Moab - April 2009 

We decided it was time for a road trip and took spring break off to drive down and see Jon and Jennifer.  They've been living in Moab for a couple years now working seasonally for the park service and Jon is also volunteering with the Grand County Sheriff Search and Rescue unit and just passed his last EMT test.  Needless to say they know the parks around Moab pretty well and make great guides.  

I hate to fly, not out of fear, I just don't like to deal with airports / airlines and being packed on cheap cattle flights so our general rule for travel is; if it takes less than 20 hours to go by car we prefer to drive.  

We left Whidbey on Saturday morning, stopped for dinner in Boise at the Goodwood Barbecue Company and spent the night in Twin Falls Idaho.  We arrived in Moab late afternoon on Sunday. The drive down was beautiful - clear weather and no traffic, pretty relaxing actually and watching all the open space fly by really helps zap your head and gets us both in vacation mode.  

         
                               Mile post 87 - I-84 Idaho                                                       Soldier Pass - Utah


Day 1 -  Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnace is in Arches National park.  There are two ways to hike here: Pick up a permit - limited number available each day, or do a ranger led hike.  Typically the ranger led hikes are booked two to four days ahead.  Jennifer has a staff permit and can take guests in any time.  She leads this hike all summer so knows the routes through this area pretty well and has alternate routes not on the usual tour. The hike starts out pretty easy but ends up being a scramble through a maze of narrow sandstone "fins"... It pretty much all up, down, sideways plus some squeezing and crawling through narrow passageways... You use your hands a lot.  This four four mile loop seems more like ten by the time you finish...    

          

             

                     

              
                                                                                                                                        Surprise Arch

After a quick drive across the park later in the afternoon we capped the day off with a quick 2 mile hike up to Delicate Arch...
                



Day 2 - Newspaper Rock & Canyonlands National Park


Just a quick stop off the side of the road on the way to Canyonlands National Park - Newspaper Rock is a petroglyph panel etched in sandstone that depicts nearly 2000 years of human activity in this area. There are no known methods for dating rock art and scholars are still undecided on interpreting the meaning and have yet to decipher them...

                 


Then on to the Squaw Flats Trail head and a hike up one Canyon, over the top and back down another intersecting canyon for an 8 mile loop...

           

                                                               
         
                                                                                                                              Jon entering "the crack"
 

Finished the day with a side trip to more rock art - An unmarked location just outside the park.





>>  Continue to Page 2 - Day 3 and 4  > >


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