Something I share with - and perhaps even require of - my friends is a delight in novelty and a boredom with prosaic tradition. So it was the weekend of Halloween 2016 when we decided to eschew the fake cobwebs & sexy outfits to head west - 6 hours west, through the Rocky Mountains and across the state border to Moab, Utah. The six of us arrived at Ken's Lake Campground around 2am on Saturday morning, set up camp in the black of night and slept under the silent watch of striated cliffs on every side. The landscape that greeted us when we crawled out of our tents the next morning reassured us that our trek was worthwhile. From our campsite we could see a lake, a waterfall, ancient boulders bigger than most buildings, and a dusty road calling us toward Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Of course, it was a call we had to answer.
We started at the vast chasms of the Canyonlands, which looked like they could once have been inset swimming pools for the dinosaurs. International tourists know the Canyonlands' brother, Arizona's Grand Canyon, but I prefer the isolation that can be found here in Utah. We cooeed and hollered at the faithful red walls and waited for them to reply with an echo. They always did.
Sunset found us half an hour east in Arches National Park. We slithered up steep rock formations to claim a vista from which to scope the sky's reds and purples. We were thoroughly, delightfully, gratefully present. That, and hungry. So, with the darkness we returned to the campgrounds, where we ate, drank, smoked and generally made merry, except for that one camp neighbour...she made sure we knew she wasn't merry at all.
Sunday morning bade us to repack and return to Denver, but not before a breakfast beer. By evening, we were home - less than 48 hours after we set out. Some would say it's a long way to drive for just one day, but we say it made for one of the best weekends of the year - and all for less than $50 a person, including food, drinks and petrol.