Monday, May 30, 2016

Castle Valley outside of Moab

One of the side trips we wanted to take while staying in Moab was to visit Castle Valley, which is up the Colorado River about 18 miles or so. Supposed to be a nice place to visit. On the way up, we couldn't help but stop and the rock formations.

This is called Varnished Rock 

...and had a little fun....

They're HUGE !


I'm sure I felt it move!

Even Katie got in on the action
Okay, we finally get to Castle Valley...

Coming into view

And looking up the valey

Those are the "Castles" in the background

We drove the length and gained elevation. This is looking back

Coming back down from the end

Back in the valley

Kim loves the cows

Scarlet Globemallow (Common Globemallow)

Rough Mulesears

Rough Mulesears

Central Pricklyperar (Plains Pricklypeary)
Central Pricklyperar (Plains Pricklypeary) ....with bee

Central Pricklyperar (Plains Pricklypeary)
And, on the way home, next to the Colorado River, we stopped to take photos of the varnished rocks and some tubers.

How the heck did this form?

From ground level

looking downriver ground level
This looks like fun.

....and some happy Katie photos...

LOVES the wind

Look at her go !

Okay, that's it for this one. I hope you're not getting tired of the rock and the rock formations. They're endless.

Steve and Kim and Katie

Sunday, May 29, 2016

We're going to call it Horse Point

We've been disturbed by such a name as Dead Horse Point State Park given the believed talke of....
According to legend, the point, with it's 30 yard wide neck, was used as a natural corral by 19th century cowboys. Apparently, at one time, the corral was abandoned, gate left open, with unwanted cull horses still inside.  Not all of the horses left the point, dying of thirst in view of the Colorado River 2000 feet below.

A more likely explanation is that Dead Horse Point was named by early Mormon Pioneers for a rock formation at the base of the plateau that looks like a dead white horse laying on its side.  In this explanation, the legend of the dead horses in the corral was created by a  Moab elementary school student in the early 20th century for a "chamber-of-commerce" type contest for a story to lure tourists.

So...we've decided to call this entry Horse Point instead....nicer picture in our minds.'s a fantastic overlook of the Colorado River the movie.

Colorado River meandering
With some people in the foreground for perspective

Blue "lakes" are Potash pits

See the jeep trails ?

Watch this movie

Turns out, the Colorado River meandered long ago. Then, when the Colorado Plateau raised up, the carving just got deeper but the paths were already set.

The road leading up there was also you can see from these photos:[

Drill shafts to make the road

Close up

More of a closeup

These are call the Merrimac and the Monitor

...and of course, some nature shots and people....and Katie!

Gnarled Juniper Tree
Goofy tourist

Catching some breez

All tuckered out

Steve and Kim and Katie

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Underappreciated Colorado National Monument

This is a park that is way underappreciated. You have Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Monument Valley but this one seems to be overlooked. We spent three days and still never exhausted the park. Amazing views around every corner. Not enough turnouts (or bathrooms !) to take more photos but those that were there were spectacular.  

Of course, you can click on a photo to see a larger version, then below, you'll see a "film strip" that you can click through all of them.

Here's the Rimrock road we travelled on while visiting the park.
Cap rocks that erode slower than layers underneath

Titled rock formation

Another tilted formation going into the earth

View of Grand Junction below...looking east.

Many many valleys that have been made by erosion over millions of years

The Rimrock Road travels above these so you can view them.

This illustration, at on overlook, shows how this very large rock slid instead of collapsing.

Here's the "slid rock"

...and a closer look.
Trail from below looking at the western entrance

There's a road above all that lighter rock

....and here's the road !

Trail led right down to one of these tall, tall rocks.

Looking at Independence Monument in the foreground
Here's the original route that was climbed

...and one climber near the top

almost there...

Closeup - About to get to the top 

You can see the person in red at the's a lady and the man at the bottom belaying her in blue is her Dad
And here's what the rock looks like from our observation point.
Balanced Rock

Caused by years of water erosion

These are called the Coke Rocks because they resemble coke furnaces.

Cock Rocks from the other side

....and a closer look

Another boring magnificent valley

Now for some flora and nature shots...Spring is a great time to visit.

...and a few personal photos...

Katie using a fish-eye lens treatment

Man and his Dog

My Sweetie
Okay...that's it for this one...hope you enjoyed it.

Steve/Kim and Katie