Egads man, I still have about 13 or so entries left for this trip. Talk about takin' my time eh? Well then, on with it....after this quick side note: Saw 127 Hours a few days ago. Go see it! It's about that guy (Aron Ralston) who got this arm lodged by a boulder in Canyonlands...It's pretty much the only movie I've wanted to see in a theatre in years. I definitely approved.
The moon was nice and bright last night, hardly needed a headlamp. I woke up just before sunrise but it took the sun a while to make it's way over those big rocks. After packing stuff up and eating breakfast on a nice overlook, started the hike back.
And what a sweet hike it was - some serious scrambling for the first couple miles. Soooo much fun!! The flood had definitely washed away a lot of rocks and the trail was more or less obsolete in a lot of places, so it was a little sketchier than it may have been otherwise. I think it made it more fun, heh. There was a little bit of crawling, which, with a big pack throws you off a little bit. I had to put my camera away for this part of the hike cause otherwise it would have either fallen off some edge or just gotten way too beat up.
Lots of cryptobiotic crust on the last stretch of the trail (and all over Canyonlands). Cryptobiotic crust or soil is made of cyanobacteria, along with algae, moss, lichens, etc. It's pretty fascinating stuff. Cyanobacteria is thought to be one of the oldest living organisms (coool!) and plays a crucial part in the desert ecosystems. Look it up for more info..and DON'T STEP ON IT! It's extremely fragile stuff.
(Cryptobiotic Crust above and below)
Eventually got back to the trailhead (didn't see any people for about 20 miles, beautiful!) and we were able to snag a spot at the small campground. I ended up doing a fast 3 mile trail at sunset (again, no people!) and ran into a fairly large bighorn sheep. There was some pretty serious eye contact between us for a couple minutes. I got to an awesome overlook but the light was pretty harsh, outstanding views though. Lizards everywhere on the trail. I ended up running back the last mile since it was more or less dark at that point. Made some dinner with a Juniper Titmouse hanging out nearby. Starred at a moth that was sitting by my lantern for 30 minutes. Mesmerized. My World