Thursday, September 30, 2010

2010-35 Price Utah to Moab to Cottonwood Arizona

Price Utah
Moab Utah
Cottonwood AZ

Nine Mile Canyon
Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail
Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Work Camping)

Campground:  OK Rv Park, Moab.  A Passport America park.  ½ off.  $15 + $1 is using a/c.  It’s about 5 miles from town.  Well maintained park, with free cable tv (lots of channels), full hookups, easy pull thru sites.  Some shade trees, but mainly sunny sites.  Ps: Sept and Oct are really busy so call ahead for reservations.

Campground:  Goulding’s Camp Park.  $25 dry camping.  Sites with full hookups were full up.  I believe they cost around $45 per night, w/cable tv.  Indoor pool, museum and movie memorabilia near the lodge.  Across from Monument Valley.

What a fun and interesting drive from Evanston WY to Price Utah.  The canyon’s, mesas and mountain ranges kept changing constantly.  As I passed through Provo Utah, I headed into an awesome canyon with huge windmill generators at the head of it.

In Price, I discovered the Nine Mile Canyon, which contains the longest gallery of petroglyphs in the world.  It’s over 40 miles long.  The canyon was accidentally name the same as a nine mile creek in the area and has retained the name ever since.  I started my adventure early in the morning, knowing I’d be making many stops along the way.  A couple miles into the journey, a met up with a family of three who were getting a free guided tour by Ivan “the terrible”, though I can tell you he wasn’t.  Ivan is part of a group that is trying their best to preserve this valuable resource.

Nice to be able to join a group and be welcomed along as we all explored the canyons and rock art.  I misplaced my brochure where I wrote everyone’s name on it, so I’ll just have to say the daughter is a college professor in the area and Ivan (retired) has taken one of the daughters classes in philosophy.

When we went into the Big Daddy Canyon, where much of the petroglyphs are, storage granaries and a number of ranches we even saw a good sized gas processing plant.  So needless to say, this huge canyon is still vibrant and active day to day.

Each site I’ve visited seems to have unique drawings that are no where else.  Big Daddy Canyon has one petroglyph of a pregnant buffalo.  Now I would have never see it, as it was around the side of a canyon wall and one has to squeeze between a barbed wire fence.  Ivan of course knew about it and how to find it.  Ivan also explained which symbols are related to the Hopi Indians, the last tribe to possibly write on these walls.

Interesting how the people interested in preserving the rock art are going about trying to preserve it.  As some of it is being damaged by dust from the gravel and dirt roads being mixed with the fumes of diesel fueled trucks.  I believe they would like to see the commercial mining trucks removed.  Ivan even suggested that another road be re-built to accommodate the commercial truck traffic.  I see it as a simpler solution.  Pave the roads going into the canyon.  That step alone would stop the dust coming up from the dirt roads.  It would aid the half dozen ranches, the mining and gas company vehicles as well as make it much easier for tourist to visit the rock art.  Of course, paved roads could also bring in many more tourists who have the potential to do damage to the rock art as well.  Ivan’s keen eye even noted a new bullet hole in one of the rock walls above the petroglyphs.  His group cleaned a small section of wall and with months, the section was covered with dust.  Which also is covering many of the drawings…

After a full day of touring this fascinating canyon, I head on down to Moab.  I’ve dropped altitude from about 7,000 feet down to 4,000 feet and it’s once again getting hot out.  Mid 80’s today, high 80‘s tomorrow.  Moab is not the kind of place I’d care to be in the summer months.  It can get very hot in this arid dry climate.

I’ve been to Arches NP, which is so worth touring, however, since there are so many other sites to see in the area, I’ll be bypassing Arches this time around.  One site I found is called Mills Canyon Dinosaur Trail.  To be able to see dinosaur bones still in the rock and rubble before being excavated is a new experience for me.  As I walk around the loop trail with it’s many signs describing the various thigh bones and hip bones and toes I have a much better appreciation of what an archeologist has to do to get these bones out of the ground.  It has to be a lot of work.  So here I am walking where dinosaurs walked in what was once a marshy wet land area near a lake.  Now that’s a bit hard to grasp when I’m sweating in a hot arid desert type setting.

A note on Moab UT.  They have some great restaurants, Like the Brewery and the Moab Diner.  And anyone who’s into ATV’s, ORV’S, biking, boat rides on the muddy Colorado River, this is the place for you.

I’m spending a day in the Monument Valley area, at the original Goulding’s Trading Post.  It’s now a full lodge, museum and campground.  As I traveled along hwy 163 through Mexican Hat and onto Canyon Lands, the western scenery that we’ve all scene in countless westerns with John Wayne on up through Back to the Future III, comes to life over every ridge of red sandstone.

Wild horses roam along the open range, majestic shaped sandstone structures with names like Mitchell Butte, Sentinel Mesa, Castle Butte, King on the Throne and so many others punch above the landscape creating long shadows with their presence.

One learns so much about the land and the people to came here to make a living.  Like Harry and Leone (Mike) his wife who were able to buy some land across from Monument Valley after the Paiute Indians relocated their reservation to another local.  After setting up the trading post in the 1920’s all went down hill with the great depression.  Not only for the trading post but for the local Indians as well.  Harry heard about a Hollywood studio scouting for places out west for a movie.  So he and Mike took off for Hollywood with the last of their money, $60 to see if they could get Monument valley as a setting for the movie.  He met John Ford, the famous director and of course the film was made out here.  Along with many more afterwards.

It helped establish Monument Valley for movies and a tourist destination.  A German photographer ended up here about the same time and his photography of the area helped to promote the area as well.  Interesting, the German photographer was living in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power, and at one point, he hit Hitler with a tomato.  Needless to say, as Hitler grew in power, the German realized he’d better get out before you know what happened to him.  Fascinating stories that seem to link so many disparate things in the world into one.  Showing how we really are all linked in some way.

The sad news for all my readers is that I’ve arrived in Cottonwood, where I’ll be camp hosting at Dead Horse Ranch State Park once again.  So unfortunately, unless I can come up with some adventures while staying here, the Roving Reports have come to an abrupt end for the season.

I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me to have you along on my journey.  When I write a report, I often think about each and every one of you and how you might react to a story.  Often putting in bits that I think might interest you.

I hope you have learned something along the way and hopefully had a laugh or two as well.

Until I start up my adventures again,  Safe travels and adventures to where ever you go.

1 comment:

Jay said...

I have really enjoyed your writings about places we have also traveled. It seems like I'm taking another trip.

Thanks again