Departing Durango

It took a full week of 16-18 hour days filled with map reading, route planning, water calculations, food shopping, organizing, final gear collecting, more organizing, more map reading, more planning, but on Sunday our planning was finally done and we were ready to get on the road.

We crammed every last inch of my Subaru with five gallon buckets, boxes, backpacks, fuel, food and water leaving just enough room for Shilo dog to ride on top of a stack in the backseat and for me to ride shotgun with my legs crossed on top of a backpack and bucket. We departed our friends house in Durango, CO, which had been command central, and made our way towards Utah. The sun set in shades of brilliant reds and oranges and the sky darkened. We realized that we had not driven in the dark since the past April, as we have been in the land of the midnight sun since that time. The cool night air brought out the wildlife who were able to hide in the darkness, but despite the lack of sun we were still able to see a large elk, a huge owl, a fox, several deer and many small rodents.

At the last town stop we filled our gas tank with fuel and the remaining space in the back seat with water, moving Shilo to share the small space in the front seat with me. We continued on until almost midnight when reached a deserted campground just outside of Canyonlands National Park. We set up our bed under the open sky and eventually drifted to sleep after a long light show of shooting stars and flashes of lightening in the distance.