Monday October 15
We drove the 100 miles or so from Grand Junction to HIttle Bottom campground on the Colorado River in Utah near Moab today. It’s a nice little riverside campground with 12 sites. It is primarily a put in point for rafters, kayakers and the like, but it is very open and not in a really narrow part of the canyon so that we get sun earlier than a couple of the other campgrounds closer to Moab.
We are just a couple of miles from one of the hikes we wanted to do while here. Fisher Towers is a 4.5 mile hike that skirts the base of some pretty amazing sandstone spires. Climber flock to this place, and seeing them standing on the tops of some of the pinnacles is worth the visit alone.The hike is considered moderate, but it has quite a bit of the up and the down rocky hiking that can really stress the knees. We hiked it on Tuesday afternoon. We waited till afternoon because the way the towers are situated, much of their faces would be in deep shadow in the morning. Of course this means starting in the heat of the day. This time of year is not as bad, but the temps are still in the low 70’s. That doesn’t sound so bad, but the deep red sandstone really soaks up the heat during the day and radiates it back on the hiker. So even though there was a light cool breeze, we still both sweated like crazy. It was quite a bit harder on Mary than me, and she finished the hike as, shall we say, not a happy camper.
But though it was hot, it was pretty amazing as well. We only saw a handful of hikes our entire time out, and none actually went out as far as us. The trail steadily rises over the course of the 2+ miles out, with an occasional drop into, then out of, a wash. There are nice long views of the desert and Colorado River to one side and close up views of the spires to the other.
Out at the end of the hike, the trail moves away from the towers a bit to reveal more great views of the surrounding desert with better step away views of the towers. We stopped here for a while and watched the light get lower and colors get deeper. But now we needed to head back. Marys knee was beginning to bother her and the heat had her feeling pretty crummy. She soldered on however and even stopped for an occasional photograph. We were both pretty happy to finish the hike.
Since there was no broadcast TV signal at the campground, we couldn’t watch Game 2 of the Giants playoff. We did learn that they won by checking the web. There was enough of a cell signal because of the booster we now have, that I could keep up on the score. So the day ended well. The Cuba Lebre’s helped.