As many of you know, I go back home to Utah for a visit/adventure at least once a year. This year my best friend and I had big plans… Well, after a few days of laying by the pool in Vegas while we made preparations of course.
First off, Bryce! What was intended to be a 4 day, 3 night 23 mile backpacking trip in Bryce Canyon’s Under the Rim trail turned out to be a 3 day, 2 night 15 mile trip. THERE WAS NO WATER! The ranger we purchased our back country permits from, who happened to be from Kennilworth Utah, enthusiastically assured us “there is water everywhere!”. In hindsight, we both knew better than to trust someone from Kennilworth 😉
The part of the trail we did was beautiful. We had our coffee in the mornings, wine in the evenings, good food for all our meals and a landscape that changed as we made our way through the trail. We shared our first camp site with deer,unafraid of us, eating the grass close by. The second morning was a little less like a Bambi cartoon… We woke up to the sound of bears. They sounded like they were mating! It was so loud. Thank god that was our only experience with the beasts.
Because of the no water situation, we had to hike out early. We were lucky enough to have a connecter trail that took us out of the wilderness and onto the main park road. We had to hitchhike to our car since we came out at a unplanned spot. After 20 minutes of waiting (2 chicks with backpacks and it took us 20 minutes?! Come on!), we got picked up by 2 girls like us- best friends traveling around southern Utah hiking.
After Bryce we headed to Escalante for a little R&R and a little LAWFUL breaking and entering (we locked the keys to the house we were staying at inside when we were unloading our gear). Breaking and entering AND hitchhiking in the same day. Kristen and I are B A D A S S.
From there we went to Tavaputs Ranch to visit with some dear friends. Our host made us hike a trail they move their cattle on each year called The Jump. It’s called The Jump because the trail switches back so hard that the horses and animals have to actually jump to the next part of the trail or fall to their death. I am not kidding. It blew our minds that they do it on horses with a herd of cattle! There were parts of the trail that left no room for error and we were told we only did the easy part! Cowboy/Rancher/Owner, Butch has been doing it since he was 9 years old. Take that in all you parents out there. 9. The actual Jump Off Point was a beautiful place to have lunch, take a quick nap, and do a shot of whiskey from the bottle that stays hidden under a small rock ledge… Who am I to mess with a whiskey tradition?
We did a lot but it somehow seemed restful like a vacation should be. I wish I had more time to visit with friends and family, but such is life. There’s always next year!