To Moab Utah and Camping Near Arches National Park

24 04 2012

Monday was skiing in fresh snow. Tuesday we awoke and set upon packing up Ed’s camper van for our trip to warmer climes – the canyons of Southern Utah, Arches National Park, and Moab!

The Wasatch Mountains give way to desert. It’s very flat, but there are escarpments nearby, small hills, and groups of 12,700 ft mountains like The La Salle Range, looking like islands, in the distance. With so few cars it reminds me of Patagonia.

We are literally driving right through geologic history. In some places, the flat plain dives hundreds of feet to rivers below. They’ve cut through epochs of time and the rocks down deep might even be a billion years old!

Layer after layer of sandy colored, rose colored, black rock. Sometimes, the rock has been weathered into intricate shapes that remind us of people or things like boats or wagons.

After three hours we come to Green River, Utah, and then the canyonlands are visible in the distance.

We take a road which eventually leads us to the Colorado River.

Mile after mile of canyon unfolds before us. It’s late in the day, so the rocks are very pretty.

There aren’t any big rapids here. Mostly riffles and moving flatwater. But there are a couple of rafts riding these pretty canyons. It’s a major difference from yesterday!

Instead of snow, we have beautiful, dry, summer-like weather! Well summer to us. Here, this warmth is spring.

In the distance lots of spires and mesas. Right out of an old west movie! There are way more people here than anticipated! Ed has a spot picked out for us. We drive off the highway a few miles and surprisingly every camping spot is spoken for!

Ed knows of another spot a few miles down the road. Here, we drive up another dirt road. This road goes right over a small brook at least ten times. We drive right through the river.

The road winds along, in many places with no room for passing cars. River on one side, cliff face on the other. Yet even here, for mile after mile, all the camping spots are taken! Just after yet another river crossing, when we are giving up hope, we find a spot! Whew!

And it is a good one. The river meanders around the site and we have a sky view.

Finally here, we make ourselves home. The van’s pop top goes up, I start a campfire, and Alex sets up his tent.

The camp stove comes out, and the car stove is prepared. Some beers are opened! Tonight we’re going to have salad, mashed potatoes, and pork chops. Making dinner is all part of the fun of camping.

And so is eating! Not so much cleaning up. But we deal with it. One thing I cannot stand is the Utah beer. We got the Utah legal 3.2% Budweiser. I just don’t understand why, but it doesn’t taste the same, and I find myself wanting to put the beer down instead of having a few more!

Ed’s van is a little home on wheels. It makes up for gas guzzling by providing comforts. Two burner stove, two beds, reversible front seats, nice stereo, and even a fridge. Lots of storage. Tonight I slept on the “ground floor” which is a fold out couch. It was totally comfy.

Our visual entertainment tonight is the fire and stars, and the full moon. It’s really pretty out here!

Other signs of the desert were cactus! Prickly Pear Cactus, Barrel Cactus, and more.

In the morning, the desert quiet was beautiful. And the sky so blue!

A patch of Prickly Pear Cactus!

We’ll be heading to Arches National Park today…

 

 

 

 

 

Barrel Cactus