Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sandstone Canyon

Yesterday was another desert drive.   This day John drove their Jeep and our destination was Elephant Knees and Sandstone Canyon (we actually never made it to Elephant Knees, but we have a little over a week left here so hopefully we'll revisit that area soon). 

Since we'd be driving through washes and into some narrow, steep walled canyons Pam wanted to take the Jeep's roof panels off for a better view.

John lifts the light roof panels easily

We've never opened our roof because I don't like riding in convertibles but took Pam's word that it would be a good thing.

She was right, she was really right!   No annoying wind whipping hair in my eyes and mouth, no watering eyes, no beating sun, no noise from passing traffic.
Just views of fantastic scenery that continued from the ground right up to the sky.

We drove down a wide sandy wash, through Split Mountain and past the fascinating anticline.

the tiny topless Jeep before the anticline

Dave marvels at the clear layers built up over millions of years

We stopped here and there whenever one of us needed a really close look at a rock or a plant or an interesting looking pour over or side canyon.    We climbed up one very cool pour over which looked like it had just solidified.   The walls were so smooth and swirly we could almost see the water flowing over them.

We followed it awhile and then decided that it's smooth ledges and shade would provide a perfect spot to stop for lunch.

aren't they colorful!

After lunch we continued along into the Canyon.   There were very narrow spots, slot canyons for cars!

see Pam's head sticking out the top of the Jeep?

At one point we felt we were being watched......Pam spotted this beautiful hawk high on a ledge above us.

the watcher

We finally came to the end of the road for the Jeep.   Rocks blocked our way so we left it, crawled over and continued our exploration on foot.

nope, don't want to drive over these.....

Pam leads the way

Pam and Dave emerge from a thorny side canyon -
with tiny holes in their arms and shirts

mud built up in this small hole reminded me of an ancient cliff dwelling

Dave and John lead the way back to the Jeep

Once back at the Jeep we met the only other people we'd seen all day and they were going past us into the canyon we'd just come from.   It was nearly 4 p.m. and with only an hour left of daylight we wondered whether they'd enjoy their drive as much as we did.....

 Driving back we took a little bumpy, unplanned detour through a side wash but were back on track before - anyone - got nervous and we were home before dark.

We stayed home most of today (well, if you don't count driving over the mountain to buy a Julian pie for dinner's desert).   Predicted high winds kept us out of the desert and off the golf course.    Tomorrow is another day.


  1. What a lovely day of exploration!

  2. That definitely looked like a cliff dwelling! Another interesting day of desert meanderings. I like the agreement of stopping whenever anyone sees anything worth exploring. An egalitarian adventure. :-)

  3. Okay, we definitely need to take the top off in the next canyon!! Love the swirly pour over - it looks like cake icing! The little "ball" in the pocket is awesome. Those colorful kids look so well behaved. LOL