7 Utah 2012 – Utah

We woke up at 7 and got ready to leave for Canyonlands National Park.  My right hiking shoe was bothering me this morning.  I had been saying I needed new shoes before the trip, but never actually got around to doing it.  I needed some new ones so that I wouldn’t get a blister on the back of my heel this early in the trip.  We stopped at several different places and got some shoes for me, that will at least be good for the trip.  This slowed us down in our plans about an hour.

We continued on to Canyonlands and went to the Green River Overlook.  It looked down on a bunch of canyons further below.  It was nice, but the colors were kind of drab.  Next we went to hike at Upheaval Dome.  Despite the name, it is actually a crater now.  There were 2 viewpoints on the trail and we went to both of them.  It was interesting seeing the crater and the rock surrounding it.  This trail was 2 miles round trip.

We decided to take a break from hiking so we went to the visitors center, stopping at a few pullouts along the way.  They showed the introduction video to the park.  It was ok, but I liked the one for Arches better.  We ate our lunch in some shade outside the visitors center.  Then we got some information about some short hikes we could do for the rest of the day.  I looked at a few exhibits and the items they had to buy there.

After that, we went to Aztec Butte.  This trail had 2 loops on it and was 2.2 miles round trip.  On the first loop we climbed up some rock a little bit and saw 2 granaries where indians used to store food.  I had seen pictures of these a lot when looking at pictures of Canyonlands, and I’d been wondering what/ where they were.  It was nice to find that out.  We headed back to the main trail.  At the end of the trail we climbed a lot of rock and there was a 300 ft elevation change.  It was steep in some parts, but it was nice to do some scrambling on the rocks.  When we got to the top we had great views and the trail went in a loop around the top.  Most of the Aztec Butte Trail where you weren’t climbing rock, was a lot of sand.  Im very glad we did this hike.

Next we went to the Mesa Arch because it is very short (0.5 miles loop) and very popular.  The arch was pretty wide and not very tall. You could see the landscape in the distance right through it.  It was like looking at one of the overlooks, but through the opening in the arch.  Dad and I walked across the top of it, since thats what a lot of people were doing.  It actually didn’t bother him much.  He took a few pictures of me on top of it.  After we continued on the trail, it started raining so we walked a little fast.

Next we went to Buck Canyon Overlook around 4.  It wasn’t raining anymore.  This overlook was a little drab.  The big cloud cover in the sky made it so there wasn’t as much direct sun on the rocks as there would normally be.  We only snapped about 2 pictures each and moved on.

Next we took the White Rim Overlook Trail which was 2 miles round trip.  When we got to the end we were on the edge of the Island in the Sky.  At one part, there was a ledge with a vertical drop going straight down to the canyon floor way below us.  To me this was the most awesome part of taking this trail.  It made Dad scared and he got nervous, which was kind of funny in a way.  I’ve known for a long time that he’s afraid of heights, but this was the first time I saw him scared from it.  We hiked back and noticed that we hadn’t seen a single person on the trail the whole time.

Next we went to Grand View Overlook and Grand View Point.  We snapped a few pictures and thats it.  It probably looks better when there isn’t so much cloud cover.  We headed back to Green River Overlook to decide if we wanted to wait for sunset there or not.  There was a small amount of rock that was in direct sunlight so I took more pictures of that.  We decided not to wait and go back to Moab.

We ate dinner at the Moab Diner.  Apparently they are known for their green chili so me and Dad both got entrees that used green chili sauce.  I got a sandwich entree with roast beef and Dad got a chicken entree.  We got sweetwater potatoes as a side item.  I wanted to try them since I hadn’t had them before.  They were very good along with the entrees.  It was nice to have southwest seasoning with a little bit of heat.  I got a banana split for desert.  Dad helped me eat a little bit of it, not much though.  I didn’t eat all of it, but I ate most.  It was very good, and it’s been forever since I had a banana split.

Today had weird weather with lots of cloud cover and short rain that only lasted a few minutes.  Dad and I both had our legs a tiny bit sore in lots of different areas.  Thats why we did short hikes today.  Hopefully our legs will be better tomorrow.

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