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Hiking with Hoodoos and friends from Alaska in Southeast Utah

April 13, 2011

Just yesterday, I had the supreme pleasure of hooking up with one of my most favorite friends, Devin and her Grade A, non-husband, Ron who are down here on a month long traipse around Southern Utah.  What fun!  We coordinated a meet up in Monticello, UT and had a great time hiking out to Chesler Park in the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park.  http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/needles.htm

Here they are in front of some of the Needles aka Hoodoos.

What a gorgeous hike it was.  Take a look.

This was taken from the Chesler Park trail looking back at the La Sal mountains in the distance.

And these next few were taken out in Chesler Park.

And of course there was a geocache for Karma123 and Momima to find while out that way.

Afterwards, we high-tailed it back to Dora to let the dogs out for a brief moment before heading back up the road to a little known and little advertised establishment called The Roughlock Lodge and Campground where we enjoyed  Bob, the proprietor, and a delicious steak dinner complete with potatoes, salad, texas toast, and camp beans.  Bob is quite the character and says he hasn’t left the immediate vicinity since getting here 45 years ago.  You should see this place.  It’s straight from the Old West and, as a matter of fact, is used to film the occasional Western.  The Lodge sits on the old freight trail and a roughlock is the type of brake they used to help slow the wagon wheels so the wagon would not run the horses over when going downhill.  The downstairs is set up like a dining room and bar complete with upright piano and stairs leading to an upstairs balcony off which sit the hotel rooms which have such names as “Miss Kitty”, “Miss Dolly”, and “Shady Lady”.  One of the upstairs walls boasts a copy of an actual business license for Prostitution made out to Big Nose Kate, whom, if I am not mistaken, was Doc Holiday’s gal.  It was dark and we had no camera, but here is a link if you are interested in seeing more.   http://www.canyonlandsbestkeptsecret.com/

This morning Devin and Ron came over for a breakfast of steak and eggs before we had to head our separate ways, them to Cortez, CO and me up to Dead Horse Point State Park just outside Moab.  It was a short, but lovely visit.  Can’t wait to see them again in July during my quick visit to Alaska.

79 miles north landed me at Dead Horse Point just north of Moab and Arches NP.  After setting up camp and getting the hound dogs all situated, I jumped on my bike and headed over to the Visitor’s Center where I inquired about the 9 mile, “easy”, single track trail winding around the rim of the canyon.  Easy.  Just my speed.  Yeah, right.  I hadn’t gone 100ft before I found myself on the ground under my bike with a seriously scraped knee and a knot on same said knee swelling before my very  eyes.  So much for easy.  I got back on my bike and did my best to complete the 4.5 mile loop section of the 9 mile trail and while many sections were indeed easy, I also found myself attempting to maneuver twists, turns,  jumps, rocks, boulders, trees, deep sand, and ledges that were beyond my skill level.  Oh well.  Once Carol and Elo (friend from AK and sister) get here , they’ll be on the Black Diamonds and I’ll be on the Bunny Slope.  No worries, it’s all good.

Here’s a shot from the bike trail along the rim.

And here is a shot taken from Dead Horse Point.  That’s the Colorado River 2000 feet below.

Two interesting things I learned about Dead Horse:  1.  The desert around here is called a Cold Desert and is called such due to the temperature variations which range from 133 degrees in the summer to -27 degrees in the winter.  The annual rainfall averages 10 inches.  2.  Legend has it that the cowboys of old used to chase the wild mustangs out onto the point whose neck is only 30 feet across.  Once the horses were out on the point, the cowboys would construct a fence from tumbleweeds and branches etc.  They would then make their selections from the available horses and take the chosen ones away leaving the rest stuck out on the point with no food or water, hence the name, Dead Horse Point.  Hmmmph.

On that cheery note, I’ll leave you for now.  Tomorrow I plan to ride the trail again (perhaps I’ll  be able to stay upright this time) and then head into Moab proper where I have reservations for the duration of our stay.

Stay tuned.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenny Magee permalink
    April 14, 2011 8:47 pm

    Hey Margie!
    Great photos!! Love seeing the pictures and hearing the stories…so fun that you got to see Devin and Ron!! Hope to see you sometime soon!!!

  2. Margie permalink
    April 15, 2011 2:51 am

    What fun living life through your eyes and wonderful camera!!!

  3. Devin permalink
    April 23, 2011 11:15 am

    Oh, how exciting to come home and see ourselves on your blog! It was wonderful seeing you, just like old home week. If only, we’d had some better scenery, life would be perfect.

    See you in July!

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