We’ve been busy bottling this past weekend and I’m behind on the last set of Utah pictures. Bottling went well and I’ll have a few updates in the next week or so. All of our 2012’s are now in bottle and resting safely. Everyone commented how good I’ve gotten with the forklift and I did finally fell like I knew what I was doing.
We finished up our Utah trip in Moab as a good base for Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. We did a bunch of short 1-2 mile hikes at Island in the Sky in Canyon lands and one long hike at Devil’s Garden in Arches. The day in Arches was our only day when it got really hot but we started early enough to avoid the worst heat.
Below is one of the ‘fins’ we hiked across at Devil’s garden. This particular one ended up in an 8 foot jump down.
There was lots of scrambling over rocks and following very rough trail markers to stay on path as we wound around from arch to arch.
The arch below was at the end of the very crowded paved one mile trail from the parking lot. To continue on though you had to climb up about 70 feet of rock at a 45 degree angle. I called it the separator and traffic on the trail dropped 95%+ after that point.
The views in Canyonlands were fantastic and I used the wide angle on the phone camera a lot to get panoramas.
We spent two nights in Moab and the second night we spotted a sitting area above the drive port at the hotel with a couple people drinking beer. Finding somewhere to drink in Utah is always a challenge. We told them we were crashing their party and went back to our room for my mobile cocktail case and a couple of bottles of wine. It turned out that they were a group of neuroscientist working on an article for the National Geographic. Hopefully there will be a mention of us in the article that comes out next year 🙂 We ended up having dinner with the group of 6 scientist and artist friend they were hiking with and the reporter for the Nation Geographic. We picked a good group to crash a party with.
I learned a lot about how the brain works over the few hours we hung out. Did you know there is something called ‘Cultural Stimulation Threshold”? Basically if you come from a place with a lot of noise and find yourself in somewhere quiet you create enough noise to feel comfortable. I also learned you should get outside at least once a week and do something different from routine to keep your brain working at its best.
The desert was in bloom for our visit and I took lots of flower pictures. This was a favorite.
We stopped in Ogden and then Reno on the way home. The final trip picture:
We arrived at Bryce in the mid morning. It was cold with temperatures never getting above 40. We stayed at the lodge on a last minute reservation and enjoyed it a great deal. The restaurant at the lodge was nice and kept us on our Primal plan. We took a few pictures at the rim and then went on a hike down into the canyon. The rim of the canyon was very crowded and noisy with tour buses and the crowds stayed on the trail about 200 feet down in the canyon when it finally thinned out and calmed down. The hike seemed easy after Angel’s Landing the day before with a lot less climbing.
I think we did about 6 miles in 2 and a half hours. We took our time climbing out.
It was a beautiful day and it was nice to hike in the cold. The trail was wide and easy to follow as well. We took a ton of pictures.
This is a a formation on the trail out of the canyon that gives a good idea of the trail and some of the sites along the way.
We woke up before dawn the next day to try and get some sunrise pictures. We had been a little late from dinner the night before to get really good sunset pictures. We packed up and hit the road again. Our plan was to drive and stop and hike along the way with the thought we might get to Moab, or we might stop at Capitol Reef.
Our first detour was in the Escalante monument to the Grosvenor Arch. It was about 15 miles of dirt road to get there and we beat any other people out there other than someone who had camped at the arch.
A couple of people had recommended the Lower Calf Creek Falls after we mentioned that we might hike there. We had a little trouble finding it off the road but once we did we set off on what turned out to be a six mile hike. My expectations on the falls were actually pretty low. I figured a desert stream in the late spring would be a little trickle of water. It was actually very impressive with a good volume of water and over a 100 foot drop. It was definitely a worthwhile diversion.
The hike put us in a bit of a scheduling difficulty. We wouldn’t really have any time to hike in Capitol Reef or go off road there so we decided to just drive through to Moab. It was a long drive but we arrived in time to find a hotel and get some dinner.
We left San Jose on a Thursday afternoon and spent the night between San Jose and Las Vegas. Our first goal was St George Utah to spend the weekend with family there. We loaded up the FJ Cruiser and packed in all our Primal food. We were a little worried about finding non grain food in Southern Utah but it turned out to be pretty easy, especially inside the Parks.
Our first stop was the Valley of Fire out side of Las Vegas. I really enjoyed it and we hiked for about 4 hours total. We got lost once and had to use the GPS on Map My Walk to get us back to the car. I really recommend this if the weather is right, especially if you’re like me and don’t really enjoy Vegas very much.
There were all kinds of great rock formations and tons of rock art in the park. We were late for cocktail hour in St. George or I could have done 2 more hikes there easy!
After a great weekend with family we headed into Zion on Monday. That’s Angel Landing below and we climbed that thing. My day job actually called about 1/2 way up and wanted to know if I could get on a conference call.
A view of the trail and valley about 1/2 way up.
A good part of the hike includes climbing along chains. My knuckles were banged up for a couple of weeks.
We also hike up the Narrow a bit and did the complete bus tour of the valley. We spent the night just outside of the park and the next morning headed out towards Bryce Canyon with a stop to take a picture of Checkerboard Mesa along the way.
On July 3rd Stefania and I set out on short notice to Colorado for a family emergency. We were gone a total ten days. We made it to Denver in two days and celebrated the 4th of July at a V.F.W. post in Boulder, CO.
It was a very busy and stressful 10 days. In all we covered 3275 miles on the trip driving I5 to I80 to I25. We also had a day we had to drive into the high country in Colorado to the Collegiate Peaks area.
It took us longer to get home. We were both pretty tired and did shorter lengths through Utah and Nevada. We arrived home Tuesday afternoon and were back to work on Wednesday. We are a few days behind in emails and of course haven’t been doing any blogs.
I do have a few lined up though and will be writing soon about an upcoming event in Las Vegas, provide an update on distribution and some thoughts on this years odd weather. Look for those over the next few days.
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