We left on a rainy day and drove up high onto the Umcompahgre Plateau. The original plan was to hike into the top of the canyons, but muddy roads and a low gas tank dissuaded us, and we drove around to the bottom of the canyon. We started late, but a short hike later we were camping under sandstone cliffs under clearing skies eating meals cooked over our homemade tuna can stoves.
Next came four days of canyon adventure and fun. We swam and perched on high rocks to dry. We climbed out of one canyon and down into the next, getting caught in the dark and descending a steep slot canyon in the dark. We navigated using topographic maps and practiced leadership skills; played games and worked on bow drill fires; watched hoodoos and desert bighorns.