Friday, June 11, 2021

Not what I expected..

I wasn't expecting a lot at Canyonlands NP.  Boy, was I wrong!

We saw the heavy smoke Thursday afternoon as we arrived in Moab, UT.  It was just south of  town.  Caused by an unattended campfire, the Pack Creek Fire was 0% contained as of Friday morning.  It has covered almost 5,000 acres, caused 3 campgrounds to be evacuated, destroyed 3 structures, and closed a road in the U.S. Forest.  You can see and smell smoke throughout the area.

We weren't quite as early Friday but we made it to and in Canyonlands NP by 8 a.m.  Canyonlands is a huge park (almost 440,000 acres) with 4 distinct areas: Islands in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze and The Rivers. They share a  primitive desert atmosphere,  but each has unique opportunities for sightseeing. The 4 districts are not connected and can take 2-6 hours to get just from one to the other.  

Mesa Arch

Schafer Trail Overlook
Pat was out on the edge (I did not go) and someone did a handstand out there and Pat took their picture for them.  I was so concerned that the guy might fall off I didn't take a picture.

Very hazy at this point.

Whale Rock

On a clear day you can see the Green River.

Haze from the local forest fire.

Buck Canyon Overlook

Willow Flat Campground

As we left there was a half mile line waiting for the park to reopen and let cars in

We were closest to Islands in the Sky which isn't far from Moab, maybe 30-40 mins
 It is the most accessible and offers many overlooks and trails.  Pets are not allowed on trails or overlooks because they, or even their smell, can alter the habitat of wildlife.  They can remain in your vehicle and get out in paved areas. Some of the districts do not even allow them period.  It was cool today so Krikkit came along.  Windows could be down and we only walked on short paths at the overlooks.  She was NOT happy because of the smell of smoke from the forest fire!  It was noticeable throughout the park.  Pictures today reflect the haze.

Thursday we made a second trip into Moab.  I have not had a bike with disc brakes before and obviously knew nothing about them.  When I cleaned my chain and gear sprockets a couple of weeks ago the sprocket on the other side on the back looked dirty so it seemed logical to clean it too.  WRONG!  Those were the disc brakes and can only be cleaned with a certain spray or alcohol--oops (a word Pat said he didn't like hearing as we scrambled up the rocks at Arches yesterday)!  So my rear brake wasn't working well because of a glaze on the pads from the cleaner I had used.  Lots of off-road bicycle riding (off-road any kind of riding) afforded this little town of 5,200 to have 3 bike shops.  First come, first served so we went in yesterday and it was ready at noon Friday.  $100 later the pads were replaced and a new set of pedals to replace the cheap ones with a pair that didn't click. Thank you Gary at Chili Pepper Bike shop.

Dead Horse State Park was about 20 miles from the entrance into Canyonlands so why not stop by there I thought?  $20 for a two day pass, that's why!  It supposedly has great views, including that of the Colorado River but...   Legend has it that it was used by Cowboys in the 19th century as a natural coral and many mustangs died of exposure. Maybe the next visit.

Where are the Piepers?  Thompson Springs, Ut


  1. Beautiful pictures! Love the bike story- that would be me!!! And as for the unattended campfire that has caused so much damage- some people should just have to stay home Covid or no covid!

    1. The fires are sad. I assume schools out? Or are you doing summer school? Wondered if you and Blane were doing any camping this summer. Maybe out west?😁