Breckenridge, CO: March, 2021

Since we arrived on January 1st, there had been minimal accumulating snowfall. Many days were cloudy with snow, but there were few heavy snowfalls. Any new snowfall worth noting fell on the weekends, and we don’t enjoy skiing with the crowds. The last decent snowfall of 14” fell on February 12 when my daughter was visiting. She timed it right!

March 1st was a beautiful, sunny day. We were still surrounded by old snow embankments, and the resort roads were still snow packed from the plows. Scott did a nice job of shoveling our lot’s pavement, and this is how it looked for awhile without any new snow.

We set out to Beaver Creek Ski Resort for the first time ever. It was located about 45 miles west of Breckenridge, past Vail Ski Resort. What a beautiful bluebird day!

While there was no fresh powder, all of the trails were open. Some were packed powder, while some steeper trails had crud. The skiing was hard and fast – not our favorite conditions. By 2:00 p.m., we were enjoying a well-earned beverage.

On March 2nd, we headed back to Breckenridge. While the sun was still brightly shining, the conditions were more of the same – hard and fast. Given the lack of snow and skiing conditions, we put our skis aside and temporarily resumed snow shoe hiking.

It’s always nice to see a helpful navigation sign.

Bald Mountain Tree Line trail (also known as The Laurium Trailhead) is popular among back country enthusiasts. The trail can be accessed via Boreas Pass Road to Baldy Road. The initial trail is wide and flat, as weaves through the trees. Then, the switchbacks begin. Soon you will arrive at an old mill that was built in 1935. While mining is no longer taking place, guide tours and meals are available upon request with a prior reservation. Click the link below for more information.

The Iowa Mill

Eventually, the trail opens up with minimal trees and several wide open spaces for fresh snow runs.

It’s steeper than it looks. Trust me.

The distance to the summit is about 4.5 miles, with an elevation gain of 3,035’. We made it a little past these trees. When we turned around, we could see Breckenridge Ski Mountain.

A few days later, Scott went back to this trail alone and almost made it to the summit. Without snow shoes, the changing terrain and high winds made him abort the hike. Below is his view on March 7th. You can see an old mine to the left.

Our next hike was at North Tenmile Creek. The trailhead is conveniently located off Main Street in Frisco.

We decided to leave the snow shoes behind and just bring our micro spikes.

The trail is 3.3 miles one way and runs along the creek. I imagined how different it looks in the summer.

We headed back to Keystone on March 10th. They got a few inches of fresh snow overnight, but the conditions were quite different from our previous trips to this mountain.

On Saturday, March 13th, the “big 3-day storm” began. We were psyched for the potential of “feet” of snow! Unfortunately, Summit County did not get the brunt of the storm. The city of Denver and northeast Colorado were the big winners. I was, however, able to get out to Dillon for my first Covid19 Vaccine.

On Sunday morning we headed to Breck and spent the day skiing with our friends that had just arrived for a week’s vacation. They got here just in time for some fresh snow.

Bren, Denise, Scott, and me

We went skiing together again with the Ryans on Monday, and then Scott and I rested on Tuesday. On Wednesday, St. Patrick’s Day, we woke up to an additional 8 inches of fresh snow. Scott and I got out early to get some fresh snow runs in before the crowds came out. The fresh, untouched snow was sparkling on the ground below us as we rode the nearly-empty chair lift.

When we got off the Kensho Lift on Peak 6 for the third time, we noticed that Intuition had finally opened up. The powdery, soft snow on our first two Blue Intermediate runs were amazing. We were ready for a Black Diamond run. It was still snowing and the visibility was variable. We took a selfie before we headed down the slope. Look how happy we were!

Scott took a short video of me coming down the top half of this trail. We were both laughing and very excited! He veered to the right and I stayed to the left. This was the steepest section of the run. I remember telling myself that I was going to really go for it and not hold back. I began my decent with extra speed. After a few quick turns, I put too much pressure on my right ski as I turned in the deep powder. The ski went into the snow, got stuck, and I was airborne. As I did a face plant, my right ski came out of the snow and slammed down on the surface, boot intact. It wasn’t until after my leg hit the ground that the ski finally released from my ski. I slid a bit more until I could turn my body around and sit in the snow. My right ankle was burning and throbbing. It was difficult to move, let alone stand up.

Needless to say, I no longer need to imagine what it is like to come down the mountain on a Ski Patrol toboggan. There is also no need to repeat it. Been there, done that. Our last three days in Breckenridge looked like this. After receiving an X-ray, it was determined that I had fractured my distal fibula. Since we are sticking with the plan of leaving this area on March 20th, we will follow up in a week with a specialist in Durango. For now, a boot shoe will have to suffice.

After 79 days and nights in Breckenridge, the day came to begin the break down process. Unfortunately, Scott was pretty much on his own. He not only had to take down the skirting alone, but also put everything away on the inside. (Not to mention removing the slide covers and planks that he had made.)

As we pulled out of our site on March 20th, I found myself taking a back seat. We have about 8 hours ahead of us in the car. Yippee!!

Breckenridge, CO: February, 2021

I wish that I could say that the snow finally came this month. It did – but not here. The East Coast got hammered with multiple snowstorms, and the state of Texas experienced record low temperatures including snow that should have fell up north! Of course, we had to make the best of it since we are here until mid-March. Over 28 days, we skied 12 times and hiked 7 times (5 with snowshoes). Most mornings came with single-digit-temperatures, and the afternoons were windy and cold in the mid-20’s. On the last day of the month we awoke to -5 degrees. Brrrrr. In terms of snowfall, it has been sparse for this time of year. On February 4th, we got 13 inches of fresh powder but it was so COLD! We finally had great skiing conditions coupled with blasting wind. Over night on February 12th, another 10 inches fell. This was probably the BEST snow day since we arrived on January 1st. From February 12th on, new snow was minimal. We would wake up to a dusting or 1-3 inches. The mountains need several feet of snow to cover up the brown spots and fill in the top bowls. The Imperial Chair Lift, which takes you to the Summit, did not open up until February 18 for the first time! Only 2 of the 10 trails were open. Three days later, it closed again. We seriously need to do a snow dance. Here are some highlights from the month.

February 1st – Vail Mountain
February 2nd – Crystal Lake Trail – 3.0 miles with 1,000’ elevation gain
Crystal Lake Trail
Lunch break. Without our snow shoes, we had to abort the hike to the lake.
February 3rd – Snow began in the afternoon. The forecast called for 5 – 8 inches. We got 13!!
Our go to hike to the “Bench”, which was now covered in snow.
February 12th – Dani taking a rest at Vail
February 13th – Fantastic Day at Breck with 10 inches of fresh snow!
February 15th – Snow shoe hike to the “Bench”. Breckenridge Ski Resort in the background.
Moose sighting! Mama and her calf were relaxing in the snow.
February 15th – Molly and Mara, our new grandpup!
February 21st – Second attempt at Crystal Creek Lake Trail
I was wearing every piece of clothing I had packed. Wish I had my ski goggles, too.
This time we had our snow shoes, but the wind was howling and it was freezing in the open space. Aborted again.
Scott’s new famous meatballs. Yum!
February 23rd – Our first trip to Breck Summit via the Imperial SuperChair.
Of course we will “Yield to Moose”
February 25th – Lunch break in the back bowls of Vail
February 27th – Easy hike to Rainbow Lake
View of the town of Frisco and snow covered Dillon Reservoir
February 28th – A view of the ten peaks from Sapphire Point Trailhead.
Starting at the left, you can see Breck’s Peak 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 followed by Peak 5, 4, 3, Ten-Mile Peak, and Peak 1.

Another view of Ten Peaks from a different angle.

Looking at Dillon Reservoir from Sapphire Mountain. Buffalo Mountain can be seen at the far top left.

Breckenridge, CO: January 2021

We arrived at Tiger Run RV Resort on January 1st. Scott got the camper settled into our site, and then drove two hours to pick me up at Denver airport. This is our home for the next ten weeks.

Tiger Run RV Resort – Site #313

When we planned to spend 10 weeks in ski country, we were hopeful that COVID19 would be behind us. It was clear heading into the fall of last year that this would not be the case. One of the reasons why we chose to spend most of the winter season here was because we had met a couple from England that was also planning to spend a couple of months in the area. We really hit it off with them skiing in Jackson Hole, WY, back in February of 2020, just before the ski resorts began to shut down. Hence, they had to cancel their plans for this ski season.

Last year, we purchased the ICON Ski pass. This year, we switched back to the EPIC Pass. The ski resorts are following the new protocols put into place to ensure social distancing, including the mandate for having a face covering. The good news is that the new “reservation system” is relatively easy to use. The bad news is that the area has not had much new snow since we have arrived. Conditions at Breckinridge and Keystone are packed powder with hard, slick and rock exposed areas. By mid-January, the top of Peaks 6, 7, 8 in Breck were still not open. Still, we were excited to try out our new powder skis – without the powder. Makes a lot of sense, right?

January 4th: Breckenridge – Sunny and maybe 2” of new snow
January 5: Keystone Debut – light snow/low visibility

View of Keystone Village
January 5: The snow ended by 2:00 p.m., and this is all we got.

January 7: Breckenridge – Sunny and cold. Practicing mogul turns on Peerless.

Rather than continue to experience unfavorable East Coast conditions, we chose to put our skis aside for awhile and focus on hiking. An entrance to the Continental Divide Trail/Colorado Trail is located in Tiger Run Resort. It became a popular, convenient spot for us to take a shorter, two-mile hike, or a longer seven to eight-mile hike with some elevation gain. About five minutes up the switchback trail, you can spot our parked trailer. I’ve circled it below in green.

January 9: View of Tiger Run from the CD Trail

January 9: On the CT heading east

We eventually stopped and turned around since we didn’t bring our snow shoes today.

January 13: Heading west on the CT. This entrance is across the street from Tiger Run off Route 9.

January 14: CT to Hippo Trail. We took a break before switching into our snowshoes.

Total of 7.5 miles, 1,365’ elevation gain. Today was a tough hike.

January 16: CT to Hippo Trail. View of Breckenridge Ski Trails

January 17: My second all time solo hike on CT. Another view of Breck in background.
January 18: Mount Royal Trail located in the town of Frisco.

A Mountain Goat claiming “King of the Hill”
Closer view
View from the near-summit of Mount Royal
January 22: Beginning of trailhead located northeast of Breckenridge.
Midway

Untouched, deep snow that should be on the ski mountain!
Afternoon shadows
Snow capped Peak One and Two in the distance

On Monday, January 25, we had reservations at Breckenridge, but the morning temperature was so cold and only a dusting of snow had fallen overnight. The forecast was calling for more light snow Monday night into Tuesday, so we made a reservation for Tuesday and Wednesday at Vail. While it only takes us ten minutes to get to the “free” bus for Breck, we had to drive about 40 minutes to reach Vail Resort. Plus, parking costs anywhere from $20 – $50/day. On Tuesday, I chose NOT to bring my new powder skis, but rather bring along my old K2’s. There was anywhere from three to five inches on the trails in the back bowls. Scott did quite well, and I had wished I had brought my powder skis, the Nordica Enforcer Free 104’s. The early runs were great, until the snow picked up and visibility was quickly decreasing. We called it a day and headed back home. The following day we enjoyed up to at least six inches of new, fresh snow in the back bowls. It was a Blue Bird beauty and a little more crowded. However, Vail is so immense that you can certainly find a trail to call your own with virtually no lift lines once you are in the Back Bowls.

January 27th – Sun Down Bowl is behind us.

On January 30th, we got another six inches of fresh snow. Hopefully, this will continue as we head in to our second month here. It’s looking like Colorado again!

Scott’s Bluff National Monument, NE: 11/18/20

On our journey back east for the holidays, we took a different route so that we could stop in Nebraska – my first time! Who knew that this is where the good life was?

Our intent to head this way was purposeful. There was a National Monument on our US National Park map that we wanted to pin. As we drove, the land surrounding us was very flat and bare until you could spot the bluffs up ahead on the horizon.

Scott’s Bluff was one of those sites in western lands where large formations would loom in the distance for days before the wagon trains reached them. Back in the mid-1800’s, travelers called it “a Nebraska Gibraltar” or “a Mausoleum with the mightiest of earth might covet.”

It was a partly cloudy, warm fall day with a slight breeze in the air. By the time we began the short hike to the overlooks, we had removed our jackets. It was a beautiful day for a walk, and a nice break from driving in the truck.

Saddle Rock Trail is a 3.2 mile round-trip hike begins at the Visitor Center located on Old Oregon Trail Road. It is a short, somewhat steep climb on mostly paved ground to a tunnel that connects you to the cliff’s summit. After you walk through the tunnel, the path continues up to the North and South Overlooks.

Although the Visitor Center was closed due to Covid19, I enjoyed a walk around the premises listening carefully for rattlesnakes while enjoying the afternoon breeze. My imagination wandered as I stared at the replicas of wagon trains. What a different life it was back then.

We are headed to New Jersey for Thanksgiving. Our Blog will pickup again in the New Year! Goodbye 2020!

Whidbey Island, WA: 10/22 – 11/16/20

It was wonderful to be back on Whidbey Island where we would spend the next few weeks staying with Scott’s parents at their new home in Freeland, WA. The last time we had been here was in July of 2019, to help them move from Langley to Freeland. When we left, there was a multitude of unpacked boxes. Now, the house was in tip-top shape! I particularly liked their sign in the backyard.

Their property abuts a golf course. This is their neighbor’s yard.

During our stay, we enjoyed many delicious meals together. Scott’s mom can cook up a storm! It was very serious business.

Sue had dug out one of the bushes on the property that had died. She has an artistic eye for flair, and saw the beauty in the dead tree. Her vision was to remove the dead leaves and then hang effects on its bare branches.

Larry, Scott, and Sue worked together to prepare the base for display.

Tree in place ready for effects

Our sister-in-law works at a local winery, Holmes Harbor Cellars. She has the “fun” job of serving samples of wine to happy customers. I walked one mile from Sue and Larry’s home to the winery. Delightfully, I enjoyed a sampling of both red and white wines. If you are in the area, I highly recommend that you check this place out.

Outside tasting under the tent
Snow-capped Mount Baker in the distance

In addition to hiking on the island at Ebey’s Landing, one day we took a drive off Whidbey Island to Olympic National Park.

Such unique, unusual trees in the PNW
Capturing the clouds, reflected on the water
Marymere Falls in November
Wonder why it’s called The Evergreen State?
Ebey’s Landing

Our trailer stayed parked at Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club for almost a month while we lived with Sue and Larry.

The time always comes when we have to say goodbye until next time. We will be back. We love you!

Oregon/Washington: 10/18 – 10/21/20

We left Heber City, Utah, and headed north into Idaho. Once again, we stopped in Boise to visit our in-laws and enjoyed a meal while we caught up. Their house was jazzed up for Halloween.

We spent the night at Ambassador RV Park, and got an early start the following morning. Heading west on 84 into Oregon to 201S to 20W, we drove through Juntura (where the time zone changes from MST to PST. Thankfully, there was a street sign to let us know it was happening.

As we continued driving north, you could see Mount Hood in the distance. We drove to Little Sisters (just south) and boon docked off Route 20.

After driving on Route 20 for several hours the following morning, we stopped at a trailhead for the PCT to stretch our legs and take a hike. Unfortunately, it was “Closed Due to Extreme Fire Behavior.”

Beautiful view of Mt. Washington

About an hour later, we drove through the town of Detroit, which was hit hard by the raging wildfires. Many homes were burnt to the ground. It almost looked like a war zone. It was so odd to see a single home standing intact amongst the ruins of so many others. Since I was born and raised on the East Coast, I had never seen such devastation from fire in a town before. I had only seen the aftermath of fire it in the depths of the forests and mountains. I said a prayer for the displaced families.

We continued east and then north into McMinnville. There is free overnight parking at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum. We parked the trailer and took a stroll around the grounds. There are four buildings that display artifacts from the Early 1900’s, WWI, WWII, and up to modern times. We passed on going inside the museums and chose to enjoy the sites from outside the building. Below is a view of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, the biggest wooden airplane in the world. It is massive!

If you have young children, this would be a great place to visit. Although the outdoor playground was closed due to Covid19, someday it will open again.

Later that evening, we met more in-laws at Ruddick Wood American Restaurant in Newberg. This is the second time that we were in Oregon, and a bonus to meet up with Aimee and Jay again.

In the morning, we were back out on the road again. Traveling on 47N to 26W, we stopped at Sunset Rest Area. We had not seen rain for over two months. Here we were, back in the wet PNW. We parked and took a walk through the forest on Steam Donkey Trail. Everything was wet and very green…another one of our country’s beauties!

Two hours later, we crossed over the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which crosses over the Columbia River from Oregon into Washington.

About 100 miles north up the coastline, Route 101 hugs the Pacific Ocean once again. There are a few public beaches just off the road with small areas to park your car. We stopped at Beach 2 and took a short walk to the water.

Tall trees with interesting buds
Only a short walk from the street
Looking south
Dramatic image of sun reflecting off the water
Not too sandy
The Pacific Ocean looks much different from the Atlantic Ocean

Less than an hour later, we entered the town of Forks, which is located northwestern section of the Olympic Peninsula. Forks was also the filming location for the teen vampire series, Twilight. We spent the night at Forks 101 RV Park, and in the morning began our last trek from Oregon to Whidbey Island.

Bright and early the next morning, we continued north on 101 until it veered east, running parallel to Washington State’s coastline and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. We pulled over at Lake Crescent, and took a short stroll to the water’s edge where we enjoyed the beauty of the day.

We walked the 30 steps back to the truck and Scott discovered that he only had the door remote on his key chain. The key to start the truck had fallen off the ring. Oh boy! Imagine having to look for a black key that has fallen amidst this shoreline. We waded through the shallow water and I “eventually” found the key in the dark, black mud along the shore. Hallelujah!

Looking for keys…which I eventually found not far from where Scott is standing.

After the excitement, we finally made it to Port Townsend Ferry Terminal, which took us across the Admiralty Inlet of the Puget Sound. Whidbey Island, here we come!

Heber City and Antelope Island, UT: 10/11 – 10/18/20

After saying goodbye to Durango, we headed west and then north into Utah. It was pretty cool to see the Delicate Arch on the welcome sign as we crossed the Colorado border. Utah has seven different welcome signs depending on where you enter the state. We have seen four of them.

After eight hours of driving, we arrived in Heber City. Once again, we stayed at Mountain Valley RV Resort. They just completed Phase II of their development by adding 56 additional sites. This is by far the nicest RV Resort we have ever stayed at. We were delighted to learn that they had two Pickle Ball courts on the premises. The last time we stayed here, we hadn’t yet begun playing the game. Now, it has become a favorite of Scott’s and mine. We enjoy the cardio workout and the bouts of laughter it brings to us. It’s also a little easier on the body than tennis.

There were two main reasons that we chose to stay in this area. First, I wanted to see the Great Salt Lake. Secondly, I wanted to visit Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In particular, I wanted to listen to the Tabernacle Choir. We had been to Utah on numerous occasions to ski, hike, visit National Parks, and even dine at a restaurant in Salt Lake City. This time, I wanted to do a few atypical things. While hiking in Capitol Reef National Park, we met two hikers from Salt Lake City. They both said we should visit Antelope Island.

It was just over a two-hour drive from our RV Resort to Antelope Island. Once you enter the State Park, it is another seven-mile drive across a narrow causeway to the island.

View of the causeway from Antelope Island
Bridget Bay walkway to beach

There was only one other car in the parking lot, and we could see two people near the water. I REALLY wanted to go swimming in the highly salty water to see how easy it would be to float. Although the sun was shining, it was no longer swimming weather. I did get my feet wet and posed for a photo op. We were both blown away by how beautiful the shot turned out. It was only seconds later that the clouds dissipated and changed the magical moment Scott had just captured.

Bridger Bay – Ladyfinger Campground in the distance

Later that day, we drove into the city. There was plenty of street (paid) parking near Temple Square. We entered the square on West Temple Street and picked up a brochure. None of the buildings were open, but visitors were allowed to walk around the square. Masks were also required beyond the gates. The temple was under construction and a border wall surrounded it. Following the renovation, the public will be invited to an open house before the temple is rededicated. This will be a historic opportunity as the Temple is sacred to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and entrance is only allowed to baptized members of the church.

Looking at the Temple
View from peering over the wall
Construction underway
Picture of planned completion

There are many great hikes to choose from in the area surrounding Heber City. Scott checks out the options, and I typically make the selection. We hadn’t been hiking much so he selected one that would give us some elevation gain, knowing that we could stop whenever we chose to. The drive was less than thirty minutes from Heber City. We hiked 7.88 on Mt. Timpanogos Trail and gained 2,454 feet of elevation.

The first mile of the hike was on a paved trails that crisscrossed up the mountain for an elevation gain of about 600 feet. A lot of hikers stop at this point to enjoy the falls before returning back down the path.

Timpanagos Falls
A closer view reveals the ice

For those of you who wish to continue up, the paved path ends and the trail becomes steeper and mostly comprised of dirt and rocks. We did continue up, but we did not reach the summit. I bailed not too far from it. Sometimes, you are just done for the day.

Gorgeous sunny day
A view of the summit
Let’s keep going!

As I mentioned earlier, there are many good hikes to choose from that are in close proximity of Heber City. A hiker encountered a cougar while walking on a trail in Slate Canyon, which is in Provo and not far from our location. He was able to record six minutes of his terrifying experience on his cell phone which was shared on National News and You Tube. The video is scary and the young man’s language is beeped out at times.

Next stop, Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

Durango, CO: 10/6 – 10/11/20

We both love the state of Colorado, and there is a particular draw to the town of Durango. Scott’s daughter is living there. It’s a bonus to get to see her while we play in this area. We stayed at Oasis RV Resort for the second time this year. We were here back in mid-April for almost six weeks while waiting out the impact of Covid-19 and staying put in one area. At that time, we were Oasis’ first and only customer to arrive on their Grand Opening Day of April 17. During our six weeks there, there were a handful of other campers as they were busy renovating a large section of the park. This time, they were more than half full. And, they had been fully booked all summer! We were given the same site as last time. The owners told us that they plan to completely redo this lower section to upgrade these sites like they did the rest of the park. Of course, their Pickle Ball Court was the main draw to stay here. We are totally enjoying this new sport!

We took a long drive on a gravel/dirt road through Aspen Trails in Mancos. It was so wonderful to see the dark, blue sky again – free of smoky haze.

Minor traffic jam

We hiked Centennial Peak Trail to Shark’s Tooth Pass. The hike began at 11,000’ elevation with Shark’s Tooth Peak at 12,462’.

I was not feeling so great today, and my breathing was heavy. We had been at much lower altitude for many months, and I guess I was feeling the effects of it. We ascended 968’ by the time we got to the pass. We sat down and took a rest before I decided to abort our hike to the peak. We hiked 3.27 miles round trip in 3 hours and 24 minutes, which tells you how slow we were moving.

“Autumn” snow higher up
We rested behind a man-made wall to get out of the chilly wind.

On our way home, we stopped the truck and walked across a cow’s pasture to take a few more pictures of the dazzling yellow aspens. I absolutely love to watch these leaves shimmering in the sun beneath a blue background. I don’t like walking through a cow’s pasture. Ewwww. Watch your steps!

Zoom in for proof of cow’s pasture or just focus on the trees.

Our second and last hike before we left this area was with Molly on Saturday, when she didn’t have to work. Why can’t everyone be retired like us? It was “another” beautiful day. This is an easy hike with plenty of switchbacks, offering great views of Durango along the way. We found it to be a great, short cardio work out.

The beginning of Skyline Trail
View at about the halfway mark
View from the peak

Once again, we said goodbye to Molly and Durango. Next stop, Heber City, Utah!

Capitol Reef National Park, UT: 9/30 – 10/1/20

After a short visit in Escalante, we headed north on Hwy 12 to Hwy 24 east to Capitol Reef National Park. .

We had hoped to stay in the national park. Guess what? Yes, the park’s only campground was full. Due to Covid-19, it has become very difficult to find places to camp. There are commercial campgrounds and motels in nearby towns of Torrey, Caineville, and Hanksville. Federal lands are located adjacent to the park. We found a lovely spot off Notom Road. It was quiet, free, and offered a great view. There were only two other campers, one in a tent by the Pleasant Creek and the other in an Airstream about fifty yards away from us.

Below is another view taken from Notom Road. You need to zoom in to see the two campers. The tent camper was down below us in the trees by the stream.

We got settled and headed for the National Park.

“Capital Reef National Park features towering cliffs, massive domes, arches, bridges, and twisting canyons. Over many years, geological forces shaped the earth, creating this rugged, remote area known as the Waterpocket Fold (a barrier of rock that obstructed early travelers like a barrier reef). Erosion creates waterpockets and potholes that collect rainwater and snowmelt, enhancing a rich ecosystem that is found here.”

There are several hikes to choose from that are rated as easy, moderate, or strenuous. There is also an eight-mile scenic drive throughout the park. If you don’t like the to hike or enjoy the hot daytime sun, the Scenic Drive offers breathtaking views along the way. We started out on the road and immediately picked up two female hitchhikers. They wanted a ride to the Grand Wash, and insisted in riding in the bed of the truck as opposed to the back seat. We parked in the lot and took a short .3 mile walk on Cassidy Arch Trail.

It would be nice to come back someday and finish this 3.4 mile round-trip hike. We got back in the truck and continued on Scenic Drive to the end of the paved road. Beyond this point is specifically for foot hikers and 4WD vehicles. We turned around and on the way back stopped at Petroglyph Panel, which is wheelchair accessible. We were able to see some of the ancient drawings from many years ago. Unfortunately, there was new “graffiti” added, too.

Although we were leaving for Moab the next morning, we stopped in the park again to hike Hickman Bridge Trailhead. It was a short hike but well worth the views.

We chose the counterclockwise path.