View Full Version : October 2008 Moab, Fins-n-things, Arches, White rim trail, Green River.
10-23-2008, 03:42 AM
The plan was to leave by 7:00 am. We came close. A stop for a quickie breakfast and to the Fire Department to fill the cooler with ice and we were off about 7:20 am. My plan was that it should take between 10-12 hours to get to Moab. That would be around 7:00 pm at the latest.
Best plans are destined to be spoiled. We started getting snow just outside Boise, ID. By the time we reached Mountain Home it was getting serious about the white stuff.
This continued off and on. About Jerome it started piling up. At least eight inches would be my guess. We stopped counting the number of silly people that had slid off the road. There were at least three rollovers. One had extrication in progress. For us to stop would have caused more of a hazard and all were accompanied by assistance as we passed.
As we approached the turn south, there was a sign saying Interstate I-84 south closed. A car in front of us made the turn anyway, so we followed. Sure enough, a closed gate attended by a ODOT worker. No one was going that way. Here there appeared to be close to a foot of snow.
So now we continue east to find a route south. All the way to Pocatello. We have now traveled five hours to get an hours distance that should have been traveled.
It does not take long traveling south for the weather to improve. It still spits snow flakes from time to time, but now it barely moistens the pavement.
Through the gap we approach wind generators. I have seen the pieces traveling the highways but this is about as close as I have been to the assembled units.
The rest of the trip down to Moab is uneventful. Darkness shades the scenery as we arrive. Driving through the town is interesting. Our motel is on the far end of town. The lanes are narrow and many people are crossing from side to side as we roll through. Bar hopping from tavern to tavern is my guess. We arrive to our motel after traveling for about thirteen hours.
Once checked in I make a call to Reed. He left the day before with the intent to be here at the same time as we were scheduled to arrive. Something happened and his mapping program had him take a wrong turn, so he had not yet arrived. I placed a call to Jack who was still a few hours out. He said he would find a place to get some sleep and meet us in the morning.
We needed to feed the little one, so off to a quick easy dinner. Well that was the idea. I sure though Denny's would be quick and easy. No such luck. They were short servers and a tour bus arrived just after we signed up on the waiting list. I know what you're thinking, waiting list at Denny's? Well it is true. We waited forty five minutes for a table. It was late and we had time even though we were getting hungry. Finally we were seated and placed our order just as Reed arrived. he was able to walk in and join us. Greetings and dinner done we retired to our motels and planned to get together in the morning.
Our room in the red Stone Inn was small. Barely room for us and bags. I will not stay there again, but it was clean. We slept well and arose rested and headed to Mac's lounge for a bite to eat. jack was a couple hours out still. Reed met us at the breakfast place and we decided to stick close until Jack arrived. Checking the GPS we found there was a geocache nearby. Off we went to find it. A nice little walk.
City Market Has a nice big red sign and is an easy place to find. Jack called and was on his way in, so we headed there to meet him.
All together now introductions made we had Jack lead us out for the first days exploration. Off to see Camels back-
Then up the hill to the BLM managed lands. Through Slickrock campground and down the Fins-n-things trail.
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The first real drop off gave me pause. I am still unsure of the front receiver mounted winch. Watching Reed and Jack make the angles I cleared it pretty easily.
The day was a good test of the vehicles and chance for me to gain confidence in the traction that the rock in this area possesses.
10-23-2008, 03:43 AM
Day two, Arches NP.
This was planned to be the "tourist" day. A trip through Arches National Park.
Arches, monuments some short hikes , then lunch near a campground. meeting some travelers who had locked their keys in the trunk of their Camry. Jack tried his keys in the off chance they might work. No such luck. They were not in danger and had water so we said we would try to get cell service up top when we left. On top we found a ranger flagging for the line painting crew. I jumped out to alert him to the situation below, but he already knew of the lock out , so things were well in hand. Off we went.
On the way in we noticed a side road out. My guess was this was the way to the Eye of the Whale. What a delightful trail! Just enough technical stuff to keep it interesting.
Perfection! We met one vehicle on the flats and none in the rougher section. The whole world all to ourselves!
We arrived back to the beginning of Arches NP, just at sunset. We stayed for moon rise and the wonderful lighting on the scene before us.
That night we dined at the log cabin styled restaurant near the north end of Moab. I had Buffalo Meatloaf. A bit too spicy for me, but tasty. It was a little pricey there, but offered things like Elk stew and other upscale meals.
Off to our rooms. Good night.
10-23-2008, 03:48 AM
Day three, The White Rim trail.
Our campsite , Airport B , is close to the beginning of the trail, so there was no hurry to get going. We met at the city market and loaded perishables for the camping. We made a short stop at the top and found a geocache. then off to the information center to secure the camping permit. We arrived around lunch time and the one person with computer access was out. We spent some time wandering around and overlooking the route we were about to take.
Finally the girl with access arrives! We get a briefing on the regulations as well as some advice on things along the trail. Permit in hand and window stickers applied. Off we go.
A feeling of release as we leave asphalt roads for unpaved. It does not take long before the sights amaze.
We set a leisurely pace. A few other vehicles and bicyclists dot the trial as we descend the Schafer switchbacks. I white truck stops us and says to be sure to watch where we saw them stop way ahead. There are goats on the rocks above. I relayed this to Reed and Jack via FRS.
They were indeed there. Not goats, but sheep. We saw three. One jumped just behind Reeds truck as we were moving. I told the older couple we met as we neared the bottom to watch for the sheep. They had seen them on the way down and said there were three. One had large horns. We did not see that one.
The valley opened before us to reveal more of the canyons. There is just no way to describe the scene. It is something that must be experienced. Everywhere you look something breathtaking. Just when you think you have seen a great view it gets blown away.
10-23-2008, 03:48 AM
We made camp about an hour before sunset. Just right to get things set up in the light. Chances were the next night we might not be so lucky.
Dinner was wonderful Brazilian BBQ, chili and smores. We watched a slide show of the photos taken on my laptop. then a few tries at moonlight photography and to sleep we go.
Day four, second day on the WRT.
Brown bag breakfast. I awoke early and got things going. I had mine done before everyone roused. Coffee for my sweetie and two brown bags started. The boys readied there bags and got them going. I swapped them for ones I had nearly done to speed the process. Briquettes just don't cook as fast as a campfire.
Breakfast done we broke camp to backtrack a little, dropping into Lathrop canyon.
This was our chance to drop down to the river. Something we might not be able to do the rest of the journey.
Back up top and on our way to Labyrinth.
More to come...
10-23-2008, 03:55 AM
I like it!
How was the White Rim trail conds?
Keep it coming!!
10-23-2008, 11:49 AM
Conditions were perfect! The coldest camp was the warmest night and vice verse. Temps up to eighty degrees Fahrenheit. Mostly mid seventies during the day. Lows to mid forties.
Jack's photos: Album (http://picasaweb.google.com/jacksilb/4WDTripsUtahUSA102009?pli=1&gsessionid=voXIYkYHV7-8N6GdBvPfDw#5260227021166030418)
10-23-2008, 05:42 PM
Looks like fun!
10-23-2008, 05:54 PM
I'm jealous over here!!!
10-23-2008, 08:50 PM
Glad to hear your trip went well. Looking forward to seeing more WRT photos. We're hoping to run it next June if all goes well. Maybe we'll stop by and buy you guys lunch on the way:)
10-24-2008, 02:56 AM
By now the sun is high in the sky. Our campsites were spaced a long way a part. Labyrinth is near the end of the trail. This would be a long day of driving with less time for site seeing. Set up for the first nights camp gave us a daylight practice. There was a possibility we would be setting up camp in the dark this time.
This section offered lots of large loops along the edge of deep rock canyons.
Every turn offering new visions of great monuments reaching up from the depths of the canyon floor.
Our first side venture was to White Crack. It was one of the points recommended by the ranger when we received our orientation.
The enormity is hard to convey. Our skies were hazed a little from a fire to our south. The maps at the information center showed this area to be a bowl that frequently gets inversions. The pollution from four states gather here.
At this point we were able to estimate our time to camp. We had averaged six miles per hour. That put us there just before dark. It is terrible to feel pushed for time. We took lots of pictures on the run. Jack set a pretty good pace.
10-24-2008, 02:57 AM
We moved along pretty fast, stopping briefly to snap a few pictures. I would stop from time to time and shoot back where we had come from, or to catch Reed and Jack in some good spots ahead.
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We covered a lot of country. Tight spots, steep areas.
Our next break , I believe was Mussellman arch. This part may be out of order as for some reason the pictures are in the wrong folder date, but oh..well. I will write it as I remember it.
This one you can walk across. I am not crazy about heights, but I usually talk myself into it. I will admit the knees get a little shaky out in the middle looking down. I offered to take a picture of Reed too, but I thing the response was "HE-double-hockey-sticks" NO! Tach wanted no part of that either.
10-24-2008, 02:58 AM
We made good time to this point. Our average was up around eight miles per hour. Reed said he would like to make camp and chill a little. he opted to lead and make for Labyrinth post haste.
We crossed Potato bottom. Laurie said it looked like piles of mashed potatoes.
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We again get a glimpse of the river below.
As it turns out Reed made a good choice and we were wise to keep up with him. I do not have photos of this section for a few reasons. The battery died in my camera and Laurie had filled her card. Hardscrabble hill is no place to have your mind on anything but the business at hand. This was one section that is best tackled in the daylight. Loose rock, deep silt or sand and steep. A switchback that requires a three point turn. This would have taken a very long time with spotters to navigate at night. Reed backed down a little and I took the lead here. It is easier to see it done and by now, I get the feeling Reed is not crazy about the sheer drops along this trail. We arrived at the top to find several bicyclists arriving to head down. I advised them that there were a couple good loose spots. The response was, "I am walking that part for sure!"
Not far from there another group of bicyclists was ahead. We picked a wide spot and waited for them. One girl had taken a spill, so there were delays.
Once their support vehicles made it past us, we proceeded on to our campsite. Timing was good as we made camp and were set up just before dark. The boys and Laurie made chocolate ice cream in zip-lock bags. It was placed in the cooler for desert. This night was sausages, weenies and soup. After which we all enjoyed some fresh ice cream. What a wonderful treat in the desert for dessert.
We drank a few beers and chatted around the "fire". Then it was time to hunt for scorpions. I brought my UV LED light just for this. We talked a little about it and the chances that we might not be successful right away. Well let me tell you that these things fluoresce wonderfully! They light up like a neon sign saying ... Here I am!
These were all about one to one and a half inches long. We found three. My camera just would not focus. I am not sure if it has a manual focus. That is what is needed though as the images close up were fuzzy to say the least.
That one was out in the open about twenty feet from our tent. The sleeping arrangements of the others were looking better than our ground tent right then. I checked the area around our tent. It was all clear.
It was late. Time to sleep.
10-24-2008, 03:58 AM
Morning of the last day on the White Rim trail. I slept well. There was a radio playing from a long way away, or so we thought. It turns out Reed had forgot to turn off his trucks stereo.
We ate a hearty breakfast finishing off the bacon, hashbrowns and eggs. Hot coffee for Laurie and Reed.
last camp deserved a group pic.
We broke camp and headed out. Along the way I took a picture of a small holding pen. It looked like it might have been used for sheep.
The climb up to mineral road was nice. If you like steep and rocky.
Back on the road we headed toward Green River in search of dinosaurs.
We did not find the dinosaur museum along the way. Turns out I was mistaken and it was in Price. Too far away to do it this trip.
We found a motel and checked in for a much needed shower. Reed wanted to work on his truck a little so he stayed back. I think he was cleaning that engine compartment again?
We visited the information center in Green river. There we watched the movie on the mapping of the Canyonlands. Pretty cool. The attendant suggested we could find dinosaur bones south of town. This matched the motel managers suggestions , so off we went. That turned out to be a wild goose chase. It did get us in the area of the Crystal Geyser though. This is a cold water geyser. It was reported to us that it should go off between 4:30-5:00 pm.
It leaves a orange residue and crystals form. There was a bit of a sulphury bacteria laden smell to the place. We waited until 7:30 pm and still nothing. As each group arrived we thought, alright THEY must know when! No such luck. Each had been told a different time. All came and passed.
This one will have to wait for another time. Little ones need to be fed and it has been a long week.
HID lights shine the way back to town.
We ate dinner at the only place in town. It was a pretty good wait, but we had some good conversation with a local couple. I had accidentally shut the door in her face and that turned out to be a good ice breaker.
10-24-2008, 03:58 AM
After dinner we said our good byes as each of us wanted to get an early start.
We all awoke at dawn and headed our separate directions.
There is a list of the top ten trails. I have a list of people. My top ten so to speak. I have checked two off that list and added them to the people I treasure. Reed is one who will literally give you the shirt off his back and did just that for me. Thank you good friend.
Jack is a man of the world. His accent is addicting. The way he sees things and the joy it brings is as well.
My son could not have had a better friend for this trip. The boys did well together. Video gaming and playing they had a great time.
This will not be the last trip we take together. Thank you all so much for the journey.
10-24-2008, 04:28 AM
Love your pictures and details!
10-24-2008, 05:35 AM
Great Trip report and pictures! :cool:
I really need to go on the WRT next year!
10-24-2008, 09:03 PM
Hard to believe , but the next journey is already in mind. We are not quite ready to start planning yet, but the need to be out there is a constant pull.
Thanks for the comments. I was advised of a correction and made it. I really should keep notes. That would make writing the report so much easier.
Glad you are enjoying. I enjoy sharing others trips as well.
I am obviously a friggin' newbie here. HenryJ is the type of ambassador that you people need. Jack was awesome, as well!
I originally set out seriously thinking that this was my last "gig" and I never mentioned it to anyone. Long story and many issues are involved. I've decided to keep an open mind and try to go again if, Brule is involved. I am closing in on six decades of adventures and this one is probably my favorite!!
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