In late summer my hometown best friend moved from Kansas City to New Mexico with her boyfriend. Suddenly we lived within about eight hours of each other. And so the planning began. For our first meet-up we planned a trip to Arches and Canyonlands near the end of October.
Kate was the very first person from Wisconsin who visited me in Utah. (In almost 10 years of living in Utah, seriously no one else came to visit. Kind of wild.)
She had long seen my many photos of all the Utah red rock and was basically in awe of Arches and Canyonlands. And who wouldn’t be? I certainly always was, no matter how many trips I made south.
So Kate and I met up Friday afternoon on the road to Canyonlands. The area was surprisingly busy, so we ended up camping somewhere different, but I had been in that situation before and knew a spot. Fortunately, there were open spaces and we pitched my tent before heading into Canyonlands for a couple hours.
We enjoyed Mesa Arch, some of the overlooks to the Shafer Trail and White Rim, and the short trail to the granaries.
Sunset at the granaries? Wow. The colors were phenomenal. Kate could hardly believe it.
We then made the short drive back to our primitive campsite and fixed dinner. It had been a long time since I had camped without Peter. I’m more than competent at setting up camp and camp cooking, but it was still kind of weird to do it without him. Camp cooking is perhaps my favorite thing about camping and I made sure we got a legit meal: steak, potatoes, and carrots for a foil dinner.
The next morning we met up with Peter, Amy, and John at the Arches visitor center.
We traipsed around the Windows and Double Arch before heading out to Devil’s Garden, where we spent most of the day (and for all the best hikes in my opinion.)
There is truly something so magical about Devil’s Garden and each of the trails out there.
At the end of the long day, we all went back to the campsite and had an early night because the next morning was perhaps the event I was most excited about.
I’ve hiked to the White Rim Overlook a lot. But never at sunrise.
But it was was worth it.