Part 1: Moab Utah
Part 2: Canyonlands National Park
We continued to explore the canyons, climbing up rocks and taking pictures until the sun began to set and it was time for my friends to return home to Durango. I was to continue on my trip though, so we said our goodbyes and we went our separate ways.
That wasn’t suiting me very well though. I wanted to capture the essence of my environment, not just the postcard pictures. I found a trailhead that went out to the west side of the Green River. It was just a five-mile walk and there was only one other car in the parking lot. So I packed my camera, some snacks and the perfect read—Desert Solitude by Edward Abbey—into my backpack and headed off into the setting sun.
We then began talking and I learned that they had just returned from a base-jumping trip in Switzerland where they were doing proximity flights. I told them that I had just done my first tandem that day. The two of them laughed recalling their first tandem and said that jumping out of planes without at least a wing suit was "boring."
I couldn't believe it. I told them that some day I will jump off these cliffs too. They laughed and gave me a ride back up to my camp. I fell asleep quick, knowing I had a long drive to the Tetons the next day.
Part 3: Grand Teton National Park
After a two hour float and getting thrashed by some waves, I thanked the guys very much and headed back to my camp up Curtis Canyon.
I stayed that night at Ben's house and woke up early the next day to go explore Yellowstone.
Part 4: Yellowstone National Park
I had an awesome dehydrated Pad Thai for dinner that night and then read my book by the fire until it got dark. Sleeping was a little bit of a challenge that first night. The howl of the wolves and the constant sound of the wind reminded me of where I was.
I hiked up a steep red rock face in my flip flops with my camera and tripod slung over my shoulder to get to a good view of the waterfall. The tourists below were looking at me like I was crazy as the wind howled by but I didn't want any trees blocking my shot. After I got the pics I wanted, I headed to my second nights campsite at Grebe Lake.
I woke up early and packed my stuff so I could get to Old Faithful before noon.
It made me sick and sad and the worst part was, I had fallen into the trap as well. I was trying to see too much in too little of time, stopping at sites only to capture my desired pictures. There were too many people around and no access to the unbeaten path. This created stress and anxiety; every time I saw an animal on the side of the road, there would be ten other cars pulled over next to it. Even if I wanted to stop and see it, I felt gross to be apart of the ten other people there.
After a couple hours of touring around, I drove through the town of Mammoth and out to my final camping spot. I hiked out at sunset just as I had the last two nights.