September 13, 2015 – Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park

This was our last day in Moab and we made good use of it by returning to Canyonlands National Park to see two things we missed on our last trip and to visit Dead Horse Point State Park, which is next door to Canyonlands.

Our first stop was Mesa Arch.  Arches National Park doesn’t have them all. There are so many gnarly, picturesque pieces of dead wood around here.  This one was right along the trail, just a few steps from the parking lot.

b01 Dead Tree

It was not a long hike out to the arch. After a short while I spotted it in the distance. I was surprised that there were no people standing on top of it.  It looked big and easy to climb.

b02 Mesa Arch from Trail

When we got closer, though, I realized why no one was walking up there.  Holy cannoli!!  It looked like a thousand feet down on this side of the arch.

b03  Looking Through Mesa Arch

I walked to the right end and took another shot.  Then I began to wonder how long that arch is going to hang up there. I love that oozing rock look, but still can’t fathom how it was formed.
b04 Mesa Arch From End

There were pinyon pines along the trail.  This pine cone was loaded with pine nuts until I harvested them all. Then I had a pine sap problem.  It was all over my fingers and my camera. I rubbed my hands in the sand on the trail to unsticky them, but the pine sap was still there under the dirt.  At least I wasn’t getting any more on the camera.

b05 Pine Nuts

We also passed another large patch of bio crust.

b06 Bio Crust

I came across a flower I had not seen before.  Actually, two of them.

b07 White Flowers

Our next stop was the Shafer Canyon overlook. The overlook itself was a sight to see from the parking lot.

b08 Shafer Canyon Overlook

Down in the canyon, we could see the Shafer Trail and a few cars following it. I told Andy that I could drive our little red car on the road.  He retorted, “Yeah, but you are not going to!” We could not even see the bottom.

b09 Shafer Trail from Shafer Canyon Overlook

Those were the only two sites we missed in Canyonlands so we moved on over to the Dead Horse Point State Park. They have a lovely visitor center with a balcony on the left end and a fantastic view.

b17 Dead Horse Point Visitor Center

After we got our park map and advice at the desk, we walked out onto the balcony for a look.  There were tables out there and people were eating their lunches.  We decided to eat our lunch there too.  One table was vacant and Andy approached it the same time as a woman did.  She suggested that we share it.  Andy sat with her while I went to the car for our picnic. She looked very familiar, but I could not place her. This was our lunch view.

b11 Lunch View

We ate our lunch and had a nice chat.  Turns out, they were from Florida too.  The Villages, no less. The man was German and the woman said that she had lived in Germany when her first husband was stationed there in the Army.  The three of them talked about places in Germany while I ate my chicken salad. Then Andy mentioned that we had lived on a boat for eleven years.  She had lived on a boat for years too, a Kadey Krogen Manatee. Then she asked if we knew Skipper Bob.  What coastal cruiser does not?  That was her first husband.  Bingo.  I knew I knew her!  It was Elaine Reib, although she probably has a new last name now. She seemed to remember me taking pictures at Trawler Fest in Solomons, Maryland. She was at every Trawler Fest we attended.

b10 Elaine Reib Something Else Now

When we were finished eating, we offered our table to a couple of French men and took a walk on the path along the edge of the abyss. At one point, Andy said, “Look at those people standing out there.  That rock is going to break off.”  Sooner or later, it will and it is a long way down.

b12 Precarious Overlook

There were chipmunks running under the trees, collecting pine nuts I suppose.

Our next stop was Dead Horse Point. There is an extra large shelter to make much-needed shade right on the edge of the cliff.  There are plenty of boulders for seating under there too. I think state parks are not as averse to making improvements as national parks. A beautiful stone wall keeps us tourists from falling a thousand feet.

b14 Dead Horse Point Shade

The Colorado River snakes through the canyon here.

b15 Colorado River

This spot is called the Goose Neck.

   b13 Gooseneck in Colorado River

Here is my picture of the day. It is a Juniper.  The berries show up in the original, larger file.

  b16 Juniper Photo of the Day

And that was the end of our sightseeing in Moab. I can sum it up as spectacular scenery, everywhere you look.  Tomorrow, we move on to Virgin, just outside Zion National park.

Andy was craving a hamburger, so I looked up where to get him one. Milt’s has the highest-rated burgers in Moab. There was one table left.  The music was way to loud for me.  Andy didn’t like the flies on the table. We decided to try the Moab Diner, also highly rated. It was closed.  We then went to the Moab Grill and got our burgers.  Andy didn’t care how it was rated, he loved his burger.

There was a television with a football game on so Andy sat facing it. He said Denver and Baltimore were playing but he didn’t know where.  I turned around and looked.  Most of the people in the stands were wearing orange, so I figured it out and explained it to Andy.

“See all the orange in the stands? They are playing in Baltimore.”

“Orange is the Denver team. Nice reasoning, wrong answer.”

“Well, I figured orange would be Baltimore, for the Orioles. Orioles are orange.”

“Ah.  Nice reasoning again, but the Orioles are the baseball team. Your logic is impeccable.  However, your data is inaccurate.”

I am giving up on football analysis.