Category: Portal RV Resort

Hike to Morning Glory Bridge in Grandstaff Canyon

Monday, July 4, 2022

We had a rather sleepless and worrisome night in Moab. For the third night in a row, the winds roared, flapping the awnings. I got up and put the awnings up. Next door, Juan’s awning was really flapping. He and his brothers quickly put it up, but apparently there was some damage. He is a very nice guy from the northern Sinaloa Province of Mexico.

We also have been having trouble with the air conditioner tripping a hot circuit breaker. I got worried and opened the windows and turned on the fans. That would have been OK, but the winds were gusting so hard, I was afraid we might break a window or the plastic tops for the Fan-Tastic fans. That would seriously impair our trip, so I stewed all night, finally closing the fans and opening the front door. It did cool down by maybe 3:00 am. None of us got much sleep.

Two cups of coffee and something to eat and Karen, Martha and I headed to Grandstaff Hiking Trail to Morning Glory Bridge. Karen gave the kids the morning to sleep in. It is a beautiful hike along a small stream, crossing it 10 times. With beautiful views of the canyon, I kept looking for wildlife, but never saw anything. Surely they were there. Cresting a hill, we could see Morning Glory Bridge, the fifth largest natural bridge in the world.

It’s an impressive bridge of rock. I was surprised to see a man at the top of it. As we took pictures from beneath, we could see the man again. He dropped a rope. This is a big area for climbing and repelling, so I was interested to see this. There were at least two, as they talked to each other. Then one stood on the edge and inched his way over. He began to walk down the vertical wall. Once the wall cut away from him, it was a free drop, sliding his handles down a pretty thin rope. I thought maybe Bear Grylls might be the next one down, but we didn’t wait to see.

Walking back down was easier. We were back at 10:00 and the kids were just rousing. Karen had found a hike by a clear stream with good swimming areas, so she took them on that easy hike while Martha did a load of laundry, and I washed the dishes, straightened, shook out the rugs and vacuumed.

Terry and Polly passed by the campsite and gave us advice on the air conditioner. Terry said she cleans the filters every day from all the dust we get around here. She also said to unplug everything else. I found one of our filters to be pretty dirty, and washed both. I asked if they saw Mike, to send him our way.

I switched the refrigerator to gas and asked everyone to unplug their devices once charged. Mike, with Mobil RV Repair called. I told him what we had done. He thought it might be dirty power, an improper ground. 

20 minutes later he pulled up to our site. Checking both posts, they tested clean. I need one of those devices! Next, he went to the fuse box, which was very hot. There was not enough power arriving at the breakers. He moved on to the inverter, which was also hot; then to the converter, which wan’t getting any power.

He asked if my solar power was on. It was, so I turned it off. He thought that was the problem. I thought the system knew to switch between systems, but apparently not. He said to switch the refrigerator back to electric, which I did. After a few minutes, things started to cool down. He thought the two systems were fighting each other, and all should be well now. I certainly hope so, and I have learned something else that seems obvious, but I certainly thought the two systems would know to switch. Anyway, it’s easy to turn off the solar. I really don’t like plugging into power for all the things that can happen, but In July in Moab, you need air conditioning.

Josh had found a friend to play with – Trevor, a nice young boy. First they threw the football around, then went to play pickle ball. By evening, the gregarious Trevor had gathered eight boys to play tag.

Canyonlands National Park

Thursday, June 30, 2022

To avoid the heat, we drove 40 minutes to Canyonlands National Park, up a big mountain and onto a giant Mesa that is divided into three sections by two rivers, the Colorado and the Green River. Like the Grand Canyons, the mesa sits above the rivers, carved away by a giant inland sea, the Cretaceous Seaway or the Western Interior Seaway. 

“The Cretaceous Sea, also known as the Cretaceous Interior Seaway, was a narrow, rather shallow sea that connected the modern Gulf of Mexico and modern Arctic Ocean. The formation of the sea is rather complicated. Basically, the Earth’s crust is divided into slabs of crust called plates. These plates float on semi-molten rock and get pushed around by rising hotter rock and get pulled towards areas of sinking cooler rock. Sometimes the plates collide and this can result in crumpling of the crust forming mountain ranges. As mountains are pushed upwards, they often pull the surrounding land down making the landscape look like a crumbled rug.” From

Continuing from Utah State University Eastern:

“Simplified, the story began about 170 million years ago, during the Middle Jurassic as the North American Plate moving west at about an inch per year, started a slow crashed into the Farallon Plate that was moving east at about the same speed. Over the next 105 million years this slow-motion collision created a series of mountains between the west coast and western Utah. To the east of these mountains, the land was pulled downwards allowing ocean water to flood the center of North America. 

Late Cretaceous

This down-pull was erratic and the land surface would alternately bob up-and down very, very slowly over millions of years. The result was alternating times of submergence below sea level and rising above it. During the Cretaceous, the central part of North America began a downwards cycle around 130 million years ago (Early Cretaceous) and the sea reached Utah around 110 million years ago. The landscape began bouncing upwards around 70 million years ago, forming the Rocky Mountains and pushing the ocean off the continent.  
Much of this up and down motion during the Cretaceous is preserved in the Book Cliffs and in the Grand Staircase National Monument as alternating layers of marine and terrestrial sedimentary rocks as the coastline shifted back and forth. It is for this reason that these areas are famous among geologists.”

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