Utah – part one

Dropped off the puppy at Vail Doggie Day Spa (yes it sounds snooty but was not) where he would be staying for five days as we headed to Utah for some hiking, biking, and camping.

We didn’t really have a game plan but had plenty of books and maps and the security of knowing we can always sleep in the truck. We pulled into Capitol Reef National Park on Thursday around 3pm and were lucky enough to get a spot as they filled up for the next 3 nights. We decided that this would be our base camp so we wouldn’t have to try to find new camping every night during Labor Day weekend.

We set up camp and decided the first night of vacation would be more about food and beer rather than adventure. Tacos were the meal of choice along with 825 State Stout from Epic Brewing and Double Stout and Barleywine, both from Green Flash Brewing. Hubby said that the 825 State was a little boring but that the Double Stout was great, especially for the price.

We sat in our camp chairs and watched the sun set on the beautiful red rock formations.  We also got to watch a small herd of deer follow each other one by one as they walked alongside the roadway. It was quite cute to see the little ones try to catch up to the older deer. Two of them got temporarily lost and ended up near our camp til they figured it out and took off in the direction of the others.

The next morning we got up at 5:30am and drove to the Chimney Rock trailhead. We hadn’t really planned what we were hiking but it all just fell into place. We started off on the Chimney Rock Canyon trail and continued onto the Lower Spring Canyon trail. It was a dry, hot, and rocky canyon with lots if scrambling over boulders and chock stones. The only wildlife we saw was lots of tiny lizards. We didn’t see any other people on the trail the whole day. Ah. We were enjoying it so much that we didn’t want to turn around so we decided to hike all the way through the 10 miles and come out onto the main road. The trail was somewhat difficult in areas with one area being a very narrow path along the side of a steep grade. The slide below would have only been about 40 feet so not too bad.

Near the end of the wash is a mandatory river crossing at Fremont River. We popped off our hiking boots and on came the sandals. This is the exact reason we carry sandals when hiking in Utah. It was a blast to cross the river! It was about thigh deep and 35 feet wide. The current wasn’t too strong. We emerged through the brush onto the main roadway and knew that we had two options: continue to hike another 9 miles along the road or hitchhike. It was a good 10 minutes before the first car even came by…not a very populated road. We kept hiking. Finally after about a mile of hiking and the third vehicle was passing…he stopped. Yeah! We wouldn’t have to hike all the way back!! Thank you so much to Jason from DC! I hope you had a fabulous vacation too and that your kindness will be re-paid someday! We were exhausted, muddy, and stinky and while climbing into the stopped vehicle Jason said “don’t worry, it’s a rental.” ha.

We drove to the west side of the park to a town called Torrey where we stocked up on ice, beer, and gas. Back at the camp we made our typical dinner of sausages with sautéed peppers, opinions, spinach and couscous. That night we drank my favorite beer of the trip: Super India Pale Ale a collaboration beer between New Belgium Brewing and Alpine Beer Company. It was great! Hubby tried Hoo Doo Kolsch ale and Skipping Stone Summer Lager from Uinta Brewing. We also sampled the Session IPA from Uinta that I didn’t care for too much. We watched the sun sink again and saw the same deer follow along the roadway. At least I think it was the same deer…it’s not like I recognized them 😉

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~ by willtriforbeer on September 9, 2012.

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