Spring Break in the Desert

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Muley Point

For my youngest son’s Spring Break this year we headed to Southern Utah, the Blanding area to be specific (the same as last year). We had three days to play in this area and packed the following in: Natural Bridges State Park, Goosenecks State Park, Butler Wash Ruins (Comb Ridge), Valley of the Gods, Muley Point, and the Moki Dugway. Because of my wife’s condition we stayed in a motel in Blanding. We drove down on Thursday morning, checked in, then went to Natural Bridges. Lars and I hiked down to the first bridge, we just went to the overlook for the second, then Lars and I helped Sharon down the 1/2 mile trail to the third bridge.

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On the way back to Blanding we stopped at Butler Wash Ruin, an Anasazi (or Ancestral Pueblan if you prefer) ruin on Comb Ridge. It was pretty spectacular. Lars and I went out and explored a bit, while Sharon rested in the car.

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Comb Ridge
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Butler Wash Ruin, Comb Ridge

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Friday morning, Lars and I headed out to Valley of the Gods with our mountain bikes. We parked at the Eastern end, rode the 17 mile dirt road, then rode the highway, about 10 miles, back to the car. It was a pretty casual ride, the dirt road being well graded. It was a nice ride.

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Riding through Valley of the Gods

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That afternoon we drove across Cedar Mesa to Muley Point. It was like standing on the edge of the world. It was really impressive and we could see Monument Valley in Arizona off in the distance. We then drove down the impressive Moki Dugway, three miles of switchbacked dirt roads down off the mesa, then on to Goosenecks State Park. The view was pretty cool, but overall it was disappointing. On the way back to Blanding we stopped at a restaurant in Bluff for dinner.

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Monument Valley in the distance, from Muley Point

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Goosenecks of the San Juan River

On Saturday we had a leisurely morning then drove back north. On the way back we drove out to the Anticline Overlook and had a picnic lunch. The views were pretty spectacular, especially with threatening storm clouds.

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View from the Anticline Overlook, the jeep track is the road up and over Hurrah Pass

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The La Sal Mountains above Moab in the background
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The ribbon of green is Kane Creek

It was a nice trip; the weather was pleasant and we saw some really impressive sights. I just wish it wasn’t so hot down there during the summer when I have more time.

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