7/6/2020 – Wyoming > Salt Lake City

After I left my friend’s ranch in Wyoming, I started heading west towards Salt Lake City. I found this beautiful campsite in Flaming Gorge, Wyoming, that I pulled into around 5:00 PM. I reached out to my friend, Sean, who is also traveling in her pull-behind and she was just 2 hours north. She decided to turn around and meet me at the lake, what wonderful news! I had made some pasta with red sauce and veggies and saved her a meal upon her arrival. The next day, we decided to pop down into Utah and visit the Dinosaur National Monument. 

I was able to get my stamp in my Passport Book and we also hiked the Sounds of Silence trail. It was a very pretty, but hot, 3 mile hike and featured some gorgeous wildflowers, canyons and desert. On our way back to our basecamp at Flaming Gorge, we stopped off at Red Canyon Rim Overlook. I made up some yummy veggie burgers and we sat out at the overlook and enjoyed a beautiful setting for supper. 

We got back to the campsite just in time to start a fire and enjoy another evening together. We parted ways after a few days of boon docking and I continued to my route West. Once I made it to Salt Lake, the campsite was just starting to fill with flyers. My friend spends his summers in Utah so he can speed fly as much as possible. I setup there for a few days and it was our basecamp between our big days of adventures. 

We got up early the next morning to hit the crag before the sun was covering the rocks. We climbed at Big Cottonwood Canyon, an extremely beautiful place that has some of the best climbing I’ve ever experienced. We did Steorts’ Ridge first, a 3-pitch trad route. After we finished that route we rappelled down, hiked back to the van and I made what I’d like to call, “comatose quesadillas”. After we ate, we were both so weirdly tired that we had to take a midday nap. After nap time was over, we racked back up and headed to Outside Corner, another 3-pitch, trad route. What a beautiful day of climbing! Both routes had great features, fun climbs and lots of exposure. 

We made it back to basecamp just around dusk and hung out and had some beers and supper before heading to bed. Nick, my friend, is also traveling, and lives in his tiny pull-behind trailer. 

On the 4th of July, we thought what could be better than summiting Mt. Olympus via the 1600 foot 5’5 trad route. We got to the rock around 10:30 AM, which was a hot, exhausting idea, but we did it anyway. After the long and rocky approach trail, we made it to the base of the 1600 foot wall. We made it the summit around 3:30 and started traversing across the rocks to try to find the Mt. Olympus trail and the true summit. After about an hour of looking, we felt we had gone the wrong way. We started going back  the way we came, found a mountain goat, and then the climbing gods shined down on us as we found some brand new rappel rings. Out of water, we started rappelling down this ravine we hoped would lead us back to our starting point. 

On our second rappel, we found some leftover snow from winter, so we decided to stick our water bladders under the slow melt and fill up our waters before moving forward. We made it down a third rappel and then started hiking down a ravine, which looked like it was a trail. We hiked another 2 miles and started to hear voices, we had made it out alive! We eventually made it to the trailhead, and got a ride from a nice lady who took us back to our car. Needless to say, 1600 feet up and down, 5+ miles of hiking and dehydration, lead us to an exhausted evening. We had celebratory beers at the van and headed back to basecamp. That evening, we watched the fireworks over Salt Lake and were glad to be off Olympus. 

I was leaving Salt Lake the next day, and before leaving, decided to take my kayak out on Utah Lake. My buddy Nick rented a kayak as well and we went out one last time to soak up Salt Lake City. I absolutely love how there is so much to do in this city, and all the residents always seems to be getting after it. 

I’m headed back North to Wyoming, to meet a friend to hike in the Wind River Range for a few days. Stopping in and doing my laundry before moving out of the van and into my backpack. 

“Little by little, one travels far.”

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