Monday, October 13, 2014

Coyote Gulch Part Deux!


I arranged to do some work in Escalante, Utah the Friday before my trip so I could shave the extra vacation day. A great idea indeed! I left the house at 8 am and began the 300 plus mile road trip to the small but very friendly town of Escalante. I made it there at around 2 pm and began taking care of the job I had arranged to do while in town. Evidently Verizon doesn't know southern Utah exists as I had little to no reception anywhere in town let alone data. Thankfully I brought my personal phone or I wouldn't have had any communication. Luckily for me one of very friendly staff members at The Escalante Outfitters CafĂ© let me use their WIFI to report my job completion.

After my business was taken care of I grabbed lunch and pointed my truck towards Hole in the rock road and traveled the 31 miles to the Red Well trailhead. Once there I filled out the permit available at the trailhead and off I went. It was just after 5 pm and I needed to cover as many miles as possible before sunset.

A bad omen?

The trailhead.

 On my way.

Raining but not making it to the ground!


Coyote's beginnings.

No pot of gold, just sand!

Mother nature did her worst and it survived in spite of it!

I named this one the gate!

The storm seems to be following me!

I climbed out of the canyon to make camp just in case mother nature wanted to give the canyon a beating! What a great decision. I took this just a little while before the moon rose!

And then the moon!

I actually had a decent night, I slept almost the whole night through which is a uncommon thing for me. What a beautiful sunrise to wake up with!

After breakfast I packed up camp and headed back into the canyon.

My only companion, you should of heard the language he used when he tripped!

The walls are closing in!

An arches beginning?

After a couple miles the creek started getting wider.

What an odd place to find this, I could see at the beginning of the trail not in the middle!

Now, the canyons walls started getting taller.

Just one more turn!

Jacob Hamblin Arch.

Above is the west side of the arch, so another bend in the river to take me to the other side.

The view between the two sides of the canyon.

Fall is coming to Coyote.

After visiting the arch my initial inclination was to make a base camp but there was far too many people in and around the arch for me to feel comfortable leaving all of my gear. Since my pack was only 35lbs I just kept going. I passed the waterfall that inspired my new found obsession with photography, another falls under a boulder, and Coyote natural bridge on my way to see the last waterfall in the canyon and of course Cliff arch.

More fall colors.

Every turn offered so much more beauty.

Right before Cliff arch there is a really gnarly gorge and I made it half way down before I realized that I was going to have to climb back up every ten foot boulder I negotiated down. So I settled for this view of cliff arch. I had already traveled over 9 miles today and I still had about 3 miles to get back to JHA for the night I planned on taking some more night shots through the arch.

On my way back to Coyote natural bridge.

Coyote Natural Bridge

Ever have the feeling you're being watched?

Broken Arch.

Waterfall under a very large boulder!

My inspiration to learn photography!

After the waterfall I made it back to Jacob Hamblin Arch and set camp. Not a bad view!

This is what happens when you just have a kit lens with you. I took twenty pictures and this was the only one that I could salvage. I still haven't purchased a decent lens for Astrophotography yet, however no one in there right mind would take a DSLR into this place. The sand is the consistency of flour but finer. Luckily, as my wife will attest, I am not in my right mind when it come to backpacking. As I type this I can still feel sand at the back of my throat!

I had a great Saturday, I meet lots of fellow backpackers and surprisingly only one group from Utah. Most were from Colorado and one group had someone from Tennessee and one from North Carolina. The most surprising ones were the group with a thick Eastern European accents, I spoke with them briefly but didn't ask where they were from.

I didn't sleep as well as I did the first night and it was a rough one. Not sure why, as I have spent plenty of nights in the backcountry sleeping on the ground. As morning dragged its way in I finally got out of the bag and began packing everything up. So I could start the last 7 miles out and back to my truck.

A final look back.

 Finally, just a hair over 22 miles in lest than 48 hours. What a trip!

Life is too short to not have an adventure!!!!!