Monday, June 16, 2014

A Tortoise, Fossils, and Wind Caves

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
June 12, 2014

Little Arch
 Last Saturday we had a really fun time. Dee was headed out on Kane Creek Road and Chicken Corners and we were invited to join. We quickly made lunch,  packed lots of waters and loaded up Pearl.
We were just starting out on the wide gravel road when I spotted Little Arch. We actually had an up close and personal adventure at Little Arch last week... but more on that in another post.

Anyway, just as we rounded a corner next to a humongous cliff face, Dee spotted a camera on a tri-pod with some folks around it. We parked just in time to see a BASE jumper, something new to Joe and I. If you look on the far left side almost half way down, you will see the jumper. BASE is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: building, antenna, span and Earth (cliff).  

There was a very loud boom when the parachute deployed. The jumper gracefully soared thru the air and had a perfect landing.

It was just a beautiful day...

Dee and Thumper lead the way.

and no matter how many times we take these trails, I never get tired of the rocks...

or the grasslands.

At about 2.4 miles into the Chicken Corners trail, we came to a fork in the road. To stay on trail, go left. Dee went right...ummm this is private land. We didn't know it, but we were about to meet Tom ( Tom is the owner of Base Camp Adventure Lodge. He is a really nice guy who owns a bed and breakfast right out in the middle of no where with the Colorado River in his backyard. 

Base Camp Adventure Lodge

This is the front yard. There is no electricity here, only solar panels.  The doors and windows were wide open.  

This is the view of the backyard...NICE!

Tom offers several kinds of adventures from hiking, mountain biking and kayaking, but folks mostly enjoy the breeze on the back porch during the day and sitting around the campfire at night or star gazing.

Sunrises and sunsets must be beautiful here...Tom's backyard!

Dee said we didn't arrive here to meet Tom. But rather to meet Kobae. This is Kobae's home.

And this is Kobae...

Kobae is an African Spurred tortoise. Today he weighs about 125 pounds. He wasn't much bigger than a quarter when we was purchased 13 years ago. African spurred tortoises are the third largest species of tortoise in the world.

African spurred tortoise are native to the Sahara Desert. They live in burrows up to 30 inches deep and 10 feet long. Kobae is a herbivore...he enjoys 12 heads of Romaine lettuce along with cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots TWICE daily...that's a hefty salad! He is sure to have many more birthdays as their lifespan is 150 years. One more interesting note about Kobae, he loves to hike...about 12 miles a day!

That's a big yawn!

We also admired a nice collection of fossils on Tom's front porch. He shared stories about them and offered a spot on his property for us to go explore.
This was the place...the rocks here are 400 million years old.

We spent over an hour searching...

Alesa, Joe and Dee

and this is a small sampling of what we found. Pretty cool! We did find several shells and impressions that looked like dragonfly wings.

These are some of Tom's fossil shells.

We connected back to Chicken Corners trail...

and a few miles later, we parked at Catacomb Rock or Wind Caves as the locals call it.  
There are many entrances...I love the way the light filters thru the cracks.

But don't be fooled, its dark inside. This is looking out. If you visit the caves remember to take a flashlight.
There are several look-out points along the trail. Nice places to stretch, take pictures, and 10-100 ( that's wheelin"  talk for a potty break...remember guys on the left and girls on the right. Why? Because girls are always right!).

Do you see the light colored rock formation in the center of the picture below? That's pig rock. We had an up close view of it last week too...more on that in another post.

Before we knew it, about 51/2 hours had flown by. It was time to head home. There are about 7 more miles of Chicken Corners that we have never traversed. Next time, we won't stop till we get to the end...unless we change our minds!

Happy trails...


  1. That's a great way to spend a day. I guess you are not finding Moab too hot for you.

    1. There have been a few rather warm afternoons Steve. But nice and breezy and the mornings and evenings have been perfect!

  2. Love that tortoise! It sure has a nice home:)

    We hiked to a fossil bed out there. It is amazing to look at the shells and think water came that far. Hard to grasp for sure.

    Glad you are sharing your Jeep adventures. You are sure having a wonderful time!

  3. You guys are having such a great adventure. The food bill for that tortoise would do me in. But he's gorgeous.

  4. What a great day and a nice visit at Tom's. I thought feeding Tucker his prescription dog food was expensive but I'm sure it's nothing compared to Kobae's grocery bill. The shell fossils are such a cool find!

  5. I never get tired of riding with you, Gay, so much beauty and fun to share with us. That is one big tortoise!