CJR Escalante Adventure 2005 – Day 15

Synopsis: Explore near The Gulch. Dayhiking; May 31. View Day 15 route map.


Camp VIII is under the trees.

medium (177k), full size (403k)


Camp VIII from upcanyon. My tent is visible at right. Note the very dry wash.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (209k), large (587k), full size (697k)

John cooked spam and fresh eggs for breakfast. The eggs were a bit of an adventure: the cardboard holder had become wet during the 10 days in the truck and was falling apart by the time we opened the cooler. Eventually, John cracked the eggs open and put the innards into a Kool-Aid container, which was successful in keeping the egg goop and the rest of his pack separate. They were nicely pre-scrambled too.

It was quite a bit different to wake up in a busy 13-person camp. Ready time was set at 10:00 am, and we even rolled out of camp a little early.


Leaving camp to begin our dayhike.

medium (199k), full size (492k)

The first stop was a line cabin a couple of miles down The Gulch. The llama packer, Bevin, had built it in 1993 under contract.


Charles helping Kathleen jump the creek.

medium (228k), full size (442k)


The Gulch from the canyon rim. The line cabin is visible through the dead cottonwood tree.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (210k), large (574k), full size (701k)


Elizabeth Kelly scoping out a pictograph panel across the canyon from the cabin. These are Archaic pictographs, meaning they were created before the arrival of the Anasazi. They are at least 2,200 years old.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (87k), large (216k), full size (1092k)

We climbed out of the canyon and headed east across the flats. We hoped to climb a large mesa which dominated the area between the lower Gulch and Boulder Creek. (The forested mesa top, 1.5 miles south-southwest of camp, is very prominent on the map.)


Marilyn crossing the flat. Note the black Moqui marbles scattered on the slickrock in the foreground.

Photo by Charles Yeamans.
medium (77k), large (208k), full size (611k)


Climbing the easy lower slopes of the mesa. The photographer (me) is about halfway up the easy part; beyond that, the slickrock steepens dramatically. The Henry Mountains are visible in the distance.

medium (84k), large (222k), full size (305k)


All but Charles elected not to ascend the final, steepest section. I’m standing on a peninsula of rock, scouting our descent route; everyone else is visible at our high point just below the shadowed red cliff (as a cluster of specks). Charles climbed this cliff to the top (Class 4).

medium (149k), full size (390k)


Marilyn and Charles at the high point.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (167k), large (431k), full size (681k)


Descending from the mesa.

Photo by Charles Yeamans.
medium (119k), large (349k), full size (663k)

After a long, hot, sweaty hike, what could be better than a swim?


The pool. This is the best of a series of pools in the rock which are nothing more than retained rain water. You will see more of this pool. There is a photo somewhere of it filled with 15 naked people which I’d like to get a copy of.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (157k), large (437k), full size (674k)


The pool from water level. Note how the reflection differs from our view of the scene.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (139k), full size (1016k)


Salon Désertique. Karen and Marilyn give Elizabeth Kelly a shampoo. I had one as well. It was great.

Photo by Bill Priedhorsky.
medium (151k), large (406k), full size (659k)

After leaving the pool, it was a 45-minute walk back to camp. The route passes a large crack in the rock, which you will also hear more of over the coming days.

John cooked us chili mac for supper. The mosquitoes were pretty bad. As soon as it began to get dark, everyone drifted off to bed to avoid the bugs.

However, my dad and I went over to the other camp and retrieved Geoff Reeves and Dave Scudder for an adventure. We climbed out of the canyon in the fading light, and then climbed “Priedhorsky Peak”, a knoll perhaps 30 feet high, before stumbling back to camp in the dark.


Bill on top of Priedhorsky Peak.

Photo by ???.
medium (85k), large (258k), full size (639k)

Please continue reading on Day 16.

E-mail: reid@reidster.net
Copyright © 1999-2013 Reid Priedhorsky. Last modified: 2009-11-01 15:55 CST. Disclaimer.