So since Salt Lake City (left 21st July), we have been working our way south!
On Kate’s recommendation, we went to this weird ittle place called Mystic Hot Springs where I had a soak.Despite my expression, it was good (water was splashing into my eyes).
We headed onto Capitol Reef National Park, saw Goosenecks Overlook, Petroglyph (is a carved image as opposed to a painted image which is a Pictograph. If you look hard in the fourth picture below and see it then be pleased you have goodsight) Hickman Arch respectively. It was bloody hot.
We camped at Goblin Valley campground, which has some weird rocks nearby. There was thunder and lightning on the first night, which wasn’t fun. Oh yeah, I might have forgotten to say that hearing wolves howl in the night when we were in the Grand Teton was pretty neat (Americans like to use the word ‘neat’) better than thunder.
Some weird and famous rocks of Goblin Valley.
We hiked 9.5 miles on the Little Wild Horse canyon nearby (it should have been 8 miles but google maps misled us and we did an extra loop and had to double back, totally could have done it in 4 hours instead of 5. It was a good hike, although some scrambling up and down rocks was involved and at times it got narrow. You also have to be really careful not to go hiking in slot canyons when there are thunderstorms as all the water just goes to the bottom of these canyons and have enough force to wash rocks away).
Our next stop was at Moab, by Arches National Park. We camped at Gooseneck campground, there were no showers or running water and the vault toilets weren’t the best.
It was July 24th, which is Pioneer’s Day! The day that Brigham Young came to Salt Lake City and there were free ice cream, music, free entry to Moab Museum in the evening. Who can say no to free ice cream?! The museum was also pretty good. The music wasn’t so awesome.
We saw a couple of Arches before our hikes the next day (these were easy hike to ones) called Double Arch and Balanced Rock. They’re formed by a perfect environment of erosion, too much and they’ll collapse and too little and they wouldn’t be as cool. Although with repeated freezing of water etc in the rock every year, the arches will probably collapse at some point. Balanced Rock formed like that because the top bit of the rock is harder than the bottom I believe and of course has eroded differently.
We did 2 hikes in Arches National Park and got up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat.
Landscape and Double O Arch
So onwards to more desert – we went to Dead Horse Point and there is nothing here. I lie a little, there’s like salt lakes going on here. Legend has it that some bastard cowboys rounded up some wild horses, fenced them in and took the horses they wanted and left the other horses to die of thirst in view of Colorado river. Thelma and Louise was filmed here i believe. We also went to Canyonlands, where there is more nothing. I lie again, there’s a lot going on. Even though it’s a desert, there’s lots of plant life that have adapted either by reflecting the heat from the sun, or turning their leaves to lose less moisture. There’s these little potholes, when once filled with water, little critters who have either laid eggs (ready to hatch when ran comes), or sealed themselves with a membrane come alive. Crazy.
So what next? We headed to Natural Bridges and met this really friendly retired guy called Russ at the campground. He loves this area and took us on a late afternoon hike to see some Petroglyphs (I think) and a couple of granaries from American Indians centuries ago near Kachina Bridge, which we would have never found if it was just us as it’s not signposted. it was awesome. Also got an invite to stay with him and his wife if we ever head to Oregon!
That evening we went to an Astronomy talk at the visitor centre nearby. The area has been deemed dark enough for good star gazing. Using the massive telescope we saw Saturn (it was so cool, you could see the ring around it), binary stars (one was orange, the other blue) and some other stuff. We also heard Coyotes howl in the middle of the night.
Well I don’t know about you but I’ve had enough of scenic red rock stuff and deserts (I know it’s amazing but it gets samey when you see so many) so will end with some pictures from a Dinosuar museum in Blanding or Bluff – sorry cannot remember but it was really cool. The 2nd pic is Charles Knight, whose art is responsible for dictating how dinosaurs should look in motion pictures.
The next part will be north Arizona. Goodbye for now!