Yup. You read that right.
I fractured my collar bone falling down a flight of stairs recently (a very smooth move on my part). It happened the morning I flew to Tucson and I had no idea I had broken it. I just thought I was really (really) sore from the fall. But the fracture was confirmed after I got back from that trip and I was supposed to head out of town to go camping just two days later.
It probably wasn’t the smartest move for me to go on the trip after I knew I had fractured my collar bone, but the alternative was staying home and missing out on the whole adventure (and on spending 5 days with my boyfriend!), so…
off I went to Moab, Utah!
Camping in Moab
We went with two other couples that do a whole lot of camping and I should probably clarify that I am not a camper.
Sure, I grew up as a Girl Scout, so I’ve done a fair amount of camping in my life, but I had always hated it. I’m a big fan of cushy beds, warm showers, and walls to protect me from the wind. So when I looked up the campsite where we were heading and saw it labeled as “primitive” and when Adam mentioned eating freeze dried food, I had more than a few reservations (we only ate freeze fried food for two breakfasts and they were surprisingly good!).
But I try to be pretty open-minded to new experiences these days, so I had high hopes for a good time.
We rolled into the campsite in Hunter’s Canyon at 10pm that first night so it was too dark to see anything beyond our headlamps, but when I opened my eyes the next morning, it was so beautiful! There were red canyon walls creeping up into the bright blue sky in every direction.
I think we could have stayed in the canyon the entire trip and not run out of things to see! The first day, we spent some time hiking around the area and soaking in the sunshine.
And wandering through caves and across streams.
And we hiked up to the top of one of the areas to see the sunset that evening. There was one point on this hike that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it up the mountain. See, this was not just a path that wound around up the mountain. It was a path that took you up and over and around and through lots of huge rocks that you needed to climb up. And having two working arms is really helpful when you’re climbing rocks.
There was one particular rock we encountered that I just didn’t see how I was going to get up and over. With everyone there watching and waiting for me, it definitely brought on a flashback to my fat kid days of feeling like I just couldn’t do what everyone else around me was doing. But somehow, Adam and Clay were able to help me through it and I made it to the top!
The next few days were full of hiking, jeeping, and more hiking, and more jeeping!
Arches National Park
We went to Arches National Park, which was probably my favorite day of the trip.
We hiked up to Delicate Arch, which is the signature arch of Utah!
And we made arches at the arch because we can!
Side note – that baseball cap was probably the most necessary article of clothing the entire trip for me. I brought dry shampoo with me on the trip, but my hair just did not look normal, natural, or good, so throwing on the hat every morning sure made getting ready easy!
And then we headed over to the Devil’s Playground to hike, too. Now, I have done plenty of hiking in Arizona and Colorado, but the super steep, rock-clambering was new for me! This is the best picture I have to show the steepness, but I still don’t think it does it justice.
My second most prized possession of the camping trip was my pair of hiking boots. I had just bought a new pair for the trip because my old pair completely fell apart when I hiked a fourteener last Fall and I was so grateful for their grip on the rocks!
Partition Arch was my favorite arch of the day – such a beautiful view! That bright yellow you see in the picture is the scarf that Clay and Liz rigged into a sling for me. It was so sweet and incredibly helpful!
I think we hiked about 9 miles through Arches that day.
Our days were very full! We left the campsite early in the morning and came back after dark every night, which was okay by me because Hunter’s Canyon was SO windy! The temperature probably would have been just about perfect otherwise, but that wind was killing me!
Every night, I piled on as many layers as I could. And Adam traded me sleeping bags after the first night because his was warmer. He’s pretty sweet, that guy.
The next day, we headed into Canyonlands to explore and I learned my second lesson of the trip – always fill up your water when you have the chance.
Most of the people on the trip had brought Camelbacks, but because of my shoulder, Adam was carrying a backpack for the both of us with a bottle of water each. In Arches, it had worked great because they had water available wherever we went.
That was not the case in Canyonlands, at least the places where we went. They only had water available at the visitor’s station, so we went from 7am-7pm with hikes in between on approximately 20 oz of water each. Oh, did I feel the headache and grumpiness set in that afternoon! I completely hit a wall and just zoned out.
But I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on any of the sights! It was just beautiful everywhere you looked.
Oh, and the jeeping! Now, granted, jeeping with a fractured collar bone isn’t the most comfortable experience, but aside from that little detail, it’s so much fun and such a great way to take in the surroundings.
We did a little bit of rockhounding on our way out of town (Adam is a rock and mineral collector) and he found a pseudomorph, which was pretty awesome!
Overall, it was a pretty amazing trip with a really great group of people. We had some really entertaining rounds of “Never Have I Ever” around the campfire at night and one of the guys on the trip actually has a travel blog, which was a fun connection to make!
I still prefer my creature comforts – showers, ceilings on my bathroom (yeah, that one was a bit odd), and electricity, but I think I’ve earned my camping stripes and I have some great stories to share!
Next camping trip, I’m bringing more layers, a Camelback, and I’ll make sure my limbs are all working correctly!