Ranger Kathryn's Arches

September 21, 2012

Sleeping in odd places

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:04 am
Tags: , , , , , ,


Lay out your sleeping bags a few feet from a canyon edge. Wake up to this pre-dawn view, with bats and chipmunks for company.

Sometimes I get the urge to just go sleep in the wild. Doesn’t really matter where, as long as it’s somewhere “out there” where I won’t see anything man-made. Campgrounds are too civilized, too ‘safe,’ too peopled. I want to be away from it all, stretched out full-length on the earth. I want crickets to sing me to sleep; I want the breeze to kiss my face while I dream.

Here’s how it happens: I grab a sleeping pad and bag, a water bottle, a headlamp, a Clif Bar, and (optionally) a friend, and go find myself an Adventure Sleep Spot. Experiencing the Milky Way for my ceiling, with shooting stars puncturing holes in the night, is a treat that far outweighs any discomfort or inconvenience. Waking in an unusual place often elicits an involuntary chuckle at finding myself not in a bed, not in a house.

After my first season in Utah, Wildophilia gripped me. I appear to have the progressive variety of this condition; surely a normal person wouldn’t be looking at all the high rock formations in this park and wondering what it would be like to wake up on top of them. Or… would she?



  1. is that where you took KJ and I to sleep?

    Comment by john — September 21, 2012 @ 7:29 am | Reply

    • No; you’re thinking of Murphy Point. This was… somewhere else.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — September 21, 2012 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  2. Sounds pretty good………I believe I would bring along a thermos of hot coffee to drink in the morning, watching a sunrise just dosnt feel right without sipping on a good cup of coffee, no matter how nice the view is a cup of something alway makes it better to me.

    Comment by superdave0002 — September 21, 2012 @ 7:51 am | Reply

    • Being a minimalist, I bring hardly anything to my wilderness sleepovers — but a hot beverage sure is a lovely dawn ritual.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — September 21, 2012 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  3. One other item for you list . . . Note to self: Don’t roll over whilst in the Land of Nod . . .

    Comment by leroque — September 21, 2012 @ 11:51 am | Reply

    • Which is why the sleeping bags are perpendicular to the cliff edge.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — September 21, 2012 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  4. Another note to self: Don’t sleepwalk, either.

    Comment by Chris Youngman — September 21, 2012 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  5. Your prose is poetic……….

    Comment by Gary Russell — September 22, 2012 @ 9:13 am | Reply

    • Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate hearing from you, G.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — September 24, 2012 @ 9:17 pm | Reply

  6. This must be Island in the Sky, isn’t it ??
    Our daugther did the same in Valley of Fire (Nevada), high on a small butte, enjoying the nightsky and indeed, in the morning a squirrel on her sleepingbag 🙂

    Comment by Klaas Wichman — October 2, 2012 @ 8:15 am | Reply

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