Day One we dropped into Taylor Canyon - and I mean what I say when I say dropped -. Awesome section of switchbacks engraved into the side of the canyon wall. Would have been a thousand foot drop at least.
We learned that the Arches and Caves in the region are typically formed by water seeping into the Mesa top, hitting a layer of impermeable rock (the whole Colorado Plateau is made of sedimentary rock apparently left behind by an ancient sea - if the fossils are to be believed) and eroding the rock face at a spring. Most of the day was spent walking a dry creek bed to avoid the bio-crust. This was enjoyable but a little more challenging on our feet negotiating the sand. We set up camp in an awesome side gulley about a half mile up from a rock spire formation called Moses & Zeus and spent the evening star gazing. We were a little surprised at the number of planes we could spot. Turns out southern Utah is underneath a major flight path. We had fun picking out different shapes in the canyon walls. Among the best were 'King Kong drinking a beer while watching TV' and 'Angry Bird with mohawk'. The following day we linked up with a 4WD trail (note that next journey into the park will be for offroad camping in a 4X4) and followed it to the Green River. We may have hummed the odd verse of the CCR song of the same name when we arrived at our lunch destination on the river. Naturally this was where the wildlife was so we caught a few glimpses of a hawk hunting water birds, some water birds hunting fish, and a fish hunting little fish. We camped the night just down from an area they call 'The Upheaval'. A side note at this point - compliments to the chef for putting together a killer menu for this hike. Highlights were the Mango Curry and the bottomless trail mix w/ Choc-covered pretzels. I'll only briefly mention the hike out of the canyon. The hidden valley was awesome. The place was flush with vegetation. Very out-of-place in such an arid area. The rest of the hike out was brutal, with steep inclines, rock hopping and a few miles that stretched on forever. We made it. Enough said.