Saturday, March 14, 2009

Elephant Butte Trail

My girlfriend Gayle and her husband Barry have been in town the last few days. Today we went 4-wheeling together. We selected an area in the Southwest region of Utah called "Elephant Butte Trail" near Coral Pink Sand Dunes. We estimated we put about 30 miles on our bikes today. The weather was perfect with blue skies and ideal temperatures.

None of us had ridden this particular trail before. I liked it because it was trail riding, as apposed to dune riding which is what Mr. Cactus likes best. The scenery was spectacular.
Gayle has a fancy new 4-wheeler that can just about go anywhere.
Our son Paul went with us. He's been riding 4-wheelers since he was quite young.
This land was purchased from the Piute Indians in 1862.
Mr. Cactus brought his GPS and a map to make sure we stayed on the right trail. There were so many forks in the road, he and Barry had to confer quite often.
We rode for quite a few hours. I like to go a lot slower than the guys, so I stayed in the back of our line up.
The trails were very dusty. I "ate" everyone else's sand.
When I took off my goggles and helmet, my face was lined with dirt. Paul insisted he take a picture of me. He said "Mom, I don't think I've ever seen you this dirty!" (I'm the one who nags about keeping things clean). But we were in the desert, and I had a great time! Gayle had brought a "swifter" duster to clean off their goggles, and offered to dust my face off. Now that's a true friend.
The elevation range is from 5,600-6,300 feet.
Gayle and Barry
We stopped to eat our lunch at a high rock promontory called Barracks Trail. This area has a spectacular view of Zion National Park in the distance and we could see the East Fork of the Virgin River below. Barry decided to hike down the mountain part way to take pictures.
After riding for several hours in this very remote area, I asked Mr. Cactus where the nice Utah Parks department hides their restrooms. That Mr. Cactus is always prepared. He handed me his backpack that contained a special pocket just for T.P... hmmm... getting dirt all over my face is one thing...
We had been told there were some Indian ruins along one of the trails. We tried to find them by doing some investigating down different roads, but were unsuccessful in locating them. We want to come back another time and do some more looking.
We really had a wonderful day today.

9 comments:

Micki said...

I used to live in Arizona eons ago when I taught on the Navajo reservation, so I am very familiar with the scenery. I loved the pics! Looks like you had a smashing time!
Micki

Jackie said...

Sounds like a fantastic time! The only thing that we would have done different would be that we would hike. Never have ridden in an ATV, but it certainly would be a way to cover more ground.

Material Mary said...

What fun. It is beautiful country down in St. George. My brother lives there, but they go hiking. It's their thing.
Mary

Dawn said...

My husband and I went to Coral Pink years ago. It is a beautiful place! Good to hear you had a grand time!

Carrie said...

What beautiful country -- how fun to ride through it. Sounds like you had a great time. I told my husband we need to take are bikes down that way for a ride.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

You are such a good sport. I'm always amazed at things you do. The scenery is beautiful there this time of year. And the weather.

whitey said...

I am a friend to Gayle she told me to pop over and see the adventures you four had, looks fun and most of all warm!

Jules said...

Nedra...you're too fun!

Aubrey said...

Wow, this looks beautiful! You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful country. Oh and I've known you 12 years longer than Paul and I think he's right, I have never seen you that dirty before!