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

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<-- 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

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<-- 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: Cottonwood

Zone: 11
3734237 Northing
610075 Easting

The two short hikes we took today were nice. The first one was rather short, perhaps only 1.5 miles round trip, while the second was 3.0 miles round trip with 1000 feet of vertical. I took a short nap on the way back and tried to contune my nap in the tent to no avail. Instead I watched on as Brent, Trevor, Saul, and Leo gave some salsa to the red fire ants. The ants started digging under the salsa. Saul broke up some pieces of chips and spread them a short distance away from the salsa. The ants grabbed al the chips and took them ino their cave. They gave up on the salsa. We had rice, chicken, and peanut butter in a Thai dinner that Alec made. It was good, although a bit spicey. I just hope I don’t pay for it later on. No BM’s so far either. After dinner, we all sat around the camp fire and discuses what the plan is what we want to get from Canyonlands. The plan did change and we will be waking up at 6am to drive for 10 hours to Arizona. We might even get to see Death Valley on the way back. I think I picked a date for the prom. I’m going to think about is some more though.

Updated links to use Google Maps