October 3-9, 2004 Southern Utah
A1200-mile car trip encircling Lake Powell, including interesting stuff. Some was even interestinger stuff than last year's stuff.
Trip roadmap, essentially around Lake Powell. Includes Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Capitol Reef NP, Natural Bridges NM, and lots of BLM land in between. Weather was good, and we saw lots of slickrock, rock art, and great fall color.
So Sunday night Jamers and I camped at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River. When we arrived, the sun was behind the rim of the Paria Plateau and I took the photo above. Monday morning we hiked up the Paria River, noting evidence of recent flooding. Check out all the chocolatey goodness. We read in the wilderness boundary register that because of the high water, two parties of backpackers got stranded for three days in the narrows. Bummer, dude.
On a hike at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Stitched panorama from a pulloff outside Escalante: view over part of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. This is looking east, over the Escalante River drainage
Fremont petroglyphs in Escalante River canyon. Fremont images always look like the Knights Who Say NEE.
. On a hike in GSENM, to Upper Calf Creek Falls. Last year when we were here we hiked to Lower Calf Creek Falls.
We did a hike in this canyon, simply called The Gulch.
Golden aspens! A stitch looking generally south over the Escalante drainage from about the 8000' level on Boulder Mountain. That haze on the left, we found out, was from forest fires in northern Arizona.
. . Next stop was at Capitol Reef National Park where we spent a full day hiking in the canyons there.
More spooky Knights of NEE
Hiking in Glen Canyon NRA.
An amazing site: Glen Canyon with the Colorado River running through it! After 6 years of drought in the west, Lake Powell is at a historically low level of 38% full, and 46 miles of upper Glen Canyon is now fully exposed. I took this sequence of photos from a cliff above the west bank of the river. At center is Hite Marina, high and dry. We were here three years ago and camped on the lake near the marina, but today there's no lake, just a river, but really fascinating to see. Since this is the upper end, where the Colorado dumped its sediment when the reservoir was filled, the river bed is more of an ugly, tamarisk-infested mudflat than a true river bed that once was. So now the Colorado flows across and cuts into a deep deposit of grey silt, causing it to run grey, shallow and flat. You can look at this stitch at either 236kb or 580kb.
At Natural Bridges NM, we did a hike that we started in May 2002. It was too hot on that previous day so we stopped at the halfway point but NBNM was worth this return trip. Recent flooding is evident here too, and this place must have been a mighty sight, since this 30' pouroff had probably ten feet of water pouring over it. We found sticks and debris at the base of those junipers above and behind me.
We stopped for a snack along the creek, and high up, above a terrace we saw this great rock art panel.
We hiked back to the road under Owachomo Bridge.
Some cool rock art in Butler Wash, near Bluff. A local woman in the cafe told us about how to find this site and it was worth the effort.
Straight across on the opposite side of Butler Wash are these ruins.
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