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Friday, September 10, 2010

Flashback Friday - Natural Bridges

People often ask us what our favorite state, or place, is throughout all our travels. That is a hard question to answer, because there are so many beautiful and wonderful places. But the STATE of Utah ranks high on my list. It has so much to offer - specifically 5 National Parks AND Monument Valley Tribal Park (which I covered in another Flashback Friday), 7 National Monuments, 2 National Recreation Areas, a National Historic Site and 6 National Forests


Today I'm going to talk about Natural Bridges National Monument. We were camped in Moab, a somewhat central location to a couple of the national parks.


Half the fun was the drive to Natural Bridges. We had to drive over a mountain. First we drove through the town of Mexican Hat, Utah, named after this rock formation.


Then we drove in a valley and looked at the huge mountain that loomed in front of us. A large sign on the side of the road warned of the dangers ahead and recommended vehicles LARGER than one ton should TURN AROUND. Do you think Jim listened? Nah. This was a CHALLENGE. Big Blue is a 1 1/2 ton truck. I made the sign of the cross as we started up the road.

There were NO guardrails along the sides. Nope. Just a little pile of stones to act like a "curb". Yeah. That will work. I kept my knees clenched together the whole way up the mountain. It didn't help that when I looked over the edge of the cliff I saw a car had crashed over the side and had landed on its roof. It looked like it had happened many, many years ago.

Here's a photo taken of the road we drove on.



This is taken from the top of the mountain, looking down. See that tiny ribbon? That's the road we drove to get to the mountain. We are pretty high up here!


Now, if these STILL don't give you an idea of what I experienced, I have a video clip. Watch it if you dare.



Yes, it was quite thrilling and I was happy when we reached the top. Then we were on even ground. It was really strange, like when you need to go through the locks to get to a different level of water.

So the land was all flat, but our next adventure was that it was "open range" which means, basically, that the cows rule, and humans drool. So even though the speed limit may be, um, 60 mph, you have to keep your eyes wide open for cattle or, BEEF - it's what's for dinner, ya know what I'm saying here?

Our almost dinner



Finally, with no more enCOWntours, we arrived at Natural Bridges National Monument.


How many different words can I use to describe something so beautiful?



If I could paint, this would be my landscape!



Just look at this twisted tree branch!


 I had to laugh when I read the sign. "Warning - Do not stand at view point during electrical storms." As if!


And now, the bridges. I will show a photo of the sign of the bridge first, then a photo of the bridge.




Looking down in one of the canyons we saw what was left of a small Indian village.



These two mesas are called "Bear Ears" and can be seen from many, many miles away.


Next week we'll visit Valley of the Gods. Stay tuned!

20 comments:

Steven Anthony said...

truly breathtaking...we live in an amazing world.

thanx for sharing the beauty friend ;)

Sunny said...

Incredible scenery. Your video brought back many memories of my western adventures...the mountain passes with no guardrails.
Here in the east they put guardrails so nobody plummets ten feet into the cow pasture! LOL
Happy Weekend!
☼ Sunny

Brian Miller said...

i am blown away by the beauty of nature in those pics...we have a natural bridge here...that actually has graffiti by george washington on it...carved his initials...

Missy said...

Amazing photos! You really need to visit KY for a treat! LOL

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful Pat! I know a long time ago I told you that you were welcome to borrow my "flashback friday" that I use sometimes on our blog. But for a while here on this post I thought you might be borrowing my thoughts ;>) We love Utah too for its scenery. But then your lovely photos were so good that I knew it couldn't be my Friday Flashback! Thanks for sharing it.

SquirrelQueen said...

Beautiful scenery Pat, Utah has some great mountains and views. When we get on one of those kind of roads I would rather be driving so I can hug the center of the road. That's a long way down.

Eva Gallant said...

The scenery is amazing. My son has been to Moab several times and has gone 4-wheeling up the mountains with his jeep.

becky said...

Ok, you & Jim are officially crazy... LOL... I watched your video... big blue is one & 1/2 tons? It looks like it takes up the whole dirt road! First I was laughing when you wrote "I made the sign of the cross," but after watching the video I can see why!!! It was fun hearing your voice "this should be interesting... there's a car coming..."
Who's the character riding on the dash? I have an assortment of bendables that travel w/ me: a little yellow man, pokey & gumby, an alien from Roswell.... among others.
:)

Joann Mannix said...

The beauty of that place is incredible, but what got me even more was the calmness in your voice in that video! I would have been screaming, Pat! You were as calm as a cucumber! But it really was gorgeous and those natural bridges were incredible.

And I love the new look of your blog. It's fabulous!

Bonnie said...

Wow Pat. You have really seen so many amazing natural wonders. So nice that your document them and share them here!!!

Bossy Betty said...

Just visited Moab a couple of months ago--gorgeous!!

Carletta said...

About the time I was watching the video and thinking is that a one lane road I car was coming and then some fool PASSED you. It sure was bumpy. BUT - what views!!

Valerie said...

Incredible views, Pat, and I loved the Mexican Hat. Been up a few of those hairraising roads, usually driving 'cos hubs can't go round those bends with his eyes open!

Allen said...

That is so cool. Love the video, I would have been scared to death. The bridges are also cool. You are so lucky to get to see all the wonders of the united states.

JayLeigh said...

Wow! It's breathtaking there. It makes me want to cry it's so beautiful. Your pictures are wonderful and the video is great. I would have been so scared. lol

Donna B said...

OH MY GOD! I echo Brenda's comments. There is NO WAY I could venture up that road! Good Lord the condition of the road was terrible!! Your Big Blue was bouncin' all over the place! I was thinking, while watching your video, what happens if another car is coming down?! It looked like there was room for only ONE car, let alone your truck! When I saw the other car, I almost had an accident...you were so calm. You crack me up...and all the while, the country music was a playin'....

Gail said...

Incredible, stunning, absolutely beautiful!!!

otin said...

I really am so jealous of you and all that you get to see in the country! You live a life that a lot of people wish that they could!

notesfromnadir said...

What a stunning place! I really want to go there.

VioletSky said...

I did dare... and was amazed at the road, the view, and your steady hand with that camera!!!