Monday, October 11, 2021

Southern Utah Adventure

My 50th birthday party trip finally arrived.  The family joined me for a road trip to southern Utah.

Wednesday - Day 1 - Drive from Denver to Moab, diverted on US 6 as EJMT was closed due to an accident.  Arrived at Arches National Park and hiked to Delicate Arch.  Dinner at Miguel's Baja Tacos and stayed at Element by Westin.

Delicate Arch

Thursday - Day 2 - Drive from Moab to Bryce Canyon National Park.  Hiked from Sunset Rim to Sunrise Rim and down into the Amphitheater.  Dinner at Peekaboo Cafe and spent the night at Holiday Inn Express.

Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

Friday - Day 3 - Drove to Zion National Park on a rainy day and had lunch in Springdale at Oscar's Cafe.  No hiking.  Had dinner at Subway and bought snacks for canyoneering.  Spent the night at Holiday Inn Express.

Zion National Park

Saturday - Day 4 - All Ways Adventures canyoneering adventure in The Huntress near Mt Carmel.  Nate was our guide.  We picked a route with 5-7 rappels and a couple of bail out points.  The first 20 foot rappel was OK with calf deep water at the bottom.  The second 20 foot one was rough with waste deep water at the bottom.  We hiked over to the first longer rappel and my wife started to feel a little uncertain with the footing and crowd at the top of the rappel point.  We decided to bail and went over to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for some rappelling.  I was impressed by how well the Lexus GX460 did on the sand dunes with tires aired down to 18 psi.  After the state park, we hit the road for Grand Junction.  Dinner at the Peach Distillery in Palisade Colorado with the Rasmussen family.  Arrived home at midnight.

The Huntress Canyon

Pink Coral Sand State Park

Pink Coral Sand State Park

I finally tried washing shoes in the washing machine and it worked out pretty well.  Prepare by removing laces and insoles.  Scrub inside and outside of shoes to remove as much dirt as possible.  Wash with liquid detergent on delicate setting and no spin cycle.  Air dry.

I had a few gear notes from the rappelling adventure.  Bring light snacks and plastic water bottles.  Hydro Flask bottles are heavy.  Not worth bringing spare clothes for the hike.  Our guide wore Teva sandals, pants, long sleeve shirt and a vest.  We were much less prepared in tennis shoes, cotton socks, cotton pants and multiple layers on top that we stripped off and carried most of the way.  It was nice to take pictures with a cell phone, but everything else should have been left in the car.

Future gear I am interested in buying:

Teva sandals - Hypnosis Black Multi $50 (try on size 9 and size 10) at REI ($50)

Premium Mountaineering shell - Arc'teryx Beta LT ($399), Patagonia Galvanized ($349), Mountain Hardware Exposure/2 GTX Pro Lite ($449), Patagonia Pluma ($549) - read full reviews at

Hiking boots - try on at REI - $150 to $200

Hill People Gear chest rig - $133

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