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Day 118: 11/19/17 Park #8 of 47: Canyonlands National Park

Miles: 21 Steps: 42,148 Vertical gain: Strava Knows! Liquid consumed: 124 oz. Wildlife: Absolutely nothing! Faith in Humanity: Rangers were really nice at the Needles visitors center and encouraging about my trip! Another great day out in the beautiful and varied wilderness of the US of A! I woke up early today and brrrrrrrrrr it was cold! Packed up as quickly as I could so I could get moving and warm up a bit. Some frozen condensation on the tent was indicative of the temp. Another beautiful hike in the forest of huge red rocks. After a couple of hours I retrieved my water Cache and was on my way. There were a bunch of people camped in the Indian Creek Campground. A lot waved but I didn’t invade anyone’s campsite to tell or anything. One guys dog was getting pretty aggressive with me and the owners first words to me were: “don’t move!” Not the most reassuring! No bites occurred or anything so I went along my way. One guy asked what I was up to and I explained and he said “oh you’re thru hiking? Have fun!” Haha, thanks! After 9 miles of beautiful and scenic dirt roads I hit pavement and took a right. After a few miles I entered park number 8: Canyonlands National Park: Needles District! I’ve been here before several times and each time I truly love it! As I was walking maybe 100 yards from the Visitors Center a truck passed and who yells out? Naomi! What amazing timing that we arrive at the exact same time! A long break ensued including chatting with employees, filling water bottles, drying gear, using the WiFi connection, and organizing food. Pretty committed section ahead so need to make sure everything is dialed in! I was hoping to clean off more in the bathroom but there wasn’t any soap and I ran out of the soap I was carrying in Moab. Oh well! After quite a while we left and walked the road to the Trailhead. We passed a campground and did our final water refill which made our packs super heavy. No water in the desert!its a fun challenge in a lot of ways though. With heavy packs we made our way 2 miles or so to our designated campground. We ran into a ranger who checked our permit and was really friendly to chat with. We made one final push to the campsite, setup camp, made dinner and were pretty much in the tent by 5:15pm! It was cold out, so no reason to stay outside! I’m excited about the next few days: beautiful scenery, crazy canyons, and exciting times should abound! I’m so glad I love it out here so much. I really genuinely do love every day. Even the super hard days when I get really frustrated can be looked back on with a smile! So absolutely crazy to think I’ve connected 8 National Parks with human power! Excited to connect some more!

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