[Cdt-l] Circling the San Rafael

Jim and/or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Fri May 9 23:26:07 CDT 2008

We’ve moved – actually, several times.  Our last update was from Blanding, UT near Cedar Mesa.  After that update, 
we spent two days backpacking the Slickhorn canyons and then another 4 days backpacking in Grand Gulch.  Both 
were terrific hikes, with lots of prehistoric ruins and rock art to explore as we walked.  The Grand Gulch trip and a 
short side trip into Colorado made it plain that something was seriously wrong with my foot.  So we headed north to 
Moab, UT in the belief that Moab would have a reasonably good sports medicine clinic.  Not so.  But there is an 
emergency clinic that was open on Sunday and they diagnosed my foot problem as Morton’s Neuroma rather 
than the broken toe I thought I was working on.  So we spent several days near Moab while Ginny did some 
hiking, we found several rock art sites that we hadn’t seen before and I got to rest the foot a little.  
Now we’ve moved again – northward to Green River, Utah.  There are a gaggle of rock art sites in this area – 
including some that we’d never heard of until a couple days ago.  Some of them we can drive to (on roads that 
I suspect most of you wouldn’t torture your cars by driving) – some we’ll have to hike in to see. 
A lot of the roads we’ve been driving are dirt or gravel – and some of them have truly been four-wheel-drive rated.  
We don’t have four wheel drive.  This next week or so will be a lot more of that kind of driving – lots of dust, sand, 
rocks and ruts.  And some prayers for “no rain” and for the sand to be firm and not too deep.  
The Morton’s Neuroma is sorta under control (barely) using lots of Advil (4X4), a metatarsal pad, some toe bandages 
and re-lacing the boots so the toebox is looser.  I can generally walk a couple miles without the sucker having a complete 
screaming tantrum.  I expect that to get better.  I’ve been advised by a friend (a doctor) to get cortisone injections.  
I’ll do that as soon as we get within range of a foot doctor, but the nearest one is well over a hundred miles away – in 
the wrong direction.  So it’ll take a while.  
In the meantime, pain or not, we’re still having fun.  For the next week or so we’ll be poking around in odd places in the 
San Rafael Desert (the area between the San Rafael Reef and the Book Cliffs) – a little hiking (up to 5 miles today and 
yesterday), a lot of rock art sites and a lot of desert.  Yeah – we love the desert, but we don’t really want to live here 
Last year we saw a lot of the well known rock art sites: Rochester Panel, Black Dragon, Nine Mile Canyon and Range Creek.  
This year we’re looking for some of the less well known sites – which tend to be a little more off the beaten track.  The rock art 
in Cedar Mesa was generally Anasazi – in Moab there was a mix of Anasazi and Fremont – and in the Green River area it's 
basically Fremont with a mix of Archaic/Barrier style and occasional Anasazi elements.  We like all of them – but we’ll 
go to greater lengths to get to the Archaic/Barrier style sites.  Personal preference.  Seeing paintings of large ghostly 
figures that are over 2000 years old (and maybe as much as 8000 yo) is a special experience.
We'll let you know if we survive the experience.  <G>
Walk softly,
Jim & Ginny
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