We had just finished playing on Wipe-Out Hill at the end of Sevenmile Rim, and we started off down the Monitor and Merrimac Buttes trail to connect to the Wipe-Out Hill trail. The weather had turned nice, and we were all enjoying the day. It was still pretty early when we set off in the sand.
We didn't see anyone coming the other way, and when we got to the intersection where we had turned to have adventures before, we found that the turn was now our only option. We could no longer go straight through to the dinosaur viewing area as they had closed the middle section to vehicles. A narrow opening made it impossible for vehicles to fit through.
The last time we had tried to go around the butte the other way, the road was washed out and we couldn't continue. We turned, though, hoping that they had fixed the road. This time there were painted lines on the slickrock to follow, and we knew we were on the right track.
We came to a crossroads and headed off in the opposite direction for just a bit. It got confusing and it was heading in the wrong direction, so we turned back and followed the painted lines in the other direction, toward the washed-out area.
We were almost to the washed out area when we found that they had blocked that area off, too. Vehicles could no longer drive over there, which was fine with us. Instead, they continued the trail further out and around Courthouse Rock.
Finding the trail was fairly easy, and we soon hooked up with one of the major roads that exist near the highway. That took us past the big Sand Hill that we've played on in the past. Unfortunately, signs and roadblocks have been put up and you can no longer attempt to drive up the hill. However, it looked like there was an alternate way up that we'd have to try next time.
Matt and Jeffrey got a wild hair and decided to walk up the sand hill. It looked like they were doing fine until about the last quarter of the hill when they were moving slowly and taking breaks. It looked like they were climbing very steep stairs. After a bit, Matt came running down the hill and we all watched to see if he would fall. He didn't! Jeffrey followed soon after, galloping down the hill. He didn't fall either.
We headed off to check out the dinosaur viewing area, which is still accessible in a vehicle. You can't drive any further than the parking area, though. We enjoyed the little hike, and then we had a discussion. Bill was back at the condo in town, waiting on parts, and he needed help from the group to get his Jeep put back together again. We gave him a call and he was still waiting, so we all decided to continue on with the Wipe-Out Hill trail and meet him for dinner later on instead.
It's a bummer that you can't continue in a straight line along the trail anymore, but the newly rerouted trail is more fun. It all works out.
Reports from Other Days: 3
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