Day 2 started out with a wonderful, complimentary, Continental breakfast. Which means something different wherever you go. This one wasn't bad, English muffins, coffee, fresh fruit even. Not worth the $90 I paid for it, but then again, they did throw in a nice place to sleep for the night. Anyhoo, today was Shafer Trail day. Going down the Shafer Trail you start out in Canyonlands National Park and end up coming out somewhere right outside of Moab. It's all dirt road and descends, or rises, some 2000 feet and is 19 miles long*. Writer knows the history of the trail better so I'll let her tell it, click HERE to scoot over to her post. We started out by going out to Dead Horse Point, which overlooks part of the Shafer Trail. The picture at the top shows the view of part of the Shafer Trail from Dead Horse Point. From there we went to ?Canyonlands National Park and went over to the Visitors Center. We were talking to Ranger Jaime and we asked her about the trail, how it was and if my Subaru could take it. She consulted with Ranger Nate and the response we got was "We wouldn't advise it". Ok, there was a lot more chatting back and forth, but that was the basic gist of the conversation. Basically what they were saying is that, if done carefully, my Subaru would make it through alive, but they won't say that just in case something happens and I feel like suing. Shafer Trail starts out as a nice smooth dirt road across a mesa, turns into a relatively smooth road that's cut into the side of a cliff then turns into some pretty rough switchbacks. It makes at least half, if not 3/4, of the 2000 ft drop (or rise) in a matter of about 3 or 4 miles. Hairy driving, but exciting. Writer was extremely calm when she was on the up side of the road, not so much when she was on the down side. But it seems that she trusts my driving, because she never showed it. I could just tell by her not looking out her window when she was on the down side. She didn't complain, didn't yell for me to slow down and didn't jump out of the car and walk down the hill. (I won't admit it, but I'm a little nervous when I'm looking out the window at a thousand foot drop off. did I say that out loud?) After the switchbacks, it's relatively level for the rest of the trip, but there were some rough spots on the road. I scraped a total of 4 times, but made sure they were all on the outside of the bottom of the car where there were no vital organs. At one really nasty spot there was an orange cone marking it. It seemed somewhat out of place on a dirt road miles out into nowhere. But alas, it was there, as was a 15 MPH sign, which frankly made me laugh because the chances of running into a UHP out here were about the same as GW having an intelligent thought, and Rangers were almost as sparse, but also because for the most part, going over 15 MPH is not physically possible, except for during the 1000 foot fall off the cliff. Eventually the trail meets up with the Potash Road, which is paved and leads you right back to the highway into Moab. It took us the better part of the day, if you've driven dirt roads, you know how long it can take to drive 19 miles, plus you add to that all the times to take pictures, we pretty much got back into town just in time to get dinner. Which, if I remember correctly, was Mexican night, where I had the M.O.A.B. (Mother Of All Burritos) . This is not your 99 cent Taco Time burrito that you can eat 4 or 5 or 6 or even 7 of if you are really hungry. Oh, no. It was huge, I swear they stuffed a whole lamb in there, hoofs and all. (see picture here) Writer has the picture of it, so you'll have to scoot over there to check it out. Well, it was gooooood! And I actually ate the whole thing, although I felt like I usually do after Thanksgiving Dinner, nothing left to do but to go back to the hotel and lay in bed. Thus endeth day 2.
*4WD Trails of Southeast Utah, Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson, Swagman Publishing, 2001