Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jeepin' in Moab

Moab is known as the Mecca of the four-wheel-drive world. With some 30 trails to choose from, folks come from far and wide to go off-road around here. Since we arrived in Moab, Rocky has been itching to get some red rock between his treads. Today we obliged our little squirrel and headed into the canyon for a little fun. The first 15 miles were smooth sailing as we enjoyed the pavement of Highway 289.

When we reached Mile Marker 0, the pavement ended and we found ourselves on gravely Potash Road. The views of the Colorado River were fantastic!

Potash Road went from gravel to rich red dirt while the scenery became more spectacular.

The road turned to rock and our squirrel was in heaven. So, was his driver! (And, yes. That is the road!)

While Paul and Rocky did their thing, I happily snapped photos along the way. Everybody was happy!

The Shafer Basin sits below Dead Horse Point State Park. Everywhere we looked, the views were breathtaking.

Time for an action shot! Here's Rocky descending along a ledge above the Colorado River.

A simple sign on the trail welcomed us to Canyonlands.

We've never entered a National Park quite like this!

A sign posted the entrance fees, but there was no gate in sight. We tried to present our park pass, but there was no one around for miles.

This speed limit sign had us both laughing. Our top speed through here was more like 3 mph! No tickets for us today.

Just as Paul handed the steering wheel over to me, the trail got particularly interesting. We're off-roading rookies. So, this 2-rated trail (on a 10-point scale where 10 is the highest) was just enough excitement for us. Paul did some helpful spotting as Rocky and I crawled up onto the slickrock.

Does that look like fun, or what? Believe us, it is!

We stopped many times to enjoy the magnificent views and the stunning quiet. (That's the "road" down there!)

It didn't take long before our clean Jeep was sporting "the Moab look".

We were disappointed to discover a 6.5-mile stretch of Shafer Trail Road in Canyonlands was closed. So our loop trail became an out-and-back. At the turn, the rain began to fall, which made our return trip more adventurous.

We caught a break in the rain to enjoy a late lunch at this scenic overlook of a bend in the Colorado River. This area has been used as the backdrop for countless movies. One of the most notable is the final scene in Thelma and Louise.

Here on the Colorado Plateau, May showers bring desert cactus flowers!

After 35 miles and 5 hours, we posed for a group shot before we got off the trail.

Paul just had to have a little fun with that balanced rock!

The canyons of the Colorado River were looking exquisite in the late afternoon light. As we passed this spot, we were back on pavement. (And, we have a new-found appreciation for pavement!)

Now that Rocky's been to Mecca, he's looking pretty gnarly. We know he's happy!

It's a Jeep thing.


Sue and Doug said...

It most definitely is a 'jeep thing'!..we so wish we were following behind you all!!!..great shots today..nothing like a perfect 'blog worthy day'!!

E Squared and Mui said...

Have fun washing Rocky ... the price of a good off-roading experience.

Jim and Sandie said...

Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the "road" with Rocky. You haven't been kicked out yet have you?

Jim and Sandie said...

Happy Anniversary, you guys. 25 years!!!