The heart of adventure is the unknown. Planning and preparation are critical to the success of any adventure, but the “not knowing” what will really happen before you leave is the heartbeat basis for what motivates and initiates the excitement.
I’ve been an ultra-runner for over 9 years. While I enjoy racing, my heart is in adventure running and exploring. During my career I’ve done some incredible things and I have a great many more planned that I haven’t acted upon yet. Some have been epic, while others have been much shorter, safer, but no less profound.
My most recent adventure was the later. Looking for a getaway to celebrate a friend, Chelsea’s birthday, we chose to explore the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, near Moab, UT. While Chelsea had been to this part of the park while in high school, that was nearly 15 years ago, and the memories had faded. For myself and Matt, this would be a whole new experience.
Driving down after work we found a make-shift camp spot about a half hour from the park entrance. The next morning, we lounged around and took our time, as the day was ours and we weren’t up against a time limit. Driving to the park itself was incredible as sandstone cliffs rose hundreds of feet above our heads. Indian Creek is a popular destination for rock climbers and we enjoyed watching many as they prepared their gear to head up to the crags.
Once at our destination, we started from the Swift Creek Trailhead and headed towards Peekaboo campground, Salt Creek, and hopefully all the way to Angel Arch (time and effort permitting). We had studied maps, knew the route, and are all capable backcountry explorers. Getting lost wouldn’t be an issue, but food and water management could be, so we made sure we were well prepared.
While our adventure didn’t have any epic near-death experiences or mind-altering sensory deprivation, the “awe factor” was tracking deep into the red. That place is spectacular in a way that can only be found there. Having been to Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and other national parks around the US, the Needles District is unique in its stunning beauty.
I could spin thousands of words to try and best describe the experience. However, the only justice I can do for that place – outside of going there for yourself – is to tell the story the best way I know how, which is through video. Take 10 minutes and watch the video below. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
This article and all of our Adventures are sponsored by Kogalla Straplights. Check them out HERE.