Where have we been for the past week? You guessed it, we went back to the area around Canyonlands, Maze District.
Steve had a whole passel of rides planned, many of them checking out springs. After making the 4.5 hour drive from home the first day, we still had time to ride along the Sweetwater Reef and find Sweetwater Springs.
We hoped we might glimpse the mustang herd that lives in the area, but we didn't see any sign of them. We did locate the spring (above), which Daisy enjoyed. Her lips billowed out in a great sigh as she settled into a muddy pool.
The above rock wall seems to be part of a old cowboy corral built at the opening of a box canyon.
Nearby are the remains of an old cabin,
and some cowboy signatures, one dated 1912. Dwendon makes his "N's" backward. Very likely, he quit school as soon as he was old enough to hang in a saddle all day, and had only a limited amount of writing practice.
We also sought out North Spring (above), one of the largest in the area, which emerges from a rock alcove. This spring, like others in this area, flows from below the Entrada sandstone layer and above the less permeable Carmel sandstone.
Cottonwood trees, not yet in leaf, flourish near the precious desert water source.
The spring was still mostly ice but will provide good water for wildlife all year long.
Above is another cowboy signature from the early ranching days.
After about 10 miles of riding and exploring, we loaded the horses and drove another few miles to our first night's camp.