Canyonlands: The Hike

Zone: 12
Aprox. 4094700 Northing
Aprox. 509500 Easting

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The primary reason I haven’t written the last few days was simply because I could not get a GPS signal. However, when I got to the well this morning, I was able to get a signal and thus far, maintain that signal. In any event, we are now doing "solo time." I figure this would be as good a time to recount the events of the last few days as any other time.

As I stated previously, I was rejected to Caltech. It still is not a big deal as I was pretty settled on CSM for some time now. However, all my planning now will be specifically based on the fact that I will be at CSM next year. We drove from Tuba City to Navajo Mountain. The drive was about 2 hours long. We arrived at the base (12, 4092845N, 510556E) and packed our bags. It took some time, but we got everything packed up and the guys left at approximately 1:24pm MST. I assume the girls took off shortly after that, but I really have no idea. We arrived at base camp (12, ????????N, ??????E) about 2 hours later. We set up our tents and then headed west along side the mountain for about 1.5km. We discovered a very cool set of caves and spent some time climbing in them before heading back to base camp. That night we had mac and cheese for dinner. It was good. I took a short nap then woke for camp fire. The specific details of camp fire stay with the group, but I can relate the basic jest of things. Everyone sits in a circle. Rob asks a question and passes the object around. In this case, it was part of an ancient pot that we found. The first time around, nobody speaks, just listens. The next time around people talk. Rob asked 3 questions. At the end of the last question, the object goes around one more time so that the leaders can comment on anything. After that, Rob throws some tobacco on the fire. Then we went to sleep.

On Tuesday, I woke up kinda late. I didn’t have my water bottles in the right place so they didn’t get filled up during the morning run. I ended up borrowing a liter from Saul. We had oatmeal for breakfast and then prepared for a six hour day hike. The hike was actually quite wonderful at times. We climbed from about 6505 to 8004 and about 7 or 8km to the east. The view from the top was absolutely amazing. We could see for at least 500km. Off to the west we saw 3 smoke stacks, probably from a coal burning electrical plant. The hike down was almost as hard as the hike up. People quickly ran out of water as the hike neared the 7 hour mark. Upon arrival at base camp, several brave souls offered to go get more water from the well 5km down. When they got back we cooked rice and chicken that had about 120% of the daily recommended value of sodium chloride (salt). I could defiantly taste it in the food, but it was necessary to replace all the salt my body lost during the hike. I made some no bake cheese cake for the group that Rob supplied. Then we sat around and did the fire thing again, sans tobacco, for whatever reason. We ate the cheese cake then went to bed. I remembered to put my water bottles in the correct place.