When I left the Tetons I headed south to Moab, figuring it had to be warmer there. When I got to Moab late on Thursday afternoon, all the BLM campgrounds were full so I decided to go to the bare bones place just off 191 where I’ve seen lots of rigs with ATVs/ORVs parked. Turns out the land owner has realized he has a good spot there so it is now set up as a basic campground. Pros, large sites, level, small gravel, neat and clean, $15/night. Cons, if you need any amenities don’t bother. No water, shade or dump, 1 portapotty. Since the Casita is self contained, I use solar and it wasn’t an extremely hot time of the year the site worked fine for me. It is also very close to the entrance to Arches and to Moab so instead of traveling several miles in windy roads it was very convenient, worth it to me. The site is backed by grand high red cliffs and a nice spot for the sunset and early morning images.
I’ve been to Arches and posted images from those visits so this time I decided to concentrate on other places. Also, the park is open only Friday and Saturdays nights now because of road work and both nights were cloudy. Anyhow, I drove out 128 along the Colorado River one morning and made several stops. Not only was I enjoying the day time drive I was scouting for night images, too. I’d been through Castle Valley once several years ago and wanted to check it out, too.
Back near the campground I was able to find a good spot for some Milky Way images, too.
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A dear friend in Moab arranged a surprise for us, a photo flight over Arches and Canyonlands NPs. It was my first trip in a small plane (4 seats) and it was great! I got to sit next to the pilot, who it turns out has taken many great photos from the plane so I was able to ask him for suggestions about camera settings and what lens to use.
We started off with a quick turn over Arches NP, got to see 2 arches I won’t likely see by hiking, Landscape and Delicate Arches.
Landscape Arch, in Arches, NP. Widest arch in the US
Then we headed over to Canyonlands. On the way we viewed Dead Horse Point,
Dean Horse Point, Dead Horse Point State Park
and the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers.
Confluence of the Green River (top left) and the Colorado River ((muddy river to the right). Green River is taken over by the Colorado at this point.
Our pilot , Jim, was so knowledgeable about the areas, pointed out various features for us and made the flight both interesting and very successful photo-wise for both of us. We took off at about 0830, it was very clear and nearly no wind. That made the flight very smooth, but the lack of wind did allow some haze which is evident in some of the images.
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A fellow Casita owner invited me to “driveway camp” at her home in Moab and it was a delightful experience. They haven’t had their Casita long and I was able to answer a few questions and show them mine with all its mods. They made sure I got to see not only The usual tourist things but some other interesting places, too. Many thanks to Cindi & Rick!
Foliage was starting to turn in the Moab area so Cindi and I did a drive up into the La Sal mountains with some side trips for special views.
One evening we took a boat trip on the Colorado River then had a super BBQ dinner. Seeing the rock formations from the river was really special.
One day I took a drive out Kane Creek Road. It runs along the Colorado for a ways then way back into the far reaches. The road was in generally good condition but had a set of switchbacks that were impressive to negotiate with the truck. I saw some good sized trailers in one of the primitive campgrounds and am sure glad I wasn’t tasked with getting them down that road. Along the drive there was a large rock, probably 7′ high at least with petroglyphs on all sides. One depicts a woman giving birth so it is called “the birthing rock”.
I did do some night photography at Arches NP and will devote a page to that very soon.
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The information center in Moab has some pamplhets about interesting places in the area. One of them lists a few drives to see Rock Art. Since I’ve never seen petroglyphs I did one of the drives today and was rewarded with some great photos. It also brought home to me the fact that people were living in this area about 2000 years ago. They had their needs, struggles and successes just as we do today. The pamphlet indicates these petroglyphs were done in the Formative period (AD 1 to AD 1250). The images are representational and include human forms, animals including bighorn sheep, birds, deer, and some abstract designs, among others.
The road I took to see the Rock Art follows the Colorado river (carvings were in the cliffs across the road from the river). I found a boulder on the riverbank and it had 2 holes worn in it, so a bit of sunlight went through each hold and made 2 spots on the rock. Sort of mini arches.
Holes worn in a rock across from the Indian Writings. You can see the sun spots where the light goes through the holes.
3 toed Allosaurus tracks. This is a dinosaur from the Jurassic period (not the movie!)
Further along the road was a piece of stone from the Jurassic period with Allosaurus tracks in it.
Near the end of the road is the Jug Handle Arch.
Jug Handle Arch on Rt. 279
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Arrived at Riverside Oasis RV park in Moab Sunday May 5 in the afternoon. Got settled in and took a quick drive to Arches NP, just a couple of miles up the road. Mostly went to get a map and a bit of a feel for the layout. The drive, views, buttes and bridges are spectacular. Monday morning I was in the park shortly after 8 am to take a few photos but it was very cloudy so I didn’t stay long. In the evening, after a cold mid day rain I headed back into the park. Got a few shots with evening light and watched as a storm moved in. I decided to stay where I was and wait out the storm, glad I did because it made for some nice photos.
Balanced Rock with storm clouds moving in
Turret Arch in the rain
Balanced Rock, after the storm
Tuesday morning I left the rv park at 0630 to get some more early shots, good thing I did. The clear sky and clouds made for some great shots but I could see clouds moving in yet again. Temps were in the high 40s with a wind and I hadn’t prepared for that so I left.
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