Canyonlands

Amr has always wanted to stay in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere. This time he got his wish! We had booked a cabin in Canyonlands for a couple of nights so we could explore the National Park. We felt like real cowboys with the decor, even the bathroom area is done out like an ‘outside outhouse’.  
Our first venture into the National Park we were fascinated by the very different scenery we were passing through. Rocks and cliffs but not like we have seen before, with trees and even a small lake. Calling at the Visitors Centre to see where was best to start the ranger gave us a couple of options and we decided to have a short walk today, the Slickrock Trail. The trail went in a loop and the trail was marked with small cairns of stones all along the way. The path was basically over the smooth rocks which meant very up and down, so what started out as a casual stroll with views was a challenging hike, our leg muscles certainly got a good work out, but we certainly got the views, 360 degrees. Each way we looked ( when not checking our footsteps or seeking cairns to make sure we were on track!) there were fabulous views, and each way we looked the rocks were different. The landscape here is more rugged than the other canyons we have visited this trip, and a much darker reddy brown. The sun was getting hotter as we made our way, but every now and again the was a whisper of cool air to take the edge of the heat.

We managed to find a butcher on the way back to ‘the Ranch’ so we could use the barbecue which Amr had been dying to use since we arrived. He did a great job on it with the steaks we bought, end to a perfect day. But it wasn’t the end, venturing outside to capture pictures of the sunset I was stunned to catch two deer in the lens! We looked at each other for a while before they trotted off. Of course when I went back and told Amr he jumped up and off we went for a walk. We caught glimpses of them as we walked but they disappeared into the bushes, then as we walked back, just outside our cabin was on chomping on the trees! Now that, was the end to a perfect day, well not quite, once the sun had gone down the stars came out. Being in the middle of nowhere with zero light pollution the night sky was amazing, such bright stars, such a black backdrop, the wow factors keep on coming this trip.

Our second day we decided to do a couple of short trails, so we started at the Cave Spring Trail. The trail took us under the huge rocks into cave like structures which had provided living accommodation for ancient native Indian tribes as well as later, cowboys. At times we could see water seeping out of the cracks between the rocks. The trail gets its name from the cave area where a spring comes through the cracks to provide water. The rocks are all different shapes and types, some forming strange or familiar shapes. We had fun describing what we thought the shapes were. Climbing out from the cave areas we had to climb a couple of ladders to end up on top of the rocks and see the views all around us. We also did a small trail to to the Roadside Ruins which were of a cave where Peablo Indians had stored their corn. “

After a picnic lunch (there are no facilities for food or drink in Canyonlands) we went to the Potholes Trail, apparently small creatures lay there drought resistant eggs in the potholes while its wet. Naturally we didn’t see any such activity, but did note that lots of people had walked over the potholes so although the eggs may be drought proof I fear they were not resistant to the passing of tourist feet. The whole Needles area of Canyonlands National Park is huge, it’s difficult to describe its vastness and ruggedness and photos can not do justice to its size. Although we have seen the huge Grand Canyon, the beautifully colourful and ornate Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands has a special place in my heart

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