shit happens that cancels this trip (very very sad face)…April, 2023

Day 1 4.16
My trip with Sherry had been so much fun, except for just a couple of oopsies!  1) I tweaked my back one day putting the cooler in her car, but that went away within a couple of days (thanks to always having ice on hand, heated seats & not moving the loaded cooler any more; 2) I’d ungracefully passed out after exiting the one & only hot tub we encountered at one of our motels.  I was pretty sure I’d hit my tailbone first, rather than my head, because my bottom end was very sore & my top end was not.  So, you just roll with these minor inconveniences & move on.

This morning, Sunday, Sherry helped me load up Camper…it was kind of a mess though.  I needed more space to reload & make it how it’s supposed to be…organized & ready for adventure!

I made a stop for gas, ice & a few groceries, then headed west through all of Colorado & landing in Utah…somewhere west of Moab.  I did a short hike, but hadn’t eaten much & was tired.  But, oh how I love this Colorado River!

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I bought a $10 campsite just below Fisher Towers….my hike in the morning.  I made something to eat, organized my 4Runner more & enjoyed the evening.

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Loved watching the sunset colors on the towers….

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And over the river.

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Day 2 4.17
I made myself coffee, grabbed my laptop & began working away on my website.  Id started it last night, but wanted to finish all the writing, photos & editing this morning.  I wouldnt be able to publish it because I had no cell service where I was, but wanted to get the majority of it completed.  

finished up around noon, ate something, loaded up my backpack for the first time this trip, checked out of my campsite & drove the short way to the trail head.  I was so happy to be back on trails!

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Ive done this hike before, so it wasnt new, but I remembered it being beautiful.

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The trouble started about 20 minutes into my hike.  It was warm today, but not hot.  I started sweating, way more than normal around  my neck.  Then I started feeling weak & shaky.  I kept going, drinking more water & telling myself being out here would make me feel better.  Within the first mile, I had to sit down several times.  Something wasn’t right.  

But I kept pushing on.  Before the end of this hike…which wasn’t even two miles, & thought I might have diarrhea….never a pleasant thing to write about & worse to actually have.  And, along this trail, there was no where to hide.  I had a ladder to go back over, some narrow edges to hike along, so I was very very careful as I was also feeling lightheaded.  

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It was not a fun hike.  I made it to the pit toilet & just in time.  After being at the outhouse a few times for about 30 minutes, I wobbled back to my 4Runner.  I ate some food, climbed in the back & just laid there.  Was this low blood sugar or something?  Ive had this happen three other times over the past 8 or so years.   I know what to do & I always pop out of it in a few hours.

After about an hour of just resting, I drove into Moab.  They have a huge parking lot right by the river that people use to get on the bike trail & put boats in the river& they had bathrooms & cell service.  So, I just laid low there the rest of the afternoon, trying to get my energy back.

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Then, I decided to go find some camping for tonight.  I drove & drove, through Moab & north of Arches NP where I’d always camped before.  HOWEVER, as I drove down this plain dirt road in the middle of nowhere, new signs have been posted.  Somehow, this changed from BLM property to State Park property now charging $15 a night for a gravel pull off.  This was bad news.  It’s happening more & more & people trash places they don’t really care about.  But Federal lands into a State Park?  And who the hell thought this dusty gravel road was a state park?

I moved on up the road to my next spot…same thing.  Pretty crazy.  I turned around & drove up to another road & found a spot.  I still wasn’t feeling great, but less shaky now.  I ate some dinner & just tried to relax & plan my hikes for tomorrow.

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View from camp.

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Day 3 4.18
I didnt have reservations for Arches National Park, so I left camp at 4:30am to made the 30 minute drive into the park.  I understand why so many parks have these reservation systems in place…it makes it more enjoyable to have fewer people in the park (although they are still crowded) but it also keeps the parking lots less crazy which can be frustrating if you only have a short time to hike or have your heart set on a specific trail.  What it’s done for me is show me what it’s like to drive into these usually crowded parks, while it’s still dark.  Once you're in, you can drive around & see all the views & sites & hit the trails when the sun is up.  But, I have come to love the quietness, darkness, & emptiness of the late night/early morning drives into these places. 

This morning I was hoping to watch the sunrise around Balanced Rock.  However, I wasn’t feeling great, but I got out & did a short hike to see what I could capture in a photo.

The La Sal mountains….still covered in tons of snow.

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Most people want to see the sunrise around Delicate Arch…which I have done before.  But, I knew in my gut today, I wouldn’t  be doing the usual big hikes I normally do here…made me sad & frustrated that hours had gone by & I still wasn’t feeling great.  I drove to my favorite “hiding spot’ here in the park & made coffee & ate.  I’m not usually a morning eater, but I was going to throw everything good at this problem, feel better & move along on my “longest road trip so far!”…5 months.  I chilled out in the back of 4Runner, then did the short hike to the view point of the backside of Delicate Arch, taking it slow, meandering around on the flat rocks above the trail.

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I wasnt feeling great.  I drove around the park, just taking short walks & a few photographs.

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Then I did the short hike to Sand Archone of my favorites & usually the last hike I do when Im here.  I usually have hiked about 12 or more miles by the time I land here.  Today, was definitely a different day.  I was mad, frustrated, concerned, confused & exhausted.

Then the same thing that happened yesterday on the trail, happened today.  And I did the same thing to try to pull out of this nose dive of the beginning of my trip.

My next drive would be long & much further out in the middle of nowhere.  I sat & wondered what I should do.  I wasnt ready to give up yet.  It was a ferocious windy day when I headed north out of Moab.  

I ended up camping near the Crystal Geysersome partially man made thing but it sits along the Green River.  I knew my friend Talie had camped here before.  Definitely off the beaten path.  Driving there looked like you were on the moon…which isn’t all that unusual in parts of Utah.  No cell service, no other campers.  It was still so windy there, I took refuge sitting in the back of Camper, reading & trying not to think about how my body was feeling.  

Waiting for the sunset...

...and then it did.  

The wind never seem to let up, rocking the 4Runner through the night.  

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