04 November 2014

Stardate 2014.844

Viewing Behind the Rocks from the Dead Horse Point State Park area of Moab, Utah.

You Can't Beat a Dead Horse
Part I

Day Two of our trip finds us driving down a spectacular causeway of red and buff colored geologic time. Stopping at our usual camera stops, we get... photogenic.

Fisher Towers, Professor Valley, Colorado River, Utah

A siren emanating from the Fisher Towers area is about as spellbinding as it gets. Four massive desert towers rise out of the desert; it's hard not to turn in for a visit. We decide, once again, to visit this enchanting place on our way home. As is, we're only 20-miles from Moab, Utah, and would like to get a ride in before sunset.

Colorado River, East Portal, Moab, Utah

The tranquil, yet deceptive, Colorado River carries its load of sediment past us and through the east portal of the Moab Valley. Not long after entering Moab Valley, the river will exit the valley via the west portal. The river visits some remote, wild and wooly desert before being stopped in its flow by Lake Powell's slack water. We had rooms reserved in Moab for the next two nights. Hence, we don't worry about finding a camp-site. Off we go to Dead Horse Point State Park to ride the Intrepid Trail System. Neither Snowcatcher, nor myself, have ridden this collection of mountain bike singletrack.

Dead Horse Point Area, Moab, Utah

I'm in heaven! I can't get enough of the canyon country, perpetual erosion at its finest.

Dead Horse Point Area, Moab, Utah

Wingate Sandstone, of the Jurassic Period, erodes into massive, time-diseased cliffs.


Snowcatcher hones her off-road skills on the Great Pyramid Trail, part of the Intrepid Trail System. The riding feels similar to many mid-1980s trails. I reminisce about a Moab of years past, and how far mountain biking technology has come since its infancy. Bikes didn't have suspension, disk brakes or light weights when I started frequenting Moab.

Viewing Behind the Rocks from the Dead Horse Point State Park area of Moab, Utah.

The ancient, rounded fin formations of the Behind the Rocks area always draw my attention. The 12,000-foot summits of the La Sal Mountains, rising in the background, add contrast, especially in the spring when they still have a coating of white.

Whiptail Trail, Intrepid Trail System, Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab, Utah

Sinuous, flowy, singletrack of the Whiptail Trail meanders through a pinion/pine forest ecosystem. I end the day riding myriad stone steps and drops along the Twisted Tree and Prickly Pair Trails back to the car. Prickly Pair has two somewhat parallel versions, hence the intentional non-cacti spelling.

With daylight winding down, Snowcatcher and I drove back to our hotel and checked in. After dinner, we slid into the outdoor hot tub, enjoying the cool autumn evening of the high desert.

There will be more sandstone in forthcoming posts. So, check back in a few days.



  1. Bring on the red rock! Must have more red rock!

    Stunning photos. Stunning scenery. Heavenly vacation!

  2. Wow. Yes - bring on the red rock!

    It's so nice to see your ground-level photos of what I've admired for years from the air. What an amazing place.


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