I was planning to do a solo base camp in the Escalante, and I was looking forward to the solo part with some trepidation. So, a few days before Easter break, I was encouraged to see, in the Utah Sierran, a hike lead by Toni Wall of Spanish Fork to the Crack-in-the-wall and Coyote Gulch. I called right away and a friendly female voice returned my call.
So, I drove to Spanish Fork, and met the Walls. We drove to Fortymile Ridge along the Hole-in-the-rock road, pausing in Bicknell for a late lunch.
It was open and fairly desolate at the trailhead (TH). Dan, the equipment man, was at the TH and he was fussing over a dutch oven filled with sauerkraut and other goodies. We sat on the TH bump in lawn chairs while the sun set. It was a very cool evening and the morning arrived too soon, with the golden rays of the sun slanting across the slickrock and brush.
|Folks entering the "Crack in the Wall" - Photo by Toni Wall. (Click image for larger view)|
|Hikers lowering packs between crack segments - Photo by Toni Wall. (Click image for larger view)|
Day 3: Up & out: It's a long way back by road, so we lounged in the canyon respite, packed and headed for the base of the big dune. First, some cool water wading, then the slog up the dune where the brilliant sun glared down on us. And to the base of the Crack, where Rob Wall and I walked up the nose of the Stegosaurus plates with packs, then hauled up the others. On the slickrock and sand hike back to the TH, we saw Enid and Jim (infamous Utah republicans) chewing their cuds, grazing at the public trough.
We reclined at the TH while everyone soaked in the last bits of desert delight. Again, it was sunny and quite warm. We paused at Devil's Garden (off the Hole in the Rock Road), which looked a bit like a miniature Goblin Valley, then resumed our long journey home. I found a map and a Vermont hat (treasures!) on the road, I guess they had been left on top of a car. Back in Smog Lake by 9-something, it had been a great weekend. Happy howling.
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