Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Utah Day 9, April 27

Dance Hall Rock was exceptional, it is such a wonderful spot and we were lucky enough to be the only ones there. The afternoon into evening was easy and simple.

Janet and Greg, and later Katie as well, were painting while
seated on the same shaded alcove.

We all took turns hiking about on and around the rock. We had a simple dinner, made a fire and had more wine. The moon rise was awe inspiring as it was almost full as it came up over some rock formations.

Moonlight cast a shimmering glow over our camp.

In many ways it was my best sleep which while not saying much, I am grateful for nonetheless. I woke pretty easily around 7 a.m. to the everyone breaking down camp, which I began to do as well. I was rather unreasonably please with my
first start to finish take down of my borrowed tent.

We headed back up Hole in the Rock Road the way we had come to Dry Fork Gulch; the trail head was packed, filled with folks about to enter the trail. It was close to 10am by this time. We turned around in search of a suitable camping site. Finding one where an older gentleman was working on his vehicle, we weren't thrilled is it was very open. The man, who was from Oregon, suggest we go down the path, heading further towards some more varied terrain. We found the perfect site and I set my tent a top the highest mound, playing Queen of the Hill.

Unloading quickly Greg sussed out how
we might hike from our site to our intended goal for the day. Heading out it soon became clear we were blazing an infrequently, largely unused trail. Lots of scrambling down slick rock and building cairns to mark our return route. My knees let me know they were less than thrilled with this plan but such is life.

We found what we thought was the chalk narrows we were aiming for but later we learned we were mistaken. Leaving there we heading toward Brimstone Canyon, entering it was cool and shaded. The stone he
re has more of a pink cast versus the orange of Zebra. Here at least was the Dry Fork Narrows that we thought we had come upon earlier. We partook of lunch here and after some guidance from fellow hikers we gathered ourselves to see Brimstone.

The heat was not bad, the rock was gorgeous. As we turned up stream (no water, just the language and shadow of where water once flowed) we entered a beautiful sandy stretch with a line of trees in the distance directly at the base of the rock face. We marched through the sand around the bend and I did a body check - my ankle had began to ache again, the right thumb joint that is sometimes troublesome was hurting. Taking into account that it was close to another mile in and we still had to head back to camp I made a judgement call and turned around, back to the Narrows. While I tempted to go further than the Narrows and test my trail skills I knew it would make Greg nervous if I was not where I said I would be for meeting up.

At one point a group came by where I was resting and asked if I was from the party of 5 or 6. Yes, I replied. "They said to say hello". It's a largely sweet, affable world this hiker's universe.

(a shot from back at camp, the end of sundown)

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