Redrocks and Aspen Trees - UTAH - Day 2

It’s time for one epic day of ups and downs...

Good morning!!

The first morning of a trip is like Christmas. I can’t sleep! I’m itching to go and see the first new thing, the first turn onto a dirt road, making the first tracks down it. If you’re a skier, it’s the same feeling you get when you know it snowed all night and you can’t wait to get the first tracks!

We did stop by the “State Park” (more of a view than a park if you ask me) on our way to get the obligatory Goosenecks photo.

Time to go up the Moki Dugway. “The Moki Dugway was constructed in 1958 by Texas Zinc, a mining company, to transport uranium ore from the “Happy Jack” mine in Fry Canyon to the processing mill in Mexican Hat.”

In future years, I’ll site this as the reason for having lung cancer from breathing uranium dust. (Many mining roads were built with all of that extra dirt (Tailings) they had laying around. Which makes you wonder when it was a Uranium mine...)

In a rental car or on a Harley... (that was fun), this road is an adventure. Otherwise, it’s a nice graded dirt road with some pretty views.

It’s worth stopping for a minute to enjoy.

At the top of the Moki we cruised along looking for our turn. I try to never take the same road twice. Maybe I’m trying to maximize the new dirt, the fresh tracks or the total adventure, but whatever the case I turned on one dirt road early so we could take a different way in than we’d take out.

It was worth it.

We were making fresh tracks after last nights rain. I could tell this red dirt would be hell if it was soaking wet so we were thankful it was only damp as we slipped around.

We kept making our way along this random Cedar Mesa dirt road until we found our spot. A spot to abandon the truck and the cold brew coffee I had been nursing all morning trying to force my mind to WAKE UP. We grabbed our camelbacks, Spot Tracker, rain jackets and headed out.

It was still early morning and these views were hard to process in my dreary coffee soaked brain. I’m glad I had just enough sense to snap some pictures.

This hike had a pull out where we left the truck, but beyond that no formal trail. All I knew was that in this canyon were some Native American ruins. Not the type that are behind glass or with a paved walking path, but the kind that are seldom visited and still have the feel of a place that was left just a few years ago.

We walked up the canyon and realizing that via the topos on my phone we were leaving the canyon we decided to try down canyon.

What’s that one frog doing to the other one!

(What’s that one frog doing to the other one!)

We walked along the floor of the canyon and then realized a higher vantage might give us the view we wanted so we climbed up to the top.

It worked. There it is below. See it?

We barely did. Let me zoom in as we climb down.

Two of them. 1 up high and one down next to the wash.

(Two of them. 1 up high and one down next to the wash.)

(What’s this? A secret compartment inside of the hut? Grain storage? Gold storage, some important keepsake?)

I stared at the construction for a while. Amazing to see it up close and personal and all the more amazing to know it has lasted for hundreds of years like this.

Not a bad view from the front porch.

The upper homes were almost impossible to reach unless you came from the top of the rim like we did. We had to back track a half mile to get to the lower huts. Sure, natives could scale the wall better, but it left me wondering if they had a ladder of some sort.

On the other hand, the upper could have been storage and a place to retreat to, should someone attack. Who knows.

We made our way to the lower hut.

The lower hut had seen a lot more visitors and had a lot more abuse from erosion as well. We sat in the silent canyon and rested. I was in no rush to get back. Sitting around and just soaking in the fact that the vacation had officially started and we were long out of cell reception...

Eventually, we started to make our way back up to the truck.