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Hole-in-the-Rock to Island in the Sky

Southern Utah Wanderings 2010 | Day 4
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday morning we were stuck in our tents until there was finally a short break in the rain. It had rained pretty much all night and we were a bit sick of camping in the rain. During that short break we took down and packed up camp….just in time for the rain to start up again.

Our view during the short break in rainfall as the sun was rising….The Straight Cliffs in the clouds

Ready to take down camp

Our drive back to Escalante on the Hole-in-the-Rock Road was a little adventure. The road was pretty saturated and flooding in places, but we were able to make it back to the highway. I later found out that the Hole-in-the-Rock Road had washed out in places and was closed by the county. When we made it back to town we went over to The Prospector Restaurant for some breakfast (which was pretty good), and to figure out what we were going to do next. We checked out the weather forecasts for a number of Southern Utah destinations, and it appeared that many of them were getting hit with storms, rain and flash floods. Moab only had a 30% chance of rain and was currently sunny, so we decided we would head that direction.

After breakfast we had to go see if Jared could retrieve his car from the Boulder Mail trailhead which had become muddy from all the rain. Luckily with his snow tires and some momentum, he was able to drive it out of there and I didn’t need to get out a tow strap. We fueled up and hit the pavement on our way to Moab. When we started climbing Boulder Mountain we entered a thick fog and noticed there was a thin layer of snow on the ground. I pulled over and took a few photos of the aspens through the fog.

As we made our way towards Hanksville we noticed the Fremont River was flowing pretty high and all the normally dry washes were flooding. Between Hanksville and the Goblin Valley turnoff there was a section of the highway that was flooded and covered with an inch or two of sand. Before reaching Moab we turned off on UT 313 towards Canyonlands Island in the Sky district and setup camp at the Horsethief campground. Once camp was setup we headed over to Aztec Butte. This hike was high up on both of our to-do lists. We climbed up the butte and took some photos of the ruins and arches as another storm rolled in on us.

Jared getting his flash ready

Arches & Ruins

Since it was raining again, we decided to head into town for some dinner instead of trying to have dinner out in the rain at camp. Jared suggested Miguel’s Baja Grill which was pretty good. We then headed back to camp for another rain-filled night.

Wednesday, to be continued…

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