Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Needles Lost Canyon and Squaw Canyon

We made it back to camp at Lost Canyon 1 in Needles where we pitched our tent, opening it only for seconds to throw stuff in over a fear of letting in bugs.  The camp was buzzing disgustingly with life. Dave fed a few mosquitoes while I fended off horse flies with my hat. 
The site had a nice dining room table and chairs set up for us. 

Super excited for freeze dried food.
Our means of boiling water for our freeze dried packs of Mexican Style Rice and Chicken.  Yum!  Dave fends off the bugs by sipping fireball. 

From our tent
Dinner hit the spot.  2.5 servings, my butt!  I ate the whole thing.  We went and watched the sun set, then decided the best way to avoid the flies and mosquitoes was by getting into the tent.  We played a few rounds of Dave's homemade version of Quarto.  I had hiked in my ipod touch for reasons I can't explain, but to avoid listening to the noises outside the tent, I threw on Ratatouille until I got sleepy.

The next morning, over breakfast we debated how to get back to our car.  I just wanted to go home ASAP.  Dave thought we should take the scenic route.  I was scared of going back the way we came and seeing the ladder again, but I was also worried about the scenic route since the ranger mentioned a few things I wouldn't like.  Why go 2.6 miles when you can go 6.1?  We took the long way, up Lost Canyon, over a rock formation, then down Squaw Canyon with packs. 
We were able to pump water from this spring through Dave's fancy pump thingy and fill up his camelbak (haha, he gets the added weight!) to keep us satisfied for our long hike out.  We actually drank just about everything we brought in including this extra 3 liters. 
The hike started harmlessly along the bottom of the canyon, but things quickly got annoying.  Did I mention it was a wet year in Utah?  Well, Lost Canyon is usually the only canyon with water, but this year it was the canyon with a lot of water.  Standing water.  Yes, a mosquito haven!  I didn't vacation in Utah to hang out with mosquitoes!  In fact, as I was packing ample amounts of sun screen, I looked at the OFF and thought, "Nope, won't need that!"  I was very, very wrong.  These things were large and they swarmed around us as we hiked and pumped out CO2 like nobodies business.  The hat made a great swatting tool, but eventually I couldn't fend them off and got a total of 20 bites on my arms and legs and neck.  Dave was wearing long sleeves and pants, but they still got his face.  They even got me through my shirt!

Dave got bit while taking this picture. 

We were going up and over this thing off to the right to get out of Lost Canyon. 


We just climbed up out of this valley.  The scary part was very minimal and Dave talked me through it like a pro.  The Ranger mentioned a crack you had to jump over, but I swear, we never had to.  I kept worrying it was coming up, though!

After the scary part, I was very happy to be on something semi-flat, so I took a seat by a cairn to catch my breath after the climb.  No tears today!  Take that, Needles!

We stopped here for lunch.  Cheetos, beef jerky, and dried fruit.  Quality.

Entering Squaw Canyon on our way out.
Success!  We're almost out!  Note the yellow flowers everywhere!  , 
6 miles with packs after 3 days of camping/hiking, this about sums it up.  Time to go home!  Our cars are near the butte on the right, I think.  (Hehe, I said butte!)
We made it back to our car, threw on the chacos, used the pit toilet, changed, Dave had an Avery beer, and we hit the road.  It was finally time to head home.  Good thing, too, it was getting hot out!  We left around 1:00 and didn't get home until 9:00pm.  Poor Dave drove most of the way while I held my eyes open.  I've never been so tired in my life!  It was a pretty drive back, following the Colorado River all the way to Vail.  The River has overflowed its banks due to high snow pack melting.  It was fun to watch it rage through Glenwood Canyon. 

It was a fun memorial day weekend trip! 

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