Friday, June 19, 2009

Playing catch-up

We've had plenty of adventure and little internet access since we last wrote. Here's what we've been up to. 

We left on Monday morning from the Rolsma home. We had a great time at their house. They were gracious and flexible, even when we decided to stay an extra night. 

After a beautiful drive through a mountain valley, we arrived at Gunnison Valley's Black Canyon. We stayed that night in a campground at the bottom of this 2,000 foot deep canyon. The views were amazing and we were left in awe as we explored some of the outlooks at the top of the canyon. At one point we could see a team of backpackers 2,300 feet directly below us. They looked smaller than ants.

The next morning we left for Mesa Verde, CO. Chris did a great job driving four hours on narrow mountain roads with incredible views. 

 When we got to Mesa Verde, we spent a few hours checking out the 800 year old cliff dwellings and we had a pasta dinner on the edge of a canyon, admiring God's work and enjoying being with each other. 

We drove a few hours northwest to Moab, Utah where we stayed for the night in a hotel. On Wednesday morning, we got up and drove to Arches National Park where we applied for a back country pass so we could camp in the park that night. We hiked around for a few hours. There are amazing rock formations that have been worn by ice, water and wind into arches that soar above your head. 
We sat on a rock and ate a delicious lunch of Spanish chorizo, olives, gouda cheese and thick slices of soft bread. 

Later that day, we hiked about 30 minutes through thick sage bushes and over rocks when we found what Chris described as the coolest place he has ever camped. We set up  tent on a rock shelf hanging over a cliff. It was one of the only flat places around and just wide enough for our tent. To get to the site required careful footwork to get across the narrow slanted section of rock that flared out to our 8 ft by 12 ft  platform that stood 40 ft above  the stream at the bottom of the canyon. The platform was just over 4 ft thick before being eroded below to form an overhang. Our camping spot provided us with panoramic views of the valley and other cliffs and rock formations. After a dinner of Thai noodles (Chris' own sauce with peanut butter, soy sauce and brown sugar!), we started to hear loud peals of thunder reverberating off the canyon walls. Soon, the thunder came closer together and we realized we were in for an adventure. Our new tent held up great as the storm roared above us and we saw flashes of lightning through the tent's roof.  After the storm rolled through, we made some brownies, played some cards and went to bed. 

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