March 4, 2011

Water in the Desert

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.


  1. Hi Janie, I'm so glad you went back - these expansive photos of a region I love have made my day. At first, I thought Daisy was holding something in her mouth in that muddy pool. Funny, that she just blew out her jowls! I bet she was plenty dirty when she got up. How wonderful it must have been to find those old signatures. Thanks for taking me along.

  2. Once again you are creating a wonderful image of the desert with your rides. My only visit to Arizona has been to my sister in laws in Sun City. I didn't like anything about the whole scene. This is making me think differently. Wonderful

  3. Daisy has it all figured out...leave it up to a dog. Thanks for this!

  4. What great photographs, not to mention the adventure. I am jealous (in a good way.) Love your banner too! :^)

  5. I also love your banner. What great rides you guys go on. Daisy is quite the dog. She is always ready for an adventure.

  6. I can see why you went back. There's a lot of country there to explore. Steve planning another book?
    I wonder why I find the historic rock markings interesting, but not the modern ones that will be historic one day? Looking forward to more of this trip.

  7. Your post reminds us how precious water is in the desert. Daisy does look as if she enjoyed Sweetwater Spring. The countryside you rode through is beautiful.

  8. Hi Janie, Another great ride!!!! WOW--what a fabulous area.. Glad you found some water this time. I know that Daisy and the horses enjoyed that water also... Thanks so much for sharing such a gorgeous place... What great HISTORY.

  9. I love living vicariously through your rides!

  10. awesome are so lucky to have such beauty around you...

  11. What a gorgeous area! I love those cowboy cool.
    Daisy looks as happy as a pig in mud!

  12. What a fabulous ride! The colours of the desert seem to be so crisp and intense! Just gorgeous.

  13. It looks like you didn't see any other people on this trip. That's what I love about Canyonlands Needles District. The Maze is even more remote so you were probably the only people for miles!

  14. Ah, so graffiti is not new at all, is it? Dwendon and DT have left their marks.



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