Finally, I Post About my Spring Canyonlands Trip. Cherokee and M715 Get it done!

Work and other things keep me from posting on here as much as I’d like to. (We all know I’m actually piddling around in the toy factory instead of in front of the computer) Finally, I’ll tell all about the fun run back in the spring…. We drove out to Moab, changed a waterpump on the Cherokee that started weeping fortuitously BEFORE we got out in the backcountry….and started out of town headed in the direction of Lockhart Basin. Now, driving across Lockhart Basin to the Needles District of Canyonlands takes a whole day of driving….I thought 3 would better suit the journey. Spent the first night just barely over Hurrah Pass at Catacomb Rock. This place is cool for sure, with all variety of interesting naturally carved grottoes and caves. Some sizable drops in places too. Bring a flashlight for sure! Some go in far enough to want the light as it gets dark and the floors are not exactly flat or even….piles of rock from the ceiling are here and there too… After exploring the inside of the Rock it was decided that the intrepid group of explorers consisting of my buddy Moe,( Not his real name as we have to keep up with our silly little game of pseudonyms) Bart, Alex and Myself would need to climb to the top of Catacomb Rock. Marge stayed in camp and seemed to be enjoying some peace and quiet. And climb it we did. Except Moe, who was not really up to one rather exposed challenging free climb near the very top. He nobly offered to go summon help should we splatter on the sandpapery rocks below. Still, all had tons of fun exploring and we packed up and set off for Lockhart Basin. I have wanted to explore Lockhart Canyon which is a offshoot from the main road for a long time. Am I glad I did. We camped there in a nice spot just off the road. ( Camping not allowed inside Canyonlands N.P. at the very end of the road) We explored all the way to the end of the road where you can see the Colorado River and some really neat petroglyphs. Bart Caught a Rock lizard too! He let it go after ma got a pic. We loaded up camp and headed for our next destination….. Needles district of Canyonlands! Drove the long tedious miles on across Lockhart Basin Road and thru Hamburger Rock Campground to highway 211. From there just a short journey to Needles outpost for a few snax, some well earned showers and gas for the Cherokee. No diesel here. That’s Ok! I have plenty. On to the Ranger station to pick up our backcountry pass and then over Elephant Hill! I noted at the Ranger station that it was exactly 30 years since I first came here and camped at Devils Kitchen. WOW. 1983…… Spot #4 Has always been my favorite campspot since the very first time. Still is. Spent several days camped here. The rocks overhang a significant amount of the camp. Sun only shines in camp this time of year just a little while in the afternoon. We were a bit chilled in the mornings…..had to go for a jog in the valley beyond to warm up! I never seem to have enough time to fully explore the place….always find something new to see…. Wished I’d brought my climbing shoes. But they would likely lead me to all kinds of trouble. Long bumpy ride to a hospital from here! Went and Hiked the Joint trail. It is basically a series of rock joints that have slowly separated over the eons ’till they were just big enough for people to walk in…some only big enough for kids to squeeze thru. Stunning. Pics just cant do it justice. We then packed up camp and headed for the back way out of the park. This means navigating an obstacle called Bobby’s Hole, a steep, sketchy, off camber, loose rubble, tore up mess of a hill and that’s when it’s been maintained some. Still, I wasn’t too worried…. The Cherokee had done it a few years earlier and the 715 just seems to go wherever I aim it….and once again the old truck proved it’s worth and drove right on up. Marge Drove up in the Cherokee without issues as well. I knew she would do fine in it. Then on to Ruin Park. There are some amazing remains of historic anasazi farmhouses. Like Mesa Verde except here they just built on top of defensible hills instead of in a canyon. We wanted showers at this point…..BAD….. and cold drinks….so as we traveled the Beef Basin road I stopped at a snow bank and filled up the drink cooler with snow. Oh the simple things. Then on to highway 211 again and back to Moab after stopping at Newspaper Rock historic site. After all that driving the 715 took 20 gallons to fill back up! Pretty amazing really. So, I had 15 gallons in reserve including my jerrycan. Had also carried 5 extra for the Cherokee. I gotta get the Cummins Wagoneer up and running! Also, Airconditioning has moved higher on the “mandatory” list. Pix Soon!

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