Friday, June 06, 2008

Utah trip - little hiking

I returned recently from a trip to Utah, primarily Canyonlands and Capitol Reef areas with some time in the Escalante-Grand Staircase area. I didn't do as much hiking as I had planned due to weather and other factors.

The first 4 days of my trip were too hot, in the high 90s in the afternoon. Being from Seattle, this was far too warm for me this early in the year. I did so some hiking before noon, but was too hot and disinclined to do much of anything after noon. I ended up heading into local mountain regions just to cool down. I managed some rim hikes in Canyonland, Island in the Sky. I stopped and hiked in Butler Wash to the overlook of Indian ruins and explored the wash a bit but quickly became too warm to enjoy the hike. I had the same problem initially in Capitol Reef and decided to wait until the following day and go up into into the mountains separating Torrey from Boulder. However, I ate something which badly disagreed with me and spent the night vomiting. I was better the next day but unable to eat and did not feel like hiking at all. It was also much cooler, it started to snow before I left the mountains. I spent a bit more time in Capitol Reef and walked a bit but not much.

I tried some hikes the next day in Escalante-GrandStaircase monument. Very attractive area and the weather was reasonable, not too cold and not raining. However my skills at navigating in canyon areas are poor and I kept losing the trail (or where others had gone) and getting to dead ends. Frustrated, I finally gave up and found a campsite in the nearby National Forest. The next day I planned to hike in Bryce but when I got there it was snowing with very poor visibility. I decided to go on and try to get out of the bad weather and basically leave Utah and start home.

I enjoyed my trip but really wished the weather had been a bit less extreme and I hadn't gotten ill. It was a long drive for very little hiking.

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