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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 14: Dawn at Dead Horse State Park

I woke up at 5:30am today and headed up to Dead Horse State Park with my bike. Tom and the girls were sleeping when I left. I got there about 6:30am and parked at the visitor centre. It was totally deserted and I did eventually see one other car.  The views of the Colorado river and the basin are stunning. The sunrise was very low key with all the cloud cover. Although there were a few rain drops, it didn't rain. This is a very small park but I see why it's the most scenic one in Utah.   I did a bit of hiking on the east and west rim trails, and then I headed over to the Intrepid Bike Trail.  It said easy biking but I found it challenging -- lots of rocks and branches. I made it to the Pyramid Canyon Overlook . There are no fences on the overlook - you have to be careful. The view goes on for miles, and so many varied features. It's easy to see where it's raining and where it's not over the landscape.  You can also see many of  the rock layers - Kayenta , Wingate, Chinle, Moenkopi and Cutler sandstone were evident in the cliff walls. There is also a bright blue potash solar evaporation pond in the basin that reflects the cliffs. Very pretty, even if it's fertilizer that comes out by the end.
I saw 3 cotton tail rabbits and on the way back there were mule deer tracks along the path  that weren't there when I started out.  At the visitor centre I saw chipmunks and a hummingbird.  The temperature was about 17 to 19 degrees so perfect for hiking and biking.
I had a great morning and on the way back had one of the most scenic drives I've ever been on back to the US191. I listened to Bob Marley (3 Little  Birds, One Love) and Nina Simone (Sinnerman) and at the end of the road, a gorgeous view of Arches NP just appeared like icing on the cake.
Now it's 10:30am here.  What to do with the rest of the day? :-)   I'll need to see if I can rouse the girls from watching movies -- they had a sleep-in morning and don't even want breakfast yet. I think it's going to be brunch for them.

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