For years, we've driven Highway 163 through Mexican Hat to Blanding and on to Moab for our nearly annual Green River odyssey. Once, we stayed at Sand Island before a San Juan River trip, and once, I drove the Moki Dugway as part of a solo Lake Powell kayak trip years ago. All told, we've passed through the area about 25 times and never taken the time to explore it.
For the past week, I've had my nose in some books and maps including some new purchases now that we have some room on the bookshelves. I'm headed for southeastern Utah looking for ruins and petroglyphs. I'll have three weeks before I need to be back in town for a few days. The weather should be perfect for hiking and I'm told I should be ahead of the cedar gnat hatch.
There are several well regarded books about the area. I chose the Michael Kelsey book because I had two other books of his. Not easy to read, but LOTS of information if you're willing to dig for it.
We've been blessed in life to know a professional cartographer who does wonderful updated versions of classic USGS Quad maps. She concentrates on maps of high interest in the west. When I checked Amtopo, I saw that she had the Sugarloaf Butte map, but the map covering Mule Canyon wasn't listed. I sent her a note and she responded that she had the Hotel Rock quad 90% completed and if I could wait a couple days, she'd have it ready.
I'd say that's a pretty fresh map! The declination rose is dated this past Monday.
I'll start heading north tomorrow. I'm looking forward to visiting ruins and rock art of Ancient Puebloans along with a few hikes just for the view. I might loop through Grand Staircase, Bryce, & maybe Zion on the way home, or maybe loop through Green River and Moab. Choices, Choices.