Above the desert floor

Joan and I planned a packrafting trip not far from where I am typing this report.

But, then, something happened – Ma Nature turned up the thermostat.

At 4,000 feet along or in the river, we could expect temps over 90F. All radiated by the famous red rock of the Moab area. We’d be backpacking in a red brick oven while schlepping a lot of water.

So we did what we always do – we migrated higher. High enough for sleeping in the ponderosa pines, see big tooth maples, and even the occasional Doug Fir.

We went to a ridge that’s near and partially in a well-known wilderness area. But a wilderness area that gets almost all the traffic in a few well-known places.

Our route, typically for us, ended up as obscure, and we saw a ranger on patrol (who gave us some great info for future trips) and one other couple briefly on our hiking loop.

We continued our tradition of camping out on a Friday before the trip, looked over our maps, and enjoyed a night out with a quick camp. The exact spot we’ve used previously and worked well for exploring the area.

After a road walk in the morning from the truck, we made our way into the canyon. Rather than red rock layers , we enjoyed the greenery and reds mixed that make up this scenery for this part of the Colorado Plateau.

The canyon bottom proved rather lush. No surprise, a homestead once existed here and prospered.

Along the way, we continued to see signs of spring with wildflowers, butterflies, and cicadas.

PCO Joan

Another canyon that took in part of our loop ended up bone dry during this drought year.

And the spring at the top of the mesa? Well…

PCO Joan.

We backtracked with enough water to make camp for the night and found a flat spot on the rim of the canyon we climbed out of earlier.  The morning light did not disappoint.

Joan looked over the map and thought of another route to make a lollipop hike and on a lightly used ATV track that we passed the day before. One near water!

The track ended up having memorable scenery and winded its way between the canyon’s walls and up to the canyon rim.

We made it to the truck and, and with no actual schedule, just relaxed, enjoyed the scenery, and made some hot drinks to enjoy in the now-chill air.

We made it home, and it rained that evening. Cooling off things. And letting us know that summer’s not quite here. Yet.

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