Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dead Horse State Park and Canyonlands...

Today we headed out of Arches National Park and travelled into Thelma and Louise country. Dead Horse State Park is where the famous finale was filmed an it was even more impressive in real life!

In the movie our hearts freeze as their car flies off the edge of the cliff in the final scene. Towering 2000 feet above the Colorado River, the neck of the formation was used by cowboys to corral and capture wild horses. One time a herd of unwanted mustangs was inadvertently left waterless behind a 50 feet fence, where they died of thirst. Dead Horse Point is a marvel of form and color!

Although you may not guess it by its name, Dead Horse Point State Park is a stunning place. It sits atop a lofty mesa with see-forever views, stunning cliffs, canyon rims, fun and challenging mountain bike trails and hiking trails that lead to even more grand views.

I discovered the work of local artist Serena Surpplee in the State Park shop and couldn't resist purchasing a 2013 calender featuring her watercolour paintings. Serena works in watercolours, oils, and sculpture. She also uses the Giclee printing process, making it possible to produce a print of her paintings. Her artworks made me want to stop and start painting immediately - they are simple yet capture the magical landscape.

The next stop was not far up the road - Canyonlands National Park. The park is divided into four districts by the Green and Colorado rivers: the Island in the Sky, the Maze, the Needles, and the rivers themselves.

The Island in the Sky is the most accessible district,and we were rewarded with expansive views from many overlooks along the paved scenic drive. We spent the remainder of our day exploring the key lookout points.

With limited time we still managed to complete a short hike to the Mesa Arch. The trail ends in front of an elegant stone that spans fifty feet across the top of a 500-foot vertical cliff. Mesa Arch is classified as a pothole arch because it was formed by surface water that pooled on the sandstone behind the arch, slowly eroding the rock. The result is an arch that dangles across the mesa’s edge.

Geology aside, the arch provides the frame for a stunning Utah landscape.

As the sun was setting we stopped at the Visitor Center on our way back to Moab. Yasemin and Max had both completed their Junior Ranger booklets and were rewarded with two more badges to add to heir collection.

We headed in to the Moab Brewery for dinner. We were all starved after such a huge day. We feasted on some of the best burgers we have eaten while in the US, while Garry sampled some boutique beer from the Brewery - another great end to a wonderful day.

No comments:

Post a Comment