We sure know how to celebrate a holiday, if I do say so myself.
The Thanksgiving Day plan was to take a jeep trail to Tusher Tunnel, listed in the trail book as "easy." But the thing to keep in mind is that "easy" is a relative term. Weather and road conditions can vary dramatically based on season. In the past, we've found ourselves in severe trouble on supposedly easy trails. Now we are extra cautious with the Lotus Bud strapped into the back seat.
I can honestly say that this was the best jeep trip we have ever taken. The trail was rocky at times and just bumpy enough to make it feel like a vehicular adventure. The destination was spectacular, it surpassed all my expectations.
I've always got to wonder when I see a vehicle parked less than a mile from the trailhead. Why did this family choose to stop here and walk the rest of the way? Why are we not choosing to stop here and walk the rest of the way? Their stop spot was at the top of this hill, with all things considered, a rather short hill. But the Big D was determined to proceed.
The Bud and I chose to walk down the hill to, er, take pictures. Yeah, that's it! We got out to take photos of the Jeep coming down the hill.
Sometimes the roads are impassable when wet, in this situation, the road was made a bit more smooth by the wet sand. Can't help but feel that the mud on the jeep is a badge of honor.
We were the only ones in the parking lot, a huge benefit of avoiding the national park where there was actual traffic. Imagine that! Traffic in the "wild."
Each year these adventures get more fun, especially now that she's so willing to forge ahead and climb the rocks.
Finally we reached the beginning of the tunnel. For an area known for it's arches, an arch of sorts is what I imagined, maybe just a long one.
We soon discovered that this was an actual tunnel that went on for quite a while, in the middle we were immersed in total darkness. And goodness gracious, Bud had her flashlight, the one she has been carrying around for months and months, as if preparing to whip it out in our time of need.
I wish I could say that I felt the immense weight of the rock above us, the density of the air and all that sort of stuff one is supposed to say in such a tunnel. But all I was feeling was total amazement for our luck in finding the best damned outing for this family on holiday.
All that before we even got to the end of the tunnel.
It was a cloudy day but that worked to our favor. The colors were enhanced by the moisture all around, sunshine would have washed all the color out.
As I sit here this evening, I am reminded of the silence, our voices got muffled by the rock around us, no other sounds were in the canyon, no birds, no nothing. Eerie if I think too long on it. Makes me wonder if there was a squatch near by. [Ha, ha. The BFRO are coming to Moab to investigate soon. No kidding!]
As a Minnesotan, this area is so other-worldly to me. This arid region, nonetheless teeming with life, is so alien to my woods and lake sensibilities.
I took a few minutes to try a selfie. The rocks are great for setting up the camera on a pod. I had quiet moments to myself. But I lost my family in one of the slot canyons. Actually Dave got confused and headed back into the tunnel with the Bud thinking it was another tunnel while I made my way to the slot canyons east of the tunnel. Apparently we all yelled for each other but the rock muffled our sounds so much that we didn't hear each other, at all, not one bit.
What began as a short, easy trail let to a incredible beautiful afternoon spent alone in this arid wilderness. I wish I had the words to describe it all but I don't so I'll settle for this few: love, adventure, rock, sand, red, silent, expansive, dark, light, family, holiday.