The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Eighth Day: Work & the Canyon

October 7, 2014 - 9:53 AM

Travel Log: 27 March 2012

Today, was our final full day in the desert and, for our final desert excursion, we wanted to drive up to Island in the Sky, part of Canyonlands National Park.

Canyonlands is a national park of almost 340,000 acres (compared to the more popular Arches National Park which is 76,000 acres). It is divided into 4 distinct areas by location and geography: Island in the Sky (a lush mesa), the Needles (an amazing area of sandstone pinnacles), the Maze (a remote labyrinth into countless canyons), and the 2 rivers: the Colorado River and Green River. The rivers' deep carving of the canyons brings the views to near Grand Canyon proportions as they divide the park's three areas and make it so that by car there is no easy way to travel between the three. The Needles to Island in the Sky is a 2 hour drive, while Island in the Sky to the Maze is a 7 hour drive. 


The Island in the Sky is a expanse mesa. Though it feels like it is shaped like a land peninsula rather than island, it does sit nearly 2000 feet higher in elevation than the city of Moab and the rivers below. To get to the Island in the Sky, you drive northwest of Moab for 9-10 miles then take a left. From here, over 14 miles, you rise up the 2K to reach the mesa top. Desert greens cover the mesa floor for miles in every direction and while looking across the flat, lush, vibrant landscape you begin to wonder, "Where are the canyons?"


But then, the Navajo and entrada sandstones begin to peek up their heads and the flat mesa begins to cast eerie shadows into the landscape. The view is similar to what one would expect to have seen on Columbus's maiden voyage, you have reached the end of the world, you are about to go over the edge like a waterfall, but here the green sea disappears into the depths of reds. Island in the Sky may be a dead end but the view is uninterrupted. It's no wonder that Edward Abbey called the Canyonlands, "the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth - there is nothing else like it anywhere."



One of the things you will notice if you look into the canyon is an area that almost resembles a lower tier. This area is called the White Rim and wraps around the three sides of Island in the Sky. It is a natural sandstone bench located 1000 feet below the mesa top and 1000 feet above the rivers. The White Rim Trail is a dirt road, generally one car width wide, that travels a 100 mile loop around the White Rim. It is a favorite trail by 4x4 enthusiasts, motorcross motorcycles, and mountain bikers. We did take our Volvo on part of the trail, called Schaffer Road (pictured below) but for Josh the drive and the view of it from above, would only make him long to tackle the 100 mile ride one year later. (I also love the below photo because the flat green mesa top and the sharp drop is definitely noticeable.)


Matrimony Spring, a natural spring right at the intersection of the main entrances into Moab, has a legend that the newly married couple who found it drank from it and vowed to never leave Moab. While we have had to leave Moab, for us the legend has become every time my husband leaves he declares his famous words about Moab, "I still have unfinished business in Moab." It happened after our first 2 day visit, it happened now after a week and a half visit, and he has said it after each of our future one month visits. (I'll get to those, don't worry! :)!)

my love


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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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