I am back from a very wonderful vacation. I went with my SF SpunkyLB on an archeological survey trip near Moab Utah. This was a volunteer service trip through the Sierra Club, working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) archeological staff. Very fun, very active adventure!
We drove two full days, stopping occasionally to walk. When we arrived near Moab, we went to Canyonlands National Park to see several sites.
We hiked the Mesa Arch loop in Canyonlands and loved the hike.
SpunkyLB & me under Mesa Arch
View through Mesa Arch
He walked up the Arch, I got vertigo just looking at him!
The next morning, we got up early and went to Arches National Park. We were lucky and were able to hike to Delicate Arch. This trail is very popular, and last year we could not hike there. It is a steep hike up slickrock, but very beautiful.
Hikers on route to Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch (this lovely Arch is on the Utah license plate)
Desert wildflowers were blooming.
Indian paintbrush in the sandstone
Our archeological survey work was very interesting. We split into 3 groups, and each group was assigned to work with an archeologist. We surveyed large areas for evidence of early habitation (this area was populated by Anasazi Pueblo 1 & 2, Fremont, Ute, and others).
I found this broken spear point! Our archaeologist said it was over a thousand years old
We also surveyed an area for fossilized dinosaur bones that were discovered in the 1850s; the District paleontologist was trying to locate the site. We did locate the site, but it will require technical equipment to access the fossils.
Surveying for dinosaur fossils
Can you tell we had cold and rainy weather?
The La Sal mountains got fresh snow
But our campground in the Needles area of Canyonlands NP was beautiful!
On Wednesday, we had a free day. Spunky LB and I drove to Moab to sleep in a hotel Tuesday and Wednesday nights, it was luxurious to sleep in a nice bed. I had to work in the morning (several crises at work that had deadlines); but in the afternoon we hiked in Canyonlands again. We hiked up to Upheaval Dome, which was short but steep.
Schafer Road winds up and down the steep canyon walls in Canyonlands. The Park Service says drivers must have all wheel drive, and should allow 2 days to travel the road (100 miles total).
Our group had a real treat on Thursday after the dinosaur hunt was successful in locating the general location of the fossils. We drove to Mule canyon, and hiked to Anasazi ruins. House on Fire ruin is names for the flame like red rock overhang.
House on Fire Ruin
On our last day, we visited Needles Overlook
View from overlook
I really loved this active and exciting adventure! It was a great; physically and mentally challenging, and a total change from my everyday sedentary job.