Sunday, May 22, 2005

Desserted Weekend

Raise your hand if you think this sounds fun: Sling a 30 lb pack on your back and hike for a few hours, as long as it takes to go a little bit over two miles plus a half hour digression for a wrong turn. After finding a nice overhang to sleep under, walk up a canyon for a bit until it gets dark, look at stars a bit and will the clouds (blocking your view of the cosmos) to go away. Wander back to your overhang, stretch out in a sleeping-bag on the ground and sleep. Wake up a little stiff from a combo of carrying a big pack and sleeping on the hard ground. Try to make tea and realise that the camp stove you brought is totally out of gas. No hot water. Eat a bagel for breakfast and wash it down with some water. Make lunch. Hike for four hours (stopping every now and then to climb a big rock, in the process scrape up your arms and legs - it wouldn't be an adventure if you didn't get a little roughed up right?). Eat lunch. Notice that you've already drunk more than half of the water that you brought with you on your little day hike and that it's that time in the afternoon where there is virtually no shade. Head back to camp. Finish your water on the way. Get back to camp, drink a lot of water and crash. Vow never to move again. After enjoying catatonia for an hour or so, get up and wander around the canyon. Eat dinner - the exact same thing you had for lunch (cheese-in-a-can and salami on totillas, it's not gormet but it packs well and it's light). Wander around the canyon again. Watch the sun set and the stars come out. It's cloudy again. Go back to camp and sleep on the hard ground again. The clouds clear up, but the full moon rises. Full moons are nice but sort of ruin star gazing. The good news is that from where you're sleeping when you wake up in the middle of the night for no real reason, you have a perfect view of the Summer Triangle. Wake up around 6, eat breakfast (totilla with peanut butter. You have dehydrated food but can't make it without hot water. Now you're out of tortillas). Throw stuff back in your pack and hike out to the car.
So, guess how I speant my weekend. Yes, I went backpacking with my Dad. We went back to one of our favorite places for outdoor recreation- Capital Reef- and trekked up Spring Canyon. The first time I camped up in that canyon I was only 5 or 6. It was an amazing time. Yes, we ran out of food and maybe got a little dehydrated on Saturday, but that just made it more fun. There's something exciting about being able to pretend you might be testing your survival skills. Everything about it was beautiful though, it really was. The days were a little warm (in the 90s), the nights were perfect (low 70s high 60s), the canyon was green for the dessert. Bonus: we took my dad's convertable so the drive (4 hrs) down and back was very fantastic and glamorous. And windy. Wicked good time! Pictures:

1 comment:

Apollo said...

Its neat to see the pics of a place so close to my heart. I spent a year living in Loa, just outside of Capitol Reef. I worked for a wilderness therapy program (not the scary ones) and my job was to backpack with angry kids for 8 days at a time, take 6 days off and do it all over again the next week. I did it for a year and my drive to work was through CR and into the BLM land just on the other side of the Notam road. Its beautiful country. I miss it so much. I'm raising my hand by the way. It sounds like fun.

peace