Needles Overlook ,Muley Point, Moki Dugway and Valley of the Gods Utah March 2019

 

On our way back from Northern Utah, I wanted to take Mrs Badlandsexpeditions on the “scenic route “back through Utah.  We had always driven through Moab, so it seemed like time for a change. There is so many amazing sights, and I wanted to share with Lisa all I have seen.

The plan this time was to drive to Mexican Hat via Muley Point and the Moki Dugway. That was cancelled by the heavy rain we encountered traveling through Salt Lake City. The rain was to continue all throughout southern Utah so we decided to go our usual route through Moab as there was nothing to see in the pouring rain. Some of our route was to be on dirt roads and the rain turns the red Utah dirt into a slippery sloppy mess even with four-wheel drive.  The rain stopped as we got to Moab and so we settled into our comfortable hotel and planned the next day, hoping to get back on the “scenic route”. I broke out the map and we looked at our options to get back where we wanted to be, preferably   on dirt roads.

As we headed out of town in the morning, we made a quick stop at the Visitors Center to pick up brochures for a friend.  While there we decided to ask about the route we had planned.   The staff member suggested we might modify our route to include Needles Overlook which would be new for me too. So we added those directions and continued on our way.

As we drove South on Hwy 191, we looked for the turnoff for County Rd 133 and happily turned off onto the red Utah dirt.  The two track led us into the desolate desert with scrub bushes.  As we drove along and splashed through a small stream and passed a corral.  Like much of the Southwest, this most likely is open range with cattle roaming and grazing almost wild.

As we continued on, I saw a reflection of the sun on something and suddenly, we could see a large grouping of dwellings with solar panels. Some of these houses were built into the side of a large sandstone rock formation.  There were not any No Trespassing signs but we had the sense that this was private property, so we respected the inhabitants’ privacy.  We moved down the road a little to take a picture and saw a sign that said Rockland Ranch , Modern Caveman. When we got back into cell service we found the below link about this remote community.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2012/11/polygamists-in-the-rock/100406/

ext up was Needles Overlook (38.2827643°N, -109.6851185°W )          .  The views of the Needles District of Canyon Lands are beyond beautiful. Mother nature surely worked overtime on this amazing scenery.

https://www.blm.gov/visit/canyon-rims-rec-area

https://www.outdoorproject.com/adventures/utah/special-destinations/needles-overlook

Next on our scenic route was Muley Point. (37.2374° N, 109.9807° W) While most of the drive was on paved UT 191, 95 and 261 but the drive was beautiful. The remains of snow were still clinging to the north facing hillsides and under the bushes.  We soon made the turn off to Muley Point and the pavement turned to red dirt.  The road had dried out a little, but I could feel the Porsche slide a little and hear the A/T tires spitting mud against the fenders. The road ended with a panorama of the valley below.

South – On a clear day, you can see the towers of Monument Valley off in the distance.

South/West – The large mountain to the southwest is Navajo Mountain, above Lake Powell. Navajo Mountain is a prominent landmark that is visible from many areas of southeastern Utah.

North/West – The mountains in the distance are the Little Rockies and Henry Mountains near Hanksville.

North – The Bears Ears can often be made out in the distance.

Looking down below Muley Point is the obvious San Juan River, in the deep canyon coming out of the Goosenecks.

H/t  https://www.roadtripryan.com/go/t/utah/cedar-mesa/muley-point

We drove back to UT 261 and were on the Moki Dugway.  This road is dirt and narrow, and not for the faint of heart or someone scared of heights.  We were lucky and had both Muley point and the Moki all to ourselves.

Moki Dugway

The Moki Dugway (also spelled Mokee or Moqui) is located on UT-261, just northwest of Valley of the Gods. 

The term moki is derived from the Spanish word, moqui, a general term used by explorers in this region to describe Pueblo Indians they encountered as well as the vanished Ancestral Puebloan culture.  Dugway is a term used to describe a roadway carved from a hillside.

The Moki Dugway is a staggering, graded dirt switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa.  It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well-graded switchbacks (11% grade), which wind 1,200 feet from Cedar Mesa to the valley floor near Valley of the Gods.  This route provides breathtaking views of some of Utah’s most beautiful sites.  Scenic views of Valley of the Gods and distant Monument Valley open at every turn of the dugway.

The Moki Dugway was constructed in the 1950’s to provide a way to haul ore from the Happy Jack Mine on Cedar Mesa to the mill in Halchita, near Mexican Hat.

The State of Utah recommends that only vehicles less than 28 feet and 10,000 pounds attempt to negotiate the dugway.  The remainder of US-261 is paved.

H/t     https://bluffutah.org/mokey-dugway-muley-point/

I had been to both Muley point and the Moki Dugway before. Now that we are married, I wanted Lisa to see all that I’ve seen in my travels around Utah.

We had decided that we were going to RON (remain overnight) in Bluff so a consult with the map and we took a left turn into the Valley of the Gods. There is a 17-mile road that connects UT 261 and UT 163 about 17 miles from Bluff. We passed a couple of Jeeps and pickups and the looks we got, being a in Porsche, are always priceless.

H/t   https://bluffutah.org/valley-of-the-gods/

We arrived at Bluff just as it got dark. It was a great day and we shared so much of God’s beauty together. As always there is more enjoyment in sharing experiences with an appreciative partner… so much nicer than traveling alone.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part Two of Arctic Adventures in a Vintage Land Cruiser. TCT Magazine

Part two of my three part series  Arctic Adventures in a Vintage Land Cruiser is now live in TCT magazine . The article starts on page 41. I hope you enjoy the article and I look forward to your comments.

Arctic Adventures in a Vintage Land Cruiser Pt 2

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Our trip to Deadhorse AK in TCT Magazine

 

My latest article ,on our trip to Deadhorse Alaska was just published in TCT magazine.

This past summer , my wife ,Lisa and I spent three months and 13,000 miles  traveling to Alaska and Canada .  This article highlights our drive to Deadhorse Alaska on the famous Dalton Highway

I hope you enjoy the article and welcome your comments.

Just click on the below link  and enjoy.

https://tctmagazine.net/fall-2018/arctic-adventures-in-a-vintage-land-cruiser

I look forward to your comments.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My Big Bend article in Toyota Trails magazine.

I had an article I wrote on a trip to Big bend National Park published in the latest issues of Toyota Trails.

Part One

https://tlca.org/toyotatrails/2018/0304/html5.html#page/1

Part Two

https://tlca.org/toyotatrails/2018/0506/html5.html#page/44

 

Hope you enjoy them.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My Big Bend trip article in Toyota Trails Magazine

I had an article I wrote on a trip to Big bend National Park publish in the latest issue of Toyota Trails.   The next issue will have part two in Big Bend ranch Ranch State park, TX.

 

https://tlca.org/toyotatrails/2018/0304/html5.html#page/1

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Land Cruiser Heritage Museum Salt Lake City, Utah

While in SLC today, we stopped to visit the Land Cruiser Heritage Museum.  The collection is breathtaking.  Kyle met us and answered some questions . His knowledge was extensive and I learned a couple of new things.

If in SLC, this museum is a must see even if not a Land Cruiser aficionado.  Below is from the official website.

Greg Miller has always loved Land Cruisers. In his words, “When I’m in a Land Cruiser, I’m usually in a place I love, with people I love, doing what I love.” For many years, Greg has been collecting historically significant Land Cruisers and adding them to his collection.  Greg also outfitted several 78 series Land Cruisers and took them on a journey around the world, driving them on all seven continents, including Antarctica. http://www.expeditions7.com

When Greg realized that Toyota did not maintain a museum to celebrate the history of his favorite vehicle, the idea to create a museum of his own both as a place to display his collection and as a way to celebrate Land Cruiser heritage started to form in his mind.

The museum began in a specially designed building at the former Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, but moved to Salt Lake City in 2015 where it is more accessible to guests who wish to visit and explore.

The Land Cruiser Heritage Museum is designed for those who share a passion for these remarkable vehicles. Within the walls of the museum rare and classic Land Cruisers are carefully preserved while their stories are shared.

The Land Cruiser Heritage Museum houses what is believed to be the world’s most diverse collection of Land Cruisers. Models range from a beautifully patina’d 1953 Toyota Jeep to a pristine 200 series. You’ll see 20 series, 40 series, 55s, 60 series, 70 series, 80s, 90 series, 100s, a 105 and many other rare “cousins” of the Land Cruiser, including a Delta mini-Cruiser, Blizzards, a PX-10, and Mega-Cruisers. You’ll see the first Land Cruiser sold in the United States, the first (and only) four-wheeled vehicle to traverse all seven continents, and more.

The Land Cruiser Heritage Museum is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, just six minutes from the Salt Lake International airport. Our address is 470 West 600 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101  M-F 0800-1700

Contact Information:

Dan Busey – 505.615.5470
Kyle Patten – 801.717.6017

H/T: http://www.landcruiserhm.com/

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Emergency signaling kit

The only downside to traveling to beautiful remote places is the lack of help should an emergency arise. The other issue some don’t think much about is how are the rescuers going to find you?
I have thought about that and put together this kit for just a situation. Note: This is a signaling kit not a survival kit.
From left to right is a flare gun. With an insert, this gun shoots commonly available 12 ga flares. I know there are other smaller flare guns but I like this one. I also carry several spare flares.
Next are some smoke generators. These are very useful to allow a helicopter to read the wind when landing.
I have a Breitling Emergency watch. This watch has an emergency transmitter on 121.5 GUARD frequency . With the In Reach device, this watch is now a backup
The In Reach device, working on the Iridium satellite constellation, is a two way text messenger as well as a SOS device. Turning on the SOS feature will send a signal to GEOS Worldwide, LTD .
GOES is an independent emergency response organization headquartered outside of Houston, Texas. Their high-tech underground facility is the central component in their International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC). That facet of their operation is somewhat self explanatory. When GEOS receives a distress call, their IERCC department swings into action to coordinate an immediate and appropriate response. Sounds simple enough, but what does that actually mean?
A subcontractor of SPOT and Delorme, GEOS is tasked with receiving inbound distress calls, determining their location, then initiating the dispatch of emergency resources known to service that location. To achieve this end, GEOS maintains a database of local first-responder assets in over 130 countries and maintains an on-call translator service to facilitate communications in more than 200 languages. GEOS also maintains a large network of offices around the globe in Perth, Marrakech, Paris, London, New York, San Jose, and Los Angeles.
You can read more here. https://expeditionportal.com/what-happens-when-you-press-the-sos-button.

All so included is a VS-17 signaling panel, strobe light , whistle , space blanket, GPS and fire starter round out the kit.

The VS-17 panel is a military surplus signalling panel that is a bright florescent orange and pink colors.

The strobe light is another military item SDU-5 . This strobe has  a battery conversion to use civilian batteries and also  has an IR filter for visibility at night if rescuers are using night vision. Both the panel and and strobe are widely available on line.

Everyone has their own ideas of what they want to take out to double of what I have to nothing at all.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized