The first of many

I always get pretty excited to show visiting friends and family the desert wasteland we live on the edge of out here.  It’s a perhaps silly pride of something that’s not at all mine but that is oh-so profoundly special.  The sharing last weekend was the best ever.

DP1M0122

Introducing Zazie, who’s been itching to get into the backcountry for two and a half weeks now.

DP1M0151

 

DP1M0148

 

DP1M0143

Things started off in appropriate fashion at the visitor center.  In the 20 minutes it took to pick up a backcountry permit and get things around for the afternoon, we observed multiple high-heels, two paramedic responses, lace gloves up to the shoulders, clown pants, a line of people taking photos of photos of arches in the visitor center, and learned of a woman stuck in quicksand for 14 hours several days earlier.

DP1M0131

Walk a shockingly short distance from roads or trails, though, and it’s some of the most tranquil country around.

 

DP1M0106

 

DP1M0124

 

DP1M0130

 

 

DP1M0118

Only a little disturbed (and less so than her parents) by a lonely 30mph gust of sand…

DP1M0104

 

DP1M0123

 

People are generally a bit dramatic about how much different it is to backpack with a baby (or rather how they think it would be to backpack with a baby), but there were a few things that will require some future tweaks and different thinking.  For example, site selection.  I’ve basically backpacked shelterless for almost two years, but my own tolerance for potential misery and skills to avoid it don’t mean much to a baby being feasted on by mosquitos.  We took a net inner of an old two man tent and it was a rude reminder how little air moves even in mesh when camped on a slickrock slab that’s been heated to 100+ all day.  Luckily Zazie was willing to share her evaporative cooling system of wet muslin blankets.

 

DP1M0091

 

 

 

DP1M0087

 

 

 

DP1M0079

 

 

 

 

DP1M0073

 

 

 

 

DP1M0112

 

 

 

DP1M0050

 

 

DP1M0048

 

 

 

_P3M0073

Getting to camp early and having time to thoroughly get to know the surrounding area was an additional treat.  Bighorn beds, hidden hanging gardens, and finally flushing a pair of Great-horned owls that had been roosted in the tree we were under for two hours were some highlights._P3M0059

 

_P3M0058

 

 

_P3M0054

 

 

 

_P3M0051

 

 

 

_P3M0049

 

 

 

_P3M0048

 

 

 

_P3M0041

 

 

 

_P3M0032

 

A little more nitty-gritty:  Carrying was a little bit of a conundrum.  We have three different carriers (Ergo, Maya wrap, and a ring sling) but none seemed to tick the right boxes of cool and secure and usable with a backpack.  I made a mesh carrier that attaches to my pack but it was kinda a last minute project and wasn’t quite ready so we went with the sling.  It’s the coolest of the options and worked great with the only knock being that it isn’t as secure as the other options.  Easy walking and a short hike made this not much of an issue.  Other than the need for a real shelter, out of the norm gear was pretty minimal.  Diaper gear is really the only other thing we wouldn’t otherwise be taking.

DP1M0037

I’ve always admired people who don’t concede to the “your life is over” view of new parenting.  I’m not foolish enough to think it will always be as easy as this was, but practically speaking this was minimal fuss and words can’t describe the rewards.  After a crazy spring of one thing leads to another house projects and busi-ness, being out there in the miserable July heat with Autumn and Zazie was pure joy (topped off with a dip in the river, of course).

_P3M0024

About these ads

2 thoughts on “The first of many

  1. I especially like the shot of the grass beds.
    I just returned from 24 days of car camping throug Nevada/Utah/Colorado/New Mexico with my family; it’s a special thing to be out in those canyons with with your people.
    I can’t pass on this poem enough; once again it seems to be an appropriate time.

    FOR THE CHILDREN

    The rising hills, the slopes,
    of statistics
    lie before us.
    the steep climb
    of everything, going up,
    up, as we all
    go down.

    In the next century
    or the one beyond that,
    they say,
    are valleys, pastures,
    we can meet there in peace
    if we make it.

    To climb these coming crests
    one word to you, to
    you and your children:

    stay together
    learn the flowers
    go light

    –Gary Snyder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers

%d bloggers like this: