Black Dragon Canyon

The Black Dragon Canyon is a steep walled canyon of beautiful Wingate Sandstone cut into the San Rafael Swell just off of Hwy 70 near Green River Utah. A pictograph of a dragon was painted onto the wall by the Freemont Indian that roamed these lands between 400CE and 1350CE. There are other pictographs alongside that of the dragon but the dragon itself is the most intriguing. While Dragons are all over European and Chinese mythology they are seldom found in Native American lore. It is believed that dragon lore comes from the misunderstanding of dinosaur fossils….. Read more

Pando

Fish Lake is a beautiful alpine lake sitting at an elevation of 8,848ft in the Fish Lake National Forest in central Utah. This lake provides recreational activities like scenic drives, mountain biking, snowmobiling, hiking, camping and OHV use, as well as elk hunting and trout fishing. It is also home of one of the oldest and largest living organisms in the world, scattering out from its south west coast grows a stand of aspen known as Pando. Pando is argued to be the biggest living organism on earth but there is a parasitic honey fungus in the Blue Mountains… Read More

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Nestled high in the White Mountain Range in California, elevation 9,800-11,000ft, lies the oldest known living non-clonal organisms in the world. The Bristlecone Pines are trees that have a unique ability to survive in harsh conditions and in less than ideal soil. The oldest of these trees does not have a name but it is estimated that it germinated in 3051 BC, 5,068 years ago, around the time that Ancient Egypt was first being formed. These trees have stood the test of time with many of them being older than Babylon, Rome… Read More

Mojave National Preserve

The Mojave National Preserve was made a National Preserve by the US Congress in Oct of 1994. Before this it was BLM land known as the East Mojave National Scenic Area. At 1,600,000 acres it is the third largest unit in the National Park Service in the contiguous United States behind Death Valley and Yellow Stone but ahead of Everglades and the Grand Canyon, Alaska has many larger parks. Being a preserve, and…Read More

Escalante Petrified Forest

 

 

In the hills above Escalante Utah, at an elevation around 6,000ft, lies a link to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Here you can find a high concentration of exposed petrified trees dating back about 135-155million years ago, during the Jurassic Era.  While it is not uncommon to find traces of petrified wood throughout the four corners states, it’s the consecration and quality that make this place special. There….. Read More

Pipe Springs National Monument

 

 

Pipe Springs is a natural spring along Arizona strip that provides a water oasis in the middle of a seemingly desolate area. The sandstone north of this area water is collected and stored in a natural aquifer where it’s filtered by the rock. The spring sits at the edge of the aquifer at the base of the cliffs …. Read more

Rocky Mountain High

I lived in Colorado for 11 years before I went back to LA to work at my friends shop for a while. I wanted my first CO article to really represent Colorado. I thought about hiking the CO Trail or having lived in Grand Junction I thought about writing about the Colorado National Monument. I was struggling to decide when it dawned on me, I was in Buena Vista and only 30min away from the trailhead to the tallest point in Colorado and there is nothing more Colorado than hiking a 14er.

When I first moved to CO I was really into mountaineering and was excited about the prospect Read More…

Goblin Valley State Park

 

 

Out in the middle of the Utah desert at the foot of the San Rafael Swell lies an ancient sea bed from 140 to 170 million years ago, during the Jurassic era. There was a shallow sea bed that formed in the middle of North America and Goblin Valley is the result of layers of sediment building up during tidal currents. Over the last several million years the layers of sediment were buried and compressed to turn them into sandstone, siltstone and layers of shale. With uplift and erosion these layers have been once again exposed at the surface and have created some really cool features, typically called hoodoos but here they are called Goblins.

There are petroglyphs and pictographs in the Goblin Valley Read More…

Wagons Ho!

Along highway 220 in Wyoming on the route between Rawlins and Casper is a rest stop where weary travelers can get out and stretch their legs, use the restroom, get access to free Wi-Fi, and even dump their waste tanks and fill up on fresh water. Over 150 years ago this was a major land mark and rest stop for a different group of weary travels, this was a stop for the wagon trains along the Oregon Trail. From 1841 to 1869 approximately 500,000 immigrants travelled west through this area with dreams of a better life. Some in search of gold, some to homestead their own land and for some it was to get to their promise land. The completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 provided Read More…

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

The map of the US has changed many times over the years since its inception in 1776. It started with the 13 original Colonies and has expanded to meet both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as Alaska and Hawaii but in 1802 it only stretched as far as the Mississippi River from the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the land west of the Mississippi River was owned by France or Spain. In 1803 the Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, made an offer to the US for the property it owned in the Americas for a total of $15million, this was known in the US as the Louisiana Purchase. Facing war with Great Britain, Napoleon needed money and while the US was originally only interested in the port city Read More…

Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site

 

 

My fascination with rock art began just a few years ago when I started working on a hiking guidebook to the Grand Junction Area. I lived in GJ for about 10 years before I discovered that there was a lot of rock art left behind by the Freemont tribes and later the Ute and possibly some other tribes. I had heard about the art and had been to several other locations such as News Paper Rock and Capital Reef but something about hiking out to these remote locations sparked my imagination. Since then I have sought out locations with rock art and tried to research the natives that left them behind.

As I traveled north from Colorado to Billings Montana to meet up with my brother for a week of exploration I stopped off for a few nights at the Ten Sleep Rock Ranch. The ranch sits at the mouth of Ten Sleep Canyon Read More…

Old Mission State Park

 

 

Growing up in Southern California, like every other 4th grader, I had to do a mission project to help learn about the Spanish Missions that were built throughout what was once a territory of Spain. I did my project on the San Gabriel mission. When my older brother and I were doing our projects, my mom would take us to the different missions so we could take pictures and learn about the history of the mission. Of course, in 4th grade I didn’t really care all that much, but I still remember the experience.

The Old Mission State Park was smaller in scale and the architecture was much different but it was still a catholic mission designed by Italian Jesuit missionary Antonio Ravalli and built by the local Coeur d’Alene Natives. In the early 1800’s the natives of northern Idaho and western Montana heard of the White Man’s Book of Heaven and sought out the Men of the Black Robe to co… Read More

Greater Spokane Area

 

I prefer to be out in nature over a city most of the time, I moved from LA to Grand Junction CO to get away from city life back in 2005. I prefer to live out in the country, the simpler life, away from all the hustle and bustle. That said I appreciate the amenities that cities have to offer and I can appreciate a city that can find a balance between the two worlds. I spent about 3 weeks in the greater Spokane area on my journey up north and I’ve got to say that this is a metropolitan area that has a lot to offer as far as outdoor actives. With 215,000 people living in Spokane proper and about 557,000 in the Greater Spokane Area you can find all of the amenities of a large city combined with a ton of outdoor activity some within city limits and more just a short drive away. If that doesn’t sound like a lot to you it’s over half the population of the entire state of Monta… Read More…

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

I met up with the Rock City Climbing Team for a week of climbing in American Fork Canyon over the summer and I have to say it was great to be climbing in AF again. During our week we took a rest day from climbing and visited the Timpanogos Caves National Monument, a cave system high on hill side up Timpanogos Mountain. The system of caves consists of three that were connected by blasting and digging in 1930’s. The first cave was discovered by Martin Hansen in Oct of 1887. He found it while he was cutting timber and came across mountain lion tracks. He tracked the mountain lion until he found the cave. In 1913 a second cave, known as Timpanogos Cave, was discovered on the adjacent hill side. This cave was lost for a while, likely due to a land slide, but it was rediscovered in 1921. In October of 1921, while out hunting, the grandson’s of Martin Hansen… Read More…

Travel

Follow My Adventures!

On April 12th 2018 I set out to travel North America with my dog Aukie in our home made camper. One of the goals at Rock2Rapid is to visit places that are a little more off the beaten path. To drive the dirt roads and hike the lesser traveled trails. To wander without a destination so the wind can blow us to destinations we didn’t know existed. To roam and explore, this blog will be the chronicle of that journey. Watch our map as it fills up and enjoy the articles, we hope it inspires you to travel and explore!!!

Timpanogos Caves National Monument

Timpanogos Caves National Monument 40°26'20.4"N 111°42'31.5"W Randall Chapman | Oct 14th, 2018 | Travel   I met up with the Rock City Climbing Team for a week of climbing in American Fork Canyon over the summer and I have to say it was great to be climbing in AF...

Greater Spokane Area

Greater Spokane Area 47°39'35.8"N 117°25'08.4"W Randall Chapman | September 16th, 2018 | Travel   I prefer to be out in nature over a city most of the time, I moved from LA to Grand Junction CO to get away from city life back in 2005. I prefer to live out in the...

Old Mission State Park

Old Mission State Park 47°32'58.1"N 116°21'33.3"W Randall Chapman | August 14th, 2018 | Travel   Growing up in Southern California, like every other 4th grader, I had to do a mission project to help learn about the Spanish Missions that were built throughout what was...

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