Now I’ll start to retro-post about the past week…
Tuesday night we left Denver and drove west to a quick, cheap overnight in Grand Junction. I think I should buy stock in Super 8 hotels. In the morning we drove straight to Moab, Utah to visit Arches National Park, gas up, water up and last-meal-not-in-a-bag up.
Spot the Pance:
Then we were off to Canyonlands National Park for an overnight backpacking trip in/around The Needles section. It rained on us pretty much the whole drive in, which was 34 miles on a tertiary road with nothing but land and mesas as far as the eye could see. And when there is nothing to really look at but ominous sky, knowing you’ll be in a tent pretty much all alone that night, one’s fears start to play some serious peek-a-boo. Less peek, more boo.
But after a chat with the back country park ranger who assured us the site was safe and that the storm wasn’t producing the “type of lightening we’ve been known to see in the past” and when in doubt just “lay low and make sure there is something higher than you” we started to feel a little better. With an added note that wildlife *will* quietly smell up to us and with a parting gift of a food bag we were to tie up in a tree, we were off.
I have never feasted my eyes on something as spectacular as this place before … well…. perhaps the Grand Canyon – but the extra challenge of carrying a night’s worth of supplies on my back and knowing I’d be sleeping IN it, made the adventure just a tick more awesome.
On the [hard!] 5.5-mile hike in, climbing and scurrying in and out of canyons and crevices we saw NO rain and were even blessed with an unbelievable sunset splayed across The Needles. By the way, I now LOVELOVE my trekking poles. They greatly helped balance my new 25-pound heavier body.
At “home” at Devil’s Pocket #1 we ate our rehydrated food, hunkered down in the tent and listened to our one radio station (country!) in an effort to feel a little more cozy. We fell asleep to trickly rain around 9PM. In the morning we watched the moon leave and the sun take over. Gorgeous. Peaceful. And as Knitiot commented, it’s imperative to be reminded that not every ounce of land is developed. And some is even spared the extra coating of advertising at that.