Saturday, 10 October 2009

Canyons, canyons, canyons

Lopsided horizon and me

I have done quite a lot of traveling over the last few days. After leaving the sights of Wendover on Monday morning I crossed back across towards SLC and onwards to Moab.

Moab is an outdoor activity town and you can do everything from skydiving, quad biking and mountain biking to white water rafting and climbing. I however did not do any of those things, instead I toured some of the National parks.

On the Tuesday I set off South to one part of the Canyonlands National Park, where you pass through Indian Creek. I had wanted to go and have a look anyway but was also recommended by a friend before I left. Indian creek is famous for its many huge red sandstone crack climbs and they were not disappointing. How anyone manages to climb those things is incredible. I have never really had the opportunity to hand jam, but even if I was fit I don't think I would like to start there first, a little scary! However amazing to look at all the same.

I drove further into the park and paid the $10 entrance fee and was looking at the map of the area, when I realised I had made a very grave error in my haste to leave in the morning. I had not refueled and my quarter tank was now looking a bit poorly. I had failed to notice because I was too busy looking at the scenery that you kind of forget how many miles you have covered.
So I had to leave and hope that I could reach the petrol station back in Moab before I hit empty. About 20 miles from Moab the low petrol light came on! Ooops. Luckily much of that is downhill so I managed to cruise in neutral for a few miles and made it back just in the nick of time.

Once refueled there was still much of the day left so I went North a few miles to Arches National park. I can not really describe how amazing and vast these parks are and I am not even sure if my photos really do them justice either.

The following day I hit the trail again and went to another area of Canyonlands where I got my monies worth out of my previous days unused pass that was still valid. Awesomeness. I kind of felt very small and insignificant looking at these huge landscapes. Again hard to describe.

My final destination was Dead Horse Point, where cowboys used to corral the wild horses. I stayed there till sunset hoping to get some good photos of the rocks turning bright red but sadly the sun sank below a low could just at the wrong time. Still spectacular though.

I left the wonders of the Canyons on Thursday and have travelled back to Boulder in order to bring my hire car back. This 8 hour journey was made all the more exciting as it was snowing through the high ski resorts of Vail and Breckenridge, approx 12000 ft above sea level. The temperature has dropped quite dramatically this last week and even around Boulder today there was snow and icicles hanging from the rocks. Brrr.

I managed to get a little climbing today as I hooked up with two guys from the UK who invited me out. They lead some trad routes and I did 3 top roped routes. I was pleased as I was still in one piece at the end of the day and I tried finger locking for the first time. Sweet.

So the next plan is to leave here and catch a bus and then a train to LA where I am meeting up with my friends from Joe's and then heading back with them to Utah and the J Valley. A very round about kind of way to get there, but it is cheaper than car renting again and having just driven back in mid October I would hate to have done that drive in mid November when I do not have a 4x4. I reckon it would be impossible and impassible.

Heres hoping that I will get to climb more than 4 days this time. Fingers crossed.
Till next time xxx

All photos by Caroline Harvey

1 comment:

NeraK said...

Glad to hear you're heading to LA. I stayed there for 3 months during the summer of '95 (inbetween our 3rd & 4th year at PE college).

Stunning photos, even if they don't do the real thing justice. I remember thinking that about the Eiffel tower in Paris that phots don't do it justice. You must tell me what hand jamming is? xxx