Canyonlands: 522.3 Miles

It had just rained the entire night non stop and just about everything was wet. We quickly rolled up the tent and shoved all our stuff into the lone cargo van. We then proceeded to the shelter for donuts and juice.

Nate Fihn had the rather ingenious idea of sleeping under the shelter. About an hour later we took off and headed towards California. We stopped at a rest stop, in the middle of nowhere, and Needles before finding Lake Buena Vista, just outside of Bakersfield, the methlab capitol of American. We had pasta for dinner, that turned out to be a rather tasteless adventure. Everybody slept outside, letting the tents dry out.

I awoke the next morning to the sound of birds repeating the same chirping signal over and over again. We ate breakfast and repacked out entire bags, putting everything we needed in our day pack, and items and food we didn’t need in our hiking bags. We left around noon and headed towards Kernville and Lake Isabella. Kernville is a very small town of 1,800 people. However, they have a very rich history, a facet I got to see when I went to the Kernville Museum. Many Western movies and even an episode of Home Improvement have been filmed their. The entire group had dinner at Chyene’s and some people watched the Final Four on TV. Some of the people went back to the bus and when they open the back emergency door, there were two people inside drinking beer. The intruders got away, however, it appeared as though they did not steal anything. Some people speculated that they might have "done it" on the bus. We spent the night in Sequoia National Park, which happened to be closed. We spent the night there anyway’s because Rob said that the even though the park was "closed," they couldn’t not let people stay because it was a National Park and completely open to the public. That night myself and a few others witnessed some oddly illuminated airplanes at approximately 9:31pm and 9:41pm. I’m planning on calling the FAA when I get back.

Updated picture links…may not be the same pictures as before though due to a renaming issue.

Canyonlands: Big Camp Fire / Hike Down

After solo time was over we pretty much immediately started making dinner. Our group had lasagna with meat sauce. I call it "crap in a box." I also helped Saul’s group make their dinner. After dinner, we hiked back down to where we met the girls earlier that day. We all sat in a big circle. As before, the details of the circle stay inside, however, there are some things I would like to log. To honor the circle, the log entry will be encrypted.

<– Begin encrypted section –> Passcode: Alpha-Charlie

-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8
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=1Xda
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----
<-- End encrypted section -->

After camp fire, Rob told a few stories about Skinwalkers and the Anasazi. I went to bed early, planning on waking up early the next morning to hike out.

Thursday morning we did wake up early due to potential rainfall. We literally just put our stuff in our bags and ran down the mountain, no breakfast or anything. Although I did have some pudding from the night before. After everybody was off the mountain, we expunged our trash and pilled into the cars and headed southeast and then northeast to National Monument. We looked at the jewelry and had lunch. I bought a sterling silver cross and had a mini Navajo Taco. We booked towards Phoenix to avoid the somewhat solid form of precipitation in favor of the liquid version. We ate a pizza place where upon seeing the size of our group, one of the waiters took the Lords name in vain. We watched the NCAA Slam Dunk contest and all was good. We set up camp in a state park. It rained pretty much all night long and into the morning.

Friday morning we woke up to rain.

Canyonlands: The Hike

Zone: 12
Aprox. 4094700 Northing
Aprox. 509500 Easting

<– Begin encrypted section –> Passcode: Alpha-Charlie

-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8
qANQR1DDDQQDAwLGmUQinevL0WDJUvn9+HkuokHxReC9EZYAzlszW/goIJ89iDzo
9bBGu13Y9rt/ftFnz2YyWzLL44Qn+UGFh7O6Rb0SRZK5IbTAzl49HGEQYxhfJLni
cOpNKQGGMfA=
=cGEF
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----
<-- End encrypted section -->

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.

Canyonlands: Flagstaff, Arizona

Zone: 12
389600 Northing
445526 Easting

While driving, our bus hit a tumbleweed, completely destroying it. Shortly there after, the break on the right-front side started to rattle. We pulled into a gas station in Flagstaff and determined that the bus needed to be repaired. Rob and Cathy went to Flagstaff Airport and rented another van. 2+ hours later, we are once again on the road.

Note: The Northing is off by a factor of ten. I’m not sure where the missing digit is, but I believe that it’s in the last three sigfigs, or so. The map links is based on 3896000 N.