More Moab Moments

Posted by on October 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm :: No Comments

Jason and I recently traveled back to Moab for another long weekend of Sabin adventures.

This time, in addition to our usual hiking and biking, Jason requested that we do some river rafting. I was down with that. We went on a half day rafting trip down the Colorado River. It was surprisingly relaxing. It turns out that rafting mostly involves just chilling and chatting on the boat while you float through calm waters and wait for the occasional excitement of rapids.

Larry's Rock splashed me big time. Yes, that water glob with arms is me.

A few members of our group seemed content waiting indefinitely for some whitewater thrills. The first time we approached a section of rapids a lady sitting at the front of our raft became very concerned about being tossed into the river. The guide admitted that if anyone was going to fall in it would probably be the people at the tip of the vessel. Not surprisingly, this acknowledgement did not soothe her nerves. She promptly requested that someone switch places with her and her husband. Jason and I got volunteered by our guide for this switcharoo either because he had already ascertained that we welcome danger or that we’re wastes of flesh and therefore expendable. Whatever the reason, Jas and I didn’t mind being in the hot seats. However, I wasn’t too hip on getting a surprise river dip so, per our guide’s instructions, I wound my legs around parts of the raft to keep my booteh inside our boateh. All that fancy twisting worked, Jas and I did not end up being tossed overboard but we did get really, really wet. Good thing “getting wet” was on my river agenda. Rafting was a blast and I think Jas and I are up for trying a more demanding section of the river next time.

Lofty monoliths line the streets of Fisher Towers' sandstone cities.

We may not have made it to trail's end before the sun descended but we were immersed in vibrant crimsons much of the way up.

We got back from our dousing at nearly 5:00 that evening but decided that while there was still daylight there was still fun to be had. We assumed, incorrectly of course, that we could squeeze in a hike to the Fisher Towers before it got dark, which is about a 4.4 mile roundtrip. This hike is supposed to take 3 to 4 hours; we did it in 2. Despite our hurried pace, the sun had sunk below the horizon before we even reached the trail’s end. So we spent the first part of our trip back down nearly running in an attempt to cover as much ground as we could until we couldn’t see anymore. Once the landscape became too shadowed to distinguish we were forced to decrease our speed. Since this path travels over slickrock periodically, making small cairns the only trail markers in sections, it was pretty tricky to follow with minimal light. Fortunately, I had enough foresight to grab a flashlight out of the trunk of our car when we started out otherwise I think we would have had to find a cozy monolith to snuggle up to for the night.

The Titan, the largest of the Fisher Towers, rises a majestic 900 feet and attracts both rock climbers and moviemakers the world over.

Standing on a plateau above the Fisher Towers I paused briefly to take in the solitary desert as it was being rapidly subdued by darkness. Jason somehow captured that momentary pause with an enormous amount of pictures.

The next day we biked to a Canyonlands overlook on an ORV road that was pretty tame for the most part. This path did have some fun slickrock and bumpy sections to keep it interesting but the main draw of pedaling these 13.8 miles was definitely the views at the end. Being atop an immense plateau with 270 degrees of grandeur sprawled out below us in the form of the winding Colorado snaking along through a rainbow of whittled rock was well worth our efforts.

The rough road we took to the Canyonlands overlook wasn't without its appeal though it was much milder than our usual ride.

The view from the Lockhart Basin overlook was unbelievable. We stopped to rest, snack, and drop our jaws.

It's amazing how the Canyonlands landscape is briefly transformed by the setting sun into a fiery inferno. The alteration is so instantaneous and fleeting it's as if a match has lit the world and then, just minutes later, the consuming blaze has burned everything out.

The last hike we did before returning home was through Hunters Canyon. This canyon was its own kind of adventure; getting lost in it didn’t require the cover of darkness. The trail we followed was not well-worn and became nonexistent in the thickets or creek bed quite often. But it was a pretty 4 mile trek with flora, fauna, and trail forging aplenty, lots of the stuff that good hikes are made of.

This monstrous boulder spanned almost the entire width of Hunters Canyon so naturally Jason needed to climb it.

Jason took this fantastic picture of a dragonfly in Hunters Canyon. We saw a lot of wildlife in this narrow gorge: frogs, snakes, and, of course, a variety of unusual dragonflies.

We had another lovely trip to one of our favorite vacation locations. Oddly, this time we saw next to no one on all of our hiking and biking excursions because we either hiked at times of the day when only idiots would chose to go or because the trails we hit were a little lesser known. I’m not complaining though; I would never gripe about getting to hog gorgeous terrain all to myself.

No matter how many times we go to Moab we still always find new territory to discover and more adventures to be had. If you delight in the daring and relish unique beauty you will never leave Moab disappointed.

Leave a Comment

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

Up, up and away!