The Parable: The Tale of Two Wolves
I've had a travel bug lately, especially for the beautiful red rock of southern Utah. I usually go down every year to St. George and didn't get a chance last fall. So I made time and went down with Jada last weekend. I was so excited! This was going to be solitude, quiet, peace, beauty, a wonderful time to meditate and reflect and recharge.
Well... things did not go as planned. I drove down Friday night and arrived at "the Wedge" past dark. The good news was I had cell phone service and used it to navigate my way. The bad news, tons of people and it was so dark down there it was hard to find a place to settle down for the night. My biggest fear on planning the trip was I'd be in the middle of nowhere but reality was actually quite opposite. When I found somewhere to camp and set up my tent I was "serenaded" by guitar and singing and lots of other human noises....
When I woke up I found this....
And walked around the Wedge rim. It was gorgeous! Every spot could've been a photo.
In hindsight I wish I would've stayed longer but I had places to go and things to see.
Next on the list... Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel
Looking back, I wish I would've stayed longer. But it was getting hot and I needed to find the Calf, Cow and Pine Canyons trailhead. Looking for them, I drove all way to the San Rafael bridge and realized I was too far south so I turned around and drove north... back to Buckhorn Wash, realized I missed it again and gave up. First time but not the last on this trip I realized I really need better navigational skills. I rely on my cell phone too much and I had no service. So I decided to leave the north end of San Rafael and drive to the south.
I reached the south end of San Rafael in the midst of the afternoon, astonishingly tired (my usual mid-day total exhaustion slump), worried about gas (oh yes, as I was driving on I70 I passed a beautiful sign that said no services aka gas stations next 100 miles. What?!), and just wanting to find somewhere to set up camp so I could rest in the tent until evening. This was going to be my rest/solitude/reflection... HAHAHA!
The campground at Goblin Valley S.P. was full but that was ok because I was going to set up tent in a much more secluded, quiet spot by Temple Mountain. Actually, what happened was (yet again without any cell service to help me navigate and being super tired): I found an area that looked like a picture I saw of Temple Mountain and it was just a bunch of dirt was fire pits everywhere. I had no idea where to set up my tent and also was trying to magically go to the future and find out where I would be farthest from people especially the noisy ones. Finally I gave up trying to do the impossible and settled in a spot that looked level and set up camp. One issue was the wind. It was so windy the tent literally was blowing off the ground. I had to run and catch it and bring it back. I tried to pound in the stakes but the ground was so hard my stake turned into looking like the upside down letter "L". So I took my 5gallon water jug (I was NOT going to end up on Netflix's "I Shouldn't Be Alive") and used that to hold my tent in place. Once I had my sleeping bag down I laid down for a quick power nap but the only place hotter than 85 and in the sun was in the tent and I instantly started sweating. Jada did NOT like it at all! So I gave up, set up my camp chair and tried to read... and was serenaded by music coming from my neighbor's motorhome, first Glen Campbell which I could at least laugh about because I played with him while I was in the South Dakota Symphony, but then morphing in to some kind of electronic alien genre. And kept debating whether I should just pack up and go home or stay...
That evening after dinner I wanted to drive to the Crack Canyon Trailhead to see if I could find it. That was a disaster! Even with a map I kept confusing roads and "camp spot turnouts" and kept turning around and got carsick. I finally did find it but after getting lost again on the way back to camp and getting even more carsick from the bumpy ride I decided to forget that and go to Goblin Valley in the morning. I was hoping my neighbors would be done with their music considering the sun had gone down when I got back to camp. And yes, their music was off, so instead I got to listen to the kids screaming and laughing in the other campsites (hey, at least they were having a good time, right?) as I fell asleep and woke up in the morning to the sound of more laughter and dogs barking which turned in to dogs fighting...at 7:20am Sunday morning. Oh well. I was packing up and headed to Goblin Valley. Couldn't do anything about it anyway.
Goblin Valley. I had read online before losing service there was a town with gas stations 12 miles from the state park... but the ranger said the closest station was an hour away. Oh well. If I was really pushing it (and I had no idea what gas mileage I would get on dirt roads) I had 100 miles left in the tank. I drove to the overlook, the state brochure says there's 3 trails but the ranger said there weren't really any trails and to just walk around. 'It was worth the look'.
And yes, THIS was really worth it! I arrived 8am Sunday morning and Jada and I were the only ones there. I decided to have a good attitude, let go of the past and enjoy the present - beautiful scenery, gorgeous weather, lots of fun climbing over rocks and running and exploring. THIS WAS IT!
Tons of fun for almost 2 hours until Jada was too hot and only wanted to lay in the shade. So we walked back to the car and drove on. Intending to drive through Capitol Reef on the way home which was beautiful (except for the car in front of us who kept literally stopping on the 50mph interstate to look at a deer, and then a turkey, and then for cars at the parking lot. Learning lots of patience!)
And then freedom after they turned off the interstate to go to the visitor center. And an unexpected surprise....
I love the Great Western Trail so much and enjoy hiking it at the top of Millcreek Canyon (from Big Water) and also in Park City (from the Canyons). And it was an excellent end to the trip.
What does this have to do with two wolves...? You tell me.
The Parable: The Tale of Two Wolves
There will always be opportunities to feed the wolves. Which one do you want to feed?