Moab and Canyonlands

My motel in Moab was short on breakfast options, and it’s a super-hip town (in a funky, Monkey Wrench Gang kinda way), so I presumed that I would find a cafe latte someplace. I did, and learned of on a hike to take where a dog could be off-leash, AND got  advice on a spot for breakfast.

Breakfast was at a cafe called Eklecticafe; it was interesting and pretty darned fabulous.

This delicious drink was called a Latin Latte. Espresso made with the sugar right in with the coffee grounds so the water goes through both, steamed evaporated milk

This delicious drink was called a Latin Latte. Espresso made with the sugar right in with the coffee grounds so the water goes through both, steamed evaporated milk (or was it sweetened condensed milk mixed with fresh – oh dear), and a sprinkle of cinnamony Mexican chocolate on top.

The tables were small display cases for hand crafted items from local artisans. You stared right at the things while you ate. Good marketing and efficient use of space, non?

This plate of hevos rancheros was enough for two meals.

This plate of huevos rancheros was enough for two meals. And perfectly prepared, not too anything (except the too much part).

Then we set off for a good dog walk.

Culvert Canyon Wash is the correct name for this hike. You go through that giant culvert,

Culvert Canyon Wash is the correct name for this hike. You go through that giant culvert,

into this dry wash.

into this dry wash.

Pipeline Canyon 5

Wild turkey?

Wild turkey?

New Englanders?

New Englanders?

Being the sort of person I am, I couldn’t just turn around after our hike and drive back to town, even though I’d planned to go directly to Arches National Park.

This is so old fashioned, they mean that if you stop here you can see some petroglyphs.

This is so old fashioned, they mean that if you stop here you can see some petroglyphs.

Powder Mill Canyon 3Powder Mill Canyon 2This spot was squished between the river and some high cliffs.

Powder Mill Canyon 4I guess it made for a good bulletin board in days of old.

We drove a bit further and at a put-in for the Colorado River, I saw a sign that lead me to believe there was a short, scenic drive that I could take and end up near the ranger station of Canyonlands National Park. So I took it.

The road was good, the scenery great.

The road was good, the scenery great.

Crazy Drive 2

In fact, the rod had just been graded.

In fact, the rod had just been graded.

We even saw the road grader.

We even saw the road grader.

I was sure I was on the right road, even without a map.

I was sure I was on the right road, even without a map.

Crazy Drive 6

At an overlook of the Colorado, we met two guys on bicycles.

At an overlook of the Colorado, we met two guys on bicycles.

I took a picture of the two of them with their camera, and one of the fellows returned the favor.

Crazy Drive 9

When they asked if was “going the whole way” I didn’t think much of it.

Bye-bye guys on bikes.

Bye-bye guys on bikes.

I just kept driving because it was so beautiful.

Crazy drive 11

Crazy drive 12

Crazy Drive 13

Crazy Drive 14

Crazy Drive 15

Crazy Drive 16

Crazy Drive 17Crazy Drive 18Crazy Drive 19

This is Mussleman Arch. The arch itself is hard to get a picture of, or was for me,  but it is a thin strip of rock running across this image about 1/3 the way down from the top.

This is Mussleman Arch. The arch itself is hard to get a picture of, or was for me, but it is a thin strip of rock running across this image right about at the middle of the shot (from top to bottom) The arch is quite high, I had to stay away from the edge – getting close made my tummy start to do flips.

Here it is from the other side.

Here it is from the other side. Notice, please, that fissure in the rock starting lower left and running towards the arch.

That fissure is only about six inches wide, but it is wicked deep. Look at these pictures of Chico. He wanted nothing to do with hopping over it, even though he can broad jump his own length on an agility course.

Crazy Drive 21

Crazy Drive 22

Crazy Drive 23

It was beautiful, the sun started to set,

Crazy Drive 25

and I realized that I had no idea exactly where I was or why I was still in the park after so many hours. There was a clear and recent set of tire tracks in front of me, I kept seeing campgrounds (deserted of course) and I just kept going. Eventually I rejoined improved, and then paved roads and found my way back to where I wanted to be. It did take eight hours to drive 100 miles, and based on how hairy the road was in the dark, I missed some hella-good views, but in the end, it all turned out fine. I drove on to a room I had reserved for the night in Salina, UT. The fates handed me a snow squall as I went over the last pass on I 70 and the proprietors of my hotel, presumably for safety, tied the fire exit door shut with an electrical cord, but, as you see, I lived to tell the tales.

Next morning I gave a small lecture to the desk clerk about the fire door being tied shut (he shrugged) and blasted out of there. We drove US 50 all the way to Fallon, Nevada and a friendly little Super 8 motel with its own casino.

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