Over the past few years, Joan and I started a twice-a-year tradition.
A tradition that I think works well – We take the SCA interns (NPS rangers in training, essentially) out twice a year for a weekend of hiking, some good camp food, and a place they usually would not see when looking at the “Best of Moab”-type hikes.
Joan gets to know the SCA hires a bit better; they get to see and experience some stunning scenery with a full-service outfitter (and by that, I mean me with our camp kitchen and the loaner gear! 🙂 )
As Joan and I put down roots in this town and find ourselves some new interns each year, I think we continue to enjoy our role as a bit of the surrogate aunt and uncle.
We drove up the night before, scouted out a site we enjoy, and had an evening alone.
The following day we hiked up towards Mt. Peale and enjoyed the first bit of fall in the high country.
As our friends planned to meet us in the late morning, the hike made a shorter, if scenic one.
As we arrived back at camp, we noticed our friends had come. In addition to the SCAs, our friend and fellow ranger Holly also joined for the weekend. From there, we took another hike.
A hike ending with a scenic overlook of the desert below and Canyonlands NP in the distance.
That evening we strolled from our campsite and enjoyed the mountain views nearby.
The ever-useful poncho liners proved particularly helpful for those not used to the colder temps of 10k feet!
We enjoyed the fall evening up high with some good food, lots of hot drinks, and talking into the evening at our cozy camp.
The following morning we hiked to a favorite spot with its commanding view of Mt. Peale and Mt. Tukinikivatz.
And we ended the hike with the ever-pleasing look across the small lake.
And a view we never find tiring.
Our drive back down from the mountains brought us from the autumn temps back to 90F at home. And we already look forward to our mountain backpack the following weekend.