It rains most of the night and when it stops briefly just before 0700 we leap into action, get packed away, have brekkie and make tracks by 0800.
Talking of which we see a fresh footprint as we get going so there must be someone in front of us. Maybe it’s a Ranger checking the pathways after so much rain.
We make a brief stop at the Ranger station again to use the loo – less busy and definitely less smelly!
Have we told you about the toilets? Most of the National and State parks and most campsites we’ve been staying in have drop toilets, self composting ones. They look like normal toilets, with a bowl, seat and everything. They are nicer than you’d think, some so clean you could eat off the floor (honest) others as you’d expect, a lot of backdraft and very smelly.
While sorting our gear out before setting off again a couple of lads pass us. They must be European. Why? Well because all young people we’ve come across hiking have been European and all the old Greys, American… give or take anyhow. That’s cause no young Americans have any time off work to actually enjoy their own country!! 2 weeks a year – Rubbish!
We meet them again not much farther on as they have stopped for a snack and we have a brief chat. Pretty soon after this, which is really only an hour or so into the walk the rain returns but it’s too hot for waterproofs and we prefer just to get soaked to cool down. To a point anyhow, till the rain starts to feel cold and then we concentrate on finding an overhang to hide under for a bit of a rest as the rain is relentless.
The lads arrive a few minutes later, we guessed at French but they are German – Robert and Andy (obviously with names like that)
While we’re stood there chatting we hear a huge rockfall below, and hope no one is hurt – especially when a helicopter arrives. Eventually we get going, having put our waterproofs on because of the cold, and hack on up the hill.
In all it takes us 4 hours, in very hot and very wet terrain. We meet lots of people coming down and finally catch up with the footprint – it belongs to girls from the campsite – they must have left at the crack of sparrows as they are walking incredibly slowly.
It is just after midday when we drag our sorry wet soles out of the canyon, just in time for lunch. We opt for food first (two hotdogs each at the campsite cafe in the shop) before showering and doing our laundry. Then it’s back to the cafe for a wee bit of wifi before setting off again. The lads are there and we have a further chat, they are on a five week trip, kinda on the same agenda as us but their 1st week is on buses, they plan to hire a car in Vegas to carry on their national park tour.
It’s about 1600 Utah time when we finally hit the road, we are headed back up to try and see “The Wave”, enter the lottery for it, as advised we have to go to the Piria Ranger Station. So it’s sufficiently west enough for us to drive a different way up to that we drove down to get here, via the city (they don’t know the meaning of the word “town”) of Page. There’s a huge damn there, the Glen Canyon Dam” of which there was huge controversy over as it flooded a huge area of Indian land and created “Lake Powell” in the process – bearing in mind how long California is, Lake Powell has more shoreline than the pacific coast of the USA!!!
It’s pretty late now, just getting dark, we know from the Ranger in Kanab last week that there’s a campsite near the Piria Rangers station – it only has 5 pitches though, so we cross everything as we drive the last 20 miles and cross back into Utah.
The campsite is up a track, a long track, and in the dark it feels a very long way, to the point where we wonder if it even exists …. we see people with torches, quite random illuminations, look like they’re lost actually … At last we stumble across the campsite – there are 4 other wagons there, and after a brief chat with the occupants we decide the best course of action is to follow their lead and sleep in our car – it’s dark, we’re hungry and there’s an ant issue amongst the pitches…
One of the wagons is an Old GMC van with an old boy sat outside watching stars. Nice 🙂
Two of the others have – Matthais and Sam occupying them. we have a brief chat then get on with the job of dinner – which is a mystery to us as we didn’t stop for supplies so not in the middle of nowhere we are playing “Ready Steady Cook” with what we have in the car!
It turns out to be a concoction of onion, garlic, cucumber, tomato, pasta, hot sauce, tuna, and of course a couple beers… nice 🙂