Friday, June 3, 2016

Introducing Canyonlands - Needles District!

So I'd never heard of this place till Dean mentioned it, and had this great hike all picked out to go see these rock formations that look like needles. This is about 1.5 hours outside of Moab on our way to Monument Valley. Well the drive in from the main highway alone was enough to take your breath away. A couple of places actually looked like the Pyramids rising up from red rock, and there was a "Newspaper Rock" with petroglyphs on it that you could see as you drove by. Lucas has some better pics, but this is what I could get uploaded, since I'm a day behind. Oh yeah, we rafted down a bit of the Colorado on Wednesday, but that was more of a float trip since the water wasn't as high as they thought, so I didn't take a single picture, and I did laundry that afternoon, so nothing terribly exciting to report. So these are from Thursday. This is about a mile in...

and this was billed as a relatively flat hike, which was a LIE, as we had to climb quite a bit, and traverse bare rocks, and scramble down ledges...

and squeeze through THIS fun crack, which was awesome!

And there were beautiful blooming cacti along the way...

And here we're heading back without any picture of needles, but Lucas has some from a distance that I'll upload later. We didn't quite make it all the way there due to time constraints, so we hiked about 1.5 hours then turned around and came back.

I fell in love with cairns, which are rock piles that show you the way along the trail.

So of course I had to take some pics of them - if you enlarge this, you'll see about 5 piles between me and Drew marking the way.

This was my favorite one because it was 2 cairns on top of another cairn, and I didn't even notice the boys being silly in the background.

So we ate our pre-made sandwiches in the car on the way to Monument Valley, and this is the precious cabin we stayed one night in there.

Check out this view from inside the room. This is on the Navajo reservation, and we took a guided tour with a Navajo guide in an open-air truck.

Lucas was thrilled with the ride, but less so with our tour group, and there will be a later post about people you meet in tour groups.

I forgot to clean off the lens before this selfie, which is from John Ford's Point, named because he stood on this cliff to direct his movies here (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon or another one - a bunch were filmed here with John Wayne).

They give you a rundown of life in a hogan, which is a Native American house made of wood and covered with clay, and the lady showed how they card wool, then spin it on a spindle, then all the things they make with it. This is a chart of which plants they boil to get which color - cool! (Although not cool was the fact that every time the tour stopped to look at something, there were tables of Native American jewelry to buy, and you couldn't take a picture of the guy on the horse unless you tipped him first, and you also were supposed to tip the lady after her demonstration.)

This crossed the road in front of us, and you can guess what it is, can't you? It even turned around and MOOOOO-ed at us....because it was MAD! (My Mad Cow follows wherever I go, like in Fiery Furnace when I realized I didn't have my hat on my head, and looked around frantically before asking if anybody had seen my hat. Then Drew pointed out it was hanging around my neck.)

And lastly, because I'm tired and the Wifi won't let me upload another picture, is "hogan arch" I think, because it's shaped like a hogan with the hole in the top, and if you lie against the walls inside and look up, it looks like an eagle flying - cool!

Stay tuned for a couple more from Monument Valley, including sunrise this morning, and Lower Antelope Canyon from today. I go bed now!


Pam said...

How wonderful! On the way to Monument Valley, J and I stayed at the Courtyard on Reservation -- I think it was the most spectacular in term of sights. We also encountered a dust storm and at that time my new car of 60 days was hailed upon (no damage, thankfully). What a great trip!

Dr. Fun (AKA Sister) said...

Wow - a dust storm would be bad, since it was pretty dusty already! That's cool that y'all did such a similar trip to us.