Dead Horse Point State Park

Good morning, my friends. It's our last morning in Moab. We're holding off leaving until the very last minute and slightly beyond. We're supposed to check out by 11:00 a.m., but we're going to fudge a little and leave at 11:15. We want to have lunch at the Moab Brewery (another tradition), and then we'll visit a quilt shop. We have only about an hour's drive to our next destination of Monticello, Utah (pronounced with a soft "c"), and we can't check in there until 2:00 p.m. So, we'll be killing a little time here this morning.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we first stopped off for breakfast at the Jailhouse Cafe. The food is always delicious, and it's served up with a smile and good humor. We both had the Southwestern Eggs Benedict. It was delicious. There was just a little kick in the hollandaise and the potatoes.

After breakfast, we headed north to Dead Horse Point State Park. It was every bit as spectacular as I expected it to be. I'd only seen pictures, but wow. Every view we took in was breath-taking. Even the drive out there is spectacular.

Looking to my right, I noticed the indentations in the cliffside and the "fin" and pinnacle to their right.

It's about 30 miles north of Moab to reach the park entrance.

We drove straight to the visitor center, where I picked up a refrigerator magnet and a shot glass. The visitor center was mobbed. There were a few people wearing masks, and I was reminded that COVID is still among us. That had me wanting to flee the place, so I made my purchase and left quickly. Outside was a short hiking trail and viewpoint. And this was our first "Wow!" That's Mike on the right for scale.

I don't know when I've seen such spectacular scenery anywhere. The canyons went on and on forever. It was impossible to stop taking pictures.

Here's a pano of the area. You can make the image larger by clicking on it.

Looking across the expanse, you can see these "Solar Evaporation Ponds." Here's a sign explaining them.

Okay, but we really wanted to get out to Dead Horse Point Lookout. The road goes to the end of the point, makes a small loop in the parking lot, and then you drive back the way you came in. There is a short hiking trail from the lookout, but honestly, you can park anywhere there's a space and hop on the hiking trail wherever you want to. You'll be seeing different angles of the same view. The path is marked with hashmarks to guide you along the way.

We saw some blooming desert shrubs. This looked like "baby's breath."

This looked like a yellow version of the same thing, but the flowers were a just slightly larger.

In our rig, we're always looking for a parking space where we can fit. We noticed some picnic areas where no one else was around, and so we stopped there. We could open up the slides and give the kitties some room. Crossing the road, we scrambled over some rocks to find this view. 

You can see a road below between the area where we were standing and the Colorado River. In one of our first visits to Moab, we rented a Jeep and drove that road (Schafer Canyon Road). It was one of the more memorable experiences of our lives, and a great way to see Canyonlands National Park. Here's a picture of Mike taking in the view on that day:

After taking in the canyon, we went back to the camper. Here's where we're parked. You can see the sheltered picnic table behind us.

We could hear people and woofies all around us, but Smitty still wanted to get out for a walk. We took our shadow selves with us.

Oh. My. Gosh. He really needed this. He sniffed...

And he looked...

And he took a luxurious dust bath, turning his white parts a nice shade of terra cotta.

Sadie watched from inside the camper. She really wanted to be outside, but her safety is our first priority. 

Smitty had about a 15-minute walk before his courage ran out. 

From there, we got back on the road and made our way out to the final lookout at Dead Horse Point. There is a viewing platform, and then just below, there is a stone "terrace" where the hiking trail begins.

From there, another huge wow. It was breath-taking.

Looking to my left a little, I saw this:

Here's a pano, but honestly, pictures cannot do it justice. You need to see it for yourself sometime.

We took the requisite selfie before getting back in the truck and heading for the grocery store.

It was our second big grocery shopping excursion of the trip, and we worried about getting everything loaded into our small refrigerator. Think Tetris, and you're there.
So, as a few of our friends have noted, there's a sad reason for the name of this park. The park literature describes this as a "legend," but when I consulted The Google, I found no competing stories.

According to one legend, around the turn of the century, the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck, which is only 30-yards-wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush. This created a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs straight down on all sides, affording no escape. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and let the culls or broomtails go free. One time, for some unknown reason, horses were left corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.
Sigh. What can I say? People suck sometimes.

When we arrived back at the RV park later in the afternoon, Sadie got her revenge by soaking up the sunshine on her catio. She did not yield to Smitty for the rest of the afternoon.

Okay, so I've already told you what the morning holds. We've been experiencing high winds for the last 12 hours or so, and we're expecting more wind as we make our way to Monticello. It makes for hazardous driving. Fortunately, it's only a short distance, and we'll be driving into the wind for the most part. Our reason for visiting Monticello is to do some more riding in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. I didn't think ATVing was permitted in any of the national parks, but the website says we can. Cool. You can also see some beautiful photos at this website from Earth Trekkers. We'd also like to do a little sightseeing in the park and at nearby Bears Ears National Monument and Newspaper Rock. Whatever we decide to do, it will all be new territory for these explorers.

As always, I'm only hoping I'll have internet access in this remote area of Utah. I believe we'll be close enough to the highway to pick up a good cell signal. We have four nights in Monticello, and then we'll spend one night off the grid at Goosenecks State Park near Monument Valley. If you don't hear from me for the next five days, our next opportunity will be in Kanab, Utah. So, I'm hoping I'll be back tomorrow. If not, then look for me next Wednesday. I'll tell you all about it then.


Barbara said...

I'll fill those canyons in your soul, like a river lead you home. And I'll walk a step behind, in the shadows so you shine. Just ask, it will be done and I will prove my love, until you're sure that I'm the one. ~ Gary Allan

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I'm enjoying your trip posts.

MissPat said...

Those photos are spectacular. I can't imagine what it's like in person.

gpc said...

What a gorgeous place. And Smitty looks good in terra cotta. Sadie should like it, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Jenny said...

Such amazing vistas!

Susan said...

WOW. Beautiful area.

Kate said...

Wow! The pictures may not do it justice, but they definitely show the potential. Safe travels today.

karen said...

The pictures show you visiting a foreign planet. Breathtaking. Thankyou.
Smitty, I'm proud of you. How does orange.. terracotta taste?

Cate said...

I am at hospital at the moment and thank you very much to take me out for while. I love your reports. Thank You so much.

kc said...

Wow! And, yeah, the more I Learn about people, the more I love my pup. Present company excepted, of course.

Quiltsmiles said...

Barbara thanks for your ongoing quest and all the pertinent bits you add to it. So enjoyable and the pictures are fantastic.