Backpacking with the family and my clumsy self.


I went with my family (Mom, Spencer, Andrea, Chase, and Richard) on a trip to Canyonlands to do the backpacking trip I went on three weeks previous.  All 6 of us were able to load up in to Spencer’s Jeep Commander and just throw all of our packs on top of the Jeep.  Thank goodness for huge SUV’s.  We stayed the night in Moab then got up at a decent time Friday morning and drove out to Canyonlands to pick up our permits and get on our way.

You usually have to get a hold of the backcountry office of Canyonlands weeks or months prior to your trip to make sure you can get one of the back country sites reserved.  We applied 3 weeks in advance and I didn’t get any of my first choices.  But I do have to say, every one of the sites I’ve came across are amazing and each have a killer view.  So we got to the visitor center around 9 AM, got the whole spill about back country etiquette (where to walk and not to walk, having  to carry out our own TP, not to touch any artifacts, etc) and obtained our permits.  Off to Squaw Flats campground B we went to start our trip.

I made it a whole 2 1/2 hours into the trip before I had my clumsy moment.  I was trying to take a picture of the family by propping up my camera on a cliff, when, someone started talking to me and I got distracted.   Well, I lost my balance with my 40 lb pack on my back and went tumbling down the rocks.  I ended up hitting my head a little and sprained my ankle, though a minor sprain.  Luckily it wasn’t too far to camp and I was able to take off my boots, wrap my ankle, and elevate it for a while.  I ended up going with everyone later that evening in search of water.  We ended up hiking around 2 miles before we reached enough water to filter through.  Then we made our way back to camp and I stayed up that night until a late 9 PM (That’s pretty late for backpacking).

The next morning we packed up and hiked over to our next campground up in Chesler Park.  We took a look at the cowboy graffiti which had sayings like “Negro Bill Never Worked and Never Will” and nicknames like Silver Dick scribed into the rock with charcoal.  There was even a cartoon character of one of the cowboys.  We set up camp just beyond the cowboy graffiti and ate some lunch before setting off on our day hike.  For our day hike we packed up our water filters, containers, and some snacks and headed up to Druid Arch.  This has to be one of my favorite places in Canyonlands and is why I drug my family down there.  The view from the base of Druid arch is just amazing.  We made it up there a little after 1 PM and relaxed up there for a bit before heading back down.  We stopped off at the same water source we went to the day before and filled up on all the water we could fit.

Back at camp I relaxed for a couple hours and even fell asleep drooling and snoring.  I woke back up and hung out with the family and had my yummy chili and mac frozen dinner (Everything tastes good when your backpacking… well, almost everything).  Then I retired back to my tent and read one of my books where I had tore a couple chapters out of.  That night I laid in my tent listening to my brother and his son having a war of farts.  I’m glad I was able to stay away from their battlefield.

The next morning we packed up our stuff and made the 8 mile trip back to the Jeep through some amazing and beautiful country.  We even stopped at the crack where my previous trip had had an incident of one of our members falling in the crack and getting stuck.  Chase crawled down in the crack and fetched himself a lost Nalgene bottle.  After back to the jeep and changed in some fresh clothes, we headed out to the needles outpost and grabbed us a 6 pack of Windermere Hefewiezen.  Then a stop in Moab for Pizza at Zax.  MMMMmmmmm.

What a great trip and all.  Was really fun to go on one with the family for once.  And I sure am glad the sprain was minor and was able to still hike it all.


Canyonlands Trip Part 3

I have been very bad and have neglected posting my third portion of my Canyonlands trip.  I am forced to do so now so I can post my one that I went with my family 😉

So after my trip into Chesler park with the Arizona Backpacking club, three of us continued on to our final portion of our trip, Upper Salt Creek.

Bloody Basin road was closed due to too much mud and all around nasty conditions, so, we had to alter our plans.  We were supposed to start at one end of Upper Salt Creek and hike to the other end of it,  but since we could no longer do a through hike to a vehcile at the other end, we had to hike in as far as we could and then come back out.  We changed our campsites around and now looked like instead of averaging 6-8 miles a day we would be averaging around 12 miles a day.  The first night we slept in the at large camping portion which is where you can camp anywhere you like just as long as you practice the leave no trace rule.  We chose a killer spot under a tree that was dwarfed by the towering cliffs and a really cool unnamed arch.  We hiked up that day to take a look at Angel Arch which is another extremely cool arch, but as with most everything on this trip the timing was wrong and the lighting was horrible.

The second day we headed out to our camp which turned out to be as far as we would go on this trip.  We did hike a half a mile or so and checked out some really cool ruins and petroglyphs.  We camped beneath another spectacular view.  I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t a single campsite in Canyonlands National park that doesn’t have exquisite views.  That night we had to lock our food in bear canisters provided by the park service.  I wouldn’t think the bears would be out in the desert like this.  But we did come across some bear scat so it does look like they are in fact out there.

The Third night we spent the night at a jeep campground (Peekaboo) and I crawled into my tent cold and a bit wet.  That was the first and only night I really got cold.  I couldn’t get my feet to warm up and woke up to my boots frozen.  The next morning we got up on the trail pretty early and took a small side trip to Paul Bunyan’s Potty.  A interesting horizontal type arch.  Then made our way back to the vehicles where I’d find my jeep battery drained.  After getting a jump from a nice fellow I headed out to the needles outpost for a diet coke and a nice hot shower before making my way home.