The Grand Staircase
Jan.20.07 Filed in: life
I spent the first half of my day today in Kodachrome Basin where I got in a couple nice hikes and took a much needed shower in the campground there. I was one of two people that I saw in the park this morning so I pretty much had the place to myself. It seems the further away from Zion and Bryce canyons I go the less people are around. In a way it is really nice and it really is an amazing thing to exist in an area of nearly perfect silence. Everything you don't normally hear is amplified. The different sounds your boots make as you walk along different terrains. The sound of a birds wings as it flies overhead. If I listen closely I can hear the sand and leaves on the ground drifting along in the breeze. Music that I listen to seems much more personal like I am sitting there with the musicians as they are singing their songs.
But with this solitude I can't help but feel lonely from time to time and the occasional Jack Rabbit or deer is welcome company. Still, even loneliness is something that feels good in a way being out here. There is something to be said about being somewhere like this alone. It's a feeling that I won't soon forget.
So the later half of my day I spend driving around in a relatively new National Park called Grand Staircase National Monument. Evidently this huge piece of land contained some of the last land to be explored and charted in the US. I hear from the locals that there has been a good amount of trouble stirred up by the government sweeping in and declaring all of this land to be a National Monument. I don't know to many details so I'm not sure what my stance would be on the matter, all in all its pretty fascinating to me.
At the moment I am sitting in my car/tent at the end of a short dirt road that appears to be a nice place to park for the night. In ths area there are hundreds of roads to explore and probably 99 percent of them are dirt roads many of which can not be accessed without 4 Wheel drive capabilities on your vehicle and my car is far from 4 wheel drive. At least I have a new set of tires on it because I spent the last hour or so driving around and down some roads that probably were not meant for little cars like mine. Even still I could not help but want to keep driving and driving through the dirt and snow. Every mystery road that I saw veer off the main dirt road was one which I simply had to explore. I did end up at this great spot though right near the edge of a cliff that overlooks a huge amount of this area within the monument and here at sunset it is really beautiful.
I think a lot of this trip so far I have found myself in positions where I will be hiking or driving and I find that I can't stop myself from going just a little further, then just a little further, then just a little further. Sometimes this takes me places that put me at risk like up a hill that is just a little to steep to feel totally comfortable climbing, or scrambling up a canyon with a steep floor of loose rock causing the occasional slip down a few inches but quick glance back down to the bottom always gets me to slow down. I'm pushing my limits just enough to satisfy this weird mix of curiosity and adrenaline flowing through my blood. It has taken me to a few places that I may never see again in the way that I have seen them so I don't regret a minute of it.
It's a shame the trip has had to be cut a bit shorter than I would have liked it to be. I am keeping a pretty tight eye on my money because after buying back enough gear to make this trip work I found myself with just enough to get around a select amount of places and not every single place I may have wanted to go. This said, with each compromise I have made I have found myself in a place that who knows if I would have seem otherwise. I figure that even in a somewhat desperate time every turn that I take and every hike that I go on leads me somewhere amazing and new. Even places I have seen before feel new with a coat of snow and without all of the tourism and flocks of people you might find in the area during the peek traveling season out here.
After taking this trip I know I will be here again. It has woken my desire to see all I can see in the world and It has reminded me just how much I miss being out hiking and camping, if thats what you can call this strange in car camping trip. Oh what I would do for a full size backpack to go on a couple of longer treks. My Spire Meta bag has filled in as my backpack and has been great. I love that bag.
So anyways, I will leave it at that for now. Just another little update and to be honest, I'm not sure when I will find internet again. the deeper I go into this state the smaller the towns get. I hope that average readers of the site that come for the desktops have not been to bored by my ramblings. Don't worry guys, in 2 or 3 weeks things will settle back into what they were, or maybe not. Who knows, Maybe I will start up that new site that I have been talking about. Who knows. OK, OK, thats enough, bye for now...
Song of the moment: "Moon" by Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto from the album 'Insen'