I can’t travel overseas to backpack the trails of Europe, where my worries fade. But as I sit with my morning coffee near Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, the cure for pesky troubles is my view.
What a hike! After two hours of climbing, I caught a glimpse of Navajo Nobs, top photo, in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park. The rounded rock “nobs” loomed from afar. Sue and I wondered, “What do you think?” It seemed so far away and our legs were rubbery and sore. We had seen few other hikers on the park’s longest trail, but two women descending from the final rock scramble encouraged us to push on. We were so glad we did. One of the toughest hikes we have done, but what a great feeling to thrust arms in the air and say, “We did it!”
Is there a better place to trek than southern Utah in spring? An outcropping near Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park provides the killer view. The up-and-back is 3.4 miles and 670 feet of climbing. No, that is not me on all fours above the arch. Just a day earlier, snow swept through the area.
For day hiking, I use Osprey’s Talon 11 backpack. Big enough for an extra jacket, a monster lunch, a bladder and a few odds and ends. Comfortable, with plenty of ways to attach poles and other things to the outside.
For my feet, I have found none better than Salomon Ultra X shoes and, for tougher terrain, boots. They are lightweight, sturdy and grip sandstone like you want them to.