Continued from Part 2. I decided to make Utah into it’s own blog post because I took so many photos, and because it was such a special trip.
While on the road to Utah we encountered huge storms and there was a grand display of lightning in every direction. Here are some pictures I got with photos and videos of the storm.
As we drove into Utah the rain got heavier and heavier, but by the time we reached the National Forest we had gotten ahead of the storm, and the views were spectacular as we approached our destination.
A friend had recommended The Needles in Canyonland to us, as being slightly closer than Arches National Park but just as spectacular. We got to the Needles Outpost on the edge of the park and a friendly man called Kaleb greeted us and told us we could camp there for the night and use the bathroom/showers. We could see the storm getting closer and closer, so we took him up on the offer as the rain bucketed down.
Roger got the water boiling so we could have our (dehydrated) Rice Burrito Bowl, we added some dried bacon pieces and it was pretty tasty. The storm eventually passed and we were not only lucky enough to see a storm in the desert, but there was a beautiful rainbow that formed just over the rocks behind our campsite. It was magic.
As you can see we took a lot of photos, mostly because the colour of the sky kept changing with every minute that passed, but we both crashed after a long exhausting day.
We woke up early on Sunday to the sound of a thousand frogs who were lapping up the rain and swimming about in the puddles. Rog made delicious eggs on toast and good strong coffee, and I was glad my legs didn’t feel too sore after the race yesterday.
We packed up the camper and headed to Cave Spring Trail where we saw amazing rock formations, elaborate cactus plants and primitive cave paintings.
The next stop was Elephant Hill Trailhead which took us through more impressive rock formations and towards a breathtaking view of The Needles.
As we drove along the road we saw a sign for Pothole Point Trail so we stopped and did the 1km loop, which had some great views but was not as impressive as what we had previously seen.
We also stopped at the Big Spring Canyon Overlook and went for a short hike which gave us some more impressive views of The Needles. There is nothing like this back home and it was such a worthwhile trip.
Eventually we got back in the camper and headed to Monticello for lunch at the Peace Tree Cafe. We stopped at the Needles Outpost to pay for our campground, as their Eftpos machine had stopped working during the storm the evening before, and we met a young man working behind the counter who had a gorgeous dog called Kukido (Cookie Dough).
Then I drove us back to Silverton for dinner at The Pickle Barrel. After our bellies were full we headed up to Cunningham Gulch to camp for the night.
We met Ben and Levi who were also camping near us, Ben had a beautiful big white dog called Gandalf (the White) and we chatted to them both as the night sky rolled in and the temperature dropped. They were Hardrockers coming back for more with good stories and insight on the race, like everyone who is here to run or crew or volunteer again. There were thousands of stars shining down on us as we drifted off to sleep.
Stay tuned for Escaping Winter: Part 4 – The build up to Hardrock