Part 10: White Rim Trail Part B


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The Trip

We spent the night at "Airport" camp, site D.  The site was flat, but barren and unshielded from either wind or sun.  We had a great dinner and slept soundly.  But, for some reason I awoke before dawn so I used that as an opportunity to get a photo of the sunrise.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Sunrise over the far buttes was inspirational.

As stated before, our campsite was barren and unprotected.  But the morning light brought a great view of the butte that was towering over us.

The calm morning allowed us to launch the quadcopter to get some aerial photos of our camp.

Our path to the west is clearly visible, but the surrounding terrain is very barren.

Thor looks small and insignificant compared to the massive sandstone cliffs and broad valley floor.

There were thin layers of harder caprock that produced interesting shelves and overhangs on the surrounding formations.

We broke camp and headed west on the White Rim Trail.  Our path brought us below huge towers of sandstone that were imposing shapes on the skyline.

The road was easy in a 4x4 technical sense, but rough and slow-going, perhaps 5 mph.  We followed the bench and learned that each side canyon resulted in a detour.

This side canyon was a bit more challenging than most.

The upper formations of sandstone eroded to produce nice hoodoos, towers and cathedrals.

Nearly every side canyon on the bench resulted in a huge headwall.  Above, we stopped and got a photo to demonstrate the height of the headwall.  My 24mm lens was not wide enough to show the bottom of the side canyon.

A shot looking from the headwall down the side canyon.

Normally the trail followed the flat bench and traveled over a combination of slickrock and sand.  Above, the rim of Canyonlands can be seen on the horizon.

Spring is typically the time when flowers are blooming.  In this arid region, the scope of species is quite narrow but the prickly pears were in bloom.  We saw two basic colors of blooms: yellow and purple.  I do not know if these are different species or variants of the same species.

The purple blooms were nice and well structured, but I prefer the yellow due to the intense color.

The overlaying of hard stone over softer formations produced plenty of balanced rocks.

This side canyon had a whole array of hoodoos resulting from hard-over-soft layering.

This section had eroded to produce an arch.  Note the sunlight under the caprock.

We did a trail-side lunch stop under the large cliffs.

As we continued to skirt the side canyon we got better views of the hoodoos.  Faster erosion of the softer rock underneath also resulted in many arches or bridges being formed.

This was just the morning's travel on this segment of the White Rim Trail.  In the afternoon, we continued on to our next camp but got some "exciting" surprises along the way.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.