A glance at the weather report shows a good enough stretch for a 2 night, 3 day trip to the San Rafael Swell in central Utah. We head for the part of the Swell north of I-70. Click here for Wikipedia information on this geologic uplift formed 40-60 million years ago.
On the first day, we ride through sandy Cane Wash.
About mid-way to the San Rafael River, we come to some free water and a lot of ice. The horses learn to tippy-toe across the ice, placing each hoof carefully so they won't slip. We aren't worried about breaking through because the water is only a couple of inches deep.
The San Rafael has ice along the banks, but plenty of free-flowing water in the middle.
A window in the rock overlooks the river. We look for petroglyphs but don't see any.
On the return trip, Daisy finds a petrified log. She would love to fetch it, but it's a little heavy. It's probably 250,000 million years old, from the Shinarump formation.
We discover the detritus left over from an old mining claim, including a storage room built into the hillside. We think it may have been where the miners stored dynamite. In case blasting caps might still be lying around, we do not enter.
and a rusted International pickup.
We complete the 16 mile ride at nearly dusk. Little do we know, the weather report lied. Instead of night time lows of near 30, temps dip to 10 F that night, a little cooler than we bargained for.