I just got back from the 2012 CRC men’s retreat in Torrey, UT. I’m very glad I was allowed to go. I spent a few weaks gearing and prepping up my sweet ride. Drove for a day, slept in a dive in Cuba, NM, then drove the rest of the way to Torrey. I got to meet quite a few new faces, and catch up with some old friends like Tom, Kevin, and Tim. We don’t keep in a whole lot of touch, but it was like no time had passed with us. Good conversation, worship, and testing out my vehicles’ worth off-road. Soon as I rolled into town on Thursday, I drove off the road on some random trail head I discovered. It was a surprisingly rough road… it required some rock-negotiations here and there. I only took it about a mile in, took some pics, then went back.
On Friday, I convinced 5 other guys to take the trail further and see where it goes. It didn’t go a whole lot further, but there were some hairy spots, and it ended up at a red cliff ampitheater spot. We hiked around a bit, then decided there was too much day left, so we cruised down to some of that Burr trail as it goes into Escalante. We found a crumbly-rock hill that they ski’d down like 15 years ago. We climbed up, got some pics, had some fun.
On Saturday, I wanted to take my ride through the Cathedral Valley loop. Chris came along, and not a quarter mile in from our trail head, there was a stream going through the road. Didn’t look like much. I could see the rocks at the bottom for most of it. Well, just before I was across, the water was suddenly hood-deep. That’s when I found myself lamenting the fact I didn’t mod my ride with a snorkel yet. But I gunned it, and it went right through. There were some rocky patches and rough road through the whole loop, but worth it. I rounded a corner and found myself stuck right in the middle of a genuine cattle drive at one point.
We stopped to see the Cathedral of the Sun and Moon. I also brought my pipes along and made a stop to see how they’d fare. Chris appreciated that, on account of he’s presbyterian and is quite fond of the pipes.
Sunday was the day to hit the road, but I discovered Kevin was going the same way as me, so we decided to convoy for awhile and kill a few hours taking detours. Totally worth it. We’d stop to see sights, take some pictures, etc. When I thought we were pretty much out of the scenic stuff, we suddenly took a left off the road. It turned out to be a couple hour detour that was awesome. We took open, graded gravel fast, baja-style. Then we dipped down through some rocky-steppy, roads where you have to negotiate a bit. Then we dropped down into some washes. We came out near goblin valley, so we took some time to check it out. I don’t remember the last time I was at goblin valley, and it’s one of my faves. We had a burger in Hanksville, made a few more quick photo stops by Lake Powell, and eventually split up.
It was time for me to make a pretty long push back to Albequerque before too late. I was home by Monday night. It was a whirlwind, but totally worth it. I was in as much need of testing my vehicle off road, getting outdoors, re-acquainting myself with the desert, as I was in need of fellowship, worship, a good message and communion.