It’s getting late as we make our way across the lowlands of Colorado and pass the Utah state line. Linda has one more spot she would like to go rockhounding and we had hoped to reach it before dark. No such luck as we pull off of Hwy 70 at Crescent Junction and turn south toward Moab, UT. We don’t plan on driving very far on Hwy 191 and Linda has her information up and reading. Trying to find a dirt side road in the dark can be very tricky, pulling the trailer makes it important not to miss the turn the first time, because making a U-turn on a narrow road with a trailer can be problematic.
We both spot the stop sign about the same time and lucky for us there is no traffic behind us. Not true for the oncoming traffic, it is a line of cars. Moab must have been busy today. We turn left onto a dirt road and proceed slowly down the washboard road. We are on BLM (public) land so it doesn’t surprise me to see several campers and trailers also pulled off and camps set up.
At the next junction, we make almost a U-turn to stay with the main road. Now completely dark, we continue driving down the dirt road until Linda indicates we are close enough to the spot to look for a place to camp. Finding an even smaller dirt road we turn off once again and find a fairly level spot among the sagebrush.
To me, this is what I love most about this little trailer. We dropped the rear support, extended the kitchen and ate a late dinner. A few more vehicles passed during the night, but not enough to keep us awake and we drifted off to sleep ready for our final day of adventure.
The sun greeted us early the next morning and Linda was already up and dressed ready to take a look around. The area just over the ridge is known as Thompson Springs and a beautiful white agate rock is supposed to be found here. I woke us considerably more slowly than Linda and was surprised when I stuck my head out the trailer to find a car just a few hundred feet up the road. Mountain bike attached. As I looked around I saw several more cars pulled over and occupants sleeping either in their cars or tents. Got to love public lands, many no doubt driving some of the night to get close to Arches National Park and the slick rock mountain bike haven that is Moab, UT. I looked around for Linda but did not see her in the immediate vicinity.
After a short, while she returned dejected, not a single stone-lined her bucket. We ate breakfast and re-examined the map and information. We were in the correct location, and Linda surmised that she did not go far enough toward the wash. We packed up our things and headed out again. This is a beautiful section of the country. Sitting at the northern tip of Arches National Park, I would later review a map to determine this is certainly a location I want to return to. Not for the agate, but because we were just a couple miles from several amazing arches and bridges that reside in the park.
Finding the way to the GPS location provided, once again we looked and walked and looked some more for the elusive Thompson white agate. Finally, I see a small white stone at my feet. Sure enough, it is agate. I was both excited and worried. Looking so long for one small piece didn’t make sense. At our agate fields near Cedar, they are everywhere. Walking over a mile to find one small piece seemed ridiculous.
We continued to look and eventually found a few nice pieces. But time was running out and finally, we decided to call it a morning. As we lifted the stabilizers on the trailer and noted with reverence the surrounding peaks I determined again to drag the trailer to this remote location for some peak bagging soon.