Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Canyonlands: Horseshoe Canyon

We left Canyonlands in the early afternoon and drove north to I-70 for a spell on over to Green River where we got directions for the dirt road to Horseshoe Canyon and some french fries for a our lard craving bellies. We then found the road and started on an epic 47 mile journey across the desert. There were some mud slurries to be negotiated and I had to leave the car several times to sound puddles for depth or to determine the best route across streams across the road. We scraped mud once which made Colleen nervous but for the most part the road was fine and the scenery exceptional. We arrived at the canyon's edge and found a solitary car in an empty campground.

Ambiana amused herself stacking condiments as we set up camp and made dinner. Horseshoe canyon contains excellent pictographs at the end of a 3.5 mile hike into the canyon. It is also the canyon where Aaron Ralston was trapped for 6 days until he managed to cut off his right hand. We had no plans to followhis route into the canyon. We made a sweet fire, went on a bearhunt, had popcorn and then slept blissfully under an increasingly full moon.

In the morning we packed up and then made ready to hike into the Canyon. Yaya hiked the first 1/2 mile before goin monkey-back on me. Two other cars arrived during breakfast and we had company in the canyon below. There were four pictograph sites, the best being the last. It was a fun hike up a winding canyon riverbed over slippy mud and the occassional quicksand pit. The pictures were impressive but a mystery...ritualistic shamanic aids or the doodlings of bored pueblo kids???

We hiked in and out in about 4 hours and then drove out over 30 more miles of dirt road. The alignment of our tires was off and the steering wheel was vibrating something crazy so when we finally stopped at the Hite marina campsite beside the dwindling waters of Glen Canyon's Lake Powell I crawlewd beneath the Vibe and dislodged copious amounts of concrete-like mud which had plastered the underside and the wheels of the car.

There was no one at the campsite most likely because you can't put a boat in where there is not enough water. We scavanged some wood and had a roaring fire, another bearhunt and some more popcorn befoe another moonfull night of sleep and dreams.