Our First Week of Living on the Road
Here we are in Losee Canyon in Dixie National Forest in Utah. This is our second stop in Utah, after Antelope Island State Park.
We're spending some time in Utah before starting our Arizona Trail adventures because we had a meeting in Layton, which is just north of Salt Lake City. So we decided to take advantage and see some of the state we've not seen before. Antelope Island is the largest island in Great Salt Lake and is such an interesting and beautiful place! We learned much about Great Salt Lake (it only averages 33 ft. deep!), got some hiking in, and saw lots of bison. We even had one walk right behind our campsite. The biggest challenge for us was the cold, although we REALLY lucked out with no snow or rain. Having lived in Phoenix so long, we are not acclimated to winter weather anymore. We used our big car camping tent to store our gear and slept in the truck. With two layers of base layers and A LOT of blankets, it was actually quite cozy. And Baron seems to be enjoying his loft. This is our first week actually living out of the truck and we're realizing we have a lot of kinks to work out and that we have too much stuff! We may also have, on occasion, looked enviously upon those with trailers and vans, who just pull up and are basically set up. Those who can get up to go potty and make coffee without ever going outside and who are probably much warmer than we are! It's OK, though, we are making do with what we have and are really grateful for the experience, even with our chapped, dry skin and haggard looking faces.
We really wanted to visit Bryce and Zion National Parks, but, as is the case with many national parks, dogs are prohibited from most trails. So, we opted for free, dispersed camping in national forest land, where Baron can accompany us wherever. This is such a great benefit of our public lands - free camping!
Our current site near Losee Canyon is beautiful and quiet and we have it all to ourselves. Last night, we were wondering why. Is a herd of cattle going to come blazing through in the wee hours of the morning? Nope, so far, so good. We are very close to both Losee Canyon and Casto Canyon trail heads. We did an easy 6 mile hike today and it was gorgeous! And, surprisingly for a Saturday, hardly any people. Perhaps this is because Bryce Canyon is just southeast of us. After so much running around trying to get ready to leave and having to be in Layton on a specific date, we just wanted to stay put for a few days. So we'll stay here for four nights. (At least it's warmer during the day than Antelope Island, but a bit colder at night. Of course we're at a higher elevation, 7,100 ft.) Then a quick detour to Kannarraville to do a home visit for the rescue and after that we're off to Stateline Campground, the northern terminus for the Arizona Trail. Since we don't have an easy set up or pack up, the goal is to spend about 4 days each place we stop, so we plan to do that at Stateline, weather permitting. The last passage of the AZT (or first, depending on how you tackle it) is only 10.8 miles, so we will likely to this in two in and out day hikes. From there, we will pick and choose sections based on weather. The main goal is to stay warm! Cheers ~ Heather