TransAmerica Trail – Day 21

Moab UT to Lone Tree BLM campground UT

Horsethief Campground was great and will be a do-over next time we’re in the area! We woke early, cooked breakfast and thought about staying another day. In the end we opted to go early to check out Arches National Park since it was too busy yesterday. It opened at 7:30 and there was already a crowd. We followed along like sheep down the long road through the park to see the balancing rock and the delicate arch. It was under whelming today, maybe because of the crowds or maybe because we’ve seen so much more interesting things just as majestic in our drives outside the park.

The crowds convinced us to get back on the trail. Every day is so different from the previous and that’s the most amazing thing about this trip. After all those canyons and high walls the trail immediately entered into a high plains area, I think it’s called a basin. Miles and miles of nothing but sand with high walls in the way distance we never quite got to. It was beautiful in it’s lack of features. We followed this mostly north for a long ways before crossing I-70 and getting Green River UT. The trail criss-crossed I-70 several times for the next 100 miles so we went down the interstate a ways looking for a different landscape.

It didn’t take long, the next crossing of the highway we hopped off. It was weird because there wasn’t an exit, you just turned off the road onto a dirt trail and had to open a gate to go through. For about a half mile it was a nice ride, then we came to a canyon wall going straight up hundreds of feet and from just a few yards away you still couldn’t see a way through. The trail went right up to the wall and turned inward deeper into the canyon. It was filled with large rocks and sand and far more technical than anything I’d ever driven on.

We were constantly walking ahead to scout the best way through. We did this for a few miles and passed a group on ATV’s going the other way. It was really fun but in the end we came to a spot we couldn’t get through with our Jeep as it is equiped. We had already had several rocks banging stuff underneath and this last one with the angle we would hit it was just too much. We turned around and went back out, beaten but still smiling Found out later the trail here was called the Black Dragon, part of a larger trail the Devil’s Racetrack and rated higher than we should have been doing alone.

We got back on the interstate and saw that there was a BLM dispersed camping area at the next trail crossing, this time there was a real exit. Got off and drove out into the desert to stake our claim to a spot for the night. This was our first time truly wild camping and we enjoyed the quiet and darkness of being in the middle of nowhere.