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Packing up and Returning Home
Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20

The next morning, it was time to start our respective journeys back home. We said goodbye to our great double-bedroom suites at the Padre Motel (and hoped they'd still be open and available for the next trip), and headed off eastward, out of Escalante. At first we travelled in convoy, meeting up for a coffee and brunch stop at the Kiva Koffeehouse along highway 12, overlooking the upper canyon of the Escalante. It was a fitting place for our last bit of food together.
Departure day at the Padre Motel
Final Boxing
Pristine Turbo Targa
KK View
A final brunch
Quiche a la Kiva
Final Look
Final good-byes
We then had a final round of handshakes and hugs and devolved back into our "Team Salt Lake" and "Team Denver" sub-groups. Team Denver was going to be heading east through Capitol Reef and beyond, ultimately bound for Denver and their Frontier airlines flight back east. Team Salt Lake was headed back to Salt Lake City, where we would drop the nicely-packaged packrafts off at a UPS store, for shipping back to our outfitter (Backcountry Packraft Rentals) - and then our flights back home the following morning.
courtesy JInnes
Back north to SLC
There's not much else to say about the tail end of the journey: Team SLC took the repacked packrafts and successfully managed to find an open UPS store, sending them back off to Backcountry Packraft Rentals, then the next day heading off on different itineraries back home. Team Denver took the opportunity to stop by to visit Arches National Park and got in a quick hike to world-famous Delicate Arch (insert pic here?), and then afterwards continued on to Denver, where they caught their flight back home.
courtesy BConnell
courtesy JInnes
Team Denver at Delicate Arch
After the pack, sending them back
Post-gear cleanup
All in all, it had been a wonderfully quirky, different, engaging adventure. It had definitely been harder - a lot harder - than the the dreamy initial thought of peacefully floating down a lazy desert river. The biggest revelation (for me, anyway) was how strenuous it was even in the absence of any hard rapids. All the little challenges (and some bigger ones) all added together, that made for a surprisingly challenging trip. But one that our quite large group managed to rise up and meet. Kudos to everyone!
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