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I might need to make arrangements with the Mr. to head out of town on my own and hit the desert in a few weeks. Oh my god, I had an old ache for Southern Utah (the land, nothing else, hahaha) hit me like a ton of bricks. Some quiet personal reflection is good for the soul, right?

This. I used to climb this peak every single Saturday. No, EVERY single Saturday. (Check the eHike - it's awesome.) you come down tired and hot (it's 7 miles of one of the most grueling hikes there is - check out pic. 10 for Walter's Wiggles. That's only 1/3 of the way up - 66% incline, oy) and hit the Bit and Spur for a margarita and black bean burrito.... WANT. I want to walk through the Narrows again, camp out overnight on the bank, then finish up the last four miles floating down stream the Virgin river. (It's named that because it's so muddy, no one has ever seen the bottom, har de har har. No, really.)

Good lord, am I having a mid life crisis? Probably.

I just miss being alone in nature, tired from a long slog, a camp fire getting going, and a sky full of stars. And QUIET. I miss that most of all.

[ETA] Here's an AMAZING shot of Walter's Wiggles. And you've only gone halfway on the whole hike. <3 <3 <3 It's an absolute butt kicker.

[ETA 2] Willis Creek, slot canyon in the Grand Staircase. I mean, are you kidding me, Mother Nature? ILU.


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 26th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
I know how you feel - been aching to visit the forest for some time now, but between my job, my thesis and avoiding both of those (I have a terrible procrastination problem), I don't think I could finf time.
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'm going to make time, dammit. I need to escape for a bit. SIGH.

back to doing childrens laundry...
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Isn't it? Man, it's my absolute, hands down, most favorite place on earth. (And talk about a work out...)
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a fantastic idea. Except for the hiking and the being tired and hot ;) But you like that masochistic stuff, so go for it bebe.
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha. You can hang out in the cabin with all the little bunnies and BBQ. Someone needs to check the drinks to make sure they're up to snuff, right?

tonight's the Big Talk.O_O
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Mar. 26th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
Angel's Landing looks terrifying. When the ex and I were there, he explained in a sort of shell-shocked voice that a couple of our friends had made him hike it, despite his terror of heights. That seemed sort of mean... On the other hand, I wish I'd gotten to walk more of the park. We only went from the last bus stop up the river to... er. There's a place where there's a big bend to the left, and it's a bit wider than it's been up till there, and there's some land with trees above the water line? And then it curves sharply back to the right? I'm not sure if that's clear, but we only went to the first part of that bend and then turned back. I want to go further into the Narrows than that!

You should definitely take some "me" time out there, though - it's gorgeous, and it's so obvious from how you talk about it that you love it and miss it horribly. It'll be good for you.

I don't think wanting a vacation to a place you love actually constitutes a midlife crisis, for the record. ;)
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
It's pretty treacherous in places where you have to grab a chain to get up there. I've got some great photos from my college days of me and my dudes up there. That's the Refrigerator that you're talking about. It gets really cool and there are hanging gardens and so forth?

The Narrows aren't the same as Angel's landing, however. They are two separate hikes/geologic features. Both stunning. <3 <3 <3

Well, that's one vote in the DO IT column! Keep in mind I'm a mom, and I want to go ALONE. That makes me feel bad. :( (But it doesn't make me not want to go, though, hahaha.)

Edited at 2009-03-26 04:39 pm (UTC)
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Mar. 26th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
After spending the last three "vacations" with family, I'm right there with you on needing a trip back to nature. We're thinking Big Bend, but I've never been to Zion or Bryce Canyon. It looks spectacular.
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
If you like Big Bend, you'd go bananas for Zion and Bryce. The COLOR. There's nothing like it anywhere, with the exception of Western Australia. Driving out of the panhandle, across Tucumcari and ALbequerque, then up to Gallup and Tuba City... The color change is almost like a child's drawing, it's so intense.

...can you tell I miss it out there?
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
What a lovely lovely link! You are just full of the lovely aren't you?
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Except when I'm full of fiber! ;)

Oh, that place is so beautiful. You're close to some pretty spectacular landscape - I miss the Four Corners region a lot. Oooh, and Ester's Park (aka THE OVERLOOK FROM THE SHINING, EEEK.)

nature = my one true love.
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Mar. 26th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
That sounds so nice and beautiful. I'm a nature girl myself, so I definitely get where you're coming from. Nothing like sitting around a camp fire with good company, then snuggling into a warm sleeping bag with the night sounds lulling you to sleep.
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
You have just described the best sleep of your life. Mmmmm, WANT!!
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Mar. 26th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
This post officially made me tired.
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha. You need a massage to recover!
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
It took me a minute to remember why those pictures were so familiar to me. The year I was a senior at Evergreen, a bunch of my friends did a two-week Outward Bound style retreat to the Grand Staircase area with Willi Unsoeld; they carried very little food and a whole lot of film. One of them did a 24 hour photoseries of Willis Creek on the night of the full moon.

Amazing place, although very much out of my zone.

Julia, deserts do bad things to me, being a cool maritime native species.
Mar. 26th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
I never thought I'd love the desert, myself. I haaaated it the first year I was there, then it all clicked and it makes me so happy. I don't know that I want to live there again, but visiting is perfect for me.
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
Okay, that Walter's Wiggles is...wiggy. My phobia of heights kicked in just looking at it.

Actually, not to go all Kayaking Evangelist on you, but seriously...kayaking is a fantastic way to get a few hours of nature and quiet is you're looking for something alone-ish and not pocketbook-breaking. And...wow! Texas has a ton of kayaking trails, which surprises me. I don't know why it surprises me, but it does. Maybe because I don't think of non-coastal Texas as, well, wet. :-)

Plus, those kayaks get you mighty close to wildlife, mostly because the local wildlife thinks you're a big ol', weird-looking waterfowl. (It's the best part!)
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
I used to teach kayaking! I love it - one of my favorite rivers is the Snake, leading down to the Green River and ending up in Moab. <3 As for Texas, yeah, people don't realize that it's only flat and dusty waaaaaaaay out west. The city of Dallas has white rapids on the Trinity!

I miss having my own kayak - my neighborhood has a series of lakes connected so you can take one all through the development. SIGH.
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Talk about a blast from the past! I know Walter's Wiggles! But I haven't even thought about it for probably (eek, I'm old), let's say, several decades. It was on a family vacation, we did Zion, Canyonlands and Arches. All of which was mind-blowing to a kid from New Jersey. I've always wanted to go back!

Do people make that hike by mule? Because I know I never hiked it, yet the picture is clear in my mind. And we did something by mule, but I don't know if that was it

I ramble, forgive me, but this is such a pleasant memory I just want to wallow in it. THANK YOU!!
Mar. 26th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
you should go back! it's stunning, year round.

Ahahahaha, oh, bless. No mules, you walk that puppy. It's paved in that part for people who want to see how high they get on an actual path before it turns into the Navajo sandstone escarpments.

The only hikes I know of in the area with mules would be at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon or perhaps some serious backpacking in Bryce Canyon?

Ramble away, I'm feeling nostalgic, too! I miss that place like crazy.
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
STOP. JUST STOP. *refuses to be homesick for St.G*

Aw, who am I kidding? It's some of the most beautiful landscape EVER (at least when you're not living in it everyday and can appreciate it).
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
I KNOW!! The people are KUH-WAY-ZEE but the landscape?! *sniff* Oh, I can never get that red sand out of my shoes, you know?
Mar. 26th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
And you managed that with incomplete sinuses? You must have the lungs of an elephant! Not the legs, of course: those must be of a gazelle. And the balance of a goat. And the stamina of a reindeer...you get the drift. I have the lungs of a gnat (if they have lungs)! Even in my lightweight youth, I couldn't have managed that incline.

I totally agree on the Quality Time Alone thing. My place of choice is a windswept beach about six miles from here. Hubby can't see the attraction of walking the tideline, beachcombing. Thank goodness we're not all the same.
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
My lungs are strong like bull! *beats chest*

Oooh, that beach sounds wonderful. I wish I was closer to the beach myself. Or a mountainous cliff with a beach close by. Best of both worlds!
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
Mother nature is, indeed, quite awesome.
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
God that sounds wonderful!

I just miss being alone in nature, tired from a long slog, a camp fire getting going, and a sky full of stars. And QUIET. I miss that most of all.

\o/ I used to live in the ranges, and some afternoons when coming home from work and seeing them off in the distance it's like a physical ache. Sometimes it's just good to get lost and wander about in nature and be killed by hillbillies, you know?
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
if Wolf Creek taught me anything, it's that Western Australia is filled with psychotic rednecks that want to wear my skin.

I'm right there with you on that ache - when you love being outside, being trapped in the city with no access to trees and hills etc. just sucks. It's pretty where I am, but it's no Rocky Mountain range, that's for sure.
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I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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