Joan and I continue to enjoy the magic that’s backpacking in Utah’s canyon country. The light’s sublime; the canyon walls glow in the early winter light, and the cold and crisp nights seem to intensify the night sky.
We love this time of the year out here. Thick pads, puffy pants, our winter down jackets, and our traditional cider and rum drank by the glow of our Luci light make for a cozy evening that seems less like roughing it but more like a luxury. We don’t hike far due to the shorter days, and the longer nights bring some restful times on the canyon bottom.
Any time we can get out, we’ll take advantage of the gift of time.
This past weekend proved no exception as we roamed part of a canyon we’ve seen before but poked around in different areas.
As usual, we observed a lot by just watching. In this case, we looked at the maps, hiked on a hunch, and looked up at the walls. And observed panels that told tales from long ago.
And structures where the tales began.
And as much as we enjoy the cultural geography of these canyons, the scenery always draws us back time and time again.
Of course, we can’t help but get drawn to the area’s history again and again.
In particular, a three-level dwelling area caught our eye and made us ponder the best way to see the other levels at a future point.
What I could zoom in at the edge of the camera range seemed intriguing.
As the day wore on, we continued to poke around and scramble up walls and see what we could see. Evening comes quickly this time of the year, but we cannot help but continue looking for what might get found on the walls away from the canyon bottom.
Up a side canyon, we found a place near water, tucked away, sheltered, and would get morning light shortly after the sun came up.
The evening came on quickly, along with the cold. But we enjoyed our cozy cocoon of nylon and down in our winter camp.
We poked around the side canyon for a future trip and came to a logical turnaround point. We hiked back and made our way back up to the canyon rim.
We reached our truck and savored the views across the rim and down to where we hiked. A late lunch on the tailgate with some hot drinks seemed the proper way to give closure to our weekend.
The warm, late-afternoon sun, the views, and the solitude of our location had us planning for future trips even before we put the key into the ignition and drove back home. A sign of a successful trip. And a reminder of why we live out here.