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Peter Bowden | all galleries >> Utah Sept. 07 Trip Report > P9032515.jpg
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It didn't take long to make the hike down the canyon. I checked over my shoulder upsteam once in a while just in case but no flood came. We made our last crossing to the base of the sandy trail that starts the climb out. We found some shade to rest in and drank some water before the pull up out of the canyon. While the elevation gain would be the same as The Fairyland Loop in Byrce, there would be no gentle switchbacks. This would be a workout. We got to our feet and started up the steep, sandy first section of trail. We'd been walking non-stop since 11:00 except for the 20 minutes or so we'd spent at The Great Gallery. Our legs were tired. I came to hate the deep sand and had to stop frequently to let the burn in my legs die down. We were glad to make it to the cattle baffle since we knew that we were done with the sand and the rest of the hike would be on rock.
Still, it was a tough climb. It was about 94° F and the clouds had abandoned us. The trail is open to the south and the sun just added to the heat. We stopped more and more frequently for water breaks but never for too long. There was an underlying urgency to the hike since we could see clouds still moving in our direction. Neither of us spoke as our concentration was focused on the most productive placement of our next step up the stoney stairway out of the canyon. I made a game of making sure that each step took me up. No stepping down allowed. It became mesmerizing after awhile. I'd hiked many miles in desert heat as a youth. My mind knew how to ignore the heat and complaining feet and legs. Sharon's request for water snapped me from my merciful reverie and I noticed that she looked a little pale and woozy. It was time for longer break in spite of the rumbling we were starting to hear in the distance. There was no place to get out of the sun so we just sat on a rock.
I figured we were probably two thirds of the way out by now so I encouraged Sharon to drink water as much as she wished since we still had a couple of quarts. I used the 'misty mate' she'd brought along to spray her head and neck to cool her off. Hurrying was not a wise option. Slow and steady would get us out of here. As we resumed our uphill march, I began to mentally inventory what supplies we had in the truck in case the road washed out and we became stranded. There was still 4 gallons of water in the Jeep as well as ice melt water, maybe another 2 gallons, in the beverage cooler. We had probably 7 or 8 beers, a couple of leftover pizza slices from Escalante, some trail mix and a couple of other snacks. The camping gear was also there so I figured that, if worse came to worst, we could manage for 3 or 4 days at least. Good to know.
As we reached the rim, the rumbling of thunder was much closer and we could see the storm moving in our direction from the southwest. 3 PM… and we're outta here. We paused long enough to take off our boots and get some ice cold water from the cooler. The first bit of road was rough and first gear was as fast as we could go.

Olympus Evolt E-510
1/30s f/22.0 at 42.0mm iso400 full exif

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