Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bees, Goblins, and the Ding-Dang

I went on a camping trip this weekend with some friends to San Rafael Swell in the middle of Utah. Because of some company issues I was unable to use my vacation days. I worked 7 shifts in 6 days in order to have three days off for my camping trip. It was so worth it.
We set up camp in a nice place with a designated direction for bathroom use along with a bright orange horseshoe that you can carry with you so that everyone knows that you are watering the desert. We went on a short hike to hang out in a large cavern like overhang with a fabulous echo. Later that afternoon while some of us were playing bocce ball, we discovered that we set up our kitchen in and around 3 cottonwood trees that housed a bee hive. We courted danger, deciding it wasn't worth moving our kitchen unless the bees really became a problem. The bees buzzed overhead and sometimes came down to visit us, but for the most part left us alone.
On Sunday the wind blew gustily all day. The plan was to hike Little Wild Horse canyon. Potential thunderstorms were in the forecast and we decided that we would rather live than risk facing a flash flood in a slot canyon. Instead we played in Goblin Valley. Goblin Valley is filled with hundreds of sandstone formations that resemble goblins. We frolicked like children, impatiently demanding picture opportunities.
On Monday we hiked the Ding and Dang Canyons. We took the recommended route going up the Ding and down the Dang. The Ding was a pleasant hike with a few difficult scrambles and many picture moments. We resolved to do the Dang faster because we did need to drive back home, hopefully getting back before dark. We soon discovered why you descend the Dang. There are four or five tricky spots requiring shimming down between the walls of the canyon with a helpful friend below saying reach your left foot down just a foot farther while your right foot wobbling on a finger width foothold. You finally take a deep breath when you are through that spot and hip deep in water. It contained all of the fun of a slot canyon without facing near death experiences.

Hearing about my adventures is never complete until you know what we had to eat. The first night we had biscuits and stew made in a dutch oven, truly amazing. The second night we had mashed potatoes, steak, and corn. We also had an apple cobbler and smores. Yummy yummy yummy! For lunch we had chicken salad sandwiches and carrot sticks. One night we got to try homemade apple wine that some of my friends had made. If you have a couple of days go camping and sing some Disney songs around the campfire. It refreshes the soul


  1. man, for camping, you guys sure weren't roughing it (as far as food goes)

  2. What fun! I'm looking forward to more pictures. Are you still going to do subway?