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Raven - Hurricane Wash
One of many ravens, watch my wife's progress as she backpacks her way down Hurricane Wash on our way to Coyote Gulch. These inquisitvie and highly intelligent birds also showed great interest in our camp but never did stage a raid. We kept our food supply, well secured in camp. Thanks Roberta (Belgium) for the tip on the book: Mind of the Raven, which I started on this nice road trip. Good read.
Tuesday 21 April 2009
The alarm went off at 4 am and by 5 am we had our backpacks loaded in the back of our pickup truck and we were on our way to the trailhead. We chose the easy, scenic and popular Hurricane Wash approach into Coyote Gulch. The trailhead is located a little over 33 miles down the miserable washboard laden “hole in the rock” road, which in turn is located between milepost 64 & 65 on highway 12 north of Escalante, Utah.
It took us almost two hours to bounce our way to the trailhead. At 7 am we had our backpacks on and the sun made its first appearance over the countryside to the east of us, just as we started down Hurricane Wash.
In the narrow canyon portion of Hurricane a few raven would glide over our heads, checking out our “food supply” opportunities. They would be welcome, and ever present company for the rest of this two day backpacking trip.
It took us four hours of steady but slow hiking to arrive at our selected campsite on the down canyon, “toe” section of Jacob Hamblin arch. It was an ideal place to camp with the exception of if rain was a possibility. It was not high enough to be exempt from a fast rise in creek level, yet there was a downstream exit available, should that happen.
There was no foliage at the camp and not bugs. You could say it was located in a humongous alcove, which could easily be viewed as a monstrous “cave”. It gave us a window to the sky (especially beautiful at night), and no need for a rain fly, as we were completely protected from above by the huge alcove.
1/4 mile down canyon was the view up through Jacob Hamblin Arch. A few hundred feet farther down the canyon was a nice “outhouse”. Upstream (and a favorite place for me to wade barefoot) was the view down through Jacob Hamblin arch. In short, we couldn’t have found a more pleasing place to camp and oh the night sky views through the “hole in the roof” of the deep canyon.
Once set up and everything in order at our “alcove camp”, we loaded up the light small day packs we had brought in, for a day hike down canyon. This time, I made sure I had both the Canon G9 and the G10 with me as we headed down stream. The highlight of the down canyon hike was Coyote Natural Bridge. We hiked about 2.5 miles down the canyon that afternoon (near Cliff Arch) and I took several scrambling climbs up into side canyons and alcoves, while my wife relaxed along the creek bottom.
By the time we returned from our 5 mile day hike, it was time to fix dinner, take a few more photos, visit, and get the tent ready for bed. I want to thank Chad Rosenstine for introducing us to the REI three legged backpacking stools. They are light weight, easy to pack AND unbelievably handy around a backpacking camp. No sitting on hard rocks, logs with stubs, or flat on the ground. Face any of three directions easily, store small items in the triangular cloth stool leg support, and most of all, put on and take off, hiking shoes - - with ease. We ended up packing our backpacks so these handy stools could be quickly accessed for a “rest break” while backpacking out the next day.
We both slept very well that night.
Wednesday 22 April 2009
Our backpacking hike back up Coyote Gulch and then up Hurricane Wash, was uneventful but enjoyable. We thought, since it would be hot that day and the route was not “up” instead of “down” canyon, that it might take us a lot longer, but it didn’t. Four hours out, same as the time into camp the day before.
We had thought about retrieving our stored belongings at the Circle “D” and then heading on to our next destination (Rattlesnake Canyon Arches in Western Colorado), but we were dirty, tired, and another night at the Circle “D” sounded really good, so the moment we arrived at the motel, I asked Robert if he had space for us for one more night. He did (same room #7), so I got the room key and got back into our truck and got ready to drive it over to park it in front of our room.
Rattle rattle rattle. Rattle rattle rattle. Our truck wouldn’t start. I had waited one start too many to replace a very old battery and the shaking the truck took on the way out of the hole in the rock road, had pretty much taken care of the old positive post battery clamp. I don’t need to tell you how fortunate we both felt. The “last start” could have easily been at mile 33.7 down the hole in the rock road. Ugh.
Well, as you often find in a small town, we got nothing but help, especially from manager Robert (who had stored our stuff for us). In less than an hour, Don, at the repair shop behind the 66 gas station at town, had us fitted
227 - Cobblers
19/6/11 The Cobbler - Nestled under a shading Eucalyptus (I think) tree by the side of the road near my house, sits the shoe repairman, happy, hard working and very skiled with his hands. If your sandle, heel or sole breaks then he is there to fix immedieatly in a genuine while-you-wait time and manner, or if you just your work shoes need a polish then he will oblige. Most of the locals drop the shoes off for repair or a really good polish and he stores them in a huge box with his tools that he takes on the back of his cycle in the evening. He does a great job, provides a service and charges very little just like the puncture repairman a little up the stree from him. The punture repairman fixes bicycle puntures and the like which seem to happen often due to the amount of cycles, cucle rickshaws and cycle transporters that pervade the streets in New Delhi, oh and also the state of the roads both pot-holed and strewn with debris might increase the number of puntures. Whatever the reasons boh men are kept busyand earn an honest living doing a good job. The lady whose house I stay at informed me on her blog that she had witnessed the street being cleared of all the roadside businesses by the Delhi council accompanied by the armed-with-sticks police. The shoe man, the puncture man, the haridresser, the momo (food) seller, the fruit & veg seller and more all gone, She witnessed being l;oaded onto a truck the tea and luch stall that had been there for as as she can remember, so he has now lost his business and being a poor man probably unable to buy another cart, equipment and supplies but I will look out to see if he returns. The rest of of the businesses seem to have escapes the councils grasp, being quicker to leave than the tea seller because they are all back on the street again. Perhaps the authorities should look more towards doing something about the legitemate shops selling fake merchandise at highly inflated prices as if they were the real thing, rather than pick on the poor and honest.
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