After our good night’s sleep in Dove Creek, we loaded up and prepared to hit the road. Before we could go, however, F and I were excited to try a Dove Creek gas station burrito again wondering if they were actually as good as we remembered. Turns out, they were pretty delicious.
Sprocket and I made a brief stop in Montecello to use the internet in their adorable library (seriously, I love that place) before taking Harts Draw Loop Road out to Indian Creek. (It’s a great route if you’re doing the Indian Creek-Montecello commute: all paved and beautiful.) The colors were starting to appear but with the trailer I couldn’t explore too much so after letting Sprocket swim in Foy’s Lake, we headed down into the canyons.
I found our designated meeting place at Hamburger Rock Campground, picked out a spot, and headed out to do some exploring. My general destination was the area just northwest of the campground designated in the gazetteer as a “distorted surface.”
What we discovered was a really cool area to explore. There were all sorts of ways that one could proceed through the area and Sprocket and I just poked around for a couple of hours, making a large loop through the area enjoying all the interesting formations, views, and nooks and crannies.
We arrived back at camp just a couple minutes before we heard the sound of dirtbikes heading our way. Sprocket recognizes the sound of F’s bike so off he went to check it out. Evening in camp was spent admiring the views (I was too busy enjoying sunset to take photos…) and making friends with the camps around us.
In the morning, we found Haley and Scott and discovered they hadn’t been able to find Katie and Niko either. Back at camp, we shared our coffee with Mikey and Adam and talked about what our plans for the day were. Mikey and Adam were planning to climb South Six Shooter Peak and we asked if we could tag along on the hike to the bottom of the climbing pitch with them. They seemed happy for the company so we pulled out following them to the trailhead. They pulled over at a parking area and began to unpack their car, explaining to us that there was a “big drop off” ahead that we couldn’t drive down. Forrest suggested that they hop in the van and we’d go check it out. As we reached the “difficult” section, there was another climbing party unpacking their car for the hike in so we decided to invite them to hop in as well.
The afternoon turned out to be lots of fun—the hike up the talus slope kept leading to better and better views and hanging out at the base of the climb was actually a ton of fun. It would have been even more fun to climb ourselves (although Forrest scrambled up the first pitch to check it out). As I was relaxing on a rock, basking in the sun, another climbing party reached the top of the trail. It was Haley & Scott—this time rather than waking them up in camp, I properly introduced myself and found out that I “knew” Haley via Twitter.
Back in the campground, we talked to a couple from Canada who are traveling in a Unimog with a camper mounted on the back. It was really fun to talk to another couple who were on the hunt for the perfect adventure vehicle: 4-wheel drive, gas mileage, and livability. We also headed back over to our friends from Saturday night to hear about their climbing exploits of the day.
Thank you to everyone we met in Indian Creek. I was totally floored by how welcoming everybody was to a couple of maybe-sorta-wannabe climbers. You all made our time there so much fun. We’ll totally be back.
Once we had the van in shape, after about three weeks in Moab, it was time to get back on the road. We headed south for “Canyonlands” not really knowing what our plan was. Katie and Niko had been planning on going climbing at Indian Creek and we figured it’d be fun to hang out with some climbers and maybe get on a top rope ourselves.
Having driven through most of the valley and not finding the yellow Sprinter, we checked the bulletin board at Beef Basin. We found a note some of their friends had left for them and figured if we found they mystery white Toyota with an orange and blue tent, we’d likely find Katie and Niko so we headed for Creek Pasture campground where they were staying.
At Creek Pasture, we snagged the last campsite and headed out for a walk. Sprocket was super excited to see some water and roll in sand. Back at camp, we hopped into the van to find some shelter from the wind and did some reading and writing. We noticed a car driving around a couple of times and waved it down as it was about to leave—since we’re very self contained in the van we don’t really use a site for camping so much as parking—and invited them to share our site.
Mikey and Adam were the best campsite-mates we could have asked for! They let us flip through their Indian Creek guidebook and invited us to join them for dinner. We also met our neighbors across the road and their dog Nori. We enjoyed chatting with Mikey and Adam and learning about their company, Pedal People, as well as asking Mikey lots of questions about climbing.
After dinner we drifted over to the campfire across the road. We listened as they talked about the routes they’d climbed that day and the routes they were hoping to climb. As we chatted, I kept looking over at one of the girls—she looked so very familiar to me but I couldn’t place where I would have met her. Finally I blurted out, “Lauren, you look really familiar.” She looked a bit relieved and said I looked familiar to her as well. I had only one decent idea about where I might recognize someone from but not know them, “Did you go to Bates?” As it turns out, she did, graduating in 2011 so we only overlapped one year but knew many of the same people. Crazy coincidences!