Sunday morning we were up and out the door by 7:45am. When the temps are predicted to get into triple digits, an early start is a must! Our destination for the day was Dead Horse Point SP and a hike on the Great Pyramid Loop. Our trusted guide book rated this 3.7 mile loop as easy to moderate.
When we arrived and paid our fee, we did find out this is a shared trail with mountain bikes...not a problem. As we headed out, the trail was a little rocky to say the least...like walking on marbles.
The first "WOW!" was at the Colorado River Overlook. It is a huge slickrock area with no rails. Notice I kept my distance from the edge!
The inclines on this trail have gradual changes in elevation making them fairly easy to hike.
The second overlook was a view of the Great Pyramid.
We just can't get enough of these views. Some might think if you have seen one view of a canyon, you have seen them all. Yet, when there in person, each view is so different, rendering a completely fresh perspective and visual impact. I have run out of adjectives...maybe I haven't said breathtaking so that will do!
Once past the second overlook, the trail heads away from the rim with another slow climb
with a few larger rocky shelves.
We entered a basin and enjoyed the shade from the pinyon pines. Perfect for a water and apple break!
Did you know pinyon pines do not produce pine nuts every year?
A tree produces edible nuts just every three to seven years. The irregular cycle prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new pine trees instead of a quick meal for a squirrel.
This partial cone was crushed on the trail so Joe picked it up for a closer look.
Shortly after our break, we came to a fork in the trail. Although I usually take pictures of the signs, the one for this junction had about a dozen bikers in front of it. Their bikes were scattered about and looked to us like a huge wreck. Well, this is where the OOPS! part in the title comes in.
Without looking at the direction sign, I said "turn right" so we did. After we had hiked one for over an hour, we came to a trail marker with a map and "you are here" designation . We were now a third of the way into the Big Chief Loop, which is a 9,2 mile hike that includes the Great Pyramid Loop. In looking at the map we calculated that our 3.7 mile hike should just about have been completed and we were left with a decision.... turn around, or finish out the 9.2 mile loop. We did not have enough water or time to complete the extra miles so we back tracked.
My mistake cost us about 2 hours and boy was it getting hotter by the second! What a relief it was to see this sign. We still had 1.5 miles to go, but at least it was in the right direction!
From here we climbed another hill. Why does it seem like the red sandy parts of the trail all go uphill? Not hard packed red sand, but soft, red sand that your feet get buried in. Good for the legs but tough to walk in!
The meadow was full of prickly pear cactus. And this little guy was sure enjoying brunch!
|Mystery flower of the day...I could not find it. Does anyone know what it is?|
|Sure wish this cairn had been at the fork in the road and not in the meadow!|
Whew! What a sight...Don't mind telling you we were tired and hot by the time we returned to the Visitor Center. What should have been a 3.7 mile hike in the early morning, turned out to be about 5.7 miles.
We didn't budge on Monday except to take Sally to the vet for her annual shots and exam. Dr. Jim Gostlin and his wife Lou were great with Sally. During her exam, Dr. Jim showed us the heavy tar build up on her back teeth. He suggested we should have them cleaned when we were in a location and had time. With yet another week here in Moab, we asked if he could do it for us. He could, so she returned Tuesday for the procedure. If you are in Moab, UT and find yourself in need of veterinarian we highly recommend Dr. Gostlin and his staff.
|"But daddy, I'm people, not a dog!"|
Thanks for stopping by.
|Y'all come back!|