Just a Little Corner of U (Utah, that is)

So much to see and so little time has led us to leave our explorations of Utah for the next trip west. However, we did enjoy the short time we spent there and will look forward to  next time.

After leaving Monument Valley, we headed into the Valley of the Gods, in the rain, to camp. We did stop at Mexican Hat to take a picture of the namesake rock. We were a little underwhelmed, it was quite small and, especially in the rain, looked rather bleak.

VGods  0001

Ndeke Luka quickly got covered in a nice layer of red mud, which makes it look rather macho! Jesting aside, we found a lovely campsite near some buttes in the Valley of the Gods and spent a relaxing day there. (https://www.utah.com/monumentvalley/ValleyOfTheGods.htm) N.B., The Valley of the Gods was used to film parts of the TV shows “Airwolf” and “Dr. Who.” Thanks to Tiger owner Jack Arnold for the suggestion that we go to the Garden: http://www.jackarnoldphoto.com

VGods  0002 Battleship Rock

VGods  0004 Pretty Balancing Rocks (Several hundred feet high.)

We took a walk in the afternoon, after the rain stopped, and Denise saw at least two new types of spring flowers. One of the joys of this trip, has been the number and variety of spring flowers that we have seen blooming in the desert. We do not always know what they are but we do enjoy seeing them.

As we were so close, we went to see the Natural Bridges National Monument. Our road led us out of the Valley of the Gods, up an amazing road to Cedar Mesa, via the Moki Dugway. The road was a series of steep and sharp curves, as we climbed up and the views back towards the Valley of the Gods were amazing, especially as the rain had cleared any dust or smoke. Quite spectacular. The link from “Dangerous Roads.org” sets the right tone:  http://www.dangerousroads.org/north-america/usa/783-mokee-dugway-usa.html

VGods  0005

There are three natural bridges at the Monument; Sipapu, Kachina and Owachomo.  (http://www.nps.gov/nabr/index.htm) There are trails to the bases of all three, the first two being a little rougher and more challenging than the third. We descended Sipapu to a marvelous oak grove at the stream under the bridge, via a series of paths, rocks, steps, ladders, and hand rails for great views and a little much needed exercise! We also climbed down to Owachomo, which proved somewhat easier and less strenuous (at least going down!) but also was well worth it.

The primitive campground at Natural Bridges was full, so we camped in the forest outside.

Natural Bridge  001Sipapu from the overlook. Hard to see the bridge at first, then you see the hole and can see how the water originally went around the pier of rock to the left of the photo.

Natural Bridge  002Sipapu from 3/4 of the way down. Note the beautiful green trees.

 

Natural Bridge  003Sipapu, seen from the bottom.

Natural Bridge  005 Denise at Owachomo.

Natural Bridge  004  

And on to Colorado. Utah we hardly knew you, but we’ll be back!

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