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Showing posts from October, 2018

Dead Horse, Arches and Canyonlands Part 4 of 4

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It was a cold night, but a cozy night as I stayed warm in my new sleeping bag and protected under my rock tent/shelter. A few months back I won this Therm-a-rest Parsec 20 degree down sleeping bag in a contest on Trailspace.com. During this past summer in Texas the temperature hovered around 100 degrees for over 100 days, so I did not have much use for a 20 degree sleeping bag. But I'm glad that I had it on this chilly night, I was completely warm.

I packed up my backpack and bid farewell to my temporary shelter which had served me so well. I left no trace so that the next inhabitant, human or animal, might enjoy it as I had.

We then hiked about 2 miles to return to the trailhead and our van. By the time that we reached our van it was only noon, so we unpacked the food that we had stored in the van and prepared a quick lunch. We then set out to visit some historical sites within the Canyonlands.

The first location that we visited is called Pothole Point. It consisted of some slic…

Dead Horse, Arches and Canyonlands Part 3 of 4

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Our hike through the Canyonlands continued. The tentative plan was to hike a loop through Chesler Park, then if we had the time and energy we would continue on a route toward the Devil's Kitchen, then back to Elephant Canyon and EC1. The Chesler Park route would be about 7 miles and the Devil's Kitchen would add an additional 5 miles for a total of about 12 miles. 

For the past few days the needles were in constant view as a backdrop. Today we would be walking through the needles.


We exited Elephant Canyon and hiked across a high plateau toward the needles.


While traveling through this high desert plateau we had the opportunity to see some unique soil. Much of the ground on the plateau is rock or sand, but there is a soil crust which is a living groundcover that forms the foundation of high desert plant life in the Canyonlands. This black crust is dominated by cyanobacteria, but also includes lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. Cyanobacteria are one of the …

Dead Horse, Arches and Canyonlands Part 2 of 4

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During the night a cold front moved in and brought wind, rain and cold temperatures in the high 30s. The guys were all sleeping in tents and were pelted by the wind and rain throughout the night yet were able to stay dry. I was sleeping in my hammock under the campground shelter. Fortunately I was protected. The guys woke up to tents surrounded by little pools of water. A challenging way to begin the day.

We started our day slowly. Coffee. Breakfast. Drive.

On this day we would head into The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The Needles District forms the southeastern portion of Canyonlands National Park. Its signature features are colorful sandstone spires. There are also entrenched canyons, natural arches and sheer-walled cliffs throughout the district. The tributes stepped forward.
Our hike began by ascending this staircase through a naturally carved alley. The erect alley walls were formed by a fissure in the side of the mountain and thousands of years of erosion.  F…