Spring 2018 Desert Road Trip: Part Three
May 07, 2018
|Spires and cliffs in Valley of the Gods, Utah|
|Desert Broom in Valley of the Gods, Utah|
After a very windy night in Valley of the Gods I awoke to a beautiful morning This is the first time that I had driven all the way through the valley and I was amazed at how beautiful it is with it's delicate sandstone rock formations. It was primarily a way stop for me on this trip, as I wanted to get back on top of the plateau where the following day I would be backpacking into the Grand Gulch area for a night, so after some morning shooting I headed out of the valley. After stopping in the little town of Mexican Hat to get some supplies I headed north again up the (drum-roll) Moki Dugway.
|View from the top of the Dugway. Hwy 261 is on the right.|
Why the dramatic buildup? The Dugway is a dirt section of the highway heading up from Mexican Hat to the Grand Gulch area that climbs up the rock cliffs in a series of very tight switchback turns. The turns are so sharp at certain points that they are almost on top of each other. It's kind of like going up a set of stairs in your car. I always enjoy driving this road. It's an adventure all in itself, and the view from the top is totally worth it.
|Sunset viewed from the rim of the plateau|
|Starry sky above and the lights of Mexican Hat and Monument Valley|
|Small ruin tucked away in a rock overhang|
One of the more striking ones was a small, very well preserved ruin (probably a grainery) tucked neatly into the rock overhang.
|Red hands on sandstone wall|
I soon came to some more ruins that were not on my map. They were in poor condition overall, but I was treated to some really nice hand petroglyphs on the rock walls surrounding them. I soon discovered that there were many ruins not on the map. As I've said before, this area of southern Utah is a living museum. There are probably relics and rock-art hidden in back canyons that few have ever seen.
This concludes this portion of my spring desert trip. From here on I headed south into Arizona an visited family and attended a photography seminar. Stay tuned for more adventures!