Good morning, my friends! We had quite a day of riding yesterday. It was our longest ride ever. As you might guess, I took skillions of pictures again. I've tried to whittle them down, but the rock formations are so interesting, it's hard to control my shutter finger. Some of the formations are long thing spires. Others appear like scoops of ice cream on a cone. Others look more like soft-serve. And then there are the holes in solid rock with blue sky showing through. Well. Rather than tell you about it, I'll just let you look. I'll only chime in if there's something in particular I want you to see.
We were in Bears Ears National Monument, which is BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land. Camping is always free on BLM land. We're camping at an RV park. (We like our electricity and unlimited water usage.) Still, we wanted to be able to find a level spot to park so that we could open up the slides and give the kitties some room to roam. So we drove out to the turn-off for the canyon we would be riding, and we found this great campsite just a little way off the main road. There were lots of good camping spots here. Looking north:
Looking directly behind me to the south. There was another camper just behind us. You can barely see their trailer on the right of the screen. They were gone when we returned. Was it something we said?
So we geared up and loaded up, and off we went. The road was mostly soft red sand, but there were a few rocky areas and more than a few dipsy-doodles.
Here, we came across another paddock. These could be used for rounding up wild horses, but we also crossed a number of cattle guards, and so it might be for rounding up cattle too.
On and on and on, we rode. We were on our way to Lockhart Canyon and a river overlook. However the final four-tenths of a mile of our journey would be inside the border of Canyonlands National Park where we cannot ride our ATV's. We planned to hike the last part.
We stopped here to look at this canyon formed by a wash. Mike's shadow self photobombed us down there at the bottom.
Look out across the expanse in the image below, and you can see The Needles.
All along here we noted how many rocks looked as if they might fall at any moment. Helmets are a good idea any time, but they were especially reassuring through here.
The landscape looked different as we approached the canyon. There was a lot more greenery.
Seeing the bands of color in the rocks never gets old, nor less interesting.
We found some red sand dunes.
Here's another one just down the road.
I've dubbed this the "Dog Rock." Can you see the dog's head on the right?
Finally, the end of the road. Mike started to ride past the gate. Who's to know, right? But he stopped after just about ten feet when a near-vertical cliff came into view. We weren't riding over that, and frankly, we couldn't hike it either. Oh well.
So we turned around and road all the way back.
Check out the white stripes in the boulders at the bottom. There are also white streaks on the cliff above.
We were hot and tired by the time we got back. This is the face of a 69-year-old woman who's just ridden 44 miles on an ATV.
Sometimes we take the camper off the truck when we go on these day-long excursions. I was really glad we had it with us, and I could wash my face and change out of my dusty clothes. Mike did the same. We sat pulsating, while drinking Mike's Lemonade. When you're thirsty, it's easy to suck a bottle of Mike's flat in just a few minutes.
Finishing up my Mike's, I got Smitty out for a walk. He looked for some grass, but found slim pickings. This stuff is too stickery for eating.
He did get in another luxurious dust bath in that red dust.
The terra cotta coating looks better on him than it did on me.
And OMG! A lizard!!! We don't have this kind of stuff in Oregon.
Hunting the lizard (about 2 inches long) occupied the rest of our walk until I was too hot to wait for him any more. I picked him up and hauled him back to the RV.
And that was the end of our day. We drove back to the RV park, where we showered. I did one more load of dark clothes, washing the red dust from our shirts and jeans. We had some barbecued chicken and cleared some leftovers out of the refrigerator for dinner. And then it was an early night. We were tired pups.
So this is our last morning in Monticello, Utah. We'll be heading on down the road about 80 miles to Goosenecks State Park. We've stayed at Goosenecks once before many years ago. The park is primitive with just eight first-come, first-serve spots along the cliffside. Below is an incredible view of the San Juan River canyon. During our last visit, the wind was so strong at the canyon's edge, we decided to move a little further inland. Today, there's almost no wind, and so we should be able to stay in one of the designated spots...assuming we find one open. If not, we can always seek out another spot. Most of the area is BLM land, and so boondocking is permissible and free. We won't know until we get there.
And all of that to say that Goosenecks is a fairly remote park. I'm really not expecting internet access there, but our stay at Taylor Park last week has taught me to never say never. If there's no internet, I'll be taking the day off from blogging tomorrow. Our next stop will be in Kanab, Utah, and I expect to be able to get online there.