On the 16th, we drove from Moab to Torrey. I didn’t take many pictures that day, but I did get out to photograph a formation known as the Egyptian Temple along the Scenic Drive in Capitol Reef National Park. I don’t know why we stopped for this formation in particular; it may just be that we felt the need to stretch our legs after the long drive. Prior to this stop we had driven to the end of the Scenic Drive and then into the Capitol Reef Gorge. We want to go back and hike some of the trails in the Gorge someday.
On our second full day in Utah, Joe and I hiked (out and back) to Corona Arch. The day before was hard, so we did an easy hike for our rest day.
Looking back towards the road and river:
Bowtie Arch on the left and Corona Arch on the right:
After passing beneath Corona Arch and scrambling up the ridge beyond, I took the photo of Corona Arch, above. When I turned around, I saw this view of the canyon and other rock formations, below.
Prickly Pear blossom. (Joe and I met a woman wearing a pink balaclava; she told us that she saw two unusual things. One was the Yucca stalk (or whatever it is) shown earlier in this post. The other was the prickly pear blossoms. For this area, I don’t think that either is that unusual. But it may be that they were unusual for wherever it was that she came from.)
The hike crosses these train tracks near the trailhead. To the best of my knowledge, the trains traveling these tracks carry potash.
Kay and I hiked somewhat over 11 miles in the Tom’s Thumb area on Friday, May 3rd. We first made our way up past Gardener’s Wall and then close to Tom’s Thumb. We then hiked partway down Tom’s Thumb Trail and then down East End to Windmill. Once on Windmill, we concluded our loop by hiking Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, Marcus Landslide, and Feldspar.
An early morning view of Rock Knob (lower, left of center) from the Tom’s Thumb Trail:
Pinnacle Peak and Troon:
Gardener’s Wall; we made our way up beneath the boulders at bottom left, took a look at the bottom of Renaissance Direct, then went by (to the right) Fearless Leader, and Hanging Gardens (all of which are climbing routes). We didn’t do these routes; we just looked at them. I noticed some bolts on Fearless Leader, 5.10a, that weren’t there when I tried it back in the early 90s. We continued right along the base of the wall and then made our way up the drainage at the right.
The spot in the sky might be one of the powered paragliders that we saw coming over the ridge later on.
One of the scenic landmarks along the climber’s access trail to Gardener’s Wall:
Kay, making her way up through one of the early “tunnels”.
This is the next cave / tunnel that we encountered. We went in and then left to get to the bottom of Renaissance Direct.
As we made our way along the base of the wall, we saw two powered paragliders. They came over the ridge to which we were hiking.
We’re on the back side of Gardener’s Wall now; this is a view of Glass Dome.
Flat-Top / Mojave Buckwheat:
Kay thinks this is the tail end of a kingsnake; I didn’t get to see it’s head, it was already part way off the trail by the time I got to it.
A view from the East End Trail:
Heading down Coachwhip…
Saguaros on the Coachwhip Trail:
Buckhorn Cholla blossoms; we saw different colors on our hike, some yellow, some orange, and others closer to red.
The saguaros are starting to bloom too!
More Buckhorn Cholla blossoms…
New Mexico Thistle:
A prominent pinnacle in the Granite Ballroom area. Off to the left, in the distance, high on the ridge, is the Thumbnail Pinnacle.
Miniature Woolystar, I think:
Prickly Pear blossoms: