Saturday, April 6, 2013

Utah Desert Vacation 2013

I postponed my vacation a day to go to a house-warming party. It was a very good time with my very best friends, many who I haven't been seeing much of in the past couple of years.

I saw another dead wolf next to I-70 not a mile east of Glendwood Springs. Wolves are definitely coming back to Colorado! This one did not have a tracking collar.

Then I drove to the San Rafael Swell to camp with friends from north-of-Denver, and their kids.
The big thing for me was slot canyoning with a couple of the gang. We wanted to go up Dang and down Ding, and I thought I knew which was which but was wrong. So we went up the easy one and down the hard one. This was tricky because down-climbing where you can't see where to put your feet is harder than climbing up. But it worked out and was a lot of fun in perfect weather.
There was blood from other people on the rocks, and we left some DNA samples as well.
I forgot my camera, as usual, so I'll have to wait for photos.

 After my friends left, Tuesday, I drove to Moab for a much-needed shower. My plans for the rest of my vacation were none better than a list of maybe's, so I had to research and set plans in concrete.

I drove to the southern end of Canyonlands N.P., found my annual pass was still valid, and checked out Newspaper Rock and went for a bike ride. The ride didn't work so well, sinking my tires in sand up to the spokes much of the time, but it was still fun and the solitude was great.

Not once did I set up my tent. Every night out was spent on the ground under the stars. I got sprinkled on one night, and the wind blew for an hour, covering me with dirt, but I just curled up inside my bag. Some nights dipped down below 30F, but mostly I slept as if in a coma.

Thursday, I ran through Salt Creek 34 miles round-trip to see the All American Man pictograph. This is a canyon that deserves a return. If I can get a friend to bring their car, we can park a car at each end and run through one-way, with a stop in a reserved permit-only campground, and see all the arches, ruins, petroglyphs, and pictographs. I'm torn whether to go early to avoid heat and mosquitoes, or later so we can swim in some of the many pools. I think early would be the better idea.

I spent the remainder of my vacation in Leadville and Buena Vista, CO.


  1. I went for a solo run at Castle Peak a couple of years ago (2009?), and when I got out of my car alone at the trailhead at 7 AM, long, mournful wolf-like howls began to fill the whole valley. Yikes. Sterotypical wolf howls right out of a movie. I fashioned myself a big pointed stick and ran with it like a cave man until I had human company on the trail, which wasn't long thankfully. Heh.

    I Googled it and even emailed the local rangers, and they didn't know of wolves in the area. Thought they could be wild dogs (do they develop a deep howl when they become feral?). And I live next to coyotes and definitely not coyotes.

    Frankly I always thought they were wolves.

    Gotta go see some pictographs/petroglyphs some time.

  2. Photos remind me of so many trips to Utah Canyons, from Glen to Canyonlands to Capitol Reef...


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