Day 31: Monday Moon Day

What did you do on the full moon slash summer solstice?

Ok so tonight probably takes the cake for the best night in Utah so far.

But first, this week’s camp theme is “local love” and features many of the great things about Moab. It was very fun today, and the rest of the week will be great, as we’ll have a visit from Mayor Dave, the multicultural center, and take a field trip to the Moab Museum.

Now, the most exciting thing ever! Around 7 pm, Corinne, Vince, and I met Julie (my supervisor) at her place. There, she, her boyfriend (Mark), and two of their friends (Johanna and Tom) who are all very into rock climbing took us to Looking Glass Arch.

The arch… from kind of far away

Then, as the sun was setting, we climbed up the side. About half way up, the full moon came out in all its glory (I don’t have a good picture of this). At the top, two great things happened. First, we heard coyotes in the not so distant distance. Second, we sat down, watched the moon, and had beers.

View before we started climbing

After a short chat session, we scooted to the edge of the rock, where we set up a self-repel. Repelling is where you get lowered from the rock you’re on. Self-repelling is when you do it yourself. Before going, I was kind of freaking out. It was a pretty far drop, and if I let go of the rope for any reason I might’ve fallen (they had a person on the bottom as a safeguard who would’ve been able to stop us, but it didn’t help my nerves).

But as I was slowly lowering myself down the rock, I was amazed by everything around me. Even in the dark, the full moon lit up enough of the scene that I was blown away. The moon itself was also a fascinating view, and seeing it as I was slowly falling made it that much better.

After we all made it down, Mark asked if we wanted to swing from the rock. Basically, the repelling rope was left up, and we would climb up to a small ledge inside the arch/rock formation attached to the end of the rope. From there, we’d gently fall off while Mark pulled away with the other end. Thanks to Physics, on our way back towards the ledge, we’d lose enough momentum to not hit it anymore.

Following the theme of the night, I went first (out of the interns). Standing on the edge of the ledge was less nerve-wracking than self-repelling, but not by much. Mark gave me a countdown, which helped a lot, because I felt I had no choice at that point but to go. The first second was a terrifying fall. The second was the best experience I’ve had thus far. It felt almost like being on an amusement park ride, but instead, you’re in the middle of a desert gazing at the full moon howling with coyotes in the distance. It was magical.

We all got a turn to swing, and by that time it was around 12:30 (Tuesday morning). Since we all had to be up in 6 hours or less for work, it was time to call it quits and head home. And even though I knew I’d be tired at work the next day, it was definitely worth it.

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