Sunday, October 24, 2021

10/21 - 10/24 Off-Roading and Camping at Lone Rock and Hole in the Rock in Utah

I received another invite from my good friends at Rogue Overland to head out to Monument Valley to explore an old Mormon Covered Wagon Route. The trail was called 'Hole in the Rock' and supposedly is the point where the Mormons in the late 1800's carved a Hole in the Rock to transit from Lake Powell to the Colorado River. Thankfully, my schedule was clear so I along with my brother Lou signed up! 

After telling the guys I'm in, I googled the rally point that we were supposed to met at Friday at 2PM. I quickly realized that it was over 500 miles away from the house so about an 8 hour drive. After discussing it with Lou, we planned to meet at Lone Rock Thursday night which is about the half way point for us thus cutting our single day transit distance in half. After work, I loaded up the truck and started the 4 hour journey to Lone Rock arriving around 9PM local time. It was a pleasant full moon so we could both see without any need for extra light. We caught up around the fire briefly then called it a night to rest up for what is sure to be a busy weekend. 

The next morning, we packed up and pushed off towards the trailhead. About 2 hours out, we passed by the Mexican Hat Rock which was a rock that looked like a Mexican Sombrero. Very cool rock to see! Shortly after that, the highway we were on turned into a gravel road as it switched back and forth going on the side of the cliff. Thankfully, it was excellent driving conditions but we still took it slow. From there, it was a short drive to the trailhead and met up with the group. It was great seeing the whole gang again! We aired down and pushed off leaving the world behind and our cell phone service behind!

The Hole in the Rock trail was a slow going and quite long trail so we decided it best to get a little ways in until we found a good spot to camp for the night. Then, we'd wake up and run the out and back trail the following day planning on camping at the same spot the next night. We found a good spot early afternoon and quickly unpacked. I, of course, was hungry so I made dinner before setting up camp. Dinner for me was 2 chicken quesadillas, very tasty! The best part about the Utah countryside with scenic clouds was that no one had cell phone service. We could just kick back and let our day to day worries drift away. 

The following morning, we packed up and headed out! Not long into the trail we came across old wagon tracks from where the Mormon's continuously pulled their wagons over the same rock face. Pretty cool to see over a 100 years later! We continued over rock and obstacle using spotters as required. We hit a few skid plates and relied on a few sliders but overall, no damage was done! A little after lunch, Nick brought the group together to share some bad news. It turns out we weren't progressing as quick as he'd hoped meaning we had a decision to make. If we turned back now, we would make camp before sunset but if we wanted to see the Hole in the Rock, we'd have to press forward guaranteeing our return would be well after sunset. Considering we all had 8+ hour drives the next day, we elected to head back early to get some sleep a little disappointed we couldn't see it.

As we rolled back into camp after a great day of wheeling, the sun was masked behind a low layer of clouds creating interesting sun beams. I wanted to get a video of it so I threw the truck in park, grabbed my DJI and ran out to the top of a nearby hill. The video was totally worth it and definitely the best video I've captured with the drone so far. 

After that, we all called it a night ready for an early departure the next morning. During the drive out to Utah, I received a call from the Ford dealer back in Vegas letting me know my long awaited Ford Bronco had been delivered and was ready for pickup. This made the trip very bitter sweet as I knew it was the last trip in the Tacoma. As we packed up and prepared for departure Sunday morning, I grabbed one last photo of the Taco in it's element thankful for all the trips and obstacles it has carried me on. This was a great send off for a great truck.


No comments:

Post a Comment