|Following are photos from my vacation to Canyonlands National Park in Fall of 2003|
All photos courtesy of Willie Virtue-
Thanks for not being in most of the pictures to be our film crew.
Click on any of the following images to see a larger, higher resolution view
The view from Bob's condo in Dillon, Colorado. Breathtaking as always.
Since this trip was in October, it was prime season for|
colorful aspen viewing along I-70 through Colorado.
Here we see the Mothership, our cruising vehicle. This photo|
shows an unfortunate incident. Our bike rack fell off the back
of the RV, so we had to stop to assess the damage and move
the bikes inside for the rest of the drive. If you look close
you can see the handle bar on the bike has been ground off by
being dragged along I-70. Ray, you don't look too happy.
Our assessment: We would stop in Moab to get parts to repair|
Bob's bike, and a rental bike for Ray. Willie lost his trip
computer, which was not essential. My bike was fixable with
some electrical tape and zip-ties. This photo shows me removing
the broken parts from Bob's bike en route.
Matrimony Spring, just before Moab. This is a ritual stop for|
filling all of our drinking water bottles. Here is some of the
best drinking water, filtered through sandstone, just pouring out
of a pipe in the rocks. I don't know who the girl is, but
Willie swears she was checking me out.
This is a mural painted on the side of the Poison Spider Bike|
Shop, where we stopped to get parts and a rental.
Here you can see the underside of the sleeping loft in the|
Mothership as we pass by Wilson Arch, one of many natural
rock formations found in Utah.
Newspaper Rock contains ancient petroglyphs, which are|
considered by many to be the oldest known form of graffiti.
Most of what you see is actually ancient Native American
writing, unable to be dated, but there unfortunately has
been some modern graffiti added to the rock.
When we arrived at Canyonlands National Park, all of the|
campsites were full. This is where we slept the first night,
on the side of a dirt road, outside the park boundary. Jim
managed to find us at this remote location, even though
he was going to meet us at campsite in the park.
|First thing the next morning Jim and I drove into the park and looked for people who were|
checking out. We landed the best site in the Squaw Flat campground - ask anyone who was
there, they won't argue. It was the last site at the end of a cul-de-sac, with immediate
access to the campsite sunset viewing location.
|Our first ride of the weekend. Here we are at the entrance to the|
dirt road that will take us to the Elephant Hill four-wheel-drive road.
Willie (left photo only), Bob (right photo only), Ray, Lincoln, and Jim.
|The entrance to the Elephant Hill 4WD Road.|
|Here I am taking a running dive down into the parking lot.|
Kids, don't try this, I am a trained professional.
Walking already? This is a pretty intense road, for|
bicycles and 4WD vehicles alike, so I won't tease too much.
Willie recorded a 30 second video file on his digital camera. It is an 8MB AVI|
file and may take time to download depending on your internet connection. Click
the box to the left to download, and when prompted, select "download to disk."
Remember where the file is saved so you can find it and play it from your computer.
Once downloaded, the file can be viewed using Windows Media Player or similar software.
Jim, you're going the wrong way.|
It's not time to turn around yet.
We still have a really, really long way to go.
The wall. Did we really ride up this thing? I'm sure I tried.|
I'm sure everyone else had a good laugh watching me try.
The black marks on the rock are from 4WD's that also tried.
On the 2004 Canyonlands page up you can see a video of
my 4WD pickup driving up this same rock. No kidding.
|This is the top of elephant hill. The downhill|
is even steeper than what we just rode up.
Snack time on top of elephant hill. Catch your breath|
one last time before we drop down the other side.
|Awesome scenery out here in the stinking desert!|
This must be the first shade we've seen all day! Good place for|
another snack. We are on top of either Bud or Coors hill. The
Park Service named the hills after the litter found left by others.
1) If you drink, drink good beer, not mass produced crap.
2) It's beautiful out here, don't f#*k it up with your litter.
If you bring it in, take it back out.
Here's Ray entering a section called Squeeze Play.|
Very sandy, very narrow. I'm sure many a side view
mirror has been lost by 4WD's here.
This is the entrance to a campground called Devil's Kitchen.|
It's very secluded, so people who camp here need to pack in all
their food and water. There are no services to be had here.
In the background you can see the Needles rock formations.
Goofball! It's hard enough to ride through the sand on flat|
ground. What on earth made me think I could ride up a hill of it?
This photo was taken inside one of the campsites in
the Devil's Kitchen campground.
Devil's Lane. It may look like a nice, easy, flat stretch of ride,|
but consider that it is about 6" deep sand which was very soft
from the lack of rain. That makes for a hard ride. At this
point we were all a bit tired, and midday sun was beating down.
|S.O.B. Hill. First Jim ventures in. Next we have|
Ray and Lincoln taking a break in the shade.
Lunchtime. The trail only offers rocks and low-lying brush. This|
tree is the only refuge available. At this point we'll take any
little bit of shade we can find.
|Snake! Oh, it's only that big?|
|Looking across Chesler Park at the Needles.|
A lot of the rock fomations are given names. This helps|
navigate your way through the desert where a lot of the
rocks can look the same. We decided that this one should
be called Owl Rock if it doesn't already have a name.
On our way to the Joint Trail. We had to leave our bikes|
at the trailhead since this is a hiking trail. Bicycles
are only allowed on designated 4WD roads in Canyonlands.
|The Joint Trail is a joint in the rocks caused by water and wind erosion.|
It is very tall and narrow, which also means shady and breezy. Ahhhh!
|We found a little cave that was so dark you couldn't see at all.|
The first photo is looking into the cave, the second looking out.
Both photos required a flash.
|These photos help give a little more perspective of just how tall and narrow this joint in the rocks|
really is. Look close, you can see Jim in the bottom of the second photo. While hiking through this
section it is important to follow any trail markers because there is actually a network of joints
in the rocks. If you lose the trail, it could take a while to find your way back out.
What's funny about this picture is that Ray forgot he had|
a packet of sports energy goo in his back pocket. It popped
when it got smooshed against the rock.
|After following the joint in the rocks, the trail eventually climbed up on top of the|
rocks. There are points where you can actually jump from one rock to another across the
joint we just hiked through. Be careful, it's a long way down if you don't make it.
|At this point in the day we still had to walk back through the Joint Trail to fetch our bicycles,|
then ride back through Devil's lane, up S.O.B. Hill, up and over Elephant Hill, and back to our
campsite. The battery in Willie's camera had died so there are no more pictures. The next day
Willie and Jim went for a hike and took the camera with them. The rest of us went for another
ride, but I have no photos. I may eventually use Willie's hike pictures, or see if Bob took any
on his film camera, but in the meantime I'm going to concentrate my time and energy on creating a
photo page for our 2004 Canyonlands trip, which include some 4WD in my new (used) truck.