Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To the Canyons!

One more post about the Winds before I head off in a few hours to the Dark Canyons of the Green River area...

We were hiking around 5 miles on average while in the Winds.  We would wake up around 7:30 everyday and pack up camp/make breakfast.  As our group was massive - 12 students and 3 instructors, we traveled for the majority of the trip in small groups of 4 students and 1 instructor.  At the end of the trip, we traveled in independent student groups of 4.  We generally got into camp between 1 and 3 in the afternoon.  When we got to camp we would usually need to start cooking, although occasionally we had a class - the topics varied widely..Leadership, Leave No Trace Principles, Managing Group Conflict, Astronomy, US Public Land Use.  After dinner every day we had an evening meeting - G.A.S.S.E.  Greetings, Announcements, School, Schedule, Entertainment.  Entertainment was generally a 'personal nugget', meaning someone's abbreviated life story.  Days were busy a full, meaning it never took me very long to fall asleep at night.  

I'll be out on trail until around Thanksgiving now.  Today we drive down to South-Eastern Utah to go canyoneering there (Canyoneering is essentially backpacking in canyons, although you occasionally rappel down deeper into the earth using climbing gear).  We drive to Red Rocks, Colorado immediately afterwards, meeting our new instructors on the way.  Then we rock climb for around 22 days, with access to phones and occasional trips into town.  We'll return to NOLS Rocky Mountain in Lander for one night around Thanksgiving and then go backcountry skiing for 10 days.  Have a wonderful Fall!



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