Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 21, 2011

Heading into the (farther) wilderness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:48 am

Do you love doing things you’ve never done before? Or are you a creature who finds comfort in familiarity?

I’m on the cusp of a brand new type of adventure. Somehow I’ve made it to middle age without ever going on a backpacking trip — what a deficit in my outdoor repertoire. Oh, I car-camp and love it… but that doesn’t get me away from people and into wilder places. In a few moments I’ll be leaving for a place I’ve wanted to visit for three years: Grand Gulch Primitive Area. I’m carrying everything I need, including 16 lbs of water, on my back. Yes, I’m going with a friend, and she’s got some experience (sort of) doing this. Yes, I’ve left my itinerary with my housemates. Yes, I have toilet paper and extra batteries for my headlamp. Yes, it should make for some entertaining blog posts, especially when I find out what imperative item I left behind, or what ridiculously unnecessary item I lugged around. I’m considering this a learning event.

Even more, its purpose is to explore. This area is filled to overflowing with two of my favorite things: ruins and rock art. The people who lived there a thousand years ago, or several thousand, left many indications of their presence. I’m going to find them. Back in a few!


  1. WHAT IS THE GROSS WEIGHT OF YOUR PACK WITH ALL GEAR? Having backpacked many times, I learned what could/should be left behind. Winter backpacking adds a whole new dimension. Can’t wait for your tales……….

    Comment by john — April 21, 2011 @ 8:52 am | Reply

    • No bathroom scale to weigh it on. It was stinkin’ heavy! Umm… more than a bag of softener salt, which is 40 lb?

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — April 23, 2011 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  2. How glorious! I will be thinking of you and will soak up your adventures as you post! I wish you love, joy, and renewal.

    Comment by Kate Kresse — April 21, 2011 @ 11:08 am | Reply

    • I felt loved while I enjoyed my renewal! Three for three!

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — April 23, 2011 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  3. A bit shocked that you’ve waited this long! Getting your systems down is part of the fun. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the joys of backpacking by my geologist father at a young age. He bought me my first Camp Trails pack and Comfy Mt. Craig sleeping bag from L.L. Bean when I was 8. This gear was well used several times a year, every year until I was 18.

    Comment by Ed Oak — April 21, 2011 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

    • How I wish I had grown up with a backpacking friend or two who could introduce me to the wonders of it all. My lack of b.p. experience is not due to not wanting to, but rather from not having known who could teach me/ take me. 54 is NOT too late to start!

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — April 23, 2011 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

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