May 26, 2022 Moab, UT Day 3

We had to get up at 7:00 so Bob could attend the Co-op Board Meeting via Zoom at 10:00 EST. I don’t know why we bother to set an alarm. We get up before it goes off most of the time anyway. While Bob attended the board meeting, I started on the wash. The meeting was over in 30 minutes and we went on with our day. Bob took Auggie for his morning walk and I did more of the wash. When Auggie and Bob got back from their walk, Auggie got a much needed bath.

We planned to leave around 11:00 with a packed lunch to do some off-roading today on one of the many trails that are in the area. We waited for it to warm up a little first. It was sunny, with clear blue skies and 59 when we got up. (You’ll get tired of hearing me say “clear, blue skies”, I’m sure.) I was done with the wash by 11:00 and we got ready to go. We pulled out at 11:00 to explore the Onion Creek Trail. We took River Road (Highway 128) which is just 2 miles from the campground.

Highway 128 snakes along the Colorado River where it carves a path through the gorge.

There were people enjoying their day out on the river. We saw some people rafting on the river with the river tour companies. Others were fishing and paddle-boarding on the river.

Along this scenic highway, there are many campgrounds and day-use areas. Many of the campgrounds were close to being full and we guessed it was because of the Memorial Day weekend coming up. It is a very popular area. The scenery along this stretch of road is gorgeous with the red rock cliffs in contrast with the many shades of green in the trees and bushes.

We drove about 18 miles on Highway 128 until we came to the Onion Creek turnoff.

As we turned in, we were behind a Harley Davidson motorcycle and wondered where the heck he was going with his nice looking bike.

They went as far as they could on the paved road, but when it turned to dirt, they turned around. Smart idea!

There is a regular campground here as well as an area for horse-camping. As we got to the entrance of the trail, there were some people in the parking lot getting their 3 UTV’S ready for the trail. We went first and took our time enjoying the view. So did this lizard.

We got to a wider place in the trail and pulled over. Bob proceeded to “air down” the tires.

He lets air out of the tires which creates a softer ride over a bumpy surface and gives better traction. The 3 Razors came by while we were “airing down”.

He carries an air compressor along just for that purpose. It took about 10 minutes and we were back on the trail. The beginning of the drive took us across the prairie and then into the canyon.

The scenery continued to be spectacular with the sun hitting the red rock towers. One formation was more amazing than the next.

The road crisscrosses the Onion Creek many times. Sometimes the crossings are wide and sometimes they’re narrow. Sometimes the water is deep and other times shallow. You never know what you’re going to find. That’s the adventure in it all!

We came upon a Mercedes parked on the side of the road, but no one was in it. We ran into the inhabitants farther down the road as they hiked back to the car. They were smart not to go much further with that car.

We had to stop on the trail and back up to make room for a truck that was coming towards us in the other direction. There wasn’t enough room for both of us to pass by each other.

From there, the road began to climb into the canyon with more rivers to cross.

Sometimes the road was wide and sometimes only narrow enough for one car.

Sometimes we had to drive on a shelf road and sometimes in the dry river bed.

There were blind corners everywhere, so Bob got into beeping his horn on our approach to let them know we were just around the corner.

At one point, there was a banked turn which registered in the Jeep on the off-road pitch and roll dials as a 17-degree roll.

We continued on the trail deeper and deeper into the canyon, crossing the river over and over.

We drove over a very narrow, one-lane bridge with a 5 ton limit. Really?

We finally reached our lunch destination and parked in the shade of this cliff. We love this spot since we first discovered it on our trip in 2020.

Parked here, the canyon walls surround us. Red rocks spires reach for the sky and the beauty is everywhere.

The last time we were here, we only came this far and turned around.

While we were eating our lunch, we had visitors. We could hear them coming. The first group consisted of 2-four-wheelers and a Land Rover pickup truck carrying 5 kids in the back. The kids were having a blast trying to touch the overhanging rocks as they went by, but it seemed a little dangerous to us.

After lunch, we took some time to walk up the road to the top of the hill to see whether or not we wanted to go farther this time. We also used our All Trails app to look at what lay ahead.

We spent some time walking around the area and examining the rocks more closely. The rock formations were very interesting.

Another vehicle came by. This time it was a regular van with 2 guys who stopped to ask about the trail ahead. They said we should go ahead of them on the trail since they were going to be going SLOW. We told them to go ahead of us because we were going VERY SLOW. So they did.

Another UTV came by while we were still hanging out.

Bob decided he wanted to go further, so we started up the trail.

This part of the narrow canyon was different with more greenery and fewer red rock towers.

We came across two bikers who waited for us to go by. Now, that’s ambitious!

On this part of the trail, there were areas where we noticed this white powder laying in some of the dry river beds and on some of the rocks. We stopped to touch it and feel the temp of the water in the creek. It wasn’t that cold. After a little research, we were able to determine that it is white, powdery algae–a naturally occurring substance.

This part of the trail was different with the color of the rocks being so varied and beautiful.

We continued to cross streams and we passed those 3 Razors as they headed back.

At one point, we were driving along the dry river bed. We passed those guys in the van who were letting their dog stretch his legs and play in the water.

I really liked this unusual V cut out of the rock.

At one point, we began to see more trees at this elevation.

We got to this point on the trail where we saw a narrow shelf road ahead with a steep grade of 10% down the other side. We decided that this is as far as we wanted to go, so we turned around and headed back. The scenery was just a beautiful going in the other direction. We ran into the guys in the van again. They were continuing on, as we were heading back.

There were some good views on the drive back as well. I counted that we crossed the river 33 times on our drive out to our turnaround point.

The drive back seems always shorter than the drive there, so we were back to the parking lot at the trailhead in no time. We stopped to “air up” before getting back on the highway. While I waited for Bob to finish, I got a great look at the scenery from there.

Once we got back on Highway 128, we followed the road along the Colorado River back to Moab. We made a stop at Rocky Rapid to watch the rafters go through the rapids. There were no rafters here, but we did get a look at the rapids from the boat launch.

On the ride back, the scenery was just as awesome.

Farther down the river, we saw more rafters.

Bob read about this Broncos Off-Rodeo Club in a magazine. It was interesting to actually see it in person.

The closer we got to Moab, the more rafters we saw paddling down this part of the river where it was very slow moving.

We pulled over on the side of the road to watch the rafters take the rapids.

This canyon wall was very distinctive and it made us think about how it was formed by the river many millions of years ago.

Near the end of the River Road, we saw this speeding tour boat racing down the river. It looked like a lot of fun!

Everyone seemed to be enjoying the river in their own special way. There is also a really nice bike trail along this part of the river. Our total drive today was 35.2 miles out and back. It seems a little low, but that’s what the odometer said. We got back to the campground at 3:00 and hung out with Auggie outside. We couldn’t stay out too long , even in the shade. The temp was 95 and it was warm without a breeze. About 4:30, we drove through town to the south side to have dinner at Suzie’s Branding Iron.

This was the restaurant that we checked out yesterday. It was not that busy at 5:00 and it was very cute inside.

WE FINALLY FOUND OUR NAVAJO TACOS! They were delicious and so big that we both brought half of our dinner home to enjoy a second time tomorrow.

We got back and gave Auggie his dinner. He had an upset stomach this morning and threw up a few times before we left on our drive, but he seemed to be feeling a lot better now. We all went out for our walk as the sun was going down. There are a lot of people with Razors in this campground for the weekend. I’m sure it will be a crazy time in town and in the parks. We got back to the bus to watch some TV and relax. We had a great time exploring in Onion Creek today. It is one of the most beautiful areas that we have off-roaded in and one of my favorites.

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