day 21 - canyonlands, ut

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Day 121 - Canyonlands National Park, Utah - 4386 km

Sitting on the edge of the cliff I watch the clouds cast its shadows over the plains in the lower canyons. I’m overlooking something which was a sea before, thousands of years ago. Canyons carved out through time by wind and water. It’s midnight and chilly, Rachel just crawled into the sleeping bag. I’m staying up because I love the nights at viewpoints like these, the quietness somehow gives me perspective and clarity and let my thoughts wander. I recall the events of the day. Hiking the Arches in Moab, smoking weed through an apple, walking through the strange sandstone formations in Goblin State Park and driving far into the Canyonlands. I feel privileged to have met such an adventurous spirit to spend time with. She challenges and inspires me to do approach things differently. In the short time we’ve got to know each other we’ve been on a number of micro adventures and it is during these times in nature, being spoiled in beauty, that I feel this strong connection. The nights under the stars, the long walks into canyons, and sharing sunsets together at the Pacific. It’s the powerful memories you share, creating a bond, knowing that you love the same things. 

We’re sleeping in my tent, a 1-person Hilleberg Akto. It’s way too small for two people, but without the inner tent we’re fine. The alarm is set before sunrise because we’re actually not allowed to camp here. We want to have packed the tent before any park ranger could show up. I’m sitting outside to edit some photos on my laptop and finish the bottle of wine, enjoying the starry view. All the clouds are gone now and the moon creates sharp blue shadows through the ravine. The mountains in the distance are hazy. There’s a crack in the earth with a white rim around it. Tomorrow we will walk there, after climbing down 400 meters into the steep canyon and hike to the next. I’ve never seen a landscape like this; eerie and breathtaking. There’s almost no sign of life, no insects, just the wind sweeping through the corners of the canyon. Unusual colours ranging from chocolat brown, burgundy and teal, contrasted with the soft greens of sage and rabbitbrush. It’s getting colder and I crawl in the warm sleeping back which we zipped together. Rachel mumbles something and turns towards me. I indulge in her warmth. All I feel is simple happiness. The scent of woman which is planted in my brain, and hasn’t left me since I left San Francisco. Every night without I miss it. When my sleeping bag is cold before I enter it. The silence makes me fall in a deep sleep. 

When the alarm goes Rachel is up instantly. I need a few minutes. The air is crisp and cold. At the edge of the cliff we prepare breakfast with the dusty views of the wild west. Mango, sweet cereals, greek yoghurt and the coffee in the Bialetti bubbling cheerfully. The sun peaks over the horizon and warms us up. Another day of adventure’s ahead.