Friday, May 04, 2007

Finally going to the desert

I'm just killing some time while Geoff takes a shower after his latest double-digit-mile run and protein shake breakfast. I just rolled out of bed about an hour ago. Yeah, I'm becoming a blob.

My knee feels pretty good after three days of absolute inactivity. Probably a good thing, because I'm going to absolutely thrash it in the next five days. Carrying my 35-pound pack down the stairs yesterday reminded me just how grinding it's going to be hoisting that thing down to the bottom of Natural Bridges National Monument. At least I have until Monday to worry about that.

In the meantime, I am mentally preparing for mounting a mountain bike for the first time since February. I am borrowing a friend's bike for Sunday's ride. She is 4 inches shorter than I am. I don't remember what kind of bike it is. Something in the $400 range. I fixed the tires for her when I was out here last November, and she told me yesterday that she hasn't ridden it since. Whatever happens, it's going to be an adventure.

So it seems every time I come to Utah, I bring Alaska weather with me. Last week, it climbed above 80 degrees in Salt Lake. Yesterday, it rained all day and here on the benches of the Wasatch Mountains, dropped pretty close to freezing last night. Brrr. We were going to hike a slot canyon in the San Rafael Swell called Black Box. But because we'd rather not die of hypothermia in the desert (Black Box involves a stretch of over-your-head swimming) or drown in a flash flood, we're probably going to nix that. Just as well, too, I guess. I hate prolonging the inactivity, but I think it's doing me some good.

I realized this morning that because I lost my good camera with the real memory card, I only have the ability to take 20 pictures this week. I guess I'll have to make them good ones. Secretly, I'm hoping it falls into a slot canyon so I'll have no choice but to buy myself a new one. But the most likely scenario is that I'm going to hobble back to the airport next week with a throbbing knee, second-rate pictures, and the same war-torn digital camera that I've had since 2002.

Have a good weekend, all. I'll post the blurry-photo, over-dramatized flash-flood report when I return.

P.S. Nykole, I can't get my e-mail to work. But if you see this, I'd love to meet up Friday. I'll get in touch with you next week.


  1. sounds good.
    have fun!

  2. Have fun in Utah. We spent a week camping and hiking last year in Tampanogos area. Love it.

    I am secretly wishing my camera will be lost or destory since it is already pretty worn and obsolete.

  3. No matter what you guys end up doing, have fun and enjoy the time with family and friends, new and old.

  4. Yeah, both Black Boxes can be rather cold, and their drainages are huge.

    Sounds like a good call.

    Have fun this weekend!

  5. I pulled into Natural Bridges 2 weeks ago too late in the day to venture down into the canyon but did get some impressive pics from the rim. Hiking the canyon is a 'Must Do' for next years trip. Have fun you guys.

  6. Have fun on your trip! We have a vacation planned as well.....

    a month on the UP of Michigan, bike touring!

  7. You aren't making me a downer, after all, you are supposed to use me for how you are feeling, among other things!

  8. fun blog. I lived in Alaska for a year and loved it. I am in Morocco now, a bit warmer here and sand instead of snow.

  9. Jill -

    Great blog and wonderful writing! I stumbled upon it several days ago while on a NOAA research ship enroute from Honolulu to Wake Atoll ( and have been reading of your adventures every couple of days. My wife an I spent several weeks in Alaska in 2004 after driving from Key West to Denali prior to a move to Hawaii. Amazing country that treated us quite well (the mountain was out or entire time in the backcountry).

    Have a great time hiking and biking in Utah, yet another terrific spot.

  10. That is awesome what your doing out there. Sorry about your knee and your camera! I hope the alaska weather holds off for the rest of your trip.

  11. Hi Jill,
    My partner and I have just started a blog from Fairbanks, Alaska... I was reading yours and thought you might be interested in life near the other end of the state...

  12. just get a new camera...

    you will get it sooner or later
    just make it happen sooner

    we don't want to miss the shot

    don't forget to figure out the self timer!

    the landscapes are nice
    but they are just postcards without you within the image


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