Black Dragon Canyon
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
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…
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…
Craters Of the Moon National Monument
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
As I travel, I usually seek out the lesser known places to visit, I still stop off at the big places like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon as well, but I also like to stop off at the smaller attractions, the more unique experiences, Carhenge fits perfectly into this category. Located just outside of Alliance, Nebraska lies the artistic vision of Jim Reinders and his family built as a memorial to Jim’s father. In 1987 the family… Read More…..
Fort Uncompahgre is a recreation of an old, wild west (or more accurately wild north as it was a province of Mexico at the time) trading post that operated from the late 1820’s to the mid-1840s and was possibly the first permanent trading post west of the Continental Divide. This was along the North Fork of the Old Spanish Trail, the pathway taken to get from Sante Fe New Mexico to Los Angeles California. This was deep in Ute Territory, though claimed by Mexico as part of the Sante Fe de Nuevo Mexico Provence. The fort was originally a few miles west of its current location and sat at a good junction point of the trails coming out of the San Juan’s and the Old… Read More…
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!!!
Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site 44°17'52.9"N 107°32'30.5"W Randall Chapman | July 24th, 2018 | Travel 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...
Pompeys Pillar National Monument 45°59'44.7"N 108°00'16.9"W Randall Chapman | July 1st, 2018 | Travel 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...
Independence Rock 42°29'37.7"N 107°07'55.6"W Randall Chapman | June 22, 2018 | Travel 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...
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