Monday, April 12, 2010

Friday

Last day before the long slog out of the canyon. Actually we have around five miles to cover, which isn’t that bad. No water froze last night; in fact with the anticipation of another cold night, I had on all the long underwear. After a few minutes of sweating in the sleeping bag I was stripping everything off again. The night was a lot warmer and by the following morning the temperatures had screamed back up to the mid 70’s, making it almost too hot to hike with heavy packs on.

Not long into the hike we ran into our first ruin. A two level structure with a fireplace inside, a real fixer-upper! There we found large pottery shards and plenty of corncobs. We spent maybe an hour there looking at the pictographs of all the hand prints; it kind of tells you that the site was most likely used for several generations.

We zigzagged our way across the stream farther on down the Grand Gulch. Scrambling up and down step sandy embankments through the narrow walled canyon. Sometimes the trail would just vanish, leaving us to bushwhack through groves of willows and tamarisk bushes.

Soon we were at another ruin looking at several hundred-hand prints and a large cactus field out frond, a clear sign that it had been used by many families over several generations. Our campsite for tonight had a view of it from across the stream bed. The water had dried up at this location, so we went off in search of small puddles to filter for our evening drinking water and freeze dried dinners.

Richard Boyer

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