Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16, 2010

We got up pretty early at our campsite and went into town for a nice continental breakfast. I love Belgian waffles and eggs with salsa.

We followed directions on a website to get to a disc golf course in the middle of a canyon. We had to drive on some winding roads through the mountains to get there and it started getting really rough and bumpy to the point where my car wasn't going to make it up some of the hills.

This is video evidence of how rough the road was. I was surprised my car made it up some of the hills that it did but that last one it just couldn't do.

We got out of the car and decided to trek the rest of the way. It was hot out and we weren't quite sure how long it would take us.

We got to the top at Hurrah Pass and took in the view. It was amazing from up there. I had called the guy that run's the disc golf course ranch and he said he would come get us.

He picked us up in his truck and drove down the rest of the way, which was over two miles on the same kind of road, and he drove fast. It was pretty frightening. I was trying to put on my frightened face here, but I look more calm than I should. He told us it takes him four hours to hike up from the base to where he picked us up. I'm glad he came.

When we got to Base Camp, he introduced us to his pet tortoise! It was huge and it just came out of its home for the morning.

He gave us a rundown of the course and a map then sent us off to play. The land was huge and the course played all over it. The views were great from every hole. My first shot went down a steep drop off and into the trees. I found it and finished the hole for par.

One of my discs stuck into the ground among a group of cacti that is all over the desert land. This is truly the most unique course I've ever played.

I spent a lot of time just taking in the view. It was like taking a scenic hike and just playing some disc golf on the way instead of the other way around.

Besides the scenery, the best thing about Base Camp was the types of shots. Several holes shot over deep drop-offs and one shot straight down from the edge of a cliff.

Only certain people can appreciate the aesthetics of a disc golf basket among such beautiful natural wonders. I am one of those people. I think it looks awesome while I'm sure others feel like it is an eyesore.

The course played long, partly because we stopped so often to look at things and mostly because after taking a shot we had to hike down the side of the rock face to get to our disc and the basket. It was totally worth the trouble it took to get there.

Two people, Erika and Dave, who had been staying at Base Camp Lodge for the past few days offered to give us a ride back up the mountain to where we left our car. They had been on ATVs and hiking in the area and they sounded like they had an amazing time. I want to come back to do that.

Next, we made our way to Arches National Park (much later than we had planned) and got right on the trails... and then right off the trails and onto the rocks.

We did a good amount of climbing, some of it pretty challenging. It was a lot of fun finding places to get up. It's basically what I try to do at home all the time with Ryan but in a natural setting.

After we climbed for a while we went to the trail for Delicate Arch. We followed the parade of people who were climbing up the somewhat annoyingly steep hill to the viewpoint. Give me a giant mountain to climb and I'll gladly do it but walking up something that's just really steep is just tiring.

The arch was beautiful once we got up there. It's the most popular/well-known arch at the park.

There were so many people perched at the lookout just waiting for the sunset light, cameras in hand.

We walked around to the other side of some of the rocks and found a nice spot with a view in the other direction. It was really quiet over there, which was nice. Listening to the silence in those places is completely different than silence elsewhere.

I got some nice shots as the sun was going down, painting the arch with warm late-afternoon colors. The sun was settling behind the large mountain behind us so the best light would never hit the arch, but it looks amazing in almost any light so that was fine.

As we decided to head out, Joanna stood up and dropped her lens cap. It rolled from her lap down the edge of where we sat and bounced down the side of the hill into this hole. The crowd that surround us all gasped at the same time and grew silent for a moment as it happened while murmuring about it being gone forever. It was really entertaining. We went around and into the hole to find it but it was nowhere to be found. I had hope to come upon it and yell up to everyone dramatically, but no such luck.

We hiked back down the steep hill (much easier) and then went out to find a campsite a little later. It was right near the river and it was extremely dark. We could see tons of stars, albeit through the trees. This photo shows it pretty well.

It was nice to lay down after being outside all day in the sun. That's the best way to go to sleep.

Total distance: 87.9 miles. I'm pretty sure that's the least we've traveled in a day. Probably not the shortest amount of time in the car though with the slow ascent of the mountain.

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