Early Explorations of Moab Part 3 (March 23 to 24, 2009)

To expand on our feelings of excitement upon moving to Moab, I present these photos from the next couple of days there in which Anne began work as an Interp Ranger at Arches National Park; Anne, Leo and I hiked Negro Bill; and Leo and I explored more of Johnson’s.Highlights of the explorations included finding cool hidden spots where few people tread as well as artifacts from the ancients as well as more recent travelers like ourselves.

Spotted Towhee in the backyard at Larry's
A picturesque group of rocks and dirt
Western Scrub-Jay on a Juniper
Canyon Wren calling from a pile of rocks
A Canyon Treefrog! Who knew frogs could live in the hot, dry desert?
A Robber Fly, a predatory insect-eater
Black-throated Sparrow (BTSP)
BTSP singing from the top of a sagebrush
Say's Phoebe sitting on sagebrush
Mountain Bluebird
That's my car! Notice the poor weather and signs of recent rain... That's Johnson's in the background.
Our cars parked at Larry's with Leo and Anne posing nicely.
I don't think I ever saw that photo...
The stream in Negro Bill Canyon on a beautiful morning - it must be the next day!
Sunlight streaming through the brilliant green shoots
Red rock scenery
Prickly-pear cacti
A shot of Negro Bill looking up toward the source of the stream
New spring growth
Morning Glory Arch in Negro Bill Canyon
Morning Glory Arch
Morning Glory Arch
Morning Glory Arch from directly below
The base of Morning Glory Arch with Leo exploring the spring
The spring - the headwaters of the stream that continues carving out Negro Bill
A crack near the source of the spring
Another shot of the crack near the source of the spring
A view up from the head of Negro Bill Canyon
Morning Glory Arch with a rock-climber descending into the canyon
Morning Glory Arch with a rock-climber descending into the canyon
Morning Glory Arch with a rock-climber descending into the canyon
Anne heading back out of Negro Bill Canyon
Anne in Negro Bill
Some spring flowers in Negro Bill
One last look back at Morning Glory Arch
Spring flowers
Instead of exiting Negro Bill the way we entered it, we took a side-spur trail and found this gigantic side canyon, much wider than Negro Bill. We followed the stream a ways and then climbed up into yet another side canyon that was much smaller than Negro Bill...
A view inside the smaller canyon
Another Canyon Treefrog
The Canyon Treefrog posing for Anne
Canyon Treefrog on some relatively young cryptobiotic soil (50 years old?)
Canyon Treefrog bounding away across the crypto
Leo and Anne
Views around the many canyons
The variety of sizes and shapes of different rock formations creates a multitude of pathways and nooks to explore
Anne and Leo down in the distance
Leo scrambling up a sandstone mound
Leo scrambling further up the mound
The mound from the previous photos, but from a different angle and with Leo coming around at the base
Anne in front of some neat sandstone
Anne in front of some neat sandstone
Anne on red rock
Anne showing off her dance moves
Leo and Anne climbing around sandstone formations
Anne and Leo waving at the camera on a distant sandstone formation
Anne and Leo stomping around with the cloud-draped La Sal Mountains in the distance. I had yet to visit those mountains...
The hidden world on top of a mesa
Gigantic juniper growing in the loose sands that may someday become a canyon
Cool formations
Colorful lichens are found all over the sandstone
More colorful lichen patterns
And another Canyon Treefrog!
Hop to safety, Canyon Treefrog!
The mounds we had been exploring from a distance
On our walk back toward the main section of Negro Bill, Anne discovered this cutout in the side of the canyon wall. Look closer...
...and you'll see this ancient corn cob! This cut away may have once provided shelter for an ancient Puebloan: an Anasazi. Who knows, perhaps a small shelter was located nearby or perhaps a traveler stopped here to enjoy a corn cob meal. Regardless, the dry climate of the Colorado Plateau allows artifacts such as this one to remain intact, perhaps 500 or 1000 years after being deposited! How cool is that?!?
Desert flowers
The exit of the small canyon into the large canyon - Leo climbed up to the perch on the left, overlooking the valley below.
Another view of Leo's perch
Leo watching over the canyon
Spring blooms
A view to the east, looking deep into the canyon
Anne and Leo on the path below
The stream flowing through the canyon, slowly carving deeper...
Not much of a waterfall, yet.
Desert varnish covers the stone
Desert varnish and an elk-shaped snag
Back to the creek in Negro Bill Canyon
Red rock scenery
More of those pretty purple flowers
And another view of the intense bright-green foliage of spring
A Wolf Spider chows down on a beetle he somehow caught
Vertebra in the desert sand
Another view of that dessicated vertebra
Fence Lizard
Coyotes cleaned most of the meat off of this bone
Leo exploring the mesa
Fresh growth
A collection of desert trinkets
Leo on Johnson's
A view looking down from Johnson's with Larry's farm near the intensely green circle on the left.
More cool lichens!
Interesting cluster of cacti
Mesa vegetation
Another view from Johnson's, this time from a beautiful snag
Beetle trails in a dune on Johnson's
Beetle trails
Beetle trails
Leo up-on-top
Leo with Hidden Valley directly behind him - incredible petroglyphs up on that mesa!

I'll interpret Leo's thoughts in the following images: Going my way?
Great job!
I think I see ZZ-Top over there...
What's this?
I'm cool!
I've had enough...
Back to the scenery: I think that's Arches down there!
The rock at the back of Johnson's is cracking and shifting in every direction
The view down the other side of Johnson's
And another section of Johnson's looks totally different
A newer artifact
Last view toward Moab from Johnson's Up-On-Top
The sun finally came out and lit that red sand up!
Cacti in martian soil
Last view coing down from Johnson's

One thought on “Early Explorations of Moab Part 3 (March 23 to 24, 2009)

  • May 4, 2012 at 15:23

    Fantastic mountains and pictures.

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