Day 119: 11/20/17 Canyonlands National Park: Needles and Out

Miles: 16 Steps: 35,724 Vertical gain: Strava Knows! Liquid consumed: 116 oz. Wildlife: Couple varieties of birds but that’s it! Faith in Humanity:Naomi brought some tasty bacon maple jerky and let me try some! Tasty, thank you! Another amazing day! The scenery was just incredible. Like going through a hobbit fairyland! Needles District is not to be missed! Slick rock delight! Canyons all day and all night! Funny little slot canyons that tear holes in the side of my pack. It’s really hard to describe the unique beauty here. The desert is so colorful, even now in late November. All sorts of browns and yellows and reds and greens. Squaw Canyon to the Druid Arch Trail to Chesler Park to the Joint trail to Beef Basin outside of the National Park. First seven or so miles were really slow with all sorts of obstacles in the trail. And all sorts of beauty all around. We stopped and frequently took tons of photos and videos. Beautiful time to be in the park, too. Not many people, cool temperatures, and good times. Eventually we made it past the joint trail which has a really cool section only a couple feet wide with towering rock walls on either side. We took a break at a picnic table for quite a while and I smacked in a few handfuls of cinnamon toast crunch, mmm! Both of our packs took an injury today: minor holes in the side pockets from scraping against the super abrasive sandstone. Not a huge deal, but it’s always a goal to take good care of gear and not get holes in it. Oops! Next, we had a remote dirt road walk for the remainder of the day. Naomi and I both thought how special the area was; realistically almost no one comes out here. Why would you? Plus, some parts of the Riad are very hardcore 4 x 4 routes that most soundly attempt. The scenery was spectacular too. All sorts of unimaginable rocks in every possible shape and size. Beautiful. Walked all the way until sunset to try to find a good site. The one we found was pretty perfect, on a canyon edge with a gear view. We ate our dinners and hopped in the tent, ready to ensure a cold night. There’s patches of snow lying around. Tomorrow we gain another 2,000 feet so. It’s going to be colfz.....

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