05/04-06/12

Link to just pictures,
Lost and Found Slot (bach party) - May 2012

In an effort to send Bob off correctly into marriage, nine of us ended up in the desert north of Arches National Park for a bachelor party w/end orchestrated by his best-man, Keith. Two nights of camping with the Lost and Found slot canyon thrown in. A great time had by all, too many laughs, new nicknames, and plenty of life long stories to remember.
We met at 5pm Friday evening at the Wooly Mammoth Lot in Morrison. I was late due to traffic, but had time on the drive to blow up Fatty Patty... she would be Bob's w/end companion. We piled everything into three trucks and headed west. I rode with Nicholls for the first leg while we laughed and caught up on each others lives. A group dinner at the Glenwood Brewery, then I rode with Keith the rest of the way. We totally spaced filling up with gas in Frisco, but more on that later. Fun had by all, and we met at the Cisco exit off of I70. ~20miles of dirt roads and we found Wayne at our campsite for the w/end around 11pm, near the north end of Arches National Park. After waking up Wayne, a quick unpacking and setting up tents, we tapped the 1/2 barrel of Samuel Adams. We tore it up till about 2am, and Fatty Patty gave us new and creative ways to drink JagerBombs. The tone was set for the w/end.
Saturday morning found us crawling out of the tents around 8am and someone had the great idea that we should eat the chili that Nicholls brought for breakfast. Definitely hit the spot! A couple hours later we put on our slot clothes (old and don't care if they get ruined) and piled in the back of Nicholls truck for the short drive to the trailhead. Dwight was sporting neoprene pants with ventilation-holes cut in them, and a way-too-small jacket that he found at a Thrift Store, with ventilation-holes cut in it...... hence, he'll forever be known as Aquaman, the alter-identity of Rio Tinto (the brand of the jacket). With Fatty Patty strapped to Bob's backpack (first ever blow-up doll in a slot canyon?) we hiked along the fence line and soon made a left into the start of Lost and Found slot canyon. Classic Utah with cool bluffs all around, and rocks that make me think of what it would be like on Mars. The walls rise up and narrow, soon after there's some spots to jump down using the friction of the sandstone on either side. This was getting cooler by the minute as we passed under a tight spot with a tree trunk wedged between the rock walls. Fatty Patty needed some occasional assistance and got a hole somewhere along the way and then fell in a mud puddle.
We came upon the first rappel and Wayne got a boost up to the anchor. This was only about 30ft and a good warm-up. The start was interesting because you had to squeeze through a rock hole before actually starting the rappel. The was James first time ever rappelling, and he made it look easy. Well, easier then Nicholls since his hands were shaking proving how much he dislikes rappelling! A bit more narrow walls and we were at the second rappel, this one about 50-60ft high. A clove-hitch around a carabiner for a "biner block" with a tag-line attached to the non-rappelling side of the rope. The bottom of this rappel was kinda thin, then an immediate down climb that required plenty of friction and leaving some DNA (in the form of skin) on the walls. Now this was getting really cool! Rope pulled and we were all gathered up again to head the only way we could go... down canyon. Things got thin real quick and we had to pass our backpacks along and use different methods to squeeze along the slot. Bill was just about stuck while Wayne, being a good friend, took pictures. More tight spots, then it opened up to our third, and longest rappel, at about 130ft. Aquaman went first and gave the rest of us a "fireman's belay". The last 20ft were overhanging and we were not touching the walls at all. Even going real slow, the rope, biner and belay device got scorchin' hot.
The slot slowly opened up into more Utah-esque coolness and we ran into two dudes from 14ers.com while we were having a celebratory beer in the shade. We confirmed the exit with them and headed back towards it. We went up a couple sandstone bulges and followed a couple cracks and weaknesses. Plenty of friction, but steep in a couple spots. A couple 3rd/4th class moves and through some sand and brush to pop out on top. Covert Arch was just a short hike away, so we headed there. Soon after, we were standing on top of it, but you could only tell by looking from a different direction. The hike back to the truck took longer then I expected cross-country through the desert and we were all looking forward to getting back to the camp festivities.
Packs away, EZ-Up erected, beer pouring, and Keith pulls out the bottle of Raicilla then told us six times how it was made. Basically its Mexican moonshine! We laughed the afternoon away then the feast began. Keith pre-cooked racks of ribs, I brought baked potatoes and fixin's, and Bill (aka. Riblet, for his vegetarian ribs) brought cole slaw and bread. Damn that was good!!! After dinner we fired up cigars and duct-taped Bob to a two-wheeled dolly. With a minute, he almost fell over as Keith tried to position him near the fire! The SuperMoon was in the sky that night which made for a great light show. We were so excited that we did keg-stands, including Bob... while still taped to the dolly. Dave schooled us and beat everyone by atleast 10 seconds. Once the wind calmed down we played a few rounds of BeerPong and had a blast around the campfire and I read Bob a special poem written just for him. We were all crashed out by midnight.
Sunday morning included a spectacular setting moon and rising sun. We slowly cleaned up the carnage around camp while Aquaman whipped up a fantastic breakfast of bacon and pancakes. After cleaning up and packing up, we started the drive towards home... well almost! Keith and I had to go 16 miles in the opposite direction on I70 since there was a pretty slim chance that we were going to make it to Fruita on the only fumes left in the gas tank. The thought crossed our mind to head to Vegas, coincidentally there was a baby alone in the backseat of the car next to us at the gas station! Long drive, rain and snow through Summit County, and home by 5pm to jump in the shower and catch the Flyers game. What a trip!!!