GROUP HIKE! -- One Week In The San Rafael Swell

This is the whole crew, excluding Sarah and family and some of the goats I had swapped out from earlier days.  Some tourists came along just as we were about to head back.  Its always fun to show off goats out in the field.


It was time to head back.  Lucky thing we had some slight overcast and a nice cool breeze start up, since it was getting pretty warm.



The hike was a big success, though one of the tougher ones for some.  I'm glad everyone made it and had fun.  The views on this hike are unique.



While Taffy took a break in the shade, I discovered that the wash was FULL of interesting rocks.  Green sand stone, globular clusters, and crystal-filled sandstone swirls.  Its weird because the rocks in the washes all seem to have more variety and intensity than the stuff you see around you.
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!

Luna had stepped on a few prickly pears and was getting a bit gimpy.  Shelby had a zombie look to him. 


We had one hike left-- While others napped or went into Green River for a nice fancy dinner, Nano, Phil and I hiked straight up the face of the reef from camp.


It got rather windy the higher we went.  Distant storms dotted the horizon. 


This was new territory for me.  Luna found several very deep ponds that must have lots of water year round.  I'm sure Indians or mountain men used these.


Sure enough!  A mountain man.   Long dead though...
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!

Connie's Bacchus rock found a home with a view, half-way up the reef in his own little cave.  Why am I so sentimental about Bacchus rocks?  Bacchus is alive and well!


I had seen some bright red and neon yellow stained sandstone on the way up, and we made it a goal to visit it on the way down. Nan found a path to that isolated mound, and we eventually arrived.  What a beautiful setting for some pictures!


Who has the biggest smile?  Nano or Sputnik?


I wanted to stay and do Little Wild Horse early Friday morning, but I couldn't get a cell signal even when I drove half way to Green River, so my neighbor wouldn't be feeding the horses that morning. Also, Shelby was zombified and hadn't been eating or drinking enough for my satisfaction, so I went with my instincts and planned on heading home after dark on Thursday.


Phil played on his fiddle, and Taffy gave me a giant bag of her special cookies.  Thanks!  I'm back on my diet now-- They didn't last long despite how huge they were.  (They're legendary)


Everyone else left camp Friday morning.  Later that evening, I could see a giant thunder cell forming in that area.  At night it was strobing with lightning.  Below, the red X is where we camped, so the storm surely passed through.  Our timing was perfecto!


The big storms expected on the weekend never materialized this far south, but I hear Taffy met up with quite the winter storm on the way home to Oregon.   Nano and Phil are still out there on the 2nd leg of their vacation, and I'm sure enjoying the cooler air. 

Thanks to everyone that attended.  People become like family on adventures like this.  Hopefully everyone gets where they're going safely.  Shelby perked back up and Luna is hassling the horses like ever.  We'll have to do this again-- The desert is larger than we can ever explore in a lifetime!
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
It was a fantastic trip! I'll add our photos when we're home from Escalante. It was great being with everybody.
Herb was a spectacular guide for this trip!  He's knows the area well and its history.  He's also a great guy and loves my cookies.   Big Grin

I had so much fun on this trip.  I didn't get to hike to the Window the last trip because I needed a new knee.  This time I finally made it and it was spectacular.

For any of you who are grandparents - my 3 year old granddaughter was bummed she couldn't come with me.  She sent her stuffed animal - Skye from the cartoon Paw Patrol - on the trip.  "Skye" reported in when there was cell service and sent photos of what she had been doing.

With Herb's guidance Skye hiked in the Morrison Formation where there are lots of agates, dinosaur bone fragments, gorgeous rocks and rock formations and a section that looks like someone laid giant cobblestones.




The Little Grand Canyon (also known as the Wedge Overlook) is, in its own way, every bit as spectacular as the Grand Canyon.  Camping on the rim (although not as close as Eldon & Debbi camped!) was fun.  It also gave me more gray hairs!  Having Herb, Phil & Nan's goats walk right along the edge of the rim scared me something fierce!  They assured me it was natural for the goats but I closed my eyes a number of times!


Eldon & Debbi had a great pen that their 2 boys, Eliot & Hobbs, shared with Bourbon for a few nights.  They slept next to my truck and trailer the night Eldon & Debbi literally slept on the rim of the Little Grand Canyon.



These adventures were just the beginning of a memorable trip!
Goatberries Happen!
The next morning we packed up and headed to Buckhorn Draw to camp for the night.  It's in the bottom of the Little Grand Canyon.  On the drive in we passed some neat metal figures placed in a field.


The next stop was a wall of petroglyph (scratched/etched into the rock) and pictograph (painted on the rock) artwork.


We hiked up Crack Canyon a little further up the road.  A ways up the trail Bourbon & I veered off the trail for a break while the rest of the group kept climbing.  The silence in the canyon was deafening with no one around!  As I explored the area I found all sorts of small animal and lizard tracks in the sand.


We set up camp in Buckhorn Draw for the night.  The sunset was spectacular and lasted a long time.

Goatberries Happen!
The next morning we packed up and headed to Castle Dale for a late breakfast in a great little cafe named JR's.  While Herb went home to do chores the rest of us fueled up and then toured the Museum of the San Rafael. They had a lot of great exhibits  - geology, flora, fauna, pioneer life and of course dinosaurs!


When we left the museum we drove to Ferron, UT to meet up with Herb then headed toward the San Rafael Reef.  On the way we stopped at the Eagle Canyon overlook.  To many this area may look desolate but when you are there exploring it you find it is rich with life, history and wonder.  It has a beauty all its own.

Goatberries Happen!
Trying to post a few pics.This one Phil took for us at The Window.

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What a great group of people and a great place to see and hike! 

Even Sprite was awed by the strange rock formations.

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Blackie, that cannot be comfortable! ..

Also nice pic of Nan down in some of the impressive crevices, another of Hubby and Sprite while it looks like Debbie is about to back into a crevice trying to get that perfect picture, never to be seen again. Happy to report, that didn't happen.

But the beautiful scenery didn't stop there. The road.scene.and river scene were on our way home.thru the Little Grand Canyon.

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