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!