10 July 2012 – Utah

Today is 4WD day, at least for us.  I went to Canyonland Jeep Rentals at 7:30am to pick up our Jeep-for-the-day.  It was a 2-door, red, Wrangler Sport with a lift kit and oversized tires.  I went back to the motel get pick up Teagan, who had been getting things ready while I got the Jeep.

We headed about 10 miles north on Hwy 191 until we came to Gemini Bridges Road.  After a couple of left turns, we were headed on a steep climb.  We passed up a few possible side trips since we were a little concerned about the time and headed straight for Gemini Bridges.  We parked at the trailhead and took the short walk to the bridges.  The twins are located side-by-side only a few feet apart.  There were many steep drops down into the anyone below.  After we explored the area, and discussed the differences between an arch and a bridge, we continued on the Hwy 313, which took us to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands NP.

Shortly after entering, we turned left on to the Shafer 4WD Trail entrance.  We soon arrived at the switchbacks that guide vehicles on a 12oo-foot descent to the White Rim.  Once at the bottom, we left the Shafer Trail and followed the White Rim Trail.  We stopped at the Gooseneck Overlook and took the 0.4-mile hike to a bluff overlooking the Colorado River.  The view at the overlook is from the south of the gooseneck.  We returned to the Jeep and proceeded to Musselman Arch.  We ate the lunch that we had brought in the car since there was no shade in sight.

After our lunch, we headed to the arch and took several pictures.  The arch was pretty popular while we were there.  We headed back toward the Shafer Trail making only one stop at another Colorado River overlook.

Along the way we encountered a movie set for The Lone Ranger.  It was located near Thelma and Louise Point (so named because of the closing scene of that movie).  There was a set of railroad tracks that had been placed there along with several 4-wheel wagons.  Johny Depp was nowhere to be seen.

We continued along the Shafer Trail, which at some point becomes known as the Potash Trail, until we got to the Texas Gulf potash ponds.   From there we picked up Scenic Byway 279 to follow back to Hwy 191 (main highway through Moab).  The scenery along 279 was very nice, although we had to overlook the power lines and railroad tracks.  The deep canyon cut by the Colorado River, together with the afternoon sunlight, made for a very nice view.

On the way back to turn the Jeep in, we stopped at a Gelato shop for some ice cream.  Then is was time to fill the Jeep and return it.

We came back to the motel after a long hot day in the sun getting bounced around in the Jeep by the 4WD trails. I did some laundry and Teagan continued planning the Salt Lake City portion of our trip.

We ate supper at Miguel’s Baja Grill.  The food was pretty good.  I got poblano enchiladas and Teagan got portabello fajitas.

We returned to the motel to get ready for our early morning canyoneering trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *