2015 Summer Journal

Moab’s Waterfalls That You’ve Never Seen

Yesterday we set out on another little geocaching adventure to prepare Will for the navigation portion of his race this weekend. On Monday we tracked one point, but this time we were going to link four points together, along an overland route that connected two different trail networks.

We used this little excursion to take some photos of the awesome K9 Excursion Running Belt that Kurgo sent us earlier this summer. We’ll talk about that tomorrow, but we we really want to share today is what happened after our run.

Our route for the day had included following a narrow trail to get on top of the mesa, but with the threat of oncoming rain we were wary of getting deeper into the canyon. While talking over our decision, the clouds darkened, the wind picked up and stung our legs with tiny pieces of sand, and a bolt of lightning flashed in the distance followed by a huge crack of thunder. We agreed that it was time to head back to shelter so we high tailed it back to the bus, making it back just before the downpour began.

Aftermath of running in the mud – a very dirty entryway!

Aftermath of running in the mud – a very dirty entryway!

As we dried off we realized that the soft dirt parking lot around us was quickly turning into a big mud puddle. Will powered up the bus and moved us down the road to a more stable pull out – a good choice, as we’d probably be stuck in the parking lot now if we hadn’t moved.

From our spot on the highway we noticed that the previously dry cliff walls had started to spout water. As the downpour continued, we watched the small spouts turn into real waterfalls all around us. Every direction that we looked out the windows new waterfalls were pouring off of the mesa, falling hundreds of feet in some places. I have never seen such an impressive display of water by nature: one minute, everything was dry, and the next we were surrounded by waterfall displays as grand as anything we’ve ever seen in Yosemite. We were so happy that we weren’t mid-way up the canyon at this point!

Will watching the downpour from inside the bus

Will watching the downpour from inside the bus


One of dozens of falls that sprung up around the bus.


As soon as the rain stopped, some of the smaller falls started to die down.


Looking down the road we could see dozens of waterfalls lining the cliff walls.

Hilde didn't love the thunder. Poor girl!

Hilde didn’t love the thunder. Poor girl!





Eventually the water slowed, and we started moving to find a campsite for the night. As we drove we saw more waterfalls, and a few areas where rubble had washed over the road. Further down the road we came to a group of cars stopped in front of a larger rock/mudslide that had blocked traffic both ways.


Trucks, Jeeps, and even smaller cars could get over alright, but there was no way the bus was going to make it. Plus, we didn’t want to be the ones to give it a go and need to get towed out. So, we waited.

Eventually, someone ran back up to the nearby mine to get their loader, a big tractor. This guy came barreling in at full speed and got straight to work, clearing the entire blockage in less than 15 minutes!

Loader to the rescue

Loader to the rescue

Hilde standing guard over her bus

Hilde standing guard over her bus

We got on our way and found a nice spot to camp at Gold Bar, along the Colorado. If anything, the whole experience reminded me of the absolute power and unpredictability of nature. Below is a short film (~3 minutes) that we saw at 5Point Film Festival in 2014. If you have a minute, spend it with the incredible Colorado River – you won’t be sorry!

The Colorado River —The Most Endangered River in America 2013 from Pete McBride on Vimeo.

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