Some trips are about waking up early in the morning, getting on the river or trail, and spending all day paddling, hiking, and scrambling out of the canyon.
Other trips aren’t like that at all.
Instead, they are trips on the quiet side. Where we get immersed in a quiet area, do some hiking, hang out, make some good food, and enjoy some adult beverages at night.
An old-fashioned camping trip.
We joined some friends at a quiet place tucked up high above the desert floor with lodgepole pines and even some bristlecones on a nearby hike. The night bordered on cold and felt embracing.
Saturday saw a leisurely morning. Time to sip some coffee, feel the warm sun, and just enjoy the scenery.
“Dolce far niente,” as distant cousins might state.
We eventually made it to the area we chose for hiking—a canyon located in BLM land with an actual waterfall.
Seeing a waterfall in the desert never fails to delight.
Further along the canyon, our eagle-eyed friend spotted a hunting panel on the canyon wall. Though interpretation is something I don’t like to indulge in, this scene undoubtedly depicts a prominent hunting scene with a bear. Fishing story? Recounting a particularly frightening hunt? A bit of both?
The story itself became lost through the generations. All we can do is admire the lines and details hundreds of years later.
The claret cup cactus along our path seemed vibrant at this time of the year.
Along the way, we spotted another panel. An intriguing one that sparks much discussion among those familiar with the panel.
Only after did I realize its similarity to a well-known panel in Dinosaur National Monument.
I again hesitate to interpret the panel, but the shield and the pose do potentially indicate strife. With the changing climate and scarcer resources near the time of the panels getting created, perhaps not a far-off guess?
We continued along the scenic canyon with its mellow slopes, flowing streams, and more than a few sheep.
We saw an arch we half-jokingly called “Dirt Arch” along the way.
We exited the canyon via one of the sheep paths and made our way to a defunct railroad bridge spanning the canyon.
A short walk brought us back to the road and our waiting vehicle to close the loop.
A cold front came in with much wind. Hot drinks, puffies, and hiding in the tent seemed preferable to cold beer, shorts, and looking at the night sky. (Though we did see a line of Starlink satellites. An unfortunate sign of things to come?)
The following morning we again had a leisurely time in camp. The trail from the site went to a ridge that let us see as far away as the Wasatch Range near Salt Lake.
And, of course, seeing the bristlecones much to Joan’s delight.
The wind and cold picked up, and we headed down back to the vehicles to close out the weekend.
Sometimes a relaxing weekend with friends is all we need to enjoy our time in the Utah backcountry.