A Week in the Desert

A week among friends in a canyon with a buttload of wine was long overdue. We had hauled ass a day early, trying to beat a very wet, late-spring storm over the passes – to no avail, but it could have been a lot worse had we waited a few more hours for black ice to form.

The Devil Herself

Our compadres were fortunate enough to have been able to leave about 6 hours before we did, and they didn’t waste any time setting up the camp-lounge.  I think the corkscrew was already seated when we rolled into camp.

Kane Creek Canyon at the mouth of Hunter Canyon

Kane Creek offers no shortage of high places on which to play. Natural anchors in the “bombproof” category, however, can be tougher to come by. It was a good thing we had taken over 550′ of lifeline rope because, in each instance, we had to use remote and/or directional anchors, and we didn’t want to compromise with a single rope rappel.

Rappel into camp

The sandstone was pretty solid for the most part, but flaky and rotten in an occasional (and usually overhanging) area.

On Rope!

Traverse Highline

Again: Wrapping boulders 50′ from our departure point ate up a lot of rope, which limited the…(here’s a Bushism for ya) spectacularity of our evolutions. But this trip was as much about repetition and skills maintenance as getting away from the hamster wheel of work.

Traverse Rigg

Traverse into Camp

Having rolled in on a Wednesday gave us a false sense of continued peace…Friday night arrived and the inconsiderate masses came along with it.

Now, granted, a bicycle cruising through the canyon echoes for miles, but that night, Kane Canyon turned into a cross between Jelly-Stone Park (Home of Yogi Bear), the X Games and Copper Canyon Cove during Spring Break. Dirtbikes screamed sideways through the creek. Hoots and screams echoed off the walls, reverberating probably for miles. From 10 PM to at least midnight, traffic grumbled through at a rate of one about every three minutes. One in three of them carried a shirtless and shouting, intoxicated clown. 6 AM came with the sound of slamming car doors and trashbags full of bottles. More about that night in another post.

Or not.

There wasn’t a whole lot of water in Kane Creek Canyon, but Hunter Canyon is a really nice hike with several nice, deep pools that were perfect for a dog swim.

Hunter Canyon

The Good One

Moab

I was raised in a tourist trap, and I can smell one from miles away. Moab is, sure enough, a tourist trap. And for maybe the first time ever, I was able to relate to the experience of a tourist. There are a lot of attractions in Moab, both geographical and cultural. Such a wide range of terrain and activities can not be found in many places. (I admit, I’m wearing a Moab t-shirt as I type.)

While the food was marginal (we hit 4 or 5 restaurants) the prices were comparable to those in the Denver area. Same deal with a couple of local climbing shops. My buddy and I kept making trips back to Gearheads and to Pagan Mountaineering. As much as one pays for a freakin’ hat in Moab, I was afraid to buy any gear in those shops, but a quick internet search (love 3G…) revealed their prices were right around those we’d been finding in our Metro area shops. Sooooo…We both came back with some extra gear (not to mention a couple of over-priced t-shirts).

The week went way too quickly, but we got a lot done and burned a lot of energy. Most important though, we came back relaxed and ready to get back on the wheel.

I offer a parting note here: If you’re coming down I-70 on the way to or from, be sure to take Hwy 128. It’s amazing.

We will be back to Moab soon.

Hwy 128

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About Zig Tangent

Mechanically and linguistically apt, but socially inept. He likes to jump from high places. Favorite quote: "Stay thirsty my friends."
This entry was posted in Canyoneering, Health, Uncategorized, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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