Life: Desert Camps

Traci J. Macnamara on Desert CampsIt’s a privilege to camp in the desert. It’s a luxury, in my opinion, to camp where there are no showers. No RV plug-ins. No toilets. Of course, keeping these places clean means that you’d better be prepared to crap in a carry-out bag if you’re camping at Indian Creek, Utah.

During the two-week trip that I recently took to Utah, I had a ton of work to do, and I needed to be in town to do it. But in Moab, I get that jittery feeling that I get only when I’m that close to dropping off the grid. It’s only a short drive out of town before cell phone coverage and Internet access fizzle out, and I could feel the quietness of the desert calling like a coyote singing in the night.

Besides a night spent camping alone in Pack Creek Canyon just outside of Moab, I spent the first weekend camping and climbing with a friend at Indian Creek and then returned the following week for a quick trip. John B. drove his van out for that one. I was impressed with his mobile camp:

John B.’s Van

Right, you’re thinking. What’s so impressive about that? Well. It’s over 6-feet across, so he can sleep in it all stretched out, and he’s also welded a propane tank bracket to the back of it so that he can fuel his super-fancy heater.

Heat and All

While I spend the mornings in my tent mustering up the energy to get my coffee going in the cold, he can just roll over and get the heater going with the flick of a switch. Spoiled? Maybe. But John lived in his van this summer, so I’d say he’s earned the break.


One response to “Life: Desert Camps

  1. Hey Traci—aren’t all cyclists drawn to Moab? I live with one who hears it beckoning at least a couple times a year. As for no running water, no bathrooms, no electricity—well, that pretty much describes everyday life in my childhood. Jim and I plan to see you at the Boulder Book Store on the 8th. You ARE going to be there, aren’t you?


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