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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Living In The Wild, Wild West... A Canyon Rim Dream Hike

Grab your jacket and come join Bobbie on an amazing canyon rim hike! If you are acrophobic, take a Valium now...

Goldie is boondocked about eight miles from Dead Horse State Park. It's one of those "island in the sky" places, located on a far reaching elevated peninsula that overlooks (seemingly) the entirety of Utah... clear to the earth's gentle, feminine curve. 

"Dead Horse" is a good Zane Grey Western type name, don't you think? One that conjures a mental image. There are so many image provoking names in the apocalyptic desolation of the wild west; names like, Bloody Basin, Hells Backbone, and Tombstone, to mention a few.

As the story goes, some rancher, or maybe it was rustlers, decided that the tip of this particular peninsula lent itself to be a natural corral, of sorts. Its vertical walls with thousand foot drops were better than any barbed wire fence. There is a sliver of an isthmus preceding the rather bulbous landmass tip, so a pile of dead twisted cedar trunks was all that was needed to pen horses in the corral. Satisfied his stock was secured, the cowboy rode off to tend to other cowboy business... probably stealing more horses. 

Well, they were "secure" all right... still there when he came back. But they were dead as roadkill, having died a desiccating death from lack of water. If it doesn't rain enough to fill the plentiful "pothole" tanks, you are in deep doo doo... be you horse, or be you human. 

A rather artistic, apostrophe shaped tank... carved by the swirl of runoff. 

Standing on the edge now... don't look down.

We jumped this divide between two boulders only to realize later that the boulder we were standing on was totally undercut and separated. You can see the daylight, fortunately it was wedge in place securely enough to handle both our weight, and stupidity :))

As you can see, rocks do slough off from time to time...

After rounding the bend, we looked back and realized this cliff was also undercut. Sheesh, what's a person got to do to get a view around here? Risk their life?

Pothole "water tanks"

Some are quite deep, as you can see... on the edge of an abyss of nothingness.

Now that's a pretty postcard, eh Boonie? (be careful now, as that is a trick question)

I asked Bobbie to go stand on that outcropping rock so I could take her picture. She wouldn't do it.

This is why you can't trust rocks on the edge out here.

A gooseneck in the mighty Colorado River... Not so mighty in the fall.

Potash ponds, with the snowless  La Salle mountains in the background

They build these rock fences in the tourist areas... in case Junior gets away from you.

I hope you enjoyed our hike. We are packing up today... moving a few miles down the road to an a-maze-ing place we have yet to set foot nor tire. I sincerely hope you stay tuned for what we might find there. 

As always, bookmarking your future "must see" places in the wild wild west...
Mark and Bobbie.


  1. What a glorious day. The views are so grand.

    Just curious, have you ever hiked the trail along the top of the Green River Overlook? My mom, sister and I wanted to when we were there, but it was late in the day and very windy with streaky rainstorms in the distance, so we wisely decided against it. We didn't want to be out a cliff edge when it rains and the slickrock gets slick!

  2. Mark and Bobbie:

    Thanks for taking us on your journey, it's almost like we were trailing along behind you....great photo's, and much appreciated.

    Your faithful follower: Laverne

  3. I enjoyed the hike, somewhat like being with you guys but miss the sensation of stepping up to the edge and that surreal feeling of the vertical drop and distance horizion.
    Keep those spectacular photo's coming.......

  4. Mark,
    Please email me.
    Cousin Debbie

  5. Gorgeous country! Always good to look before going out to the edge. Who knows what a few pounds will do to an overhanging rock.

  6. We also did that hike, but I didn't get that close to the rim! Lovely place. Can't wait to see where you and Goldie end up next.

  7. Awesome! How I wish we had "vacationed" in southern Utah between jobs as I originally planned rather than try doing the disgusting sugarbeet harvest. Live and learn.

  8. Today, you have made me homesick for a place I've never been. Thanks for the beautiful tour.

  9. Another beautiful place to go hiking and yes I am "bookmarking" these locations.

  10. You made me really homesick, or should I say earthsick, for a place I HAVE been, but it has been way too long. Rock heaven there on that island.

  11. Great photos remind me of the three weeks from last spring as I explored around Moab. Thanks for the memories.

  12. I'm with Gaelyn on her thoughts..If you had eaten a tripple bacon cheezeburger before stepping into the warm-hot-water hole...We may have not been able to enjoy any more of your photos..or the previous....My 23yr old Nowcold keeps my libations down to 30o..And yes I'll buy..Looking towards Death Valley in Dec. or?? I'll keep tabs on where you folks are as I have and we will see. Hope so..

  13. Travel Bug,
    We did not hike that trail since we on our bikes... and still had to get back to camp :((. It is a glorious overlook tho... puts one in their "place," geologically wonderful, yet, evolutionary wise, immature as a newborn.

    Lucky Ducks,
    The Payoff drives one "heights" they would otherwise never achieve. Thanks!

    I'm glad you are "bookmarking" the specially places we come across... it's part of our "purpose." Everyone needs purpose... as it enhances the journey ten fold. Thanks.

    Al and Karen,
    I like your blog and writing style BTW!
    I'm pretty sure Utah's CanyonLands will be here next time you make it out west. Allow lots of time, spring or fall... never summer. Thanks for commenting.

    We didn't jump up and down, that's for sure :))

    Cousin Deb,
    I tried, but your email address is no longer valid. So I google Plused you back. Email me... there is a button somewhere on my blog.

    I appreciate you coming along... even if vicarious. The more, the merrier. Thanks for being a regular supporter of the BCB. We LOVE that about you... and say hi to Julie :))

    John Q,
    Thanks, wish you were here to share some of these hikes with us. Hope Andrew can fill Peyton's big shoes :)) Thanks for commenting, pal.

    We should plan a meet up out here some spring or fall... great boondocking, biking, hiking, and far viewing. Enjoy Big Bend, and don't run your generator :)) Say Hi to Debbie S. Thanks

    Thank you for that quote, song verse, or, perhaps, your own words, tho it sounds familiar. It succinctly states the "song" all wanderers carry in their hearts, and inspired blog post thoughts in my tumble weed mind. Stay tuned, cause the "fallout" will be your fault :)) I appreciate your undying support for the BCB.

    Sue M,
    Now it's going to bug you and bug you to get back out here. :)) Sorry, or Your Welcome... take your pick!

    Wandrin Lloyd,
    A meet up with you would be grand, here. That State Park Campground in Dead Horse has power and water and Verizon... and a beautiful setting... what more do you need but willing hiking partners :)) Thanks.

    Up River Dave,
    That's a good temp for Beer! and We love Death Valley (in the winter)... December is still sketchy for us... wanting to spend Christmas at home in Lovely Ouray... a winter "Postcard," if you will, then head back out in January for the remainder of Old Man Winter. But we'll see... if not Death Valley, somewhere, ok?
    thanks, Mark

  14. You had me "homesick" for the place I've only been once before I even saw the pictures. All you had to do was mention Moab! I posted about it and gave you a shout-out yesterday. More pictures every day please!

  15. Pam and Wayne,
    Thanks for the shout out! The pics are on there way, I hope they are worth the wait. Anyone who loves Moab is a friend of mine :))

    Got it... I just can't call, send, receive most of the time where I'm camped :((


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