Thursday, July 16, 2015

Utah 2015 - San Rafael Swell


To be added upon as I get to it. Unfortunately I came back to find work had gone from 0 to 80 mph while I was absent, so free-time is a bit scarce right now.

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Until this evening, I hadn't actually written anything about our trip last week, but I had gotten as far as downloading the pics off both cameras so that I was ready to do so at a moment's notice.

And now I've made this placeholder, so at least blob-entries will be in the correct order.

For now, suffice to say it was a most-excellent trip - we visited some of the finest scenery Utah has to offer; and reinforced the concept that things are way more fun if they turn into an adventure, rather than a pedestrian excursion; stayed in two of the best camping spots I've ever had the pleasure of erecting a tent on; saw rocks, rocks, and yet more rocks; laughed at the dogs a great deal; only combed my hair twice in ten days; drove a total of 1964 miles (including the journey home - 893 miles in one day... pft = 736, me = 157... a fair division of labour); and between us took 1415 photos.

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This is where we went - as the guidebook helpfully told us, San Rafael Swell is a kidney-shaped geologic feature in Central Utah. Upon reflection, I decided I don't actually know what shape a kidney is - so here's the map:

It's the kidney-shaped lumpy bit in the middle of the map.

The three yellow blobs are where we spent our nights - Richfield (a not-very-restful-night in a Motel 6 as "somewhere to crash" - while in actual fact we spent most of our four hours "sleep" there trying to prevent the dogs from barking at all the other clientele - after arriving at 3 a.m. Utah time. Perhaps next time we'll just sleep in the truck - it might be more restful); The Wedge (north part of that Christmas-tree-shaped canyon); and Behind the Reef Rd near Temple Mountain:

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Campsite #1 at the Wedge:


And this is what the "front yard" looked like (incidentally - that ridge is the background is Cedar Mountain which had a plenitude of cell towers on top of it. The Wedge had better cell coverage than we get at home):

And this is what the view was like just a few hundred yards away:

 And Campsite #2 - "Behind the Reef Road" near Temple Mountain:

It's rough but someone has to do it.

More later.

* * *

Highlights of the trip:
  • Nearly getting struck by lightning
  • Cycling the Good Water Rim Trail solo
  • Most amazing scenery. Everywhere
  • Most amazing camp sites - and there was nobody there
  • Slickrock hike puddles
  • Watching Spike upsidedown in the puddles on the slickrock hike
  • Using pft's ankles to hoist myself up a rock face (and watching Finn jump it in one bound - and very nearly not making it)
  • Tadpoles in Chute Canyon
  • Watching Spike chase swallows-shadows through the Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon
  • Watching the light on the cliffs (and being witness to the most amazing light, back-dropped by thunderclouds in Goblin Valley)
  • Getting the dogs through the water obstacles and up and over the big boulders ("Go Team!") in Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon - and watching the dogs grow in confidence as they realised "yes we can"
  • Getting the truck stuck - and getting it back out again
  • Complete solitude

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