As promised, here are a few more of the highlights and lowlights of the trip I took through Canyonlands.
- One guy was telling us about how he'd been divorced for three years. "I guess at some point I need to stop talking about it to everyone and just move on." The husband of the girl who invited me said, "It's alright. It happens to the best of us." I don't know if I've ever seen someone's head whip around as fast as his wife's did at that moment.
- I got to know some work colleagues much better than before, and met some really cool people who were friends with them. You can't beat spending time with people who all get along and have the same interests. Too bad the coolest (and perhaps cutest) girl lives in South Carolina.
- On the third day I rode in a tank top to see if I could do something about the terrible farmer's tan I have. It didn't work. Instead I just got really dirty, and looked really trashy (thus earning me the nickname Trail Trash). That same day, two of the girls from camp ended up talking to some people in the camp next to us. Apparently they described me to two girls there, and they expressed interest in meeting me because I seemed like their kind of guy. That kind of stuff never happens when I'm camping. It's good to have wing-women.
- The scenery itself was so incredibly gorgeous. The pictures don't do it justice (do they ever?). I wish I could go back.
- Dunking my head in the river just a mile or so before we began our final ascent out of the canyon felt sooooooo soooooo good. Sometimes, that's the best thing you can do after three days without a shower.
- The wind. It was so bad for two and a half straight days. One of my friends was living in Louisiana when Katrina hit, and she said they were worse than that at times. If fighting it on the bikes wasn't bad enough, having sand blow across your face all night wasn't much fun either. It blew so hard for so long that even though it finally died down on the evening of the third day, I still felt like wind was blowing on me the first night I was home in my own bed. I woke up five times because of the "ghost wind" that night. It was the weirdest sensation.
- When we were setting up camp the first night, we couldn't get the propane stove to work. Some of the guys starting manipulating it, and ended up catching a propane can on fire. The manliest man of the bunch reached in and twisted it off bare-handed, but for a few seconds there I was sure someone was going to lose an eye or a finger or something. Fortunately, they finally figured out how to get it working. The lesson? When you buy a new stove, take it out of the box and set it up before embarking on a four day trip away from civilization.
- Apparently the last people to go to bed on the first night didn't put the fire all the way out. When the winds really kicked up about 2 a.m., it blew some hot embers into my sleeping bag and caught it on fire. Not the best way to start out a trip. Luckily I didn't get burned myself. That could've ended much, much worse.
- At the very beginning of the trip, like, as soon as I took my bike off the rack, I noticed a hole in the side of my front tire that my inner tube was bubbling out through. I thought I was screwed from the beginning and wasn't going to get to ride. One of the girls had some duct tape though, and we were able to reinforce it with that. Luckily, it held up the entire 100 miles. Who'd have thought?
- It took three days and many many Q-tips to finally get all the sand out of my ears. Disgusting.
I'm sure there are things I'm forgetting about. That's what happens when I wait a week to give you updates. Oh well.