Deep in the heart of Oakland, CA, the energy is palpable (and the body odor is real) as we make our final pre-departure preparations. Bags have partly been packed, maps and permits have partly been acquired, and all floppy sun hats are present and accounted for. We are currently rejoicing in the arrival of Toby's rhythm bones, which will accompany our chorus of instruments (guitar, banjo, harmonica, egg shaker, kalimba, ukulele) as we venture into the southwest, also known as the pancreas of America.
We will leave early tomorrow morning, driving east on Interstate 50 (also known as America's loneliest highway) toward Salt Lake City, UT. We will then drive south to Moab, UT. This is a 14-hour drive, so we will camp on the way. We're shooting for Humboldt-Toiyabe national forest in the midst of the Nevada desert for tomorrow's campsite.
Upon arrival in Moab, we will set out to find the legendary "cratdog" which, supposedly, is a rat on top of a cat on top of a dog. Trust us, it's real. The next day, we'll set out in canoes from the mineral bottom put-in on the beautiful Green River. Our next four days will be spent basking in the natural glory of Canyonlands National Park, home to some of the most scenic flat water canoeing in the world. We will play our way down the river, with petroglyphs as our audience.
Following our paddling, we will make our way to northern Arizona, where we will backpack through Buckskin Gulch, the longest slot canyon in the world. We will then explore the Vermilion Cliffs/Paria Canyon wilderness area. Our backpacking foray will end at Lee's Ferry, where we will pack up and drive through the night back to the land of Oak, catching a red-eye home on Sunday night and making it back to campus just in time to sleep through monday's classes.
After a long day of travel, everyone arrived happily in San Francisco and we made our way to Tim's house. All of us (except Tim) were inculcated with wonder upon the unveiling of personalized canoe paddles, crafted by the able hands of Tim from the timbers of his domicile's former siding.
Physical condition: Top-notch
Odor: a soft 5 out of 10