Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Rocks!

We're finally at a campground with decent wifi, but they charge $2/day. We're in Ely, NV on the way to the Reno area. But I digress. I've attached a few pictures of the Moab area, and there's a story to go with them. We drove to Dead Horse Point State Park, which is on top of a mesa. In one of the pictures you can see the view from up there. You may notice the dirt road near the Colorado River down in the canyon below the cliffs. More on that in a moment.
We then went into the northern access of Canyonlands National Park, and in the visitor center I noticed a topographical map that showed the very dirt road we had seen from the other park. I asked the ranger if that road was accessible from where we were and he asked what kind of vehicle we were driving. (That should have been a clue!). When I told him it was a 4x4 truck, he said "no problem" and gave me directions to the road.
I should have realized that we were viewing the road from a vantage point at least 1000 feet up, which meant the road down might be a bit of a challenge. But your intrepid traveler is not to be swayed by warning signs indicating an extremely steep, harrowingly narrow and rough unpaved road. I figured, the ranger said we could do it, and the US National Park Service would never suggest something dangerous, so on we went.
In one of the pictures, if you look closely, you'll see a small crossover sedan about to descend a series of steep switchbacks on that unpaved road. He got about halfway down and pulled over. We passed him and continued. He may still be there, for all I know. That was actually one of the better parts of the road. I would have been more comfortable on a mule. Anyway, the"road" continued through dry river beds, over big rocks, and through some incredible scenery, for about 30 miles. It finally led us back to Moab. I'm glad we did it, but if I had only known what it was going to be like, we probably would have elected to stay on the pavement.


Blogger Kathryn said...

I thought would be a pro on the switchbacks since you've driven the roads in Jersey for so many years!

5:43 AM  
Blogger jettybeach said...

I could just hear me saying Whoa, whoa. I can't say incredible enough times.

7:32 PM  

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