Monday, May 19, 2014

Back Country Camping in Arches National Park

This weekend we went camping in the Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. I've wanted to go to Moab for a while as the arches are one of Utah/the world's most weird and wonderful natural occurrences (and I know that because they put them on their registration plates) How ever... we didn't actually see any arches up close, and I did not manage to get the cliche yoga pose in an arch picture that I wanted. Instead, we hiked away from the tourists snapping the more famous arches, roughly up 'Courthouse Wash' and into the back country of the park, and from there found a perfect place to set up camp well away from the rest of the world.

Once we had set up camp we passed out in the shade of a rock, and then went to find water for drinking. We found one not far away in the wash, only a trickle but a steady one - which we could pump water from (and sit in - just don't tell any one because this is not allowed.. very hard to resist when it is so hot!)

At night we only needed the mesh inlay of the tent because it was warm, which meant we could feel like we were outside without being potentially eaten alive by insects, and also just made me feel a little bit more secure. I would be lying if I said that it didn't cross my mind that two young people, camping alone, at least a few miles from anywhere or anyone and without a mobile phone is a pretty solid setting for a horror film. But this was quickly suppressed by the much more realistic and humbling feeling of being remote.

The next day we hiked a little further into the wash without our packs, cue getting knee deep in wet sand and mud, which is actually kind of fun although I'll admit seeing as I was not the one going first I was not the one experiencing the majority of the sinking.

An early start the next day and back to the car. Unfortunately I did not manage to get many pictures due to the camera not having any memory card in it (doh!), so a lot of pictures were sacrificed to make more room. All in all, it was a really enjoyable trip - I did feel slightly bad at leaving marked trails as this means you are potentially damaging the flora and fauna of the area, but we were as careful as we could be. We didn't see or hear another soul for the 3 days we were in Moab. As a Londoner I am finding the feeling of being quite so far away from any one else something that is new to me, and I couldn't help sizing up the areas we were looking at and trying to estimate how many people would be living in the same size area in London (thousands, if in an estate block or at least several hundreds in modestly crowded and gentrified East Dulwich!) The world is a big place.

Balanced Rock

Next stop Mexico!

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