Sand Wash Basin: A trip to remember |

Sand Wash Basin: A trip to remember

Patti Mosbey/For the Saturday Morning Press
The hoo doos, colorful layered sandstone formations seen looking west of Look Out Mountain at Sand Wash in Northwest Colorado.
Courtesy Photo

“The Bucket List” is a phrase we have come to recognize since the release of the movie of the same name several years ago.

Some of us truly have “bucket lists” and what a thrill when something on that list gets a big check-off! Recently I was able to put a big mental check-off on my list: To fly over Sand Wash Basin. Oh, yes! This old lady climbed aboard a small aircraft with a couple of my favorite photo buddies and we soared over the basin with the smiles never leaving our faces.

From the air we ventured up Seven Mile Ridge, thrilled when our pilot banked the plane to take us back around a new waterhole we wanted to make note of and then circled us again to take a closer look at the band of horses below us. I never felt the least bit nervous at my maiden flight in this small plane, the thrill of being air born over this beautiful landscape was more than I imagined. I wanted to soak it all in.

Up and around the basin we flew, our playground for many years from the ground but savoring it now from above, looking for familiar sights and landmarks. As we approached Look Out Mountain and caught the stunning view of the “hoo doos” to the west, the colors and landscape became more pronounced. From the ground standing on the edge of this amazing scene could almost make you dizzy and yet, here we were soaring far above taking in the vastness as the scene poured out below us.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better we were approaching the Bears Ears of Sand Wash and there we were flying around the back side, banking the plane to get an amazing shot.

We circled around and over more familiar sights, making notes on waterholes we weren’t aware of and then off to follow the familiar terrain of Yellow Cat draw as we found our way out of the basin and returning to reality. Many thanks go to my friend, Jenny Meyer, for the invite and her son-in-law, who provided the flight and so fun to share it with Aletha Dove, too.

In Sand Wash Basin, every trip is a new adventure. I just returned from a short excursion there today and added a new one for me. I’m no longer a “flat virgin,” as I encountered my first flat tire today. My good friend, Maryanne, and I drug out the manual and proceeded to tackle the chore at hand. She was pretty savvy about the whole thing and working as a team we accomplished the dirty deed and headed toward home. Sand Wash is not the place you want to challenge with your only spare now in use.

Patti Mosbey is a regular visitor to Sand Wash. Photographing and documenting the daily lives of the Sand Wash Herd is a passion with her. For more of her photos and adventures find her Facebook Page: Sand Wash Adventures. Her Sand Wash Basin books are available through her page and the Maybell General Store.

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