Ten years ago, while visiting Canyonlands National Park, my husband promised me that someday we would do the White Rim Trail. I nodded at the lengthy rigamarole regarding how we would do it and how fun it might be.
I said it looked like a guys trip to me.
I set it aside, knowing the National Park Service only allowed 50 permits a day, and it is a lottery to get those permits.
Then everything changed when covid sucker-punched us and the world as we knew it was different. Imagine the surprise, while we were still recovering, that we got the email saying we hit the lottery. And lucky us, it was for three consecutive days in October.
I was still reluctant, and agreed anyway, when he found the perfect home away from home on top of our Jeep, and great friends would enjoy the adventure with us.
If you have ever met my husband then you know he thought of everything. That every thing included, whatever I needed to make this work for me. It’s one thing to camp out in the woods, it’s another thing when connection to the outside world is gone and you even need to carry your own water.
I pictured our skeletal remains being found years from now. And before our decent into the canyon, I made all the necessary phone calls, put my hair in a ponytail, and a smile in the mirror.
We made our decent.
And I promised this would not be the only time they had to wait for me.
The first day tested my will, but not my spirit. This is called Musselman Arch for a reason.
Following a brilliant sunset, beef stew for dinner, and hot coffee for breakfast with sunrise, we moved along. And yes, the Milky Way was close enough to touch.
Day two took us closer to the water, from a viewpoint anyway. My friend is on the ridge for perspective.
Day three took us closer to the river, and like everyday what goes up must come down.
We traveled 3000 feet down into the canyon and another 700 feet to the Colorado River. We went up and over ridges that I chose to walk over instead We drove along 1000’ edges that had me leaning towards the inside, and I can’t tell you how many times he said:
“Relax, the Jeep is meant to do this”.
And it did.
And even with his confidence, I know overlanding requires strategies to getting around. And he did this with the necessary filters in place. If you know me… I clearly shared my reflexive groans, and unhelpful commentary the whole way.
Meet my partner in adventure and the Jeep that gets us where we need and want to go.
And guess what?
I emerged from that beautiful canyon changed. It was extraordinary, breathtaking, humbling, a bit out of my comfort zone, and I loved every minute of it. Well, except maybe that evening the large bat tried to make friends with me.
Thankfully, IT survived that encounter.
Wind Kisses, Donna