Utah Highway 128: Up the Colorado

Dear Maia, Isaac, and other Southwest Travelers,

Today came the journey home after 3 nights in Moab.   I really wanted to do another hike before heading home.  One person on Facebook had shared some easy dog walks that might work.  Two of those intrigued me – both of them were ones I have heard of before but never taken.

Utah Highway 128 near Moab, UT

I couldn’t make up my mind, but both are along Highway 128 between Moab and Cisco, Utah.  So, I decided that we would do a sampler of both.  With two dogs on-board, I don’t like to get too far from the car.  I don’t go fast or far . . . but at least I keep going.

The start of the Grandstaff Trail near Moab, UT.

The first hike was called Grandstaff Trail.  It is named after the first African American to settle in Moab.  That is sort of an interesting Black History Month piece.  It use to be named Negro Bill’s.  They recently changed it to his last name, which seems appropriate.

View of the varnished sandstone from the Grandstaff Trail.

The trail was pretty flat and pretty easy overall.  It trailed a creek up a little canyon.  I guess it is really nice in the summer because it has a lot of foliage to keep things cool.  It also has a lot of poison ivy, I guess.  Fortunately, it is winter so nothing much was growing.  I was careful, anyway.

My pups rest in the green grass along the Grandstaff Trail.

Sazi is so small that even little rocks are like stairs to her and she hurt her back the first time (intervertebral disc disease IVDD) right after we got home from Moab.  I have wondered if the hiking helped set things off.  So, even though she could walk the flatter parts, she had to ride a lot as we tread over the rocks.  Senior Maizzy rode in her K9 Sport Sack most of the way.

The stairs back to the parking lot at the Grandstaff Trail.

The next stop was Fisher Towers – it is about 29 miles from Moab and very popular hiking spot.  It was good to go on a weekday, we avoided the crowd.  I had seen Fisher Towers when I camped at a place called Dewey Bridge a few years back – it is just a couple miles from the Towers.  I had never been hiking there until today.

Fisher Towers, Utah.

We took the dirt rode about 2 miles then had some lunch in the parking lot.  I put Maizzy in her pack and away we went on this “easy dog hike.”  LOL.  When I am carrying 20 pounds of dog and maybe 10 more of equipment, water, etc, nothing is easy.  There were stairs right off the bat, so Sazi rode in her Roo pocket the whole way.

View from early in Fisher Towers hiking trail.

We didn’t go too far – just enough to get a few photos.  The hike is only a mile, we didn’t make it all the way.  With 30 pounds strapped on, I don’t have the best center of gravity.  The rocks were just steep enough that I felt unsure of myself.  So, we wondered around and got a few photos.

View looking west from Fisher Towers hiking trail.

If I was to rate the hikes . . . hmmm.  Well, I think Grandstaff was better for small dogs.  Sazi could be out of her carrier and walking on her own a lot of the way.  I think it would be prettier in the summer with the foliage . . . or fall!  Fisher Towers is amazing scenery but harder to walk with dogs in packs. I would go back to either place and try, again.

The view of Fisher Towers from early in the hiking trail.

A few miles after Fisher Towers, Utah Highway 128 goes from immense, tall canyon walls to very flat sage brush land.  It is a startling change in just a couple of miles.  From there, we got back on I-70 and headed home.  The house is cold, the furnace is out.  Happy Birthday to me.  The pups can sleep on my old electric blanket in my room.

The landscape flattens as the road approaches Cisco, Utah.

Tomorrow, sweet Maizzy goes to the vet for a diagnosis, I turn 65, and hopefully the furnace repair folks show up because the high is 48 tomorrow.  Not the best night for the furnace to fail, but I have beautiful red canyon walls to dream of.

Love, Grandma Hartt

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