Canyons 2015: grand views

Breakfast was a sociable affair today, with a good group of people who were chatty and lighthearted. Despite this, we were still ready at about the usual time and back up at Canyonlands slightly earlier than yesterday. After a quick side trip to the visitor centre we headed down towards the far end of the Island. An initial plan was to walk along to the Murphy viewpoint, but one look at the trailhead ruled this out. The parking area, which is quite small to begin with, was one big muddy, deep puddle, from which it was less than 50/50 odds that we’d get the car back out. Instead we went straight to Grand View Point. 

I’m happy to confirm that the view has not diminished in the last 14 months. We hiked the one mile tail to the end of the cliff, where it looks out at Junction Butte and across to the Green River and the Henry Mountans in the far distance. (We didn’t build the snowmen, by the way, but we were amused…)


 Our next stop was a short walk to look at Mesa Arch. We haven’t done this in a while, so it was fun to do. It shapes some great views of the La Sal mountains and the Colorado river canyon below.



 We decided that we would leave Canyonlands and call in at Arches for a final short hike. It was busy going in, far busier than it has been for the last few days, but then again it is the weekend. We stopped at the visitor centre car park and ate our snack bars before driving to the Windows section. Here we climbed up to North Window, a massive arch in an even larger sandstone fin, before walking around to the equally large south window. Most people (in fact, everyone except us while we were there) turn around and go back to the car park, but we continued on the primitive route (including a scramble up an icy section of slickrock) around the north east side of the Windows, which also provides a view across Arches to the Castle Valley area.

And that was it. Our time in the parks here was over. We stopped briefly on Main Street to have a wander and check out the menu of a new restaurant, before returning to Cali Cochitta. We were amused by one hotel sign… I also discovered all the things I could make with old bike chains.

 If you have ever felt you were waging an uphill battle against leaves in the autumn, you definitely shouldn’t get one of these trees. As soon as there is a hard frost, and then the sun comes out, the leaves start falling like rain drops. David is usually obsessive about tidying up leaves, but his leaf vac has broke and won’t be fixed until Monday. I’m at little worried they’ll be digging the place out by then as it is already inches deep!

After showering we called in to see Kim and David, together with her sister, mother and daughter who had all come to visit her. We had a good time and a laugh for a while, before we left them and headed out to that new restaurant, called the Spoke on Centre. (Bicycle theme, sort of, on Centre Street and Main Street, hence the name). This is quite a modern, almost city vibe, especially for Moab. It also turned out to do some really good food. This will definitely  be added to our ‘visit again’ list.

Now, it’s time to relax, sleep and have one last breakfast before packing up and leaving. But it’s Grand Canyon next…!

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