Towards the end of March I finish volunteering at Aztec Ruins and we have about ten days before I'm due to start at Pipe Spring. It's holiday time and we plan to make the most of it: some new places, some not, all a delight.
Hovenweep's towers, grouped around a canyon head make it a very particular site. Buildings stand right on the canyon edge, some isolated from the rim on top of huge boulders, a few down on the canyon floor. Sleeping Ute Mountain lies in the background slightly dusted in his scanty spring blanket of snow.
A bizarre stop on the edge of what used to be the shoreline of Lake Powell at Hite. In this north east arm of the lake the water is absent, the boat ramp high and dry. The weather closes in and we are pumelled by driving rain and rocked as the wind buffets the camper. The cloud is still down the following morning but the views looking back to where we camped are wonderfully atmospheric.
A playground of wonderfully sculpted sandstone goblins, hoodoos and ravines all rendered in the red, orange and pink spectrums that characterise this part of the country. The La Sals provide the snow-dusted mountain backdrop for this photo shoot.
In spite of the increasing crowds, Arches remains one of our favourite parks. Majestic arches, fins and the distant La Sals, hikes with stunning views and a colour pallete that makes the soul expand. We manage to get a last minute campground reservation by sharking for cancellations on-line. We are incredibly fortunate: it turns out to be one of the best sites, the view is simply stunning.
Canyon Rims Area UT
After the melee of Arches we head for the quieter backwaters. Although we've spent a lot of time around Moab over the years, we'd never been out to the Canyon Rims area: the next three entries are all based here.
Hatch Point Campground
Solitude, silence and the opportunity to wander across the extensive shelf-slope of bare sandstone with a view of the La Sals in the distance.
The photgraphs say it all. It's hard to tear ourselves away.
Having gazed into the depths from the overlook, we feel compelled to head down. We have a couple of days surrounded by the vertical red cliffs, a stunning spot but maybe a few too many ATV's in the distance.
A complete change of pace sees us heading for the high Rockies at Ouray on the promise of snow, mountains and hot springs. It's my birthday treat. The campgrounds are still closed so it's a night in a delightful B&B, dinner out and of course the obligatory soak in the waters. It's probably the most stunning setting of any springs we've been to: the snowy mountains are immediate, the sky an intense blue, the water a delight.
Our time is drawing to a close, we're due at Pipe Spring. We spend our last night on the shore of Lake Powell again. Here at the south west tip of the lake, we can see the water and have some further entertainment watching rental RVs getting stuck in the sand before being hauled out by various kind hearted folk.