Posts Tagged ‘Morning Glory Natural Bridge’


Morning Glory Natural Bridge -- Photo by Jay Wilbur

“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.” John Burroughs  

Travels With Maggie

 I learned about Negro Bill Canyon Trail at the visitor center in Moab, Utah, where I asked if there was a good hiking trail on which I could take my dog.

Moab is located adjacent to Arches National Park that has fantastic trails, but dogs are not allowed on them. The kindly desk clerk directed me to take Highway 191 north to Highway 128, which parallels the Colorado River, and then to look for a small parking area at the trailhead after about three miles.

It was easy to find and soon my dog and I were hiking up a narrow canyon trail that weaved across a small stream.

My hiking companion at the time was not Maggie. It was Peaches, a beautiful golden cocker spaniel who was then 15 years old. Since this was my first significant hike since foot surgery, the dawdling footsteps of her four legs and my two legs were perfectly matched.

It was actually a great pace as the trail, with its tinkling stream, red rock walls, willow groves and other wonders of nature, deserved adequate time to be properly admired. After about two miles, the trail forked. Peaches and I took the path veering to the right, which went about another half mile before ending at Morning Glory Natural Bridge, a 75-foot tall, 243 foot arch span overseeing an alcove.

Here, in this grand and peaceful setting, with a canyon wren serenading us, Peaches and I ate a leisurely lunch from my small backpack before heading back. It was the last hike Peaches and I took together.

Negro Bill Canyon Trailhead sign off Highway 128 with the Colorado River flowing past on the far side of the road.

The next time I hiked the trail, I had Maggie, a black cocker spaniel whom I had rescued from a life of abuse. She had been a year old at the time, and from her actions on the trail I realized this was probably her first off-pavement walk, certainly her first time to cross a stream. She either had to be coaxed or carried across. .

While she never became the great hiker Peaches was, Maggie’s now quite eager to get off the beaten path. In that, she and I are alike.

*Negro Bill Canyon is named after William Granstaff, a cowboy who ran cattle in the canyon in the late 1870s. While the name is not exactly politically correct, it’s more so now since the name was changed from the original “N” word.

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