With the crowds of Moab behind us, we turned down UT 211 towards Canyonlands National Park just an hour south of the Arches National Park. The wide open spaces and remote location made the perfect time to unwind and unplug for a week. The spot we found I thought only happened to other people. Beautiful open with panoramic views! A small rock formation behind us helped block the relentless winds of the high desert. Lyra, our cat, was is heaven! She chased lizards, ate beetles, and rolled endlessly in the red sand. Even Stuart, our old boy cat, roamed in his slow swagger around the campsite. Claiming the only tree as his outhouse which slightly hindered Mike’s hammock experience. Being unplugged we realized how chained we are to technology. We had to give our family our grid coordinates! We arrived on Sunday by Tuesday we were making the 45 mile drive down to Monticello, Utah. The Peace Tree Juice Café makes great sandwiches and juice. A very relaxing place to check in with work, family, and post a few of our experiences. For a small town they had everything we needed. I dropped a few postcards in the mail and we headed back out to our oasis of solitude.
Canyonlands is a hiking and mountain climbing mecca, so we “Jeeped” it as much as we could. Lyra, the fearless adventurer, hung halfway out of the Jeep window as we drove through Lavender Canyon. The canyon trail wound through Indian Creek Recreation Area for about 12 miles until it reaches the border of Canyonlands. After entering the code, we opened the gate into the park. Traversing 2 fast flowing creeks we came to our picnic spot. Sitting under the Cleft Arch with utter silence and beauty of nature all around us.
By Wednesday, I could not take the boot and crutches anymore. 3 weeks limping around was just too much for me. I slipped on my hiking boots. I began to limp around the campsite. Determined to rebuild the fire pit, I began my rehabilitation of my wounded limb. For my first ever fire pit, I think it looked awesome! We cooked a chicken in our cast iron pot. Wow! I don’t think chicken ever tasted so good.
Hail! In May! In the desert! What?! When we returned from our second trip into civilization, we were welcomed home by a massive storm fully equipped with hail! Well, at least we don’t have to wash the red mud off the Jeep now.
Next to Canyonlands is the Manti-LaSal National Forest. The center attraction is the Abajos Mountains. The paved road wound up the mountain to 8800 ft. with plenty of off roading trails for further exploration. Nestled in the forest is Buckhead campground surrounded by Aspen trees.
On our last day we ran out of water in our tank! Being Sunday the Needles Outpost was closed. With our water filter pitcher full and a case of sparkling water, we managed.
As we stood out under the sparkling night sky, we knew a piece of this place would always remain with us.
Mike & Kat
Kat left teaching after 18 years to travel throughout the USA with her husband, Mike, who is an engineer for a Power generation company.