Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Dollhouse!

April 18-21 Days 5-9 (but that doesn't seem right- so I'm giving up on days).

Things we dscovered this week:
* When the Nation Park Service tells you you need High Clearance/ 4WD, they are not lying!
The Dollhouse is located 87 miles down a dirt road near the Colorado/Green River intersection. We started about 40 miles in, in Robber's Roost (where the last post took place). We left from the Hans' Flat Ranger Station in Canyonland's NP around nine in the morning. We were on a mission to meet up with a rafting trip that several of our friends from Jackson were a part of. They were scheduled to be there on the morning of the 18th, we knew it was going to be a two mile hike from the Dollhouse to the river, so we had our backpacks ready to go. 32 miles from the ranger station we saw a sign that said HC/4WD ONLY but figured the Subaru was "close enough." We made exactly one technical move on some rocks before we had to stop. We made a quick switch to the ultra-light set up and started off on mountain bikes.

The top of Flint Trail- quite possibly the steepest road I've been in the car for.
Me, moving rocks so we didn't bottom out on the Subaru
* There are nice people in the world
As soon as we set off on our bikes- with me wobbling on my bike under the weight of my bike- we passed a group of middle-aged car campers in the appropriate HC/4WD vehicles. They, too, were going to the Dollhouse and offered to carry our packs. We rode 15 or so miles before the road conditions turned into deep sand (have you ever tried to ride a bike on sand?!?) and had to ditch the bikes behind a tree and walk the remaining two miles to the Dollhouse, get our packs and then hike the 2 miles down to the river. I began calling it the "Desert Triathlon."

Josh and our bikes somewhere along the way
* Again, this Earth is freaking AMAZING!
By the time we got to the Dollhouse (in 4.5 hours- beating the folks with our packs by about 45 minutes)
I was so tired, I could barely move. I rested in Josh's embrace for a few minutes, let out some deep breaths and then looked around...

Finally, we got our packs and headed down the trail to Spanish Bottom in search of our river rat friends.

*Things do not always work out has you hoped/planned
Sadly, after a full day's work, we did not reach our friend on the river that night- we went up river when we were supposed to go down river and missed the mark. We slept on a sandy beach (me without dinner, I was so exhausted). The next morning we woke up and backtracked a mile, then headed down river for about a mile- and voila! there are our people!!

*There is something to be said for a day's rest
I stayed and rested on the beach while the raft crew and Josh went to explore the Dollhouse. After two BIG days of physical activity and knowing that I had a 20 mile exit from the beach, I chose to catch a tan and rest my aching muscles.

*Miracles DO happen
I was sitting around the raft camp, sipping a PBR when out of nowhere, Kevin, one of our friends from Jackson walks around the corner. HE DROVE HIS CAR ALL THE WAY TO THE DOLLHOUSE! AND had room for our bikes!

The next morning, we woke up early and headed up to the Dollhouse. Thanks to my day of rest, I smoked the boys up the steep mountain. With time Kevin bought us, we spent the day exploring the Dollhouse. I cannot even put into words the magnificent beauty of this place...

We camped another night and then hit the road early. We made it back to the Subaru in a mere 3 hours- then all the way to Green River by 4 pm. We ate at Ray's Tavern, a local favorite, had some 3.2% beer on tap, then checked into a hotel room. Here we sit, in Green River, to tell the tale of excitement and beauty. We are re-grouping, doing laundry and repacking the car. We plan to head to Moab tomorrow to read some guide books and poke around town then head back to the wilderness. We should have more to share in a week or so!


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