Moab and National Parks

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, April 22, 2006

It was a hot drive, but armed with a book on tape (yes we have a tape deck) and spirit we headed to get ourselves a campsite with Christie & Clark. That day I was sick so I stayed in the tent while the others mountain biked and hiked. Later we relaxed with some beers and a camp fire and rocked out to satellite radio. The next day double C took Ben on the famous slick rock trail to test his mountain biking abilities while I did a 4 mile hike to Morning Arch. He loved it although it was pretty technical for a beginner and he ended up feeling really sick because he drank a lot of water, but didn't eat and was sweating out all his salt. After double C packed up and left and Ben stopped feeling like puking we drove through the canyon to look at all the rock formations (think Thelma & Louise). I hadn't slept properly in 4 nights so I crashed hard still sore from sunburn and with the skin raw from my new sandals (Wah wah).
We decided to stay in our campsite and go to as many National Parks as possible from our $5 home. We're by the river in some trees and we have a fire pit. The only disturbance at night is a little mouse that likes to nibble something around our tent (at least I think it is a mouse, we haven't actually been able to see it yet).
The next day we headed to Arches National Park and spent the day driving from short hike to short hike (from 2-5 miles). It's so breathtaking and gorgeous. At sunset the red rocks look brilliant and are great for photographing.
On our 4th day we did a little known hike to some hidden Arches off Potash Rd. 3/4 of the way there my bandaid fell off so I hobbled back to the car with one shoe on. As we still had more hiking to do I put fresh bandaids on and strapped my ankle with duct tape. Then we went back to Arches to hike to delicate Arch the prettiest of them all. After that we raced to Fiery Furnace and cooked lunch in the unshaded car park with our cooking stove. Traditionally lunch is comprised of ramen noodles with a tin of soup (delicious). We took a 3 hour hike through a big red rock maze with a lot of old people. We scrambled over rocks and crevices and one old man who could barely walk (although he was very enthusiastic) kept farting really loudly much to our amusement. Finally the sun lost its intensity and we drove back out and bathed in the visitor centre bathrooms which is naughty, but they don't lock biking circles when you just wash your 'hotspots' it's known as a whore's bath.
The sun gets really hot here at about 3 which is great because you can do more walking in the morning. We've been cheating at night and driving the 5 miles into Moab and eating fast food (which is soooo good when you're starving). We've weened ourselves off the Cliff bars for now as Ben was stinking up the tent at night with hot, burn-your-butthole farts (that's right it was just Ben). ps he made me say that nasty stuff.

Yesterday we did our first day in Canyonlands which is a vast hole in the ground separated into 3 sections by the Green & Colorado Rivers. It's so huge and..well..vast. We did a lot of small hikes again and Ben even ran around naked with his new Keens on, atop Whale Rock. You can walk along the edge of the Canyon and look down (a scarey prospect). Everywhere we go we see so many lizards scattering into nearby bushes. The greenery out here really has to fight to survive and the juniper trees (which can be male or female) cut water supply off to some branches to preserve others in dry times. Near a trailhead, we nearly hit a guy who walked out in front of our car and I said, "What a retard!" Just then a guy next to us pointed and made a strange noise at the guy we nearly hit. Turns out he was retarded!!!!! It was a retard outing, there were like 5 buses full, a retard roadtrip if you will (ok I know that's so not PC, but it's funny & Ben made me do it) and we couldn't get a park so we had to leave. That evening we headed to Dead Horse state park for the sunset, but unfortunately we came too late and missed all the colour. Still the views continue to amaze and astound us. There's the La Sal mountains in the background, huge chasms, winding rivers all amongst various shaped and sized red rocks.
Today we decided to chill out, sleep in (till 8), lay in our tent (till 8.30), have hot chocolate with marshmallows and go into town for breakfast, emailing and a chill day. Well we got to the hot chocolate bit and then Ben decided we should go for another walk. We went on a mountain bike trail up above the Colorado River on which we are camped beside and back into Jackass Canyon. It was so windy when we jumped up, we got tossed along the path. Riders passed us all the time and 3 hours later we were back down again ready to try and get some of the dust off us. The wind is tossing the dust around so much it is in everything including our ears. It's red dust too. Finally we made it to town and so far all I have done is this. I can't wait to walk around - I am even in civilian clothing today. I call it this because it's not my hiking shoes and shorts.
We are jacked up on coffee and chilling in a cafe ready for what tomorrow may bring...
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