Wednesday, May, 13.
The weather has cooled down some, it was down right chilly this morning. The afternoon was in the low 80’s.
You know, some times you just have to be flexible.
I got up around 6:00 all excited about our ride on the “White Rim Trail” today. I wanted to get an early start and I still had to load the gear in the jeep. I showered, dressed, ate breakfast, loaded the cots and sleeping bags etc. and got everything all wrapped up in canvas to keep out the dust.
Patti got up at 7:00, showered, dressed and started helping with the rest of the things we had to do. We were out of the RV by around 7:45, topped off Clifford’s the gas tank and we were on the road by 8:00.
We drove the 15 miles to the turn off for the north end of the trail.
Just as we were turning off I noticed a kiosk with maps and signs and such. On a whim I drove over close to the kiosk and started reading some of the notices. One in particular caught my eye. It was all about the "White Rim Trail" and it said that the White Rim Trail takes 3 days to complete by auto and 5 days by bicycle. And permits were required for camping. You get permits at the visitors center.
“Hmmm!” says I, “Ok, I guess we will have to drive the 10 more miles to the visitors center to get the permit”.
We arrived at the visitors center and walk up to the desk. “Good Morning”, I say to the lady behind the desk. “We want to drive the 'White Rim Trail' today and we want to do it in one day but think that maybe we should get a camping permit just incase it takes a little longer”.
The ranger lady looks at me like I just stepped off a space ship and asked her to take me to her leader.
“It’s not possible to do the trail in one day” she says. “Even if you could go the speed limit (15mph) the whole way and didn’t stop to see any thing or take pictures it would take you 17 hours of straight driving. You might be able to do it in 2 days, but even that would be a challenge.”
“Oh” I mumble.
“We suggest that people take at least 3 days to see every thing properly”, she continues.
“Oh” I mumble again.
Patti and I look at each other. “We don’t have 3 days” we say in unison.
Ok, so after a lot of discussion with the Ranger lady about camp ground availability and best times to reserve a site etc. etc., we decide to just take a short ride into the canyon today and plan an expedition on “The White Rim Trail” next year. As much as I hate to plan things way in advance, it looks like it’s the only way to see what we want to see.
Anyway it gives us something to look forward to for next year.
We drove the 10 miles back to the road that connects to the 'White Rim Trail' and headed west for about 21 miles to a parking area for mountain bikers and where the trail starts. Looking into the canyon we could see the Green River and a series of great switchbacks going down the cliff.
On the way down we stopped to take the above pictures and a ranger pulled up and we started talking with him about the park and the like. I asked him about taking ATV’s on the White Rim Trail and he told us that they were allowed on the BLM property but not in the park. I had been hoping that we could get an expedition going for next year with the friends we met in Quartzsite but I guess that is not to be. “Bummer!”
We drove on down to the bottom of the switch backs and looked at the river.
It is really very pretty down along the river and the road is real narrow in places with a cliff on one side and the river on the other.
We drove along the river until we came to a turn off that goes up a beautiful valley (they all are)
to a formation called “Zeus and Moses”, I will let you decide which of these four Spires is Zeus or Moses.
I don’t know if it was just the let down from the aborted trip or just because we got up early or maybe because we have been on the go almost every day since we got to Moab but we decided to call it an early day and headed back to “Plan B”
Patti took this shot from the bottom of the road coming down the cliff. Can you find the switch backs?
It was another good ride even though we cut it short.
Tomorrow we have to start getting ready to move on.
We will leave here on Friday to go to an RV park in Torrey, Utah where we will visit Capital Reef Nat. Park.