Posts Tagged ‘sky’

Switchbacks in the Canyon

30th January 2011 by Helen
sitting on the edge

sitting on the edge

After such a glorious sunny day yesterday we woke this morning to clouds and cold.  However by the middle of the day it had brightened up again and we explored the rest of the ‘Island in the Sky’, marvelling at yet more scenes of canyons and trees before heading back into Moab via the Long Canyon Road.  This delightful little road leading down from the ‘Island’ and into the canyon that stands between the Island and Moab is described as a 4×4 road.  Hmmm.  With high cliffs on one side and a vertical drop (Paul: “rubbish”) on the other, compacted snow under our tyres, and some 180 degree switchbacks as we travelled (often steeply) down hill to the bottom of the canyon, I found getting out to take photos and walk rather more compelling that watching the world go by from inside the car!!

After finishing off with some jobs to be done in Moab we found a campsite just outside of town, called William’s bottom, and in the dark set up camp.

Campsite – William’s Bottom

Distance travelled – 76 miles

Island in the Sky (Canyonlands)

29th January 2011 by Helen
Looking through Mesa Arch

Looking through Mesa Arch

Overnight the temperature had dropped to about -5C, no doubt thanks to the elevation (6,100 ft) so we were glad of the bright sunshine warming us up when we woke.  We met and chatted with an absolutely charming local man, Jim, who told us about his visits to England back in the 1960’s, and some of the places to see around Moab. 

After picking up some information in the visitor centre in Moab we headed out to the Canyonlands.  We found we needed to book in at the on-site visitor centre if we are to camp anywhere in the Canyonlands and so we made our first day here a visit to the Island in the Sky section.  This is the raised area surrounded by the canyons, making the name rather obvious.  All the roads are paved as it’s a popular place for tourists as it is surrounded by some stunning scenery.  The height of the canyons, the colours of the rock, and today, the purity of the blue sky, defy description.  It is here and in other parts of Utah that many of the classic Westerns were filmed.

Paul walked across the Mesa Arch.  I watched with that muscular twitching one gets when one sees one’s beloved in what one perceives as a precarious place, whilst secure in the knowledge that I was never going anywhere near to where he was standing.  Thank goodness for digital cameras, we could never have carried enough rolls of film to satisfy our needs to attempt to capture the scene.  After sitting chatting to another couple, Diane & John, with their dog Archie, we headed off towards the campsite on the ‘island’ for tonight, early enough to air our tent of the icy start the other day.  The sunset can often be stunning from near the campsite but after such a clear day today the sun simply slipped down behind the rocks without much ado.

And so it was we cooked up some grub (back to camp food now of course – mashed potato, served with fried cabbage and onions flavoured with a little bacon, tomatoes, brown sugar, and sultanas.  With hot chocolate (thanks to Jenni) for desert.

Campsite – Island in the Sky

Distance travelled – 58