Crossing Paths at Comb Ridge

Scenic Highway 95

Scenic Highway 95 below Comb Ridge

When I’m on the road, measuring distances by the amount of ground I can hike or drive in a day, this world can start to seem like a very big place. But every now and then, forces conspire to remind me what a small world it is too.

The other day near Comb Ridge, just west of Blanding, Utah I passed a red Jeep towing another Teardrop going the other direction and the trailer looked so much like mine, I almost pulled a U-turn to chase them down. Turns out, it was just like mine! It was the second trailer built by Egon (I have #3) on the road from Lincoln, Nebraska! With only six of these trailers in the world what are the chances that two would cross paths on a rural highway in Utah? Small world, indeed. 

My Teardrop on the west side of the Comb

My Teardrop on the west side of the Comb. The decal is a photo from my 30th birthday backpacking trip at the Grand Canyon, a gift from Egon.  :)

It seems I can’t drive through Comb Ridge – Utah highways 95, west of Blanding and 163, west of Bluff were blasted through the ridge – without parking on the side of the road and hiking up the sandstone slabs. Comb Ridge is a textbook monocline, a tilted fold in the Earth’s crust that runs for more than 80 miles through southeast Utah down into northeast Arizona. The eastern slopes of the fold tilt upwards at a calf-burning 20 degree angle, thrusting upwards to the precipitous western edge.

One of these days, in the early spring or late fall, I’d love to spend a week or two exploring the Comb, hunting down some of the Anasazi dwellings hidden in its convoluted slots and recesses. This time of year it’s too hot to hike during the day. I settled for a late evening scramble up the north side of the highway and then an early morning climb up the south side after spending the night boondocking among the cottonwoods in Comb Wash.

Free campsite among the Cottonwoods below Comb Ridge. You can see the spires we hiked up to as well as the notch where 95 passes through the ridge.

Free campsite among the Cottonwoods below Comb Ridge. You can see the spires we hiked up to as well as the notch where 95 passes through the ridge.

Hiking up the sloping slabs on the east side of Comb Ridge

Hiking up the sloping slabs on the east side of Comb Ridge

Comb Ridge Tree

Comb Ridge Tree. You can barely see the Rover & the Rattler on the road below.

The edge of Comb Ridge

Approaching the steep western edge of Comb Ridge

Dogs giving me grey hais on the edge, highway 95 below

Dogs giving me grey hairs on the edge, highway 95 below

The next morning Dio and hiked up the Comb on the south side of the highway.

The next morning Dio and I hiked up the Comb on the south side of the highway.

Good Morning, Comb Ridge!

Good Morning, Comb Ridge!

For more on Comb Ridge check out David Robert’s classic Sandstone Spire: Seeking the Aansazi on the First Traverse of the Comb Ridge. It’s too hot in southeast Utah! Time for an altitude adjustment. :)

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently traveling the backroads from New Mexico to Alaska, writing and living out of a tiny Teardrop camper. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Bowie & D.O.G., Hiking!, Photography, Road tripping!, Teardrop Trailer, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Crossing Paths at Comb Ridge

  1. I adore Utah. So many beautiful sights. It was fun joining you through these lovely photos.

  2. swo8 says:

    That is some rugged country side. What an adventure!
    Leslie

  3. hobopals says:

    You are wise to enjoy this lifestyle while you are young. Great pictures. Glad I found your blog.

  4. I love the photo on the back of your teardrop!

  5. Dennis says:

    The picture of the dogs on the ridge above Hwy 95 is beautiful

  6. furrygnome says:

    I love that old tree!

  7. naomi_fanta se says:

    There is a man in Bluff who is extremely knowledgeable about the history (Everett Ruess!) and natural landscape of Bluff. His name is Vaughn Hadenfeldt – he guides around the area. Happy travels!

  8. Diana Busby says:

    I want a Teardrop camper, and I want to travel the backroads, and I want dogs that will hike with me instead of drag me along on a leash, or run off without me when off leash. I love your photos and seeing your adventures. Incredible views.

  9. pmdello says:

    You have so much fun!

  10. ClareSnow says:

    that twisted tree is amazing!

  11. gpeppers says:

    The last photo that has your shadow is my favorite, but all are awesome. Love your life, thanks for sharing.

  12. Any major issues with living out of the teardrop?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s