clock May 12, 2010
author Chris Sopa

Hole in the Rock…literally!

Can I just say that Milk Duds and Dead Horse Amber Ale beer from the Moab Brewery ROCK together as a combo!

Anyway…I digress…today I decided to do some hiking in the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park which is about an hour and a half drive south of Moab.  I got into my little Kia and headed south, singing Bette Midler’s “The Rose” for some strange reason.  (Probably left over from all of my hallucinating yesterday!)

On my drive to the Needles

I decided to use my head today for more than just a vehicle for hallucinating and stuck to 2 small trails instead of the 11 mile Elephant Hill Trail I had planned to do.  Something about the name “Elephant Hill” after my experience yesterday sent me into immediate convulsions and a strange craving to kick a pile of rocks!

I started with Pothole Point which was a measly .6 mile hike.  After yesterday I felt like I had taken 2 steps and my hike was over.  This was a different kind of terrain than yesterday.  Instead of sandy, loose rock, today I had slick sheets of rock with potholes all in it.  I guess that is why they call it “Pot Hole Point!”  The other part that was so refreshing is that the rock carin markers were actually visible to the naked eye!  Amazing how those work when they aren’t surrounded by other rocks!!!

The trail on Pothole Point Trail

On the trail…see the Needles in the background?

Then I headed to the Slickrock Foot Trail which was about a 3 mile hike.  I have to say when I was done with this hike I actually felt a little guilty that I could feel my legs and I wasn’t shaking.  I did feel like I had worked out so that made me feel better.  This was a great trail with 4 View Points that had some amazing scenery of the Needles and surrounding canyons.  I was hoping to see some Big Horn Sheep that are quite common on this trail but no such luck.

One of my trail paths

Slickrock Foot Trail 1

Slickrock Foot Trail 2

Slickrock Foot Trail 3

I became extremely hungry all of a sudden and then the hallucinating returned….(see below)

A HUGE hamburger!

Stack of pancakes…where did I put my syrup?

I was sitting on a rock taking a break (eating, of course!) when I met a really nice couple from Portland, Oregon.  We had a great discussion and for some reason the lady kept telling me over and over again to be careful because she could not understand why or HOW a woman could travel alone!  (My lip is still purple from biting it so hard!)  They graciously took my picture, I think mostly out of pity because I was alone.  The man asked me twice if that would be the only picture I have on my trip with me in it.  I played along and said, “Probably”….:(

Me…all alone…by myself…the whole trip…the ONLY picture I will have with me in it! lol!

On my drive to Needles, I passed a huge sign that said “Hole in the Rock.”  I assumed this was a restaurant or something so decided to stop there on my way home.  To my pleasant surprise it was not a restaurant but a general store and trading post.  Oh my!  I spent about an hour in the store buying a ton of Native American artifacts, crystals, crystal jewelry and gifts.  I think the owner was happier I stopped there than I was!

After I visited this store they informed me they are going to re-write their sign in GOLD!

Tomorrow I have a 5 ½ hour drive to Baker, Nevada where I will spend the afternoon at Great Basin National Park and hope to see some awesome night sky scenes.  Baker, Nevada is one of the darkest places in the U.S. because it has the lowest amount of light pollution.  Because of this, you can see stars, including the Milky Way, that other parts of the U.S. cannot see.  Tomorrow it is supposed to be cloudy there but I hope it clears out by night so I can see the cosmos!!

On the morning of the 13th I will drive 9 hours to Mount Shasta, CA which I am super excited about!  All I can say is Thank God for my iPod!

Until I have internet service again…Sopa out!