Happy Sunday Footsloggers!
Today I’m reminiscing about our fantastic honeymoon road trip and the truly amazing scenery we got to experience. We had a wonderful day in Canyonlands, and while we didn’t do a lot of hiking, we did get to go on an epic off-road drive.
When I say epic, I mean epic. We took the Shafer Trail from the top of Island in the Sky, all the way back to Moab and it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I say my favorite now, since we obviously survived–at the time, my heart was in my mouth.
My husband has what they call a Head For Heights –he can confidently stroll along precipices, while I tiptoe behind him. I have a normal fear of falling , so I am fine on ladders, roofs, trees and in tall buildings, but can be crippled by anxiety on cliff edges. Needless to say, I was very worried, and as the photographer, I was also not driving. The switchbacks were terrifying.
The lack of control coupled with the incredible, dizzying cliffs combined for a white knuckle drive down the switchbacks. When I wasn’t taking photos, I was imagining us plummeting to our deaths. Thankfully, my husband was fine and he provided soothing commentary as we slowly meandered down the road.
We did run into a couple of other cars while we were headed down. Thankfully, no one was in a rush and we were able to carefully pass each other. I’ve been in a few situations like this, on trails or narrow roads, and everyone always seems to understand and respect the thin line we’re all traveling.
As you can surmise from this post, we made it! Though my truck doesn’t have four wheel drive, and was full of everything we had brought to our wedding as well as camping gear, it carried us down like a champ.
When we reached the bottom, the road split into two different directions. You can continue on a 3 day loop through the park, or head back to Moab. We didn’t have permits to keep going, so we took the left fork back to town. I someday would love to rent a jeep and do the entire 70 mile trip.
This road exits the park pretty quickly, but don’t think that the views get any less amazing, and Hollywood thinks so too! If you’ve been watching Westworld recently, you might recognize this! It also is the famed spot where Thelma and Louise drove into the “Grand Canyon” on their ill-fated journey.
The drive took us about four hours–we stopped a lot–and it truly was amazing. The taste of fear at the beginning was entirely worth the glorious views.
Hiking and taking these roads less traveled has often forced me to face my fear of falling. But it’s always been worth it.
If you’re going to Canyonlands, Island in the Sky is the most accessible part of the park. You can hike, marvel at the vistas and of course, take a little drive.
Fellow adventurers, do you have any dirt roads you love? Do you clench your steering wheel or marvel at particular views? Where have they taken you?