Campground – The Ledge near Moab, UT

What a trip this was going to be! Two new dogs, 5 kids, two rafts, and camping in March. We were going to get this camping season started early in 2019 come hell or high water. The road from Denver to the Utah desert was long and Ned’s (our energetic canine) car legs were shaky from the start. The winding mountain roads were much too much for his young stomach, hence he threw up until he was empty, and followed that up with explosive diarrhea in the back floorboard of the pickup. We went through a package of pee pads and all the paper towels over a few hours of hell on earth. At Glenwood Springs we had to stop to reassess the situation. I was all for tying him to an intersection stop light with a sign that said “Free Dog” but was outvoted.

Kane Creek road into the canyons

Our friends were having a rough morning with their hound as well, so the boys swapped cars and the ladies had the pleasure of Ned and his seemingly endless bodily functions. Eventually after many disgusting emergency stops, we made it into the scenic canyon and finally into the town of Moab, UT breathing a sigh of relief. All the campsites along the river were full, being spring break time, so the backup plan was to drive further West and explore another canyon with several first come first serve campsites. We finally came to a good one with tons of open spots and vistas out of a John Wayne movie. Many good meals were prepared over the next couple days and cocktails by the campfire each night reinforced our family friendships.

Overcast March morning.

Day 1 was going to be so fun. We both brought our rafts to float the mighty yet slow-flowing Colorado. The river in the lower 8 miles is flat water with no rapids. We had done part of this float the year before but wanted to make it longer this year. The warm sun was baking the cliffs and our backs and there was not a whisper of a breeze when we put in. Perfect conditions for a leisurely flotilla.

The ladies shuttled the cars while the boys and kids set up the rafts and loaded them up. We disembarked on a fun trip in very chilly spring water with both boats filled to capacity with kids and dogs and coolers. As we turned the first corner in the river, a stiff wind hit us square in the face pushing us back up river like little little paper boats. The only thing to do was to turn our backs to the wind and row against it, for eight grueling miles. The bright warm sky also decided to grey with low warmth blocking clouds adding a remnant of winter to the air. By the time we crawled out of the boats at the ramp, our hands looked like hamburger meat with blisters and blood, and our entire bodies were completely spent. It felt like we had run a marathon, on our hands.

A gloomy finale to a brutal row.

All that idle complaining out of the way, the kids and dogs seemed to enjoy the rafting and we were all ready for a quesadilla at the Quesadilla Mobilla food truck. We walked around town the next couple of days just being tourists, and we visited Arches NP to hike and check out the amazing arches and spires. On the last day, we decided a long hike to Morning Glory Arch.

Delicate Arch

Without the heat of summer, the hikes were easy, and the cool wind quickened everyone’s pace. Highlighting the trip was a long hike to Delicate Arch which none of us had seen before. There is a reason it is on the Utah license plates. Tucked away from the roads and any views really until you are almost walking up to it, this deceivingly large freestanding wonder would appear enormous in any other landscape, yet in the vastness of the Utah canyons, it feels, well, delicate.

Directions: From Moab coming in from the north, take a right onto N 500W Street. Follow it straight through town to Kane Creek Blvd. and turn right. Follow this road which becomes dirt all the way to the campground. It looks like there is dispersed in the area if you keep on driving. Bring plenty of water if you go in Summer.

Published by willbarch78

I grew up in the middle of nowhere Texas. The nearest Walmart was a full two hours away. My family still runs a ranch back home that I grew up on, but at some point in my treasured youth I hung up the idea of becoming a cowboy, and pursued my passion for architecture. Today I still find myself trying to fit in to a life that has treated me with the average ups and downs one can expect after a certain number of years. My wife and I moved to Denver after attending Texas Tech School of Architecture in Lubbock as we needed a grade change from the Llano Estacado. We camp with our three growing girls all summer and into the fall while I write and create and fly fish to maintain sanity. Life is moving fast as our careers and children progress in all areas, so being outdoors with each other keeps us mostly grounded.

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