Our circle of a trip was slowly closing – from Utah, we had driven through parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, and now we entered Utah again – but our trip was far from over – some of the best of the Four Corners region still lay ahead.
Our target was Moab, the most fun town in Utah, but on the way we aimed to stop at The Needles, a section of the massive Canyonlands N.P.
We first stopped at Newspaper Rock, a large rock covered in petroglyphs – rock drawings and carvings. Like other sites around the world, it is virtually impossible to date the drawings, but its clear is that through the ages, Newspaper Rock has attracted artists and passers-by alike. There are carvings from as recently as the 19th century, and there are others, dating back to perhaps thousands of years ago.
We continue into the desolation that is the Needles District – first you pass cattle ranches, and then the dry desert takes over. We hiked briefly, but we were not prepared for a long stay in this area. This is an area for serious hikers – without kids and early in the morning a ten-mile hike might have really appealed, but this was afternoon, it was really hot and we were unprepared.
Moab is a small town smack in the middle of some of the greatest scenery in America. It’s a fun place:
T-shirt stores predominate it seems, along with souvenirs and adventure outfitters. We signed up for a one day family rafting trip on the Colorado River and spent a couple of days enjoying the national parks, the hotel and municipal pools, and wandering around the town.
We explored other parts of Canyonlands too. The Island in the Sky region is a plateau thousands of feet above the canyons below – it’s kind of scary in places, but the scenery is simply fascinating.
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