Friday morning we packed up all our camping gear, food, clothes, and camera gear. We then all stood outside our tiny little ford focus, with our dog, and contemplated how it was all going to fit in there. I was fairly confident that Nikki and Matt didn't want to drive for 5 hours with a giant dog on their laps. Did I mention the A/C in our car bit the dust for real? Yeah.... good times.
It was a loooooong, HOT drive.
Once we got to the Visitor's Center we had to go over the rules for back country camping. My favorites?
- Do not walk on/disturb the dirt. Set your tent up on the large rocks.
- No pets allowed
- Bury your human waste at least 4 inches deep. Better yet?! Carry it out with you!
Friday night we hiked up to Delicate Arch to take some night shots. Not researching anything before hand, we're super prepared like that, we thought it would be more of a walk. Not a strenuous hike up mountains and along mountain ledges with our puppy in the middle of the night. We made it though and were "pooped" (ha) by the time we finished.
Trying to find our tent in the middle of the night was super fun. There was no moon so that was also super helpful. There were however, lots of cactuses. Cacti? Whatever they are technically called there were lots. We basically had to tiptoe through a field of cactuses to make it to our tent. We had little to no faith in Rukia's ability to avoid the cactuses, so I ended up carrying her the last stretch. Overprotective much?
So we were supposed to sleep on the rock. We all know that didn't happen. Rock or sand? What would you choose? Add in to that decision making process the fact that we forgot pillows. Pretty much the easiest choice of our lives.
One of us ::cough::Matt::cough:: might have been afraid that they were going to get eaten in the night. The visitor's center had all kids of pelts and skulls of animals from the area. That didn't really help the situation. Chad might have pointed out animal tracks on the way to our camping area as well. Again, not super helpful. He may or may not have thought that Rukia's breathing was a wild animal waiting outside their tent to eat his face. Once he survived the first night the paranoia seemed to fade a bit. Just a bit.
That morning we were t-i-r-e-d from our midnight hike, so we thought we would do the other most strenuous hike in the park! Woot. It was blazing hot! 4 hours later we had walked 6 miles and seen a handful of arches. The views were amazing!
We weren't about to eat peanut butter and jelly after that afternoon so we went into town and ate pizza until we couldn't eat anymore. We also stopped at a general store to pick up "pillows". Our cheap selves weren't about to buy new pillows so Matt, Chad and I bought packs of napkins to use. Nikki already had her pack of toilet paper, which explained why she slept like a baby compared to the rest of us the night before :) FYI jeans don't make a good pillow no matter how they're folded.
Sunday morning was chilly! It also looked like it was going to rain, so we packed up fast and took some pictures by "our" arch on the hike out. This was the arch that we camped by. If you look really close you can see Matt and Chad on top of the arch on the right.
We decided to take the scenic route home and hit up Bryce Canyon and Zion's National Park. All we had to do was take one road south. That was it. Just follow the road south. Done. Easy Peasy. After a gas stop we managed to somehow start heading west instead. BAH! We figured this out after driving for 45 minutes. Bryce Canyon was all of a sudden over an hour east. We reluctantly let that dream die and just enjoyed Dixie National Forest. We also were able to stop at Cedar Breaks National Monument.
After a terrifying drive down a horrific mountain we were back on an interstate and back on track. Our car is now in desperate need of new breaks. We decided to save Zion's for another day and instead high tailed it home so we could eat ridiculous amounts of Mexican food. Mmmmm. Cafe Rio, no better way to end a camping trip.
|We couldn't quite get the timing down. I've now decided that jumping photos are mandatory. They are fantastic! Even more fantastic when they fail!|