Eastern Utah
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Backpacking Trip Part 2

The first morning of our trip Mike dropped us off about 8:00 am and we set off enthused and hopeful.  The trail was very much up and down and very rocky.  I didn't realize that most of the way would be rocks and boulders everywhere, and I stumbled a lot trying to get over and around them, and had two fairly significant falls.  Jeannie insisted on carrying my tent as well as the sleeping pad, and they made me carry two of the trekking poles for more stability on the rocks.  After the 2nd fall Ara actually took my pack and put it on front to back, with her own pack back to front, and I don't know how she did it, but she did. 

It was fairly warm all day and drizzly although the rain didn't reach us through the trees enough to get us totally wet.  That night one of them got a text from Mike informing us that a huge rain storm was heading right through the area we were camped in.  Jeannie and I were in my 2-person tent, and Ara in her 1-person tent, with the tent doors facing each other.  All of the sudden after the rain came pouring down faster and heavier than I've ever experienced, Ara yelled that her tent was leaking.  We opened the tent doors and she threw our packs in (she had kept all our packs in her tent), then came her wet sleeping pad and mattress, and then she flew in soaking wet.  The three of us slept in my dry tent and though it was crowded with 3 of us plus all our gear, it was cozy and sort of fun.

The rest of the time the weather was maybe 70 and fairly cool, but good hiking weather.  There was no let up from the rocks, and about mid-day on the 2nd day I took a really bad fall, striking the left side of my face on a sharp rock.  I worried that I broke my nose or else shattered my cheekbones - it ended up I didn't break anything except some blood vessels in my left eye, and have a huge ugly red injury on my cheek, a very bad cut below my knee, and superficial cuts on my nose.

  I didn't think I could continue, but being in the middle of nowhere I had no choice.  I would have bailed out the first day, and certainly after the second, but Jeannie had flown out from CA and she and Ara had put so much into this trip, and my pride in continuing what I started made me keep going.  I am in sad shape now and it will probably take a while to heal, but I'm going to be ok eventually.  I'm so glad I kept going and feel the accomplishment did a lot for all 3 of us.  We didn't hike many miles total, but for the terrain and the accidents it didn't matter.  The closeness we all feel and the loving help they gave to me makes such a difference.

I'm still going to be posting photos for a while - many seem to be redundant, but I have photos taken by Jeannie and Ara with their iPhones, plus I haven't even looked at the ones I took with my camera.

The lake picture is actually where our hike ended and Mike picked us up, although none of these pictures nor the ones to follow are in chronological order.  (Having trouble with Blogger, so I will just close this post out and continue tomorrow.)


  1. I'm really sorry about your falls, but so proud of you for going on this trip, and then keeping on until the end of your planned hike. I hope you feel okay, and will heal soon. I wonder if you went again next year, knowing the terrain you'd face, if you could do it again, but maybe do a bunch of Yoga for balance during the next year, and then take things slower? (That one thing I worry about, as we age we lose our balance, and that causes falls and .... I'm told Yoga helps with that.) Can you imagine the memories you've made with these two great young women, and stories they will tell about this trip in the future. Wonderful! :)

  2. Next time maybe you should wear football padding, shoulder pads, and helmet. . . .

  3. I was going to mention a football helmet too. ;)

  4. Um...maybe next time the trail should be more user friendly. Sometimes we forget when we are younger and more agile that older loved ones aren't and I think that is what happened here. I hope you heal up soon and the three of you find less challenging terrain for hiking together. Because being out with the girls was fun idea until the injuries and I think they would have been minimized with less challenging terrain.

  5. I think it's fantastic that you hung in there through all the rain and the rocks and the falls. What a great sense of accomplishment and camaraderie with the girls. But next time maybe you ought to pick an easier trail to hike. One that doesn't include so much rock climbing.

  6. You are a trooper. You gave it your all and the time spent with your daughter and granddaughter made lots of memories maybe some painful ones but memories for sure. Sometimes we just don't know what the trial holds up ahead.

  7. Oh and the pictures are great what a beautiful place

  8. What a great experience for you three. You powered through the storm and the falls. No wonder you are justifiably proud. Glad to hear you are on the mend.