Southern UT - Spring Break

2023-03-04 Saturday

Drive down, In-N-Out on the way. In Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center, ranger was very nice and helpful, and suggested a classic Needles route. Many people had cancelled backcountry reservations due to cold weather, so we had our pick from basically anywhere.

Drove to Superbowl CG in Needles District, camped there. Stir fry for dinner. Pretty cold, a little breezy.

2023-03-05 Sunday

Pancakes and instant coffee for breakfast. Hike to Chesler Park backcountry site. About 30 mins in, I stepped weird on my knee and twisted something out of place. Painful to lift up or down using that leg. We decided to keep going carefully. What luck! But scenery was beautiful, weather was so-so. Ice here and there that made scrambling tricky.

Climbing up into Chesler Park, we were blasted by wind. (It's a somewhat open area.) Deeper snow, mud, and cold air combined with wind made the last half mile or so absolutely terrible. At our site (CP5) it was really windy too. We came close to calling it and hiking back to the car.

Decided to stick it out, dropped our stuff and hike to The Joint, a mild slot canyon about a mile away. Very cool to see, less wind over there, and good photos. If you're in Chesler Park, don't miss it!

Back at camp, decided to snag another site (CP2) with less wind and hope no one came for it, since so many people had cancelled. Wind died off completely. Made mountain house meals (mac and cheese was extremely watery, bad, chicken dumplings was super) and ate them in bed. No wind that night. :)

A was an amazing backpacking partner and very resilient despite mud, cold, and strong wind.

2023-03-06 Monday

Chia coconut oatmeal for breakfast. We were surprised by the warm embrace of sunlight coming over the nearby rocks while we packed up and ate. What a great feeling! Hiked out toward Druid Arch (but didn't do the extra 5ish miles to see it.) The route we did made a great scenic loop. On the way out, stopped by Newspaper Rock, a large wall covered in petroglyphs made over thousands of years.

Found a room for that night in Redstone Inn for an OK price. Room smelled like spicy peppers for a minute, but the kitchenette was great to have. Went for a walk around Moab and along a riverside path that had been destroyed by a flood event last year. Sand and whatnot everywhere.

Burritos for dinner. We forgot a can opener AGAIN so had to run and buy one.

2023-03-07 Tuesday

Up early, had english muffin sandwiches for breakfast, headed to Arches VC to pick up Fiery Furnace permits.

FF was very beautiful. Scrambling is optional but I recommend doing a bit at least. It's so fun to explore the little side forks, many of which have amazing features hidden away. Took lots of film photos. Don't miss Surprise and Skull arches. For fewer human encounters, we did our general route CCW rather than the more typical CW. Chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. Delicious!

Devils Garden CG that night. Relax for a bit (Weather was prime - cool and sunny.) Walked over to Navajo and Partition arches, about 5 miles total. Curry rice for dinner. Very cold that night.

Neighbors Stephanie and Bill invited us over for some marshmallows. Interestingly, Bruce was a data analyst with a degree in EE, among others.

In the future, when a cold spell hits it seems like lots of people cancel their reservations made months in advance. Check daily in the days leading up to a trip to see if anything is available!!

2023-03-08 Wednesday

Up early, granola in the car. Very cold. Delicate Arch in the morning. Pretty! Stopped at The Windows and decided that with the cold and excessive hiking, we were about done. Stopped by Maverik for some drinks on the way home. Greeted by lots of snow when we arrived!!