The second day we headed over to the …. state park, some 50miles drive up the mesa. As we got on top, the rain started again and a thick fog surrounded us. No pictures were taken, no entrance fee was paid. We continued towards the Canyonlands, further up the same road, hoping for some sunshine or less fog. We wandered around the visitor center, fried some sausages in the pouring rain and had lunch. Lucky enough, we were in the right place and the right time when the sun appeared and we could hike to the overlooks of the Upheaval Dome – a mysterious crater of unknown origins. As we came back to the car, it started drizzling again so we decided to come back the next day. But the day was not over yet – Lucy saw that the car is leaking something. We had a busted water pump and almost no water left in the system. Challenge accepted: drive back to the city, buy a new pump, try to change it yourself and decide you lack the tools, find a service still open at 3:30pm and available to do the job the same day. Mission accomplished, thanks to the very helpful people of Moab, with good recommendations (special thanks to the guy at Napa who called the competitor’s store to check if they have the part, and to Mark, the mechanic who did it). And fixed the oil leak too, by replacing the busted pressure sensor. Quite a successful rainy day.
The next day was the day we started early and hiked a bit of Canyonlands for the spectacular views there. This place is a park on top of a mesa (one of those rocky structures that look like a mountain, but they’re leftovers from ancient rivers digging around them) where you can see a big part of the Colorado river canyon and its confluence with the Green River. You can’t see the Colorado river from up above, but the whole canyon is truly breathtaking, especially as seen from the Grand Mesa Overview. It’s like the Grand Canyon, but not so deep, and not so steep down. There is a nice off-road route going down to the first plateau, via the Shafer’s trail, and circling around the main overlook of the park – Grand Mesa Overlook, coming back up someplace we didn’t have the chance to see/find out. It’s a 2 days road I’d like to drive or ride on at some point (when I can afford a 4×4 truck with enough clearance and the fee for it, or a guided tour).
There were a few other nice places in the park, but the silence up top, the little birds flying around and the small lizards heating up on the stones, make you feel you’re up high in the clouds. As we also saw some French people talking up loud like in their kitchen, and walking on plants outside of the marked trails like they own the place, made me think about the crowded summer, where the poor vegetation doesn’t stand a chance. There are never enough signs and informational brochures for the ignorance of some. It’s a wonder how the wonderful places like this one are still clean, given the amount of tourists passing through every day. I can only be happy that the wild mountains of Romania are not so popular and that the Darwin’s laws of natural selection still apply there.
Had we spent one more day in Moab, we’d probably been to see the bike competition (there’s probably one every week – Redbull downhill was not very far away). However, Moab is one of the nicest places so far on our trip, and for me ranking somewhere close to Sedona.