Last weekend, Chris and I went desert backpacking (an unusual thing around here) with Irene and Troy – we went to Robbers Roost Canyon – it’s near Hanksville, UT a few miles from Goblin Valley, where I went on a girls weekend a few years ago. That was a pretty mellow trip. This trip was quite the opposite. We had it all- hard hiking, bugs, lack of drinkable water and heat but still had a really good time.
This was Penguin’s first camping trip with us and at first we didn’t know how to best set up the backseat of my car. This setup worked very well for her with all the seats down. She got to be as close to us as possible. That didn’t last long – we reconfigured the seats and she got to sit in the backseat most of the trip.
Friday night, we couldn’t find the trailhead in the dark so camped here and called it good. We were camping on BLM (Bureau of Land Mgmt) land so it’s all really available. No pre-set campsites.
Chris, Penguin and I slept in the back of Rhubie the Subie – it worked out really well! It was late and we didn’t feel like setting up the tent, so the back of the car was a great option.
We found the trailhead in the morning, and were only actually like 3 miles away – but we’d missed a turn off. Oh well.
We’re used to backpacking in more forested areas like the Unitas or even in MN when we used to live there. This rocky, desert backpacking is a whole new thing.
Sometimes we’d have to cross big huge rocks or go up them very carefully. Chris didn’t like this part of the trip all that much.
Or just hike on slickrock following carin’s versus trail. A carin is the stack of rocks in the center/left of this photo.
Sometimes it wasn’t all that bad.
It was pretty hot and sunny and Penguin and Rafa (Irene & Troy’s dog) found every chance they could to cool off in the puddles of water from Friday’s rain.
We spent most of Saturday working our way down to this river, called the Dirty Devil River. It was not very clean – we learned this the hard way when we tried to get water from it and ended up clogging both of our water filters. We should have filtered the water through a t-shirt or let the setiment soak to the bottom first. Dummies!
After crossing the river, we got into Robbers Roost Canyon- it was pretty wet and humid within the canyon, which also meant it was buggy! Lots of mosquitoes! It’s one of the first times we’ve actually had Minnesota-level mosquitoes in Utah.
When the bugs were so bad, we decided to go up above the canyon and camp higher for the night. Here’s where we decided to have a “campsite”.
The bugs weren’t really any better at our campsite – we had horrible gnats. Irene and I put our shirts on our heads for most of the evening! We all 4 went to bed at 8:30-9, it was still light out! We just couldn’t handle the bugs anymore and were so tired from hiking, it wasn’t really that big of a deal at all. Plus, there’s no trees (no wood) in the desert to have a fire, so we weren’t missing that at all.
Penguin slept like a rock in between us in the tent – she was super tired too. A normal day for her is sleeping on the floor next to Chris while he works and going for a walk at lunch and before dinner. Backpacking and hiking all day isn’t normal for her, but if she’s our dog she’s going to learn that camping is just what we do sometimes.
We learned that she loves water – she’ll soak in it every chance she gets! Penguins do like water after all.
I love this photo Irene took of me with Penguin and Rafa. Penguin was a bit out of it on the hike out on Sunday and she stepped on a cactus and got some needles in her paws. I had to help her take some out.
Here’s where we camped! We hiked from where the photo was taken to where the finger is pointing – cool, huh?
Gas station inside a rock, you don’t see that everyday!
Penguin slept the WHOLE way home, except when she got really close to home, I rolled down the window and she stuck her head out- I bet home smells good to a tired doggie!