I was invited on a Desolation Canyon river trip by my parents. So I took a break from blogging and mothering and cooking and got outside. It was just the three of us. And it was wonderful to leave my own responsibilities behind and be the kid again.
I’d forgotten what it is like to simply take care of myself. I’d forgotten what it is like to have only adults on a trip. And I’d forgotten what it is like to wake up and lie in bed for as long as I want.
Every mom needs this kind of break. And I know not everyone is offered the opportunity. I’m fortunate to have adventurous parents, a hard-working husband, and a generous kid-watching sister that made it possible.
Desolation Canyon is a section of the Green River. It’s in the middle-of-nowhere Utah. We turned off from Myton (ever heard of it?) and drove down miles of washed out dirt roads that wind through oil well after oil well. The put-in is at Sand Wash and the take-out is eighty-four miles downstream just past Swaseys Rapid near Green River.
October on Deso means low water and chilly temps, but it also means fewer people and golden-yellow cottonwoods. And that’s how I like it. We passed two groups the whole trip. There’s no cell service and no road access to the river. There’s no one else to rely upon but yourself and the people in your group. Luckily I was in good company with ol’ Grizzly and his trusty squaw (aka my parents).
Some highlights of the trip included hiking up Rock Creek to petroglyphs:
Camping below Rock Creek (camp #2) and exploring the old Rock Creek Ranch:
The sunset at our camp above Wire Fence Rapid (camp #3):
The full moon that rose behind this rugged skyline (no photo could do it justice).
Hiking to this Indian skull and dropping ants in antlion pits.
And exploring the dilapidated stone buildings at Coal Creek:
My parents are fun to talk to. Some conversations on the trip included:
Hurricane Patricia and the possible devastation to the Mexican Pacific coast (luckily not as bad as it could have been).
Ham, Shem, and Japheth and Ham’s wife Egyptus.
The moon illusion.
The possible claustrophobia while in a space shuttle.
I really enjoyed this trip.
Spending time in the wilderness is cathartic. Staring up at the moon and stars is inspiring. Having time by yourself is healing. And you start to think…why don’t I just keep on floating down the Colorado River all the way to Mexico?
But then I return to civilization and my three-year-old runs up and hugs me and says, “Mom, you came back home!” and his sweet smile and loving words warm my heart more than any sunshine on any river ever could.