(Many of the Utah posts will drawn from my journal writings and may quote from that writing as well.)
Monday, April 19th I had an outrageously early flight out of Cleveland. BC was so sweet waking with me at 4:15am, making me coffee and packing me snacks. The nice thing was that my flights were easy and on time; on the first leg I dozed a great deal as I was already behind on sleep.
"So much is unknown, new. New people, new vistas, new version of travel. But if I want to go to Death Valley someday with Greg and Janet, this is a first stop. I am worried my writing will freeze up, that my photos would be cliche [some are!]. Both of those may happen. I just need to push through. I am hoping to meditate a bit, sit in the silence and see what comes up.
Met up easily with Matt P and Meredith, found conversation flowed easily. Later G & J arrived, we got all turned around in Salt Lake City trying to find REI and food shopping sources but finally we were on the road. We found billboards helped us choose our dinner stop - Groggs in Price Utah. Really excellent food, highly recommended. Our ride continued for quite awhile; in the distances we saw lots of virgas.
"Seeing the mountains from above in the plane was so lovely, so beautiful - the ridges, the snow, subtle color shifts. I thought about yarn and patterns... The striations of each, the sharp edges, hoodoos, rocks standing on what looks like their ends. The restaurant looked like the center of a town on the verge of becoming hip."
Finally, after dark we arrived at Dead Horse State Park and set up camp.
"The others are outside talking, too jazzed by the beautiful night - warm, bright stars, and I am beyond tired...They are excited to hike, I am but not in the same way, they are serious hikers and this is all new for me. I wonder if I will like it. The views, the quiet, seeing the stars, writing, thinking - that's what I am looking forward to the most I think."
There are four tents squeezed on a tiny tent pad. That's Janet with a deer in the flashlight expression.