Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life is a Highway; I Want to Drive It

You know you feel dirty when you walk into a Maverick and think, "Paradise! It's so clean!" And that was after just a day of "roughin' it". I went down to southern Utah with Betsey, Lisa, and Sharalyn for the last couple of days, and it was the quite the experience. Being Memorial Day weekend and this a somewhat-last-minute idea, there were no camping-ground spots available for us gals around Moab. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never camped adventurously, unlike a couple of the girls I was with, so I have to admit that I was a tad nervous (i.e., scared) when we found our first spot for the night, far away from man and plumbing facilities. (probably about twenty miles south of moab) Fortunately, we didn't get attacked either of the nights, so I'd say it was a success camping "in the wild". And boy, did we have fun setting up the tent in the wind, especially the second night. What an adventure! (i'd love to say i had a fabulous attitude throughout ... that would be a lie ... i let my nervousness win out for a while ... gotta work on that ...)

First camping location and morning "looks"
I'm the lump in red, Sharalyn you can see, and then Lisa 

Our chief purpose in driving down was to make a trip to Four Corners, the only place in the United States where four states meet (utah, colorado, new mexico, arizona). We headed down from our first camping spot on Saturday morning, stopped by the Monticello temple for a quick photo opp, and had a nice chat with a friendly fellow who lives across the street from the temple. When we told him we were heading for Four Corners, he immediately asked, "Why?" and proceeded to tell us about other places that would be far more worthwhile to visit. Nothing daunted, we still were determined to make the drive there and then visit other pretty places with the rest of the time we had in the day.

Once we arrived, we realized that the guy was probably right in warning us away. Why? Because the dang monument was CLOSED! We had a pretty good laugh at our expense and still took pictures. Really. We thought it was more funny than anything when we saw the sign. And we probably wouldn't have stayed there much longer than we did, anyway; we just didn't get to be officially in four places at once. Oh, well. The laugh was worth it.

From there, we wound our way back north and headed to Canyonlands Nat'l Park. We took a short hike on the sliprock to see some pretty fantastic views. I was amazed at how quiet it was. Because we were there in the pretty late afternoon, most of the traffic of hikers had probably been there and gone, wanting to avoid the hotter part of the day. It was just beautiful. I'll need to go back just for Canyonlands, because we barely made a dent in what we could have seen there.

 Before the hike at Canyonlands
Me and the Needles
Pointing things out
Taking a quick rest in the shade

We made camp Saturday night a few miles from Dead Horse Point, north of Moab, where I got a tad jumpy after hearing a rattling sound when I retrieved my sleeping bag from the car. My friends calmed me down, but I was careful to not walk anywhere by myself the rest of the night. Wasn't difficult, considering we all stuck to the fire before retiring to bed. (and yes, i know i'm a wimp ... i'll try to be better ... i think i'm better at camping when it's in a designated campground and i don't have to squat behind a bush to use the facilities)

 Second camping place

Came back today after we made the final decision to not drive through Arches, which was still a possibility up until we packed the car for the fourth time. By the way, Betsey is a champion car-packer. I was incredibly impressed by her organizational prowess. Lots of driving this weekend, but fun talks, random music sing-alongs, and beautiful scenery made it pretty worth it. Now I have the rest of the weekend to recover and sleep on something softer than a rock. 


"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong." -George Carlin


Nathanael Davenport said...

Here, I'm sure this'll make you feel better:

Kim said...

You are a brave woman! I am SO not a camper. Maybe it's because I've only camped in Oregon and Idaho and every time (without fail), we freeze to death and it's miserable! So I'm glad you enjoyed the adventure AND survived.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am so proud of you! Uncle Tom wanted to know exactly where you were, hopefully this blog will clear everything up. I guess they have had some runarounds with rattlesnakes, so your being a little "iffy" about that sound made a lot of sense to me!
btw, as a girl from 4 corners country, I'VE NEVER BEEN TO THE MONUMENT, EITHER!
lovenote, mom

Anonymous said...

oops - forgot one thing. what a cute, cute green blouse. wonder where you got it?