Friday, May 27, 2011

NEEDLES!!! 2009

You are required to say the title like they do on Back to the Future.  Okay. 

I still have a little more time off before summer school starts.  I'm kind of stuck in a mode where I have no structure to my day, my to-do list is infinite, and I'm having a hard time digging in.  I'm used to teaching 2-3 classes a day, then doing only the things that have to be done before tomorrow.  Now I have all of these long term goals that will take all summer to complete and I don't even know where to begin on some of them!  My office space here in the house is shared, so I can't seem to take over a space with my books.  If I took a day to clean up a bit, this wouldn't be a problem.  Anyway, I got some gardening done (future post) and today I'm prepping for summer school and getting ready to go on a Memorial Day camping/backpacking trip to Utah.  We're leaving later in the weekend so we can end our time in a very busy national park that only gives out first-come first-serve backpacking permits for those of us who were too dumb not to reserve one two weeks ago.  We'll get to the park Monday night or Tuesday so most of the crowds should be gone, or so we hope!  We'll hit up a less-traveled, less-rules area earlier on.  We'll work right up until we leave so we can take off the early part of next week instead.  I just learned that they're having a bit of a wind storm and that happened to us last year.  So, I'm glad we're waiting to go. 

I just got back from the grocery store and I have big plans to share with you how an anal, gluten free, list-making girl with a practical, easy-going boyfriend prepares for four days in the desert.  That's two days of car camping, two days of backpacking.  I'll take pictures of my methods as I go so you can either laugh at or learn from my process, which has proved very successful in the past. 

This will be our third annual trip to Utah.  I'm hoping, if the backpacking permit thing works out, that we'll be returning to the park we were at in year one, which was my first backpacking trip.  We hiked a total of about 15 miles in The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park with full packs and two days of drinking/cooking water in our packs.  I was so proud of myself! 

Here's some pictures from our two-years-ago trip.  Hopefully I can top them this year!  (Last year was a windy excursion, I'll be sure to share that story as well in the future.)

Watching the sunset on our first night, car camping, at the Needles Outpost, just outside the park. 

Hiking into our backpacking site.  This is near Chesler Park, one of the neatest places I've ever been.  Needles. 

On the Joint Trail, I believe, in Needles.  Getting closer to our backpacking site.  Cairns marked our path, like this one. 


Imagine how much gear I had to buy for my first real backpacking trip!  It has paid off in loads since we use it all very often. 

How does one wear a heavy pack without getting a tummy-roll? 

From DP1, our backpacking site in Needles as the sun sets. 
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!  What are your plans?

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