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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring Break in the Desert

Needles District of Canyonlands.
Jen and I first went to Moab, Utah together not long after we met in 1993, when we took a fall mountain bike trip with a friend from Butte. At the time, I was 19 and Jen was 18, and Jen had actually been to Moab several times previously while she was in high school in Salt Lake City. Since that first trip, we've been back to the Utah/Arizona desert most years, so by now it's fair to say that the place is in our blood. 

On this trip, since we had Ellie along, we tailored the trip to her. Ellie loves backpacking and hanging out with her friends, so we arranged a backpacking trip in the Needles District of Canyonlands -- a place we've all been multiple times -- and some time in Moab, where she had friends staying. 

While in Moab, Jen and I did two mountain bike rides: the classic Procupine Rim (which we did on that first trip long ago) and the exceptional HyMasa/Captain Ahab loop on the Amasa Back several miles down the Colorado River from Moab. Both rides were great fun, and we talked about future trips, when we would be on our own and could spend more time riding in Moab.

After a couple of nights in Moab, we headed down to the Needles District of Canyonlands and returned to Salt Creek Canyon, where we had last been nearly ten years ago. We spent two nights on Salt Creek, day hiking up to the amazing Angle Arch on our second day, and then on our return trip, we detoured up Lost Canyon for our third night. It was a great four days, with the  highlight being the relaxed family time together and conversations with Ellie.

All in all, it was yet another great trip. As always, it was bittersweet driving up out of Moab and beginning the long drive home. There's something about that spring trip to sun and heat that feels like home. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Porcupine Rim with Castleton Tower in the background.

Porcupine Rim riding.

Ellie hiking out to Salt Creek

This spot is off the beaten path. I found it on our last Salt Creek trip and was glad to return. Previous human left hand prints, perhpas marking the passage of time. This must have been a yearly camp spot.

Petroglyphs again at Peekaboo Camp.

Walking up Salt Creek.

Salt Creek.

Angel Arch.

Hiking up out of Salt Creek, heading to Lost Canyon.

Our Lost Canyon Camp. 

Heading out of Lost Canyon on our last day.

The beginning of Captain Ahab, which we road on the day we left Moab.

Saturday, March 4, 2017