but knew we wanted it.  They have 50 amp power so we naturally thought they had full hook ups...but we were wrong.  They have no water...just in the restrooms.  All water is trucked in so they don’t have any for RV’s.   Oh well...now that changes everything.  The lack of water at Horsethief Campground was the main reason we were going to move but we might just as well stay where we are at.  I definitely think that more information could be provided on their website about the lack of water...ensuring that all RVer`s fill up their water tanks before heading the 20 miles up to the park.  The brochure they hand out at the park entrance has a sentence under the camping description saying that recreational vehicles should fill water tanks before coming to park...a little, don`t you think?
So we changed our minds about moving and decided to pay the $10 entrance fee and go and see Dead Horse Point State Park.  How did Dead Horse Point State Park get its name, you ask??  Well...here is The Legend of Dead Horse Point...
According to one legend, the point was once used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa.  Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point.  The neck, which is only 30 yards wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush, creating a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs.  Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and for reasons unknown, left the other horses corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.
Poor horses...sheesh...rather cruel...bad cowboys! 
We drove into the park and stopped at the Visitors Centre.  There are displays describing the area and how it was formed as well as how the plants and animals have adapted to the harsh seasons...from sub-zero temperatures in the winter to over 100 degrees in the summer. And they only receive 9 to 10 inches of precipitation a year.
After finishing in the Visitors Centre, we walked along the path to the edge of the canyon...beautiful vistas...

On our way to the actual Point (another couple of miles up the road), we stopped at another viewpoint and took more pictures.  One thing we find totally amazing is the lack of guard rails or fences...that is a shear drop off behind me...
The views from Dead Horse Point are just absolutely incredible...the very green Colorado River meanders through the canyon below...

After spending a couple of hours in the park, we headed to the Canyonlands Visitors Centre to refill a water container and then home.  Steve is going to put the water from the two 5-gallon containers of water into the trailer so we can shower.  We usually run water through 2 filters before it goes into the trailer water tank but we have made the occasional exception...and this is one of them.

We relaxed outside in the sunshine for a bit before going inside to do our resistance exercises and then we each had a shower...using as little water as possible...but oh, it felt good!  We have decided to stay here for a couple of more nights and then go to Archview RV Park, a private campground back down on the main highway into Moab.  I made reservations for Tuesday.  We will pack up Tuesday morning and go the short distance there and then spend some time in Moab before picking up our ATVs.  With full hook-ups, we will be able to get all cleaned up and then head off again with a full fresh water tank. 
This evening we thought we would take in the sunset at Dead Horse Point.  So at 5:00 we headed off...but before going to the State Park, we were making another stop at the Visitors Centre at Canyonlands to fill our water containers.
We arrived at Head Horse Point lookout shortly before 6pm...lots of time to get the camera and tripod set up.  Steve took some great pictures....

 

To see all our pictures taken at Dead Horse Point State Park...here is the link... Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah Web Album
It was dark as we drove home...not often that we drive in the dark.  After a light dinner, we settled in for some TV.  We are looking forward to exploring Arches National Park tomorrow.