Monday, 7 November 2016

Dead Horse Point and the Colorado River.

Monday 31st October.
Awoke early to a mainly clear sky and a lovely sunrise. Looks like it will be warmer and sunnier today. After breakfast, unhooked the RV and drove round to the Dump to empty our waste tanks, then left the campsite - they close today for the season, so we can't come back!
Stopped off to refuel. 38 gallons - the RV has done only 8 miles to the smaller US gallon so far. Have been cruising at 60 so will see if it uses a bit less at 55 - after all, we are not in a hurry.
Went to the "Village Market" in Moab to stock up with a "few bits". M is still being very cautious and is not yet convinced that shops in the USA are actually quite common!
Charles had sent us a text to say that Arches and Dead Horse Point were two of his favourite places in the world. So, we drove the hour or so to Dead Horse Point, where we parked right at the end. The views are quite staggering, you look 2,000 ft down to the Colorado River as it meanders below through towering rocks. It is impressive beyond words. 
Dead Horse Point is a pinnacle that rises 2,000 ft from the canyon floor, it is only about a quarter of a mile in diameter and is connected to the "mainland" by a neck just 30 yards wide. In the past, Cowboys used to use it as a natural corral, herding wild Mustangs across the neck and then blocking the neck with a makeshift fence so that they could rope the Mustangs that they wanted to keep. Many of the remaining Mustangs died, which is one legend for the origin of the name.
We walked all the way round the pinnacle on a trail, in places there was a low wall at the edge but elsewhere there was just a long drop. M kept well away from these bits!
We saw several small chipmunks and even managed to photograph a couple, but they move so fast!
After a brief lunch, we reluctantly drove back towards Moab - but, on David's suggestion, just after crossing the Colorado River north of Moab, we turned left and drove along Hwy 128 next to the River. It is a spectacular drive, with the River next to the road and 1,000 ft cliffs on either side, which dwarfed the RV when we stopped at "Big Bend".
We walked down to the river's edge to feel the cold water. 
We saw, and photographed, several more chipmunks and a strange bird, about the size of a blackbird. We need to try to identify it. This time, the chipmunks stayed still long enough to photograph them.
Then back into the RV to start to drive south. Because we had spent quite a lot of time at Dead Horse Point, we were a bit later starting and only made it as far as Blanding before finding an RV Park next to a 7/11 (nationwide general store chain that opens from 7am to 11pm), where we "moored up" for the night. We saw very little evidence of trick or treaters, possibly because Blanding, like other small towns here, is very spread out.
Tomorrow we will go on to Flagstaff via Mexican Hat and Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation.
31,636 - 161 miles today. A total of 466 miles so far.

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