9/15/13

Negro Bill's Canyon Hike

It makes me so uncomfortable to use the name of that canyon, but I have a picture just so you know I'm not making it up.


Here's the informational sign at the beginning of the trailhead explaining what we're about to embark on.


It said to allow four hours for the hike, but we were so slow that it took us more like five hours. My knee was feeling pretty good. About 3/4 of the way back to the natural bridge, it started bothering me, but it didn't get any worse after that. When we got back to the trailer, I iced it twice, and it is feeling pretty good as I write this.

You know you're in Utah when you start seeing these huge red cliffs all across the landscape. It is so incredibly beautiful here.


We were using the hiking poles for the first time, and we both came away praising their virtues. I started out with both poles, but quickly decided that one pole was enough. I used it mainly as a stabilizing third point as I stepped over and around things. Mike took the second pole, and he was very glad to have it along as well. In this next image, he demonstrates one of its many advantages...a man can lean on it as if leaning on a shovel, standing back from the hole he's digging, and pronouncing it good.


Sadly, Mike left his hat behind at the natural bridge, and we didn't realize it until we'd hiked back about half an hour. I told him I'd be happy to wait while he went back for it, but that I was steadfastly refusing to return with him. He agreed with my point of view whole-heartedly. He originally found the hat at a national park gift shop. In fact, it may have even been right here at Arches. It will be much easier to replace than it would have been to walk back. Yes, yes it will. 

We walked alongside this stream most of the way, at times walking above it, but almost always walking beside it.


And we crossed over the stream a dozen times or more. Most of the stream crossings were fairly simple. I was glad for my waterproof hiking boots. At times, I stepped where I had water rushing over my completely submerged foot, but my socks and my feet stayed dry the entire time. 


We Oregonians are very big on things that are waterproof. 

So we walked and walked and walked...two miles is a fair walk when scrambling over rocks, stepping up and down, crossing streams, and generally giving ones feet, legs, and knees a good workout...at 4,000 feet...on a hot day...with high humidity. We were ready to throw ourselves down and kiss the ground when we came around a bend and saw the natural bridge ahead. Do you see it?


This slice in the rock was intriguing. I'm guessing a waterfall may have flowed over here at one time.


After spying the bridge, it was still a bit of a walk, but eventually we got there. We passed dozens of hikers returning while we were walking in and, without exception, they said it was well worth the trip. They were being honest. It was a fantastic place, made all the more welcoming because it was approximately ten degrees cooler there.


This is Morning Glory Bridge, supposedly the sixth longest natural bridge in the United States.


A natural bridge formation shouldn't be confused with an "arch". The arches we'll see in Arches National Park are formed by wind, while a natural bridge is formed by the flow of water.


There was a lovely cool rock to sit on, and we sat there eating our plums (from the tree back home) and our Clif bars. It was a nice respite after walking such a distance. It was quite warm in the sun. The temperature was only in the 80's, but the humidity made it uncomfortably hot. We relished this rest.



There was, unfortunately, poison ivy growing along the water here, and there were many signs warning not to get into it. We were very careful.

When we were ready to leave, we headed out the way we came in. We were keeping a careful eye on those puffy white clouds. There are flash flood warnings, and so one doesn't want to be in these canyons if it starts raining.


Of course, there were other little things to see along the way. This first one is the only one I can name. This is Indian Paintbrush.





If anyone knows the names of any of these, please speak up.

Also, there were lots of reeds and blooming grasses that looked beautiful glinting in the sun. And, may I just say here that it was wonderful to finally see the sun!


The ones above were growing all along the trail, but this last one was growing only in one spot.


So we cheated death once again, and managed a four-plus mile hike in and out, returning to our trailer only slightly worse for wear. I've iced my knee twice since we've been back. It might be a little swollen, but otherwise, it feels pretty good. That was a good test for it. It was a relatively strenuous hike, and I was able to tolerate it pretty well. Hopefully, it won't be worse in the morning.

Smitty was waiting for us when we got back. Don't let that angelic expression fool you. Actually, he's been a very good traveler, except for the times when he just has to jump on Gracie. Gracie makes herself scarce much of the time, but she would do that anyway.


Smitty's new favorite sleeping place is in the cabinet above our couch. This is how we left him this morning, except that right after I took this picture, he covered his eyes with his paw. Mom and her flash, always flashing.


We did find the quilt shop, and this being Sunday, it was closed as expected. It is also closed on Monday, and so we won't get over there until Tuesday. There is plenty to do here between now and then. We really enjoy Moab. If you find yourself in this part of the country, you really should make an effort to visit. Beautiful scenery, and a fun little town.

So that's it for me for the day. It was a good day, but a tiring one. I'm looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the evening. I hope you had a good day too. 

22 comments from clever and witty friends:

jan said...

Looks like yall are having a great trip. Your photos are gorgeous. Hope your knee is doing well.
xo jan@sewandsowfarm

Sandy said...

I am so enjoying your beautiful photos!!

WoolenSails said...

Wow, what a place to hike, gorgeous rocks and scenery.
This is so much fun and I didn't even have to break a sweat, lol.

Debbie

LynCC said...

How gorgeous :D We need to get down there for sure.

Quilting Babcia said...

Great travelogue and spectacular photos! Gray day here but just misty down our way.

treadlemusic said...

So glad for your travelogue! We won't be going that direction this year but your photos sure give us the flavor of the area. Beautiful. I'm glad your knee is not presenting any major problems for you! Hugs.....

SewCalGal said...

What a wonderful hike. Maybe the hat will show up tomorrow at the trail head. I've seen other things appear at trail heads and have found baby hats that I've carried back to the trail head. Ok, I did find a super nice hand held GPS but didn't leave it at the trail head, but contacted the manufacturer who contacted the owner who contacted us....and to all of our delight we were able to get it back to them. So, don't give up. Maybe the hat will find a way back to you guys. Hikers are pretty darn honest!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Janarama said...

Love reading about your daily activities and seeing the pictures of places you're visiting. You take fabulous pictures and your commentary is terrific. It's almost like I'm right there with you, only I don't have to get out of my chair. ; )

Vickie said...

Moab is beautiful any time of year. Are you planning to go to Zion's and Bryce National Parks? How about Canyonlands?

Brown Family said...

Two miles is a long hike for some of us, but it looked very enjoyable!

Dasha said...

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing them Barbara

Lyndsey said...

Wow what glorious scenery. The hike looks real fun but shame about Mike's hat. The hiking poles are really useful over uneven terrain.

Jeanie said...

Wonderful photo journey for those of us who are traveling along with you. So glad you knee is doing it's best to cooperate. Travel on!

gpc said...

I love my waterproof stuff, too. And I love that hat! Wish I'd been the next hiker down the trail, lol.

Sooli said...

Beautiful scenery, well worth a slightly sore knee and a new hat I'd say!

Jacque said...

One burning question remains....did Mike find a new hat that he is pleased with? LOL Hey, I know that is important...it has to fit right and look great! :)
Love your photos, it is just gorgeous out there!

Little Quilt Shop said...

Oh My! How I love this trip!! Sitting in flat NW Indiana!! Thanks so much! Trivia; we enjoyed living in Oregon for a short time many eons ago...and yes, it does rain there!!...we were in Lafayette a tiny place then, near Mc Minville.....we have friends in Salem but have not been able to connect with them for years now...but so so beautiful!!! there also!!

Pattilou said...

Stunning, stunning photography! You are making me homesick!

Diane Wild said...

Glad you're finally able to enjoy some hiking and beautiful scenery. I'm enjoying your trip, also.

Kate said...

What a beautiful hike!

Pieces to Love said...

Beautiful! I'm very familiar with poison ivy. I have had many run-ins with it over the years and I itch just thinking about it. I'm glad your knee is holding up for the hikes.

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for taking us along on that beautiful hike! Sorry to hear that Mike left his hat behind - hopefully someone else finds it that really needed it.

The wildflowers are amazing. I did some googling, and this what I found: the first small white flowers are possibly Spectacle Pods. The other white ones with the more flat petals are Pale Evening Primrose. Looks like the lavender one is one of the Aster family. I couldn't find the little yellow flowers anywhere! I think they are my favorites.