Friday, May 12, 2017

needles district, day 1, 2017 edition

Even though Snowbird's lifts are still turning (and even though the Wasatch mountains will probably be getting more snow next week), we are segueing out of winter and into summer, most notably by our recent long weekend to greater Moab.  We left Salt Lake City around 6:15 a.m. Thursday, arriving at Needles Outpost campground noon-ish.  We picked out our campsite - #7 this time, which was not quite as fabulous as #9 - and set up the tent.

Getting settled in

After lunch, we drove in to Canyonlands National Park/Needles District and nabbed one of the last parking spots at the Squaw Flat trailhead for a jaunt around the Lost Canyon lollipop loop.  It was pretty hot since we didn't get started until 2:15 p.m., but it was a fairly well-shaded trail, following the wash under big cottonwood trees for the most part. 

Those shorts could scarcely be less flattering

Lost Canyon was beautiful, an oasis of green in the desert, with varnished cliffs, pockets of spring-fed pools and lots of birds and lizards (plus a couple of squirrels).  The hiking itself was mostly easy: flat along the creek beds with a little up-and-over on slickrock fins; the walking was tough, however, because the footing was sandy.  We don't have any photos from the hike itself because our camera battery had died but above is a post-hike parking lot beer.


Back at the campground, we cashed in a couple of shower tokens to get cleaned up, then made an elegant dinner of Zataran's dirty rice, supplemented with dehydrated vegetables, and pina coladas.  H became a Swiss Army knife-wielding hero to the next campsite over when they realized the didn't have a corkscrew for their bottle of wine.  The sun went down; the little bats came out, gobbling up the gnats; the moon came up, outshining the stars; and we had a campfire.  Welcome to the first day of vacation.

Hike stats:  8.6 miles (the GPS didn't get an accurate reading because we were hidden in the canyon) with 1.300 feet of elevation gain; 3 hours 7 minutes of movement, plus 29 stoppage minutes; 3.3 average moving speed.

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