We have 0nce again dumped all our gear boxes on the floor and have gone through everything, packing and arranging, and amending our packing lists yet another time. The Landcruiser is nearly packed up and readied, and Nicolai and I are both excited to go. We will leave Monday morning for a couple of weeks, plus or minus, in the beautiful desert of southeast Utah.
Each trip holds something new for us, aside from the obvious experiences of exploring Utah and the canyons in general. As Nicolai grows we are able to do a little more, go a little further each time we head into the bush. On this trip Nicolai will do his first overnight backpack. We actually have three possible overnights planned. We’ll do one and see how it goes, and then make a call on the others. Each can be as short as two or three miles one way, so it will be easy enough for him in terms of the walk. And he will only be carrying his Camelbak with water and survival items. I will carry his sleeping bag, pad, and most of his gear, adding 5 or so pounds to my ultralight pack.
The three trips I have planned all have interesting things to see despite their short lengths. I picked three canyons with easy entrances- we’ll be entering right at the head of each one. One hike is near Canyonlands south of Moab, the other two are in Grand Gulch. The hike near Canyonlands was chosen for its abundant wildlife- it has a large beaver pond not a mile down from the entrance, and it has some moki steps to ponder as well. The two in Grand Gulch have prehistoric ruins, a cowboy camp, and rock art panels with archaic anthropomorphic figures as well as a few Kokopelli figures. All three are well-worth visiting and perfect for the young explorer.
Nicolai and I spent some time over the last couple of weeks making up more backpack meals, breakfasts and dinners mainly. We also worked on a new recipe- a backpack version of Vietnamese Noodle Soup or Pho. The recipe is up on the Single Pot Meals page at the Desert Explorer website. It is definitely a tasty meal, even though it may not be completely authentic.
Tracking and Bikepacking
For those that missed it, I have also added Tracking pages and begun a Bikepacking page on the Desert Explorer website. A couple of the tracking pages are re-posts from this blog. One of the pages covers a brief morning of tracking after our final inch of snow this past April. That post is based on notes from our tracking journal and discusses tracking in the snow.
The Bikepacking Page has been on my mind for some time, since last summer and my ride of the White Rim trail. It gives a definition of bikepacking and outlines my packing list from the White Rim ride. I will update that page in the near future as my plans for a solo, ultralight ride of Kokpelli’s Trail become finalised. One of the goals of the present trip will be to recon cache sites for water resupplies on the second half of the Kokopelli’s ride, once I have left Dewey Bridge and the Colorado River. There are no permanent water sources again until the very end of the ride.
From the Road
We will make every effort to make a quick post from either Moab or Monticello on the way south, then another from Bluff after we leave Cedar Mesa. We’ll be sure to include some photos from the adventure as it unfolds.