Moab, UT &
The Maze (Part 2)
by Ken Womack
and The La Sals
After our trip to the Maze,
Dan & Diane Neuss and Evelyn and I were in need of some rest, which we
did Friday, sleeping in some, then doing laundry and washing our Jeeps,
some rest huh? Dan ordered a
new power steering pump, which would be in Sat. a.m.
We chilled out and had a Bar-B-Que at Dan’s buddy’s house,
where they were staying. A
good night’s rest again and we were ready for Sat.
We got to the trailhead,
aired down and started out. The
trail was fairly tough from the beginning.
Steep ledges with drop-offs got us warmed up from the get-go.
We got up to some huge rocks and ruts that were very tough for my
Jeep and fairly tough for Dan’s. With
careful spotting, we got each other thru this obstacle ok.
Next was a huge 4 foot ledge you had to climb in two-tiers.
On the second one you have to turn sharply to avoid serious body
damage from a rock outcropping. You
really have to trust you spotter on this one.
Both of us got up, but it wasn’t easy.
Soon after this one, we ran into The Larimer County 4-Wheelers
otherwise known as The Mountaineers from Ft. Collins Co.
This fun-loving group of ‘Wheelers were coming back from the
hardest spot on the trail, the actual Cliffhanger.
It is a sharp uphill and downhill obstacle vicariously close to a
dangerous drop-off. Since it
was Dan and Dianne’s wedding anniversary and we were all going out to
dinner, we chose to return with The Mountaineers.
After a long, hot, dry week of the Maze and a trip to Cliffhanger, it was time for a trip to the cooler side of Moab. The La Sals, the pretty Colorado-type mountains were still snow-capped. We started up the mountain roads from Spanish Valley Drive to Geyser Pass Rd onto Dark Canyon Rd. Mt. Mellenthin was a sight for sore eyes. Pretty, snow covered and COOL Dark Canyon Rd. was wide and easy to drive and the views were awesome indeed.
several miles on the easier road, we started up La Sal Pass Rd.
Here we began a steep climb up a winding road, easy but with many
turns. Just past the summit
of La Sal Pass was Medicine Lake, a beautiful alpine lake below South
Mountain. Here was our lunch
spot. Blaze got out to wander
around and even got in the water. It
must have beencold.
You couldn’t ask for a better picnic spot.
We chilled and munched for about 45 min. and then packed up to head
down the mountain. The road became narrower, muddy in spots and more
demanding, just what we had hoped. Although
a medium trail, in spots it was still a walk in the park.
But it was a really nice walk in the park. J
We passed a talus slope of loose rocks that made strange
crunching noises as you drove over them, but none actually broke.
A steep descent with a couple of
water crossings and mud holes made this trip refreshing. Thousands of butterflies congregated at creeks to drink the
fresh water. Coming down the
trail through scrub oaks, we saw the canyon lands and mazes of the valley
below. Such a contrast from
what we had just driven through. There
were some spur roads I would have loved to explore, but that would have to
wait for another time. Perhaps
there may have been a cabin or even a mine, though I saw no evidence of
any. We continued on down the
road into drier climate, looking back up at where we had just been.
I knew a trip back would be in the future for sure.
We exited thru Pack Creek
Recreation Area, shifted to 2-wheel-drive and motored down the road back
to Moab. If you go to Moab, and just GOTTA chill for a day from the hot,
dry weather, The La Sal Pass Road with Geyser Pass and Dark Canyon Road
will do the job for you. Remember
to pack a lunch and allow plenty of time because this is a great place to
relax and enjoy.