I wake up in the morning with sticky skin. Last night’s thunderstorm, and accompanying flash flood, did little to tame the desert temperatures – it’s way too warm to be sleeping in my thick bathrobe. I hear the rustlings of camp outside the van, so we get up and start a batch of coffee in the french press.
While Lauren sets to work cooking a batch of apple cinnamon pancakes on her one-burner stove, I perch myself on the picnic table beside her bench and admire the morning. The North Six-Shooter beams upward behind our campsite, the sun is already baking my skin, and all manner of birds are calling out from the thick brush surrounding us.
Mornings here are highlighted by the habitual migration to the outhouse. One by one, we make the short trek up the dirt road to the most magnificent pit toilet I have ever sat on. There’s nothing fancy about this facility, with a small chain hooked across two planks of wood as the only indicator of current occupation and the lack of any roof – which is possibly the best part. Here you are, in the middle of Utah’s finest desert landscape, taking a dump while the breeze brushes past and the open ceiling offers an unobstructed view of the big blue sky.
Today, the heavens are hued like a bluejay. In the corner of my outhouse view space, small spindles of clouds float by like wayward tufts of spun sugar. I’ll say it; these are the best poops I’ve ever had.
The path back to camp is a short jaunt lined with potholes filled with red clay water from the storms and more chirping birds in the bushes. My distractions nearly cause me to get hit by a stray frisbee, but the boys get it stuck up a tree instead. We should be packing up to hit the crag before the sun begins to beat down with merciless heat, but we prefer to take our time.
Niko and Christian continue their frisbee tossing, aiming to hit an axe sticking out of a stump – but miss every time. Lauren tidies the picnic table from her breakfast mess, while Jeremy settles by the fire ring while strumming our ukulele. This morning has inspired me to write, so I take a seat near Jeremy on a crash pad caked with red dirt. Bouldering gear becomes furniture here in Indian Creek.
After a few more morning musings, we connect with our Australian friends from a few campsites down – the only other occupants of the Super Bowl camping area – and finally succumb to the call of our tape gloves.