It’s been too long since putting anything here… I decided today’s the day for a new post.
During the recent fall-break for school we took the family down to Escalante, UT. Nothing fancy, actually, it was bare-bones camping in the wilderness. I’ve done that many times with the scouts but haven’t done it with the family and especially haven’t done it with female counterparts of our family. It’s definitely harder on them than it is on the boys. You know what I mean.
We left Thursday morning, Oct 14th and drove through Torrey, then on to highway 12 over the Boulder Pass. On the way we saw this beautiful field of cut & bailed hay… with a dead cow on the side of the road to complete the scene!! It was bloated and looked like it would pop if you poked it with a stick. We stopped and Davis got his picture taken with the dead cow — very funny. (see picture link at the bottom to see it)
We were a little late to see the full golden sea of quakies changing but did see several beautiful areas where the leaves hadn’t all come down. We had our fingers crossed that Calf Creek would have camping spots available — not. So, we headed on over to Escalante and went to the Visitors Center. They have a very nice facility there and the staff were extremely helpful in pointing us to an area where we could camp. After a short break in town and picking up a few more supplies (we needed more water storage if we were going to primitive camp) we loaded back in the car and headed out on Hold In The Rock road. We headed south for about 15 miles and then found a small road/trail that headed up over a small bluff where we made camp. This severed as our base-station for the next several days.
A large field of prairie grass adjoined our camp area so Thane fashioned a make-shift “bat” from a large tree branch and the boys all had fun playing their own version of baseball. Part of the reward of family trips is seeing the kids all interact and have fun with each other; Thane pitched while Porter practiced his swig – he actually hit a few too!
Day 1 was all driving and setting up camp – not too fun. The next day we got up and drove another 15 miles south. If you keep on driving you’ll end-up at Lake Powell where the pioneers crossed the canyon with their wagons! We stopped to hike some of the popular slot canyons called Peek-a-boo, Spooky, and Dry Canyon. These slot canyons are simply amazing — VERY narrow in sections and at mid-day they were so dark that many of my pictures without the flash didn’t turn out. It’s a good thing I’ve lost a few pounds as we had been warned that if you’re over 200 lbs you may get stuck in the narrow sections. They weren’t kidding! You literally had to suck in your stomach to squeeze through several parts. And, you find out really quickly if your claustrophobic; Natalie got just a little nervous in one section where we had to just stand and wait while other hikers heading out of the canyon tried to pass. We just stood there, staring at a sheer slab of rock 2″ in front of your face. Weird.
After leaving the slot canyon area we stopped at an area called “Devils Garden” that takes about 15-20 minutes to walk around. The sun was low in the sky and it was just a cool area to watch the shadows stretch.
That night we enjoyed yummy dutch oven dinner and hanging out around the campfire. As I laid in the tent that night I could hear the coyotes on the prowl; and they were very close by. Dang, I should have taken my gun!
Day 3, Saturday, we packed up camp and drove back to Calf Creek campground. We spent 3 or 4 hours doing the leisurely hike to Calf Creek Falls (lower); the hike was hot with the sun on our backs but the water at the falls was so incredibly icy cold that were were soon shivering and wishing we had some coats! It was a great family hike and the falls are a nice reward at the end — highly recommend this one to anybody looking for a hike that 5-6 yr olds can do!
Here are some pictures… I’m not a great photographer but some of these start to capture the amazing things we saw; enjoy! Link below will take you to the full picasa web album…