Box-Death Hollows, Escalante UT 2022
Hahaha.  They thought it was over.  But tomorrow is when the big adventure begins.

Everyone is out of shape this year-- And remember, George (black) is only 2 and has never even camped overnight.  He keeps hanging close to the boss goat, Woodstock, even though Woodstock isn't nice to him.


We camped at the trail head for the river in Escalante.  There were kids riding dirtbikes and shooting targets nearby, so I said we'd have no trouble with predators.  Well.  As soon as those kids left, coyotes started singing in adjacent fields.  Nan's goats slept in the trailer and mine slept next to the truck and hammocks.  Just in case.  


I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
Today is the beginning of the big 2 night expedition!  Since George is only 2, I have to carry half of his load myself on a (shameful) backpack.  Woocstock will only be carrying 4 items:  My mini 3-inch-off-the-ground cot, my Lightfighter cot tent, my stomp-to-inflate air matress, and my Wiggy's sleeping bag.  I've finally come to this kit after a lot of trial and error, but its a luxury that only a goat-packer could enjoy, as all together with the goat packs we're at 27 lbs.  To go super-light I'd use my camping hammock like Nan and Phil were using.

So we headed down to the Escalante river.


I'd expected a lot of water, and there had been and damage had been done, but by now there was a mere trickle in the river bed.


You very quickly find  yourself surrounded by tall cliffs, and they keep getting taller as you go, to the point they're hundreds of feet high.


Too me its very odd to see a river flow IN to a mountain rather than coming out of the canyon.  Also, for such a dry little creek to have a mighty and deep crack all to itself.


You can see the water had been 5 feet deep in this wide area recently, laying the pants flat and soaking the sand.


Most of this canyon would be considered safe-- Not a slot canyon with no escape if a surprise flash flood came through.

I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
Someday I will get my pictures up here too... Smile
This was the big day.  We'd be walking up a tributary to the Escalante river which drains an area that we've been watching from a distance as thunder storms hit it over and over and over.  Most of the water had drained out by now, to my surprise.  Now, you know goats hate to get one drop of water on them... So this is going to be interesting.


The floor of this river is smooth clean rock.  To the sides, between the sheer canyon walls, there are little raised strips of dirt with trees and poison ivy.  Of course the goats liked to go up onto those rather than walk through the water at first.  Now, due to the recent flooding, sand banks had built up against these 'edge islands'.  Phil quickly discovered that some of them were unstable and would turn to quicksand within seconds.


Phil dug himself out, but it took several minutes.  



While the floor of the river was flat, we started finding hidden pot-holes under the still silty water flow.  We started figuring out how to find them by watching the way the water's surface burbled and churned.  The goats were good at finding them a different way....

I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
So this is the "Death Hollows" part of the trip, and it was a lot like a video game where you do a level and fight a boss monster.  The boss monsters were obstacles that might be easy for a human but tricky to herd the goats through.  

The scenery was incredible though, and the goats truly had to get over any hesitation about water by the end.


We passed this waterfall, which will become important later.  Phil dared to stand under it for about 2 seconds, but the water droplets cool down as they fall and he didn't seem to enjoy it.


The waterfall came down over a giant overhang.  Note the sand bank at the base.  Sand....


The sand flowed out from that sand bank and made for an obstacle that we had to avoid by going back down river and bypassing the sand by wading in somewhat deeper water.


Here's a wonderful picture of George.  

I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!

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