Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SW2011 Part 1: UTAH

Mel and I left Jackson on the morning of April 29 for Moab, Utah (Final destination of San Diego). We had our ipods, cds, digital cameras, and the gopro camera. It was a good feeling leaving the snow and cold weather behind (or so we thought).

We reached Moab in the late afternoon and met up with Ryan and his friend Jason, who were climbing down Potash Road.

Mel and I continued on to go exploring while the guys were climbing. We re-grouped that evening to buy supplies and find a camping spot, which wasn't easy considering it was a friday night and there was a classic car rally going on. Hundreds of people were lining up along the main strip in lawn chairs just watching cars drive by. It was... odd to say the least.

We drove about 25 miles out of Moab towards Fisher Towers in the dark and set up camp down the first road we came across. As we were setting up camp, we realized we were on ranch land. We couldn't see the cows, but we could definitely hear a spooked herd running by.

It was very cold camping. We woke up with frost on the tent and car and couldn't wait for the sun to rise over the ridge. After packing up and making some coffee, we set off for Fisher Towers. Ryan and Jason set off to climb the Corkscrew while Mel and I hung out and explored the area.

From Fisher Towers, we headed to Arches National Park for the afternoon. We would have liked to have more time to do some hiking, but we saw a lot of the area. The rock formations were incredible and the weather was perfect for photography.

After getting ice cream cones for Mel's birthday, we drove down to Canyonlands National Park to camp Saturday evening. We made a group effort to cook some burritos and built a small campfire. The stars were probably the brightest I have ever seen them in Canyonlands, far away from everything.

Saturday ended up being a late night, involving our mini speakers and glowsticks, meaning Sunday morning was very low energy. We were struggling to stay awake have any motivation until we left Canyonlands and got on the road to find coffee. We drove south to the Grand Canyon and arrived just before sunset.

The park ranger at the entrance tipped us on some BLM land right in the middle of the park, which was much better than our plan to camp outside the south park entrance. It was perfect. We set up camp for the next two nights.

COMING NEXT: SW2011 Part 2: Grand Canyon National Park

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