Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spring in the Desert

What better to do on a three-day weekend than to put on a pack and get walkin'? Nothin'. Liz was heading to Utah anyway to raft Cataract Canyon so she just came down a little early and we, along with three of my friends, spent four days in Canyonlands. Possibly the best time I have had on a backpacking trip. It was fantastic! (Which means there are lots of pictures as well).

We spent our last night in Chesler Park. It is a gorgeous meadow surrounded by needles. Our first night on the trail we had a permit for backcountry camping. We had a great site up on some rocks with great views. Lots of shooting stars!
Above our camp the first night were some pot hole pools. These form in rock depressions after rain. They are great for finding water to drink and for a foot spa treatment while watching the sun set. Blissful.
Druid Arch, a few miles from Chesler Park.
A small section of the trail went through a slot canyon, but that was just the beginning. One slot canyon led to another, and another, and another... For me exploring the slot canyons was the highlight of the trip. So much fun!
The great group from top to bottom: Heber, Ben, Melinda, and Liz.
The trail itself was fun outside of the slots as well. It crawled up and down rocks leading from one great view to the next.
The confluence. This is where the Green and Colorado Rivers meet and rush into Cataract Canyon. Needless to say, seeing this was Liz's favorite part of the trip.

The slot canyon that the trail went through was chock full of creative cairns. This was one of my favorites.
We also saw a couple of Anasazi (or "ancestral puebloean") ruins and rock art.
Another highlight of the trip (for me at least). Was laying on my tummy and looking for tiny lifeforms in the potholes. This is actually a lot funner than some of you may think.
The desert was in full bloom so I had to add some boring flower pictures.
I forgot the name of this one, but it was all over the place and gorgeous.

Desert primrose.
Okay, so not a flower, but it warmed my nerdy heart to see so many native grasses. This is another shot of Chesler Park (and Indian Rice Grass).
Utah's state flower: Sego Lily.

The cacti were in bloom as well.
Yucca at our first camp.

Globe mallow at dusk.


Bennett Family said...

AWESOME pix! And thx for the encouraging words on my BLOG. I read the entire talk and it was PERFECT!!!

Anonymous said...

that looks so fun! I wish i had your backpacking skills! You'll have to let me know the next time you go somewhere you think i could handle :)

Deb said...

Katie this trip looks like it was amazing! I'm sorry I missed such a beautiful weekend. Thanks for the birthday wishes - the day was wonderful. I'll call you soon.

Sarah said...

Katie I LOVE you photos...