carmen san diego was hiding in Arches

The picture in my last post was taken in Arches National Park, on the trail to Delicate Arch. Round trip, that’s a three mile hike, and with my body so far out of shape, I’m surprised I could do it. Everybody except Kathy and the two youngest kids made it to the arch. Kathy took the younger ones to the upper overlook point. One of the younger kids was my five year old, the other was Kathy’s seven year old niece. Kathy’s brother and his four kids joined us for those four nights in Arches.

That’s one of over 500 pictures I took on the trip … and by the second half of the trip, I was getting too lazy to get the camera out, so nearly all of the pictures are from Arches.

Two days into the trip, Kathy sprained her ankle walking back from the bathroom during the night. This limited what she could do from then on – already limited by her chronic pain issues caused by (we believe) lupus.

After the four nights in the Devil’s Garden campground at Arches, we had planned two nights at Devil’s Canyon near Blanding, a night at Goblin Valley, and two nights at Millsite, which is a reservoir just outside Ferron, UT. By the time our reservation at Arches ran out, we had almost decided to go home because of mounting frustrations and Kathy’s ankle. A formal and secret vote was taken. I was surprised by the result – we pushed onward. At the laundromat in Moab, I tapped into a convenient unsecured wireless network, checked my email for anything important at work, and posted the stone staircase picture.

After washing our clothes and restocking a few things, we drove to Devil’s Canyon. This involved a series of one-lane roads where they are doing rock blasting and major construction to widen the two-lane divided highway. When we arrived, we learned that they don’t turn on the water until Memorial Day. The lack of water at the campsite might not strike you as a problem because we’re in a trailer, except that with all our gear loaded, filling our trailer’s 26 gallon water tank puts us over the tailer’s GVWR. It only allows about 350 pounds of total cargo, which includes water and might even include the battery and the propane tank.

Having deemed that the campground was unsuitable, we pushed on the four miles to Blanding and stayed two nights at the Blue Mountain RV Park just south of town. That was a great place, even though it was an RV farm. It had wireless Internet, and was significantly closer to Recapture Reservoir, our first fishing destination. It had showers, which we used and relished.

At Recapture, Kathy was the only one of us to hook anything, and as far as I know, the only one of us to get any bites. She got herself a foot long northern pike, which we had never seen before. Because we didn’t know what it was and whether or not we could keep it, we let it go. When I made it back to the tackle box and the fishing proclamation, we learned it was a Pike and that we could have kept it. Later that day, she also hooked a nice rainbow, but because nobody had set the drag on her reel to let line out, it broke her line and got away.

While relaxing at the Blue Mountain, we decided that we didn’t want to go to Goblin Valley and go through all the hassle of unpacking and repacking for a one-night stay. We took a look at site availability at Millsite, and decided we would skip Goblin Valley and go to Millsite a day early. When we got there, our site was booked by a walk-in that day, but there was another site available all three days.

There were a bunch of nibbles during our time fishing at Millsite, and I caught one fish on our first full day there. That fish never got cleaned, and although it is in the car in a cooler with ice, I fear that it is beyond hope now. We’ve been back for a full day now, but most of the unpacking is not done.

In the end, we only spent two days at Millsite, opting to take the extra time to break camp slowly and perhaps avoid a lot of the frustration inherent in that part of camping. It sorta worked … the frustration was there, but not so hot.

I officially return to work Wednesday morning, at which point I get on a Boeing 737 to Chicago.

Coming soon, massive picture overload on my gallery.

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