July 23, 2020 Moab, UT Bartlett Wash Road 4WD (Day 7)

It rained overnight and we had some leftover rain showers when we got up, but the skies to the west were blue so things were clearing up quickly. By the time we got ready to go Jeeping today, it was sunny and 75 degrees. Our 4WD trail would be the Bartlett Wash Pond rated as an easy 10 mile drive. Bob was a little worried that after the rain last night, the washes would be wet and muddy, so we agreed to play it by ear. We left at 11:00 and went north on Highway 191 for 13 miles, then turned onto Mill Canyon Road. It was a gravel road, but well-marked.

There was a staging area on the right where we “aired down”. That usually goes pretty quickly if I help.

Once that was done, we were on our way.

We passed a Class B going out and came upon another Class C that had bottomed out in the wash and got stuck in the deep sand.

We asked them if they needed help. The wife said yes, but we told them we had no winch or towing strap. We did suggest putting rocks under the tires for traction, but the tires were dug in so deep. We told them that this was a pretty well-traveled road, so someone would probably come along that might be able to help. They seemed content to work at it awhile and then maybe call for help, so we went on our way. We turned on Bartlett Road after 3 1/2 miles and headed for Bartlett and Tusher Tunnel.

The road narrowed and the sand deepened.

We began to see rock formations. Off of this road, there were other side trips that you could take on different trails of varying difficulties.

At times, we drove through washes, but they weren’t wet or muddy.

Some washes were lined with greenery and some had water in them, but the water wasn’t deep.

We were basically driving in a dry river beds and the sand was much deeper there. (Normally, I wouldn’t think twice about going through deeper sand with the Jeep, but after seeing that guy get stuck, it was stuck in my mind and it made me a little nervous.)

We saw some interesting rock formations along the way.

I spotted a tumbleweed that I wanted to see up close. I’ve seen them blowing in the wind across the road, but had never up close. It was very prickly and light, of course.

The road went straight for quite awhile toward this huge bluff.

Then we turned and paralleled the bluff for awhile. It gave me a chance to study it. This bluff was created by many different forces of nature and had some very cool rock formations.

Then the condition of the road changed to slickrock. Slickrock is a term they use for a smooth rock surface that gets slippery when it’s wet, so they “rough it up” by a machine grading it.

There was quite a long section of slickrock before we got to the end at Dubinsky Well Road where our trail would end.

We took Dubinsky Well Road heading back to the highway, but then we decided to take a side trip on Spring Canyon Bottom Road.

Spring Canyon Bottom Road is easy when conditions are dry, which it was. The road was hard-pack gravel, long and straight.

We thought we’d check it out for a few more miles. There were interesting rock formations the further along we went.

The terrain was wide open and flat, so we could see far off in the distance.

Clouds hung over the La Sal Mountains.

We went about 7 miles on this road, but stopped before we got to the switchbacks, and turned around. On our way back, our guidebook told us of a road that went to a campsite that looked down into Hell Roaring Canyon. We searched it out and found it not too far off of the main road. You can spot a campsite by the campfire ring of stones.

We parked the Jeep and went to look into the canyon ourselves.

We decided to eat our lunch here with such a lovely view in sight. The temp was 88, but there was a cool breeze blowing that made it very pleasant to sit and eat in the Jeep with the windows open.

We continued back on Dubinsky Well Road to Highway 313. From there, we could see Monitor and Merrimac Bluffs.

We stopped to “air up” at a pull-off staging area at the trailhead for mountain bikes. Bob wanted me to show you his small 12-volt air pump that he carries to “air up” the tires. “Airing up” takes about 6 minutes per tire when it’s plugged into the cigarette lighter.

After that was done, we headed back to the campground. Each Jeeping trail has been different with different terrain, scenery, and challenges. Each one has been an exciting adventure–like following directions to discover a “treasure” and not get lost. It has been fun! We have passed this building every day on the drive back to the campground and find it very unusual. It’s a log cabin with something made to look like a train car sitting on its roof. We have no idea why it’s there. Was it some kind of attraction at one time or just some guy’s idea of a quirky thing to do. There is nothing around it to give us a clue.

We were back at the campground around 2:30, so we had lots of time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Bob did some research about what 4WD trail we would do tomorrow. (We have one more day to go Jeeping here before we leave on Saturday so we want to make it a good one.) It was so pleasant to sit outside for a change without the oppressive heat. Even though the temp was warm, there was a nice cool breeze. Bob had refilled his hummingbird feeder yesterday and noticed a couple of hummingbirds had come to feast on the sweet nectar. He sat outside with Auggie, very patiently, waiting to get a picture. They were only about as big as your little finger and not too colorful, but they were fun to watch.

I think he got some good pictures and even took a movie of the hummingbirds at the feeder. We noticed another hummingbird sitting in a bare tree nearby.

Around 5:00, the skies started to cloud up and the forecast was for possible rain later. I hope the skies are clear enough tonight or tomorrow to see the comet come by around 10:00. My brother told me he had seen the comet fly by last night just below the Big Dipper with his binoculars. I want to see it too! We took our walk after dinner a little earlier because it looked like the rain was coming. Auggie sometimes leads us towards the dog park where he can be off-leash and have the place all to himself. We didn’t have time to do that tonight because the drops started to fall and we had to hurry to finish our walk. We got back just in time before the rain came down harder and the thunder boomed. Tomorrow we will get an early start to do our last Jeep drive in Moab and get some housekeeping items done before we leave on Saturday. We also have our 38th wedding anniversary to celebrate. Woo-hoo!

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