Southern Utah Wanderings | Day 7

Friday, October 9, 2009 | Starting Odometer: 144942

This wasn’t intended to be the final day of my trip, but that’s the way it ended. By the end of the day I was tired and wanted to just relax for the final weekend of my vacation. I had entertained the thought of getting a hotel room in Moab and having Amanda join me, but since I was so close to home and didn’t want to spend the money on a hotel room for the weekend, I decided it would be best to just head home for the weekend.

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I started out this morning be heading up Cottonwood Wash into the Abajo Mountains (Blue Mountains). After a short jaunt on the Blue Mountains Road and over to Cottonwood Canyon Road. I was going to head down into Beef Basin this morning, which was a trip I had originally planned for in the spring that was rained out for me. I had a good time exploring the ruins in Beef Basin and Ruin Park. There were a number of side trails and spurs that I did not take, as I would like to spend a lot more time in Beef Basin with Amanda in the future so we can thouroughly explore the area. Sounds like a good spring weekend trip, as long as it doesn’t get rained out again 😉

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Headed down into Beef Basin
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Orange Cliffs and the Henry Mountains in the distance….it felt like I was by them the day before….
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The first ruins I came across in Ruin Park
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The moon above
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The next small ruin I came across was a little odd, as it was just out in the middle of a large open area
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Next I made my way to Farm House Ruin
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This tower is half on the ground….I like how you can see where it fell from
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After leaving Beef Basin I was back on the Cottonwood Canyon Road again. There was a fire on the mesa ahead of me that I got to watch throughout the rest of the day.

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I followed a bumpy but short road to an overlook of the Big Pocket from Cathedral Point.

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Next I finished up the Cottonwood Canyon Road and was back at UT 211.

Closer to the fire
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My original plan was to fuel up at the Needles Outpost and head up Lockhart Basin on my way to Moab. When I reached the gas pump at Needles Outpost, I was suprised to find that gas was $5 per gallon. I was not about to pay that much for fuel, and it was at this point I decided I would not be heading up Lockhart Basin this trip.

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Since my plans had changed, it was time to finally checkout the Colorado River Overlook trail within Canyonlands that had always seemed to be closed due to weather every time I had tried before. Lucky for me it was open today. This trail started out as a fun sandy two track but got bumpier the closer I got to the overlook at the end.

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View from the overlook
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After hiking out to the overlook at the end of the trail, I started my way back. I had noticed there was an intersection on my way out to the overlook and consulted my map. It appeared this road would take me back to the highway just outside of Canyonlands boundary, so I decided to give it a try. It was a fun sandy two-track much of the way back. By the time I reached the highway again, I knew I was ready to head home for a nice relaxing weekend.

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I hopped on US 191, headed through Moab without even stopping (unusual for me) and took the scenic UT 128 back to the interstate. I was home by 7pm and had had a great trip this last week. Amanda was surprised and happy when I walked through the door two days early 🙂 We had a nice relaxing weekend at home before I had to go back to work on Monday.

Ending Odometer: 145280 | Total Miles: 338


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