Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And on to Utah

We left Massacre Rocks State Park on the 10th and made our way south. Shortly before crossing into Utah, we took a detour 11 miles east to Lava Hot Springs. This small town of some 500 people sits in a valley that was heavily trapped in the early days for beaver, mink and other fur-bearing animals. It has a rich history and in the late 1800s and early 1900s was a favorite destination for travelers "taking the waters," in its hot springs, as well as for Indian tribes in the region that regarded the springs as having special powers.

We didn't stay long enough for a soak in the mineral baths, but did enjoy a delicious "Johnnyburger" at Johnny's Restaurant.

We camped in Salt Lake City at the KOA (which is huge!). It's nice park, but the girls think it's BOOORINGGGG! There are no squirrels and no back country trails to walk. There was, however, a fantastic dog park. Adjacent to the Memorial Gardens honoring Utah's war heroes, it is a lovely 1/2 mile trail alongside a clear stream. Dogs are permitted off-leash beyond the Gardens, and can romp in the stream to their hearts' delight.

We also were pleased that the Utah State Fair was going on adjacent to our RV park. It doesn't compare to the State Fair of Texas, but we did enjoy looking at cattle not usually seen in Central Texas, such as the miniature Dexters, as well as the Simmental and Gelbvieh breeds.

0n Sunday, September 13, we made our way to Moab. I confess, the Utah Canyonlands area is one of my favorite places. Driving into Moab from Salt Lake City, there are a number of fantastic overlooks, like this one. The landscapes (and their vibrant colors) change moment-by-monent, and are breathtaking.

We are camped in Moab in the Moab Rim RV Campark. The park is nothing to write home about, as it has no laundry and no propane. (However it does accept Passport America, which offers a significant discount.) The camp's best feature (other than price) is that it backs up to public lands which offer a multitude of trails for exercising dogs off-leash. Here is a photo of Feathers recovering from the afternoon's romp.

On Monday between rain showers, we did a driving tour of parts of Arches National Park. In the afternoon, I suggested we take a short hike up to "Delicate Arch," the signature formation in the park. I remembered from my trip in 2003 that the trail crossed a large "slickrock" area, and ended at a view point across the canyon from the formation. Unfortunately, my memory was a little fuzzy. By mistake I chose a longer trail that ended, not across the canyon, but at the foot of Delicate Arch! The three-mile round trip took us over 2 hours, and certainly burned up the sandwiches we had for lunch...but it was well worth the climb! The arch is breathtaking from that vantage and in spite of the approaching storm, we took a few minutes to enjoy the view.

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