We started the day like we were on vacation. Wake up, make some coffee and tea, warm up some of our delicious birds nest breakfasts in the microwave, and then head out for Arches National Park. The bad news is it is Saturday and the crowds we saw in Moab yesterday all beat us to Arches! When we got there the sign said Park Closed, come back in three hours. Ugh! 20 miles of driving for nothing.
Thankfully Canyonlands is only four miles from the entrance to Dead Horse so we headed back there instead. With one small booth to handle all of the cars entering the park the line there stretched back for half a mile! It took us nearly 40 minutes to get to the front of the line and since we have a national park pass we were waved right through. If only everyone had a pass!
Once we were in the park, it was all good. I didn't know how influential Uranium mining had been to this area. Nor did I know that the Cisco Kid was a Uranium titan and not an outlaw.
As long as we are on things I didn't know here is one for you. Can you guess the meaning behind this phrase? "Oh What Massive Cliffs We Know Now" While there are certainly plenty of massive cliffs in Canyonlands, this is a mnemonic device to help you remember 200 million years of geologic history that you can see in the park, starting with the oldest to the youngest...
Organ Rock Shale, White Rim Sandstone, Moenkopi Formation,Chinle Formation, Wingate Sandstone, Kayenta Formation, Navaho Sandstone. If you want to know more check out The National Park Service Page on Canyonlands
Our first stop was the False Kiva hike. It was good but "inverted" all downhill to start and then a big climb to finish. It tired out our legs too early for what we saw. which was a closed site because of Vandalism! Please people do not vandalize the national parks.
From there we went to Upheaval Dome which was pretty awesome. In the middle of all of this red stone you get a dome like this!
There are a couple of theories on how this amazing formation came to be. The salt dome theory and the meteorite theory. To me the former seems more likely.
After many hours of hiking and enjoying the vistas in Canyonlands we were tired. And while my wife still wanted to drive our car on the Shafer trail I was against the idea.
So we went back to the camper and relaxed. Well not quite! I had been dieing to try out the mountain bike trails in the campground. I have my fat tire bike with, so it was a great chance to try out some real mountain biking! I thought it would be just some dirt trails, but noooo there were rocks and dropoffs and logs and obstacles everywhere. It was fun! But it was terrifying and my hands were cramped from gripping the handlebars too tight.
Well then we relaxed until just before sunset. We hopped in the car and drove up to Dead horse point to watch the sun go down. It was great.