Friday, October 28, 2011

october in utah

As fall was again upon us, 10 Divas and two lucky husbands headed to Utah for a five-day biking trip. Katherine has published her reflections on her blog. I'm looking forward to seeing how the landscape will inspire her art. I've published a few photos on my blog as well.

It's hard to put a trip like this into words and feel I'm doing justice to it. A trip to a land so expansive. A landscape unique with its terrain, the color of the sky and the rock. How I perceive and react to it will be different from everyone else in the group. Each reaction shaped by our own previous experiences. But what we take home from a trip to the desert and canyon country will remain with us.

Nothing like waking in the tent in canyon country.

Morning reveals: the chairs were pulled closer as the evening got cooler.

The full moon rising over a canyon wall. Turning off our headlamps to stargaze into the evening. Sitting around a fire, bundled from the evening chill. A stain of wine in the bottom of my mug when it was time for the morning coffee. Visiting cabin ruins and wondering how the pioneers and prospectors survived.

Camp chairs facing miles of canyon. Laughter. Story telling. Getting to know each other a little better. Silence when the plates are full of food. A cold beer or soda after a hot day on the trail. Hair washing from the water tank. Being laughed at for worrying about heat stroke at 75 degrees.

Hikers: we'll go to that point.
Ben, Anne, Julie, Karen.

Divas at the Hans Flat Ranger Station - yes, it's Diva Shirt Day!

Tomorrow: We'll descend into the canyon on
the Flint Trail. Did somebody say 'switchbacks?'
Gloria, Anne, Brin, Terry, Kevin.

Hope your brake pads are ready!
Katherine, Patti, Terry.

Descending rocky switchbacks then watching the van cover the same route. An impromptu hike after lunch while the guides tidy up. Finding a spot of shade for a snack. Watching the colors change on the canyon walls as the day turns to night.

Find the van on the Flint switchbacks!

Ah, just a mellow descent.
Julie & Bev.

He's catching up!
Gloria & Patti.

Then the final evening, our tent city sprawled among rocks and juniper under the clear sky. We gathered around the campfire, made our plans for morning. I lingered into the night watching the embers fade, noting that the moon provided almost enough light to write by; a few tents were lit by headlamps. I heard voices, some snoring and the faint hum of a jet overhead. We had over twenty miles ahead of us the next day. I knew that in the end, I would take my time.

'No worry; no hurry'
Patti, Bev, Julie.

Gloria and desert flowers.

Reviewing the map at the end of the trail.

We have so many more photos and you can view the album here.

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