Not too far off I-70 is this small arch. It takes a little effort and travel on dirt roads to get to. In the same area - the "Head of Sinbad" are the broken off pictographs as well. This is an area of the San Rafael Swell which has other fun things for those discerning enough to search.
San Rafael Swell
The San Rafael Swell west of Green River Utah has wealth of canyon hiking opportunities. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Moab area, consider spending some time here. There are some very remote canyons in this part of Utah.
Bring your own water!!
Prepare to hike (or possibly swim) through standing water in some canyons
Carefully choose your route based on your ability and notify someone where you are going.
Some canyons require ropes and climbing gear to safely traverse them.
For more info:
"Ding and Dang Canyons"
Sometimes its just easier to walk through the water!
There is a 4 wheel drive road around Temple Mountain. It makes for a good mountain bike ride.
Temple mountain is famous for being the site of the Uranium mines used to make the first atomic bombs.
Want to Come Along??
"In The Beginning...."
As our trip started, we had no idea what was in store for us. We thought we were in for just a gentle downward ride to the river....
"WERE WE EVER WRONG!!!!"
The road down to the river is a steep winding road with hairpin curves ( you could almost kiss your rear end as you went around them). In some places there were old wrecks of buses that had not quite made it to the bottom, at least on the road that is!
If you like amusement rides, you will love this road!
"Anyone sick in the back of the bus?"
The road is only about 20 miles long with a short stretch of switchbacks that drop 900 vertical feet in a mile and a half.
"But when we finally made it..."
Everyone was in high spirits as we started on our week-long adventure. We all piled our gear in the canoes and took off. What a great time we will have!!
You don't have to go far to see the beauty unfolding. It seems like it is never ending.
You might think that you would get tired of looking at all the rocks and the muddy brown water...WRONG!! It is all so gorgeous..and the quiet...only you and the swish of the paddle..no telephones..no television...no horns...no radios...no one talking because they are as awe struck as you!
"Lost a hat"
I had not thought about the strength of the sun until one of our group lost his hat trying to canoe over a submerged log. He had to use a T-shirt to keep from burning the top of his head. He was trying to barter his dinner and his retirement for someone's hat...he had no takers. (Bring an extra hat)
There are no designated camp sites - you merely find someplace that looks inviting and stop. The first evening it was steak for dinner..Woohoo..Dinner became simpler and simpler the longer we were on the river.
We set up our tent and then lay on our sleeping bag under the stars. It was so peaceful, so quiet, so beautiful we just stayed there. We didn't put the tent up again until the last night on the river. We didn't want to miss a night under the stars.
And so it went, one day following another. More beauty around each bend in the river. We had some excitement..my son and I tipped over when trying to get to the bank and we floated down the river. My husband was in a canoe by himself and couldn't help us and everyone else was inexperienced and thought we could get to shore, but we couldn't. We finally got it turned over. Luckily, we had tied everything in and we both remembered the most important thing when you tip over...HANG ONTO YOUR PADDLE. We didn't have anything to bail water with...remember to have something to bail with in the canoe.
This was a good adventure, but we were very tired by the time we got to shore.
"You will start to feel grungy..."
But you will find that your water is too precious to bathe with and the water in the river is full of silt that clings to your skin. You can dip some up and let it sit, but it takes quite awhile for most of it to settle to the bottom of your container. We found that after a few days, we didn't care if we were super clean..just not super hot!
"Another night, another camp-site"
"Who is going to be first to use the potty?"
No one wanted to be first! Actually, the first person had the best...ummmm...potty break since the bucket had not been used..and everything stays in the bucket in nice neat little individual plastic bags. And they take your bucket when you get off the river...so you can't say you were constipated the whole trip. We did find nice spots with a view so you had some privacy.
We stopped at this site on the third night out. We walked back into the mountains and found this semi-circular depression. When we hiked back to the wall itself, we found a mud pit. Unfortunately, I could not find the picture of our daughter and nephew covered with mud and tromping around in the pit. It looked like a good conditioning treatment!
"Paddling, Paddling, More Paddling"
Most of the time, paddling was easy. But there was one afternoon when the wind was blowing against us...or was that straight down on top of us..in what they called "microbursts". When this happened, you couldn't make any headway. My husband was so tired from just trying to stay in the same spot and not go backwards, that my son and I had to hold onto his canoe to let him rest. I would have to say that this was the worst part of the trip. It was only the one day and now we know, you should always have a partner in your canoe. It takes two to handle this situation.
"The Fourth Day..."
Only today and tomorrow left...I feel like crying! But wait...how about a race! And that's what we did. As you can see, I am last since I am the one taking the picture.
What a serene spot. I sat on this rock contemplating all the sights I had seen. You realize your insignificance when face to face with the Creator's wonders. No matter what man builds, he can never come close to what nature has built. It is hard to imagine all the damage we have done to our world through ignorance, poverty and carelessness. I am thankful that so many countries are trying to preserve their natural wonders for their children and their children's children.
"End of the line"
Well, we made it with only a few mishaps..one tipping..one lost hat..one stabbing..two scorpion attacks (just kidding) and one broken tent zipper. It was great on the river, but now its our last meal and we are hungry!!!!
OK, who's got the food! Is there anything left???
"Here comes the Jet Boat"
If you want anything to drink on the jet boat trip back, you need to let your outfitter know and you have to pay in advance. A nice cold beer feels good at the end of the line!
The trip back was a blast!