Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 6 - Saturday April 24

Given the long day I had had, it was annoying to feel awake rather then sleep hitting me like a lead anvil. Eventually sleep did come and morning came far too soon. Hearing voices, I resisted rising until Greg came up to the plateau where Meredith and I had perched to ask if I could be ready to go in fifteen minutes to head into Escalante to partake of our breakfast invitation from the Lions that Meredith and Matt received night before. Turns out that we actually went to breakfast with The Church of Latter Day Saints folks, they were only using the Lion's Club hall the night before. After breakfast I declared that they were lovely people but I could never be a Mormon what with no caffeine or kinky sex.

After a carbohydrate heavy breakfast we headed to the Visitor Center to check on the trail since it is a primarily unmarked path. We drove down Rt 12 until we hit Hole in the Rock
Road, proceeding something like 7.8 miles, just past the 3rd cattle fence to a parking area. Slathering on sunscreen, packing lunch we readied for about a two mile hike on a partially marked trail on the hunt to find Zebra Slot Canyon.
At various points I was cursing my decision to do today's adventure, maybe even the whole trip. My left knee was cranky during the night, both knees were tired. Given that it got down to about 25F overnight I slept well but not nearly enough. Most of
the trail is hot, unprotected from the sun. I'm tired. The stunning rock formations, contrasted by shots of hardy green trees are compelling. The textures, the rippling color on the rocks are unbelievable. But
learning from yesterday my camera is not around my neck, instead resting securely in my bag. It would be great to shoot more of these vistas but there is a limit to what I can do.

We eventually find Zebra which is where I am as I write this, finally having the silence I so need. Stopping just inside the mouth of the canyon we eat lunch, also much needed. Leaving our packs against the canyon walls we snake and shimmy our way throu
gh the undulating walls, some places to step are literally the width of my boot. The views are glorious, sensuous; the walls beg to be stroked.

Everyday here I am stunned to be here. Greg said something about what a resource this place is; I thought a
ccessing it is such a privilege. My awareness about how fortunate I am to be here is not taken for granted, not for a moment.

Matt and Meredith have headed up to the find another canyon (Tunnel) in the area. Greg, Janet and Katie are doing their art further inside the slot. The silence is so good. I am dreading the hike back but hopeful the temperature will have dropped some by then. We started the hike at 10:55am, making it to the canyon by about 12:30 I think.

Walking deeper in to find shade, and take more photos, stumbling on Katie who was working on lovely small paintings. I find a shady spot, just settling in when a dog, two kids, and pregnant woman and her partner came through. Calling ahead to the ar
tists I let them know a dog was coming. I told the family about the wood plank and told the woman she might have trouble passing through it with her lovely belly. I hunkered back down enjoying the coolness, feeling a sweet, moist breeze coming from de
eper in the canyon. Some ravens started flying over me and the sound of their wings flapping echoed and resonated in a way one usually only hears in documentaries. Then I heard the whistling noise of one diving towards another. It is a sound I associate with planes, not birds and it struck me as one of the coolest things ever.

As we prep for the hike out which will take about 2 hours, I am wonder, once again, why I came. My endurance is so much lower than everyone else's. I don't like being the slowest, the most tired, etc. It makes me feel like a hold back, something. Janet has been very supportive, talking about often being the slowest many many times. It helps, a little.

Tomorrow we will break camp, load everything in, do a smallish hike up the Escalante River trail, then head to the Boulder Mountain Lodge for our hotel night. Thank the goddesses without husbands. I will likely hike very little tomorrow as my body needs a rest day.

1 comment:

Sara said...

what a transformative trip, in so many ways.