The sun rose Saturday morning to clear blue skies. We watched light stream across the Maze and leisurely broke camp. Now for the long drive to Teapot Rock and The Dollhouse, nearly 40 miles! Thankfully it wasn’t raining as we re-crossed the slippery ridge we’d slowly negotiated yesterday. It was still wet, the erosion holes still visible, and when Kris stopped for pictures, I mentally chanted for him to hurry-up because (theoretically), it could still collapse! At Teapot Rock we had a quick, chilly lunch before starting the ‘technical section’.
Later, in ‘The Land of Standing Rocks’, we passed ‘The Wall’, ‘Standing Rock’ and ‘Chimney Rock’ before turning toward ‘The Dollhouse’. The views astonished us: we were on the other side of The Maze for the first time. The ‘Chocolate Drops’, which looks immense from The Overlook, seemed tiny, and ‘Woody Woodpecker’, easily spotted from here, is miniscule from the Overlook.
The Dollhouse is almost indescribable. The standing rocks there are completely different from elsewhere in the park; multi-color layered rocks, roundish and squat tower over you. We had campsites 1 & 2; similarly located among rocks, but #2 offered more space and less wind. Although calm as we set-up, rain fell steadily as we cooked and ate dinner huddled under our shelters.
Originally, we were to spend Sunday hiking at the Dollhouse but the weather changed our plans. We decided to leave for Hite and find a campsite there tonight. We enjoyed the scenery as we reversed our tracks back past the Maze and had lunch inside our Jeeps at Teapot Rock because it was so cold. Back on the trail Kris soon heard squealing from his Jeep. George test-drove it and said we have stop. At the first suitable spot for jacking it up, they pulled the rear tire and found a pebble wedged between the dust-shield and the rotor. They had it out of there and we were moving again quickly.
At Hite we fueled and studied the kiosk map. We saw an apparent graded road following White Cliffs Canyon, and decided to camp there and drive the loop in the morning. We found more rock-slabs where we camped, and under a spectacular sunset, we lit a campfire and reminisced about our adventure. During the night gale-force winds and rain hit; wind so strong it blew my spare-tire carrier around and shook the Jeep, rousing me. It was howling and I worried about Kris’ family holding down their tent. Day broke to pouring rain, and we quickly de-camped. No coffee and no breakfast, we took off for the White Cliffs.
Mud again became my Jeep’s adversary; it was covered and we couldn’t see out. The trail we’d estimated as 10 miles was much longer. It wound up a mountainside north of Utah 95, rain became snow, and I thought of the TV series “I shouldn’t be Alive”. Kris found the turn to the highway; a trail along the base of a ridge at the western edge of Natural Bridges State Park.