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Tag Archives: fall colors

Recently I made a short trip, without the girls, to Portland, 400 miles away. I left one day and returned the next. Why would I do that? Well, I have been on the search for a new camper trailer since last January. It turns out that 2020 was not the year to shop for an rv, or for that matter a puppy, a bicycle or a kayak. All are in big demand in the year of the covid. Our little tent trailer has served us well for ten years but since I like to travel on my own from time to time, I just wanted something newer that might be more reliable in the long run.

I found a more stout version of a tent trailer with nice size tires and clearance that will handle rough roads. It also has a furnace! Remember those times in Utah and New Mexico when the temperature hovered in the teens? Maybe now I can weather those long nights in comfort. It is only a year old and the previous owners said they used it just six times. They never did take it off paved roads.

My friend in Portland met me at a state park in the Columbia Gorge and pitched her tent on a rocky outcropping overlooking the big river. We enjoyed a nice walk in the morning before heading off in opposite directions.

It was our final day in Utah and I started with breakfast at the Eklectica Cafe and then the girls and I went to the Moab Barkery and I went to the Back of the Beyond Bookstore. No doubt there are many other highlights in Moab but we really needed to get out and walk again. At an outdoor store, Grandstaff Canyon was recommended. It was a short distance from town so there were a few cars in the parking lot but not too many. A sign at the trailhead warned of poison ivy and said the dogs might brush up against it and not be affected, however a person could get it from her dogs. Great. Well, I already knew that but hadn’t considered I’d be running into poison ivy on trails in Utah.

We went anyway and were rewarded with a delightful canyon with a clear creek running through it. Also lots of fall colors. And at the end of the canyon was Morning Glory Bridge. It was another good hike.

I can’t say enough about the wonderful desert hiking we did while we were in the Bear’s Ears region of SE Utah. And we just began to explore the area.

Have you ever seen photos of slot canyons in the southwest? The beautiful rock and narrow passageways are beyond belief. These tunnels through the rock are formed by erosion over the eons. And during a rain event, you certainly would not want to be in one. I was lucky with the weather. During October, southeast Utah received over four inches of rain! While I was there, there was not one drop of precipitation. However, the dogs were lucky to find puddles or small streams of water on most of our hikes, left over from the previous month’s rainfall. I did always carry water for them but they seldom needed it.

The two slot canyons featured here are near the Goblin Valley State Park (more on that later) where we camped for two nights. The canyons, Bell and Little Wild Horse form a loop. They are located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and dogs are allowed. In fact, these were rated as dog-friendly. And I suppose if I had smaller dogs or if I had a human hiking partner, maybe we would have gone further and made the entire loop. As it was, we came across obstacles that were four feet or more and I had to assist Luna a couple of times and catch Sky once before she fell backwards. But what really stopped us in Little Wild Horse Canyon was a rock wedged in the slot. I would have had to go under it or clamber over it and who knows what other obstacles I might find past that one. You can see Sky crouch to get under it and the photo is deceptive and doesn’t really show how high it was. Oh well. We had gone quite a ways and turned back to explore Bell Canyon. Again, there were four-foot obstacles but then we came to one that was five feet or so and I could not imagine lifting both of my 63 pound dogs over it and then hefting myself over it too. Later I found out that were obstacles as high as eight feet!

Slot canyons are a test of my claustrophobic inclinations. I generally avoid closed-in areas. I was mostly ok with these canyons since I could often see the sky above me. However, near that wedged rock, the canyon was very narrow and dark. It was fun and stunningly beautiful. And the cottonwood trees were so beautiful.

A friend and I walked with our dogs in the hills yesterday. It had rained the night before and the air was fresh and clean. There were low-lying clouds when we started but soon the sun broke through and we were warm going uphill. We heard a lot of shooting even though the main deer season is over. Probably target shooters. Luna doesn’t care for gunfire but she stayed close. We lingered a bit and the sun went down and suddenly it was chilly. Winter will soon be here.

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