Colorado and Utah 2012 in a 2 Door XJ – Tuesday

I’ll start this post with the preface of ‘This is one of those days that pictures don’t do it justice’. We stumbled through quite a few ‘pretty’ things while putting another 256 miles on the XJ on our way up to the Capitol Reef area

Travel:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

We left Moab this morning and passed this:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;
Yup, $1.75 a scoop for your Chinese food. Awesome.

We kept on rolling north:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

And stopped to see the dinosaur tracks at Copper Ridge:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Moving along, we made our way to Goblin Valley State Park:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

These are wild, they’re just rocks stacked on top of mud from when the water receded many years ago:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

After we left the Goblins, we went to Little Wild Horse Canyon. This turned out to be my favorite stop on the trip so far, and the photos REALLY don’t show things well enough. The canyon goes on for a long while, we only hiked about 1.35 miles into it, and there was still plenty more to go:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

After we left Little Wild Horse, we had the choice of turning left (going back the way we came on the paved road) or following the GPS’s recommend route of the unpaved road off to the right. Since we try to stay off paved roads as much as possible, we gave it a go. It turns out I think damn Garmin was trying to kill us!
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

It started out well enough following the ‘road’ which was a dry creek bed:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Then worked our way up on top of the ridge:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

And started to see the pure “Desert Wasteland”. For these flatlanders, it was a very alien sight for us:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

We got several miles back into this valley and really everything was going quite well. All good things must come to an end though, and as we reached Muddy Creek Recreational area. I didn’t snap a single photo of this area, but there was lots of XJ eating sand that we barely escaped in a few spots. Once we fought our way thought that, we were confronted with a water crossing. The problem with the crossing was that there were plenty of ‘quick sand’ warnings around there, and judging by how easy my foot sank into it, I didn’t feel like trying my luck. Add to that, we couldn’t find the road on the other side of the creek, so even if we made it across, I’m not sure we would have had anywhere to go.

So we were now about 19 miles back into the pure desert, obviously the only people that were around (and had been around for awhile going by the tracks we saw), with half tank of a gas, and a sand trap to run back through.

Needless to say, I was happy that we had all our food/water with us, as we might have been hiking out of there if things went wrong. Thankfully, the little XJ pulled though (barely) and we back tracked to the paved roads again.

After that fun, we were both hot, dirty as heck (did I mention the nice 30 mph breeze we had while in the ‘dust bowl’?), and just ready to get to the cabin. We marched on to the CR area and passed a Dust Tornado:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

And a corvette club run:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Finally making it CR:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

We checked in, had dinner, and crashed for a bit. After we got up, we headed back out to take a look around the area some more:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

We stopped by Fruita, which is an old Mormon settlement. Ole Blacksmith Shoppe:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Original orchards are still producing to this day:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Really just a quaint little park:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

With lots of Deer too:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

And a cool old barn:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

And I made a horse friend:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

We headed down the ‘scenic drive’ into capital gorge:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

We then raced back up to Panoramic Point for some sunset photos:
Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

Sara L.: UT/CO Trip - Ben &emdash;

That’s all for today!

Next Post – Wednesday!

One thought on “Colorado and Utah 2012 in a 2 Door XJ – Tuesday”

Leave a Reply