We had just finished Pole Canyon Rim and said goodbye to Mike, and the weather was starting to turn. Dark rain clouds were coming in. We figured it would cut our day short, so we explored our options. There were quite a few trails to do in the area, and we decided to explore a new one and do Cottonwood Canyon.
We put doors and windows back in at the trailhead, and right after that it started raining. The trail didn't get slick, and we figured we'd be fine. It wasn't that short, and it would be difficult to turn around, anyway.
When we got to the big hill climb, a few people got out to walk it. Ordinarily it would just be a fun and bouncy climb, but now it was wet and muddy. The rocks looked slick, but looks can be deceiving in Moab.
Monica started up and it turned out to be just fine. The rain let up for a bit, and the wet rocks seemed to be only a little bit slicker than when they were dry. Everyone popped right up the obstacle without any issues.
Bill had told us stories in the past of when he was in the area with another group and they had been on a trail where part of the trail fell away when he was on it. He then remembered that we were on that trail. We might be up for more of an adventure than we thought!
Monica went over a section where she had to cut into the side to get around a washed out portion, but Bill said that wasn't it. Then she got to a narrow section where her Jeep barely fit. Bill said that was it.
Her driver's side tires ran over loose rocks that held the cliff side together. It didn't seem safe. It also didn't sound safe, with the rocks moving under her tires. Still, she just drove right across.
Everyone else did the same thing. Bill was stressed and said it was like that before. We may have been more concerned if we had actually gotten out to look at it, but we didn't. Maybe that saved the rest of us from the stress.
We were soon back out on the road and we discussed going down to the Dolores River just to see how full it was and if it was even crossable. You have to dip into a narrow and low wash to get there, though, and the rain was really coming down. We saw all of the new waterfalls and streams coming down off of the rocks around us and decided that it didn't look like a good idea, so we headed off for town, calling it a day.
When we got to town, we found out that there were flash floods in multiple areas. The highway south of Moab was closed due to a mud slide, and we couldn't even get to our condo without taking back roads. Portions of our condo development were flooded with water and mud, and even we had a water leak. What a mess!
Even though it cut our day short, we were glad we called it early. Luckily, no one was hurt and everyone made it back without an issue.
We had a great dinner together and decided to convoy home in the morning instead of doing another trail. It was a great way to wrap up a great week.