On Saturday, the last full day of our stay in Moab, we headed out to the Sand Flats Recreation Area. We started out hiking Fins & Things, a 4×4 jeep trail. Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn along the way and we ended up taking a tour of the various campsites through which Fins & Things passes on its way back to the main road. It was very disappointing. I did, however, get this photo of a cool looking snake:
Once back at our truck after our unsuccessful attempt at hiking Fins & Things, we drove down the road to the trailhead for the Porcupine Rim Trail. We all started hiking it, but Marilyn and Marie decided to wait for me, resting under this broad tree:
Seeing more than a glimpse of the canyon below was difficult due to all of foliage growing on the side of the trail. But, every now and then, a small clearing appeared from which I could take a photo. This is one of the better ones.
I came to a point where the trail split. I followed the path that would lead me to higher ground, thinking that the views would be better. The path I chose ended up taking me to the Kokopelli Trail. The small section of the Kokopelli Trail that I saw was navigable by passenger car, whereas the Porcupine Rim Trail definitely was not. There were indeed some interesting views from that vantage point.
Here is another view from the Kokopelli Trail. You can see some of the Trail (road) itself in this photo.
I turned around and started retracing my steps down the Porcupine Rim Trail. As I was coming back, I got a call from Marilyn who informed me that I would soon be seeing racers running the Desert R.A.T.S. (Race Across The Sand) race. This is a seven day event in which racers run/walk the 148-mile long Kokopelli Trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah. Distances covered each day range from between nine and fifty miles. Here is a photo of the front runners:
I saw perhaps a dozen other racers on the way back down. When I got back to the trailhead, an aid / support station for the race had been set up and there were several more vehicles at the trailhead. It seems likely that some of the passenger cars that I saw driving down the Kokopelli Trail earlier in the day were support vehicles for the race.
Later in the day, after food and a siesta, and well after that final stage of the race had been concluded, Marilyn and I drove the truck back up the Kokopelli Trail to the Castle Valley Overlook. It turns out that, had I continued hiking up the Porcupine Rim Trail earlier in the day, I would’ve eventually ended up at the overlook.
Three mountain bikers, emerging from their ride up the Porcupine Rim Trail, got to the overlook slightly ahead of us. One of them climbed a rock for a better view:
The view of Castle Valley, just before sunset, was spectacular.