Sunday, June 26, 2011

Swell Times

We took off for a camping trip to the San Rafael Swell. This was K's first visit and J's third to the Swell. One of the oldest things we found was an Allosaurus dinosaur track approximately 147 million years old. We figure it's about a size 14. Bless K for getting everything ready for the trip. We had great weather, though still hot during the day, and good times. We just love to explore and learn, chat and ask questions, and make camp together. That watermelon hit the spot, oh yes it did!

Desert Flora included: Cottonwood Trees down by the river (please note the cotton), Prickly Pear Blossoms (bright fuschia and yellow, but the fuschia was blurry in my photo), and whatever holds the ground together when things get washed out. You never know what's underneath you where you walk!

We paid a visit to Swasey's Cabin. The Swasey Boys were legendary. This cabin was built, I believe, in 1920 (or 1921?).

K enjoyed all aspects of Dutchman's Arch.

J has had a long time interest in petroglyphs and pictographs. K helped J on an interesting scavenger hunt through the desert to locate many sites she had not previously visited. Some of these are 1000, 2000, and 3000 years old! J paid a visit to the Lone Warrior.

We drove a lot of dirt roads and sandy washes. We were glad to have a high clearance vehicle with 4-wheel drive. The San Rafael River is overflowing it's banks right now.

J at the Wedge and K catching a breeze at Little Grand Canyon.

Swell Scenes! The San Rafael Swell is a geologic desert paradise. You really must go!

Besides the usual multitudinous rodent varieties, fauna on this trip included: antelope (a small herd and later, a loner), lizards galore (but they wouldn't stand still long enough for a portrait), a butterfly sipping thistle, and a deer (not pictured). We were in an area called Jackass Benches checking out a sinkhole when something caught my eye in the distance. I said, "Honey, I think those are jackasses staring at us." The binoculars confirmed there were three, but the picture isn't great.

As we often do, we ran into some livestock herding. The cows had men on horseback and a few cow dogs gettin' them dogies along. We passed a ten year old boy driving the pickup with a big, long, horse trailer being pulled behind. When we ran into the sheep herd, we couldn't find any humans at all. Then we noticed that mixed into the herd were three white dogs who had everything under control. In fact, miles back we finally ran into a human with a horse that didn't have nearly the control over the sheep as those three white dogs. Hope those dogs got a great dinner because they were rock stars as far as getting those sheep up the road was concerned!

We left the desert by heading home through Huntington Canyon. There's plenty of snow left at 9000 feet! We were both tired when we got home. J hit the shower and went straight to bed. K made multiple trips hauling all the camping equipment inside. Bless his heart.


  1. spectacular photo of the butterfly!!!!

  2. Now, days later, I just keep thinking about those three white dogs, who so calmly and efficiently had everything in order. No sheep were straying into the grass, even when our vehicle approached. Everyone was just quietly walking down the road. When we got further into the other bunch of sheep, we saw a lot of chaos. Those dogs were like Babysitters of the Year!

  3. what a beautiful place... I have never heard of it before. If I were a dog... I would want to be a sheep dog.