Friday, October 15, 2010


Part 1.
We flew into Seattle on Tuesday night and noted the green landscape below. Definitely different from the orange and gold arid landscape of Utah. We really had the best trip. As far as the landscape and scenery, the photos speak for themselves. Just as good though was the company and laughter woven effortlessly throughout the entire trip. The group dynamics, at times shockingly comfortable, oscillated between 5-year old potty humor and solving the worlds problems within the context of religion and parenting. The fact that Tyson and I knew both of the other participating couples well, but they had not spent significant time with each other and by the {FUN} hand of Tyson were forced into a sleeps-six tent experience, did not phase the group. We hiked all day and then we curled up in our sleeping "glow worm" bags each night and laughed until someone said "Goodnight".

And it was obvious from the start that this was the group who would not be rattled by an open itinerary and last-minute changes. Upon arrival, Tyson and I learned that the route we had carefully chosen and researched was literally awash after heavy rainfall had flooded the roads we had planned to travel en route to the Escalante area. Once everyone had arrived and all the bags were collected and carefully stowed in our super cool minivan, we simply pointed the wheels in the direction of Zion and let the weekend begin. No plan. No itinerary. No worries.
Oh and it was great! By the time we reached a campground just a couple hours outside of Zion, it was after 10pm and temperatures had gone from sunny and sandals to freezing and goose down. We all shivered as we set up our "party" tent and cracked open some PBRs in the process. The celebratory brew and cheers to the first night!

Friday we rose and decided to embark on our overnight backpacking trip. We loaded up our packs and hit the trail around 3pm for what was described at the visitor center as a three-mile hike in.

It was the first of the canyons, the incredible views and the non-stop banter.

Um, and then several hours and 4.5 miles later the sun was nearly set and we decided to start looking for a place to plop our ten. The heat turned to freeze and in a small frenzy we decided to simply set'er up in the middle of a grassy field. Its funny how the worker bee mentality kicks in when you need to initially set up camp. So many things to do. Put up tent. Unpack sleeping pads and bags. Remove sweaty layers and load on the warm ones. Find the appropriate food, stove and utensils and begin to cook. Eat. Then finally, Relax. Once we were relaxed, fed and warm, a definite ease set in. Sigh. Camping. In the middle of one of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life. With great friends and a metal cup of red wine in-hand. And tons of comfortable laughing before crawling into our bags for sleep.

In the morning it was my Birthday. Thirty deux. A candle in a pumpkin pancake.

We hiked out feeling the success of an overnight in the wilderness and a new found familiarity that can only be found when a group sleeps in one tent and the conversation focuses primarily on going Number One and Number Two.

More to come. Like the time we all thought we were going to die on the most terrifying hike of my life! But I'm back now and in warm and clean clothes. I've showered and I have reflected on a great trip indeed. Thanks, Friends! -for flying from your respective cities to meet up and hike around in Utahhhhh.

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