Alright, I think it’s time for me to finish my post from this trip since it’s already been a week since I embarked on it.
Friday I was rushing around like a mad man trying to get everything gathered up and packed up. I was actually at the meeting point doing my grocery shopping and trying to make sure I had everything and putting everything in bags or my pack so I could easily put it all in the car I was carpooling in. The ride up through AZ and up into Utah was quite nice. There were storm clouds and dust storms most the way so it made for brilliant lighting and a dramatic scene. We ate at a fantastic Mexican restaurant before heading to the campsite.
We were able to set up camp before it got dark and any colder. Then we hung out in Kathy’s nice car to keep us out of the wind and a little warmer while we chatted and waited for the other people to come out. They ended up getting there about 4 hours after we did. By then the wind was horrible and it was pretty damn cold. We helped them set up their tents since it was a little miserable out there. After everyone got settled in I went over to my tent and laid down for the night.
In the morning we got up and packed up. Lucky, the trip leader, still hadn’t shown up yet. We were all a bit concerned about him. After already getting a late start we decided to forge ahead and hope he would just catch up at some point. We were just hoping we wouldn’t run into any rangers though as Lucky had all of our permits on him.
We headed down into the slot canyon with a group of backpackers on our tail from Redline Drinks (They had showed up the night before in a huge hummer with the product advertisement on the side of their vehicle.) At the first trail junction we turned Left and headed up the slot canyon. We didn’t realize until a mile later when I looked at the map and realized we all had turned the wrong way. It was a bit of a detour but it was actually nice. We got to see the upper part of Buckskin Gulch which most people probably don’t see.
After that we headed back and down the right direction. We soon passed up the Redline folks (which had taken the right route). Shortly after going down the right direction we started having to tromp through the mud, pools of muddy water (Up to waist deep), tight narrows where I barely fit through, and up and over boulders. The first day we ended up hiking close to 16 miles due to our little side trip. I think we got to camp around 3:30 and set everything up on a embankment. I ended up staying up until around 8:30 before I headed to bed and tried to get to sleep over the roaring sounds of the guy snoring next to me.
In the morning we woke up and I headed out early with Kathy. We hiked back up the Paria riverbed for 7 miles back to the camp where we had stayed two nights prior.
All in all it was an amazing trip and a great way to get my mind off of the things going on in my life. It was actually the best backpacking trip i have been on yet. I plan on going back with more camera gear and more time. I know i could take some excellent photos in there. Such a spetacular slot canyon!