S: Desert Sojourn
FC: Desert Sojourn
1: Forward Thanks to Anita and Ed Baker, Ken and Mary Deshaies and my wife Cora for contributing some of their pictures . For most of the participants pictured in this book, 2010 was a tough year. At the end of March, Ed was mugged while carrying out duties relevant to his job. He spent much of the rest of the year recuperating and dealing with his employer and insurance companies. At the same time, Anita had serious health issues of her own. Both are now well on the road to wellness. Mary and Ken, premier Realtors in Summit County, Colorado, had their own issues. The housing bubble took longer to burst in our county than in many, but eventually burst it did. Recovery has been slow. Cora and I have remained relatively healthy, but had not ventured far from home all year. We all had the itch. Ed and Anita were finally able to travel, and planned their annual trip to Colorado for late September. Ken and Mary, who had met the Bakers on one of their prior excursions, were also interested in making a trip. Only three of us had ever been to the Moab area in Utah before, and all of us were interested in checking it out again, or for the first time. We were all aware that a trip to desert country in the summer months would probably not be ideal, so we decided to go in late September, when temperatures are normally more tolerable. It figures. Our weather was some of the hottest of the entire summer! Daily temperatures were in the mid-nineties. But at least mornings and evenings were nice. We stayed in a new three-bedroom condo...beautiful place complete with a hot tub (wonderful in the evenings...not so great in those hot mid-afternoons). We are all grateful and indebted to owners Dan and Carole for the use of their place. Cora and I had been to Moab twice before...once in April (a great time to go...cacti are in bloom and temperatures are mild), another time in February. February has its own charms in Moab, not the least of which is the lack of crowds. We had Canyonlands National Park virtually to ourselves. This book also contains a few pictures from February--they're obvious with snow on the ledges and roads, and more recent pictures from a late March 2011, trip. -paul winters June, 2011
2: Balanced Rock....for now...
3: A wilderness of canyons
4: The "Shafer Trail" begins its descent into the canyon. You can see the same road, far below, in lower left
5: The Bakers, Ed and Anita
6: Paul, Ed and Anita prepping for the hike
7: Mary says this will be a cinch.
10: Keeping the water bottle in my pocket was not such a great idea. Note "Mesa Arch" left center.
11: The North "Window"..."The Windows", Arches National Park
13: Looking up at the Window arch. At a distance, the arches look delicate and fragile. From underneath, they're anything BUT.
14: The crew approaches the Windows
15: At the South Window
17: Spanning the Window?
18: Cora and Paul decided to spend half of their last day on a jetboat tour. What a great way to see a lot of the canyon! Being powered by three diesel engines, this thing could really move!
20: As part of the jetboat tour, a stop along shore led to a short but very hot hike to see some petrified wood.
21: Parties of all kinds were underway as our jetboat slowed so as not to swamp the barges with our wake.
23: One of the nice things about vacations is that we get the opportunity to sample food prepared locally. We visited a couple of nice places and tried some of the local cuisine. Some of it was good, some was not. Each time we go to Moab, we learn which of the many eateries produces the best meals, and which ones to avoid either because the food was so-so, or the place was just too expensive considering what you get.
24: April 2003 These pictures are from Paul & Cora's first trip to Moab. Their first boat ride...lots of fun. They finally pulled onto shore, had a picnic lunch, and rode a 4WD vehicle out of the canyon. The trip out of the canyon was a bit hair-raising, as the huge SUV exited the canyon via the Shafer Trail (opposite page). Yikes!
25: Looking down the Shafer Trail.
27: Visiting the Moab area in the spring has an advantage in that many of the plants are in bloom. It's especially nice following a rainy early spring. The animals are out and about in the daytime, too. During hotter weather, they tend to avoid the sun.
30: Landscape Arch: one of the prettiest and soon doomed to fail
34: Ken threatened to walk across Mesa Arch. May he rest in peace.
35: The Participants
36: This is one way into Moab through the "town" of Cisco. Not a particularly interesting drive, but in the distance on the left you can see the beginnings of the canyon. | Backcountry camping in a side canyon. Springtime can bring sunshine and warm temperatures. What a pretty place to camp!
37: The area is geologically fascinating. At top, faulted bedrock near the entrance to Arches National Park. Above, scenery near the Needles area, Canyonlands. Right, looking nearly straight down into an eroded wonderland. Note the road, center of the picture. Wow...a long way down! | March 2011
38: Life has always been a struggle in this dessert country. Above, "Newspaper Rock", full of very old petroglyphs. Left, new life springs from an ancient petrified sand dune.
39: As time has passed, we have forgone the hard mattresses of a a campground for the far more luxurious accommodations of a bed and breakfast. On our March, 2011 trip, we stayed at "The Mayor's House" in Moab. Great breakfasts, beautiful place...highly recommended.