Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One trip down...three more to go!

This past weekend, Scott and I headed out to Coyote Gulch for a quick backpacking trip. It is located near Escalante, UT, just south of the Boulder Mountains, and just north of Lake Powell. It was quite a drive down there since we had never been there before. But we saw tons of deer, and elk, and way too many rabbits. After about 5 1/2 hours in the car, we finally found our turnoff! Yay! Except for the 42 miles of dirt road we were headed down:) We were only able to go about 20 to 30 mph down this road, so it was taking a long while. Scott started to get really really tired, so he made me drive for a bit. I only made it about 3 minutes down the road before I had to stop for a darn cow that would not move out of my way! Luckily I had Scott with me...I sure do love that man. He makes me laugh. He jumped out of the car and started sweet talking this cow, then, he jumped at it and startled that poor thing! I have never seen a cow jump like that before! But off it ran:)

So, we continued down the road for another couple of minutes and what happens?? I see a rabbit confused out of its poor little mind. It can't decide whether to stay in the road or hop into the brush. So, it stays in the road. Bad decision on that rabbits part. I couldn't stop the car in time. But I wasn't sure if we hit him or not. Scott made me reverse down the dirt road until we saw a clump of fur. Whoops! Then the dead rabbit, hit right down the middle. Oh well. The coyotes got free food that night!

After a ways, we finally found the trailhead and parked our car. By this time, it was about 11:30 pm, so we slept in the Element. That car is so useful. I love it. We laid all of the seats down to make a giant bed and got a few hours of shut eye.

The next morning, we woke up early to start our hike to the rim of the canyon. We trudged along two miles of loose sand and slick rock. It took awhile, but it was more and more exciting the closer we got to the canyon! We knew we were almost there when we saw this eagle on the side of the canyon wall!

From here, we began our descent into the Coyote Gulch. This was the sketchy part. We had to scramble down about 100 yards of slick rock. It was pretty intense. Most people climb up and out at this point, not down. So, it was a bit of an adrenaline rush for the both of us. But we made it! And we were at the lovely and astonishing Jacob Hamblin Arch!

Nature is so amazing. We are constantly reminded of the beautiful world we live in. And how resourceful it is!! Here is a picture of Scott drinking from a natural spring. He loved it:)

After a short break, we began the 6 mile hike down stream to where we were wanting to camp for the night. We saw so much stuff! We followed this stream all the way down the canyon, having to cross it every so often. That was fun and refreshing, it kept us cool. And it made the canyon so green! The contrast between the green trees and red walls were amazing!

Soon, we came across the first of many waterfalls. These were fun! Until I slipped in one and popped my toe out of place. Don't worry, I got it back in place:) Anyway, we passed so many beautiful little falls. The only bad part about them was finding our way down the rocks. Good thing we like to climb!

We aw some other cool natural rock formations along the way. Here is a boulder balancing on top of another.

And Coyote Natural Bridge, from here it looks like an arch, but it is actually a bridge the Anasazi Indians used! Cool, huh?!?

Just as a side note, I am glad Scott is my best buddy. I love hanging out with him!

Here are a few more waterfalls we came across.

Anyway, back to what we were up to:) Not just showing off the pictures. After our 6 mile hike down through the winding canyon, we finally found the perfect spot to camp. We made sure we got there with enough sunlight to allow us to set up camp and make dinner. We made awesome timing! So, we set up our tent, rested for a few minutes, then threw all of our stuff inside the tent while we began cooking our ramen dinner. Unfortunately, we never got to eat our ramen. A huge windstorm came, blowing sand everywhere! Our tent was ripped out of the ground and blown into the stream. Even with all of our stuff inside! Scott was such a brave man! He jumped on top of the tent(after his first attempt which landed him in a bush...) and hauled it out of the water. Our packs, sleeping bags, everything, was soaking wet. And the darn wind tore our tent in 12 different places while busting the poles at the same time. So, needless to say, are shelter was demolished. We packed everything up as fast as we could and hustled to find more shelter(a cave, rocks, whatever, anything would work at this point). We back tracked to find the last campsite we had spotted to ask if they knew of a place where we could stay for the long night ahead of us. They didn't know the area, but they helped us tie our rainfly to a log on the ground while the other side was weighed down with rocks. Needless to say, we slept on the ground with the rainfly right on top of us like a blanket. Fun! not. however, in this picture, the wind is blowing the rainfly up to make it look like a tent:)

After awhile, the wind died down, but then a thunderstorm came, soaking our rainfly and us. After lots of prayers, the rain finally subsided and turned into snow! In the middle of the desert in spring. But, we would rather have snow than rain cause it gave us a warm blanket without getting us more wet. But after the long, miserable night, we woke up to chirping birds and were very grateful we had survived!!

By this point in our trip, we were exhausted! Dealing with natures elements and little surprises:) But we were close to the mile high sand dune we had to hike up to get back to our car. The only problem was finding the right trail! There were three trails, so Scott left me where the three trails met and ran a half mile down each one to determine where there headed. I had a nice rest, but Scott ran an extra three miles:) What a work out! Not to mention the mile of sand we hiked up! The ultimate stairmaster. We are still sore! But this was the view from the top of the hill!

As we approached the top of the sand hill, we were at the canyon walls, where we had to climb through this crack to make it out. That was fun! Alot easier than climbing the hill!

From here, our journey was short. We hiked on the sand and slick rock back to our car.

But what an adventure! This world is so amazing! From where we parked our car, it looked like miles and miles of just desert. Who knew that there would be such a big hole in the ground, full of fun and adventures??


Briana said...

Holy Cow!! That was such a crazy story! After looking at all of those beautiful, sunny, desert pictures from your hike in, I was totally suprised to hear about that crazy storm that blew in! Sorry about your tent! That stinks! What an adventure, though! It makes for a really good story :) I'm glad that you guys were ok and lived to tell about it ;)

Melanie said...

Wow, what an adventure! It's so beautiful out there. I love your pictures!

Lindsay said...

It's not fair that you look cute in camping pictures. I object!!

Glad you guys had so much fun and were SAFE!

M-McClellan said...

Emily, were do I begin...

1. Where do you find all of these crazy places/ ideas?!

2. Are you crazy?! if I had gotten a call that you were missing in the desert, in the middle of nowhere. I really would have flipped out this week. Emily I have way to much stress in my life. Please be safe!

3. I love your sense of adventure. My adventure goes about as far as running 4 miles on a treadmile.

4. You must be a great cook, Scott has gained a little weight (sorry Scott, not trying to offend). Greg did the same thing when we were first married. He blamed it on the hot breakfast every morning.

5. Those were some beautiful pictures.

Love you Emily can't wait to see you in less then 2 months! :)

Ivy said...

oh my gosh!! emily! you have a blog! i am beyond excited!!! i get to keep up with all of your adventues and best of all keep in touch with you!

what a great surprise!

The Copelands said...

Oh Michelle,
1. We google our trips, like backpacking in southern utah, and Coyote Gulch is what it brought up!

2. No need to worry. We are ALWAYS safe!!! :) Well, at least we take precautions in the things we do.

3. You're lucky your sense of adventure is running on a treadmill and taking care of kids. It gets tiring being married to Scott and his need for adventure!

4. We eat out alot since we are both at work late and I work at the Bird:)

5. Thank you. Can't wait to take pictures with my SISTERS in California! See you soon! Love you Michelle!

Melanie said...

Hi Emily! I'm been wondering, what kind of sandals did you wear on this trip? How did they hold up with the hiking?