Sunday, April 24, 2011

Canyonlands National Park - Easter Weekend

It being Easter weekend, all the campsites were full at Canyonlands NP. Lucked out with the only private campground by the entrance. Good news is they have a shower ($3 p/p).  On Good Friday & Earth Day, we did a 14-mile jeep drive then hiked a bit to some cool canyons with the muddy Colorado River view. We then started a 3.5 hike to our overnight campsite for the next 2 nights. 

Even with a good purchased map and gps, we managed to make a wrong turn adding another mile. Lesson #9, don’t trust people even when they seem super confident. Poor Lisa and Greg had 47 lbs. bags and I only 25. We had to bring a ton of water in, as there’s not much out there. This is my only second back country hike and my longest.  Good practice for me and with pros but not sure how often I will be doing this in the future.  Our campsite was spacious and beautiful. The hike in was not too terrible.  We had to store all of our food and toiletries in dry bags and up a tree to keep from scavengers.

Our next day, we did a 4 mile one way hike to Druid Arch, which is different than the other arches we have seen.  But it was a scramble getting up to see it. On the way there’s a water spring we can filter, but Greg’s filter pump was not working. He had tables as a backup, which takes 4 hours to work and taste like chlorine. We then headed to do a 5-mile Central Park loop, which was neat. It was also rainy making it fun to climb up, down, over, and through the canyons with some tight squeezes while the rock cliffs tower over us. Got to camp by 3pm and I rested in the tent.

It was getting cold and raining off and on, so we retired to tent around 8pm. We awoke at 7am on Easter Sunday and packed up our wet gear in between the showers. I hardly hike in the rain and my backpack did not come with a rain cover. I realized how unprepared I was as I hike with wet sticky cold pants. You know it ain’t good when you are keeping your hands warm in a cold, wet soft pair of gloves.   

We managed well through the slick rocks and narrow muddy rivers forming on the trails. I can’t recall the last time I smiled when I saw a parking lot or as Lisa calls it car park. She’s been slowly reminding me the Aussie lingo, which has been nice after all these years. And off to wwoofing; farm work we go (more on that soon! Click here for more pix.

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