5 days ago
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Backpack Trip #2
The kids had a couple days off from school this past week and my work schedule was flexible, so we decided to get another backpacking trip in before winter. At first, I was looking at some mountain areas but found that snow was in the forecast. Instead we visited a canyon in the high desert where temperatures would be pleasant.
My guide book must be pretty outdated - it took us a couple of hours and several attempts to find that the access roads described no longer exist as they once were. I ended up calling the BLM field office and created my own route based on the roadside maps they directed me toward.
We maneuvered through some rough dirt (and rocky) roads deciding to hike the last 200 yards of road instead of white-knuckling the descent to the trailhead. Finally we we donned our packs and began our much-anticipated hike.
The red rock formations were impressive and the overall effect reminded me of spring break treks in southern Utah's Glen Canyon NRA - only this was a younger, wilder and much less trammeled canyon. A narrow green strip of trees lining the canyon floor gave away the creek's location.
We hiked the trail for about a mile, crossed the creek and found a campsite among tall sagebrush. We soon found ourselves in the shadow of the canyon walls as we prepared dinner. We ate among the sounds of the babbling creek, an owl and several other birds in the cliffs. My 8-year-old identified the waxing gibbous moon as it rose behind a tooth-like cliff. It soon shone on our tent as we read scriptures and retired for bed.
The morning was cool. We ate breakfast, broke camp and explored some other short sections of the trail before heading back toward the car. We had other family plans for the afternoon, but I hope we can return for further exploration someday.