July 23. I was reading information about the Moab area. They have just put in a bike/walking paths that are over 100 miles long. This is pretty cool. One can literally ride/walk almost anywhere. It runs along several highways. Only problem I saw was it is so hot that it needed more shade shelters.
We went to Canyonland National Park today. The park is located 30 miles from the Arches Nat. Park. It is a wonderful drive with lots of open prairie land and rock formations.
We started our trek at the visitor's center. You guys know how much I love the visitors center. We saw the movie about how the park was developed and dedicated. The park was established in 1964. Canyonland is the heart of the Colorado Plateau. It was carved by the Green and Colorado Rivers. The rivers are surrounded by 3 regions. Island in the Sky on the north side, The Maze on the west side and the Needles on the east side. This was really rugged land.
We bought a self guided driving tour CD. (I forgot to mention we did this yesterday also.) This is a must if you plan to know anything about the area. We took off to the first stop.
Here are some highlights: Shafer Canyon Overlook has vista that area that was picturesques.
Lo was checking out the road below. It was a road used by the Indians and cowboys to get from the canyon floor. They drove cattle and horses on it. If you had a 4 wheel drive car you could drive the road. We saw 2 cars on it. Our car is a 4 wheeler. He decided that we were not going to be on that road. Good because the road was narrow at points and hairpin curves. It also had a shear drop off. I love roller coaster rides but this is crazy. Not going to happen.
We traveled on to the Mesa Arch. I hiked the 1/2 mile down to the arch. This arch was like looking into the window of the world.
On to the Buck Canyon Overlook. There was a panoramic view of the plain.
The Grand View Point Overlook. This is where the Green River meets the Colorado River. They call the meeting of the rivers The Confluence. Did you know that the Confluence was unknown until John Wesley Powell mapped it out in 1889? The only way you can view the meeting is by air, foot or boat.
Now you want may want to ask, who is John Wesley Powell? Well, let's get a little history lesson. He was a one arm Civil War vet and geology professor. He had a mission to explore the uncharted canyons and rivers of the Green & Colorado. He began the trek with novice oarsmen and four boats. He ended the journey 3 months later with two boats and 6 men. Powell's voyage opened the world to adventure and scientific discoveries.
The best way to see the rivers are in a boat. Have you ever gone rafting? I have and it can be scary and exhilarating at the same time. Good luck on the river.
Did you know that the Green River starts in Wyoming?
On to the Aztec Butte. The Puebloans survived in his area because they work hard and had a lot of ingenuity. They scrambled up these buttes to store their harvest of seed and grain. They would seal them up with mud. So it became a grainier for serving the people in leaner times.
We checked out other rocks on our way out of the park. One of the formations that caught our eye was the Merrimac vs the Monitor. They are 600 feet tall. They were named after the Civil War Ironclads. Check out your history books. The buttes look very similar. The Merrimac on the left was the Confederate ship called The Virginia. The Monitor on the right was the Union ship sent to destroy the Merrimac. Even though both of the ships lie at the bottom of the sea, these formations stand the test of time.
I was only 95-100 degrees today because it was over cast. What a brake for us.
The desert gave us a look bird's eye view of how twisters start. It was interested to see how fast dirt could twirl.
I find it very interesting in our travels that most of the tourist are foreigners. We as Americans need to get out and see what our country has to offer.
See ya soon.
Lorenzo & Bren