Jun 03

We decided to drive to a conference in Moab, Utah, in order to see more than flying, and to save on costs. Since the meeting was in proximity to Memorial Day, we decided to leave a few days early in order to possibly catch some additional sites. We headed out after work on Friday afternoon, and got as far as Salem, Oregon. The intention was to see Yosemite if the weather was good. It wasn’t. So, once we reached Sacramento, we decided to head over to Moab by the slow route. I have wanted to drive I-80 out of Sacramento, in order to see the sites of the Donner party tragedy, and also to get a feel of the difficulties with the construction of the California/Nevada portion of the transcontinental railroad. Donner Pass happened to be very blustery, and Betsy found that she was not enjoying herself well, so, we decided to stop in Fernley, Nevada, just outside of Reno.  The next day, we took route 50 all the way to Delta, Utah. Route 50 is also known as the loneliest road in America, and, after experiencing it, Betsy and I agree. We stopped at the Great Basin National Park on the way, but weather did not permit much activity. We could have gone into a cave on a guided tour while in the park, but that was not our fancy. Here is what the park looked like, just outside the main Ranger station….

We drove on, and arrived in Richfield, Utah by dusk. The next day, we hit Arches National Park, Believe it or not, there were a lot of arches in the park…

The next day, we went to Canyonlands National Park, which had approximately the same motif, though it was a larger park, with fewer arches. Here is one arch that I was able to climb up on…

Conference started a day later, going for a full 3-1/2 days, starting at 0800 and ending at 2130. There were many practical sessions, going out into the desert and practicing various techniques learned in the classroom earlier in the day. One afternoon, for example, we hiked up Negro Bill Canyon, while practicing certain scenarios. The next afternoon, we rafted down the Colorado River, practicing various scenarios that would happen on a river, such as the detection and treatment of hypothermia. Oddly, some dude (not in our group) flipped his kayak, and demanded rescue by our raft guides. He came to shore confused and hypothermic, and we were able to practice our skills. Since the rafting trip was quite wet, I left my camera at home. I passed the final exam and received my Advanced Wilderness Life Support certificate, so that I can now rescue people in the woods. Driving home went the short route, through Salt Lake City, Boise, staying the night in Ontario, Oregon, and arriving home about 2 pm the next day. All in all, it was a profitable conference, and I’m ready to do more wilderness conferences. Maybe, a rafting or marine conference next time? We drove the Prius for this trip and found it to be an excellent traveling care, besides getting 50 miles/gallon. It will definitely be the preferred travel car for the future.


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