We spent a lot of time debating about canceling our backpacking reservations at Canyonlands over the past couple of weeks. When we were here with the Otts, highs were in the hundred and teens. We knew we couldn’t hike and then camp in temps like that. But, when we looked at the weather a few days ago, the highs were predicted at 90 and lows in the 60s. That’s almost too good to be true for southern Utah at the end of June.
We woke up to sore legs, but stretches made them feel almost normal. We swung by the house to pack up tents and decided that if we took off shoes, we could sneak in the house to check out the floors. They were stained late last week and will be covered with a protective cardboard tomorrow. This was our only chance to see them before the big reveal. We snuck around on tippy toes, nervous to mess anything up. The floor color was one that caused me a lot of stress and I just love how it turned out.
After repacking the car, we started the drive toward Moab. Zoe earned two gold stars for discovering the restaurant of the day. We like a good meal before backpacking, and she found High Desert Cafe in Monticello, Utah. We’ll be stopping just about each time we drive through.
Once we arrived in the Needles district of Canyonlands, we hoisted our heavy packs on for the first time in two years. Part of it felt really good to be back at it, but part of it just hurt from the remaining soreness from yesterday. My hiking tracker app had us at 5.18 miles and 1,110 feet of gain. Once we got the first mile behind us, it was relatively easy and enjoyable. The hiking was Zoe’s favorite kind and she was our leader today. There was a lot of scrambling and cairn following. I love watching her in this role.
We found our campsite, on a bluff, above the wash. After setting up tents, and a dinner of warm beer and beef jerky, we headed into tents. It’s such a lovely night and our sleeping bags are warm, we opted to sleep without the rain covers. We should be able to see millions of stars momentarily as the already set sun steals the remainder light.