Monday, April 12, 2010


We set the alarm for 6:00 in the morning….it didn’t work! Nobody was really into getting up that early to start the hike.

For the past several days’ 10:00 had been the norm. So when an alarm goes off in the early dark of the morning, it’s not a welcoming sound.

Around 7:30 we dragged ourselves out of bed. Everything was already packed in the backpacks – so it was just to set them in the car and do a quick breakfast. At 9:00 we were ready, said our farewells to Karin, Lina and visiting family from Sweden and took off for the Grand Gulch ranger station. Karin threw me a serious look and said “Be sure the boy’s come back in one piece!”

Before anyone starts a hike there, you are first required to watch their twenty-minute video on the do’s and don’ts of hiking around the ruins. We had a shuttle with the cars that needed to be done also; one car had to be at the end of the nine mile road we were to come out along and the other where we start the hike. Our route was to head down Bullet Canyon, along Grand Gulch and up by Polly’s Island, all in all about twenty-five miles.

The temperature was 40 degrees when we started with snow still visible in the shadows. The forecast was for below freezing nights in the beginning and to slowly warm up over the next couple of days.

My pack feels like 50 pounds, as it digs its weight into my shoulders and back. We had to cover 7-8 mile today to our first campsite at the confluence of Bullet Canyon and Grand Gulch. Now I am sitting on a log writing in a journal as the temperature drops close to freezing. During the day it did warm up enough that some could walk around in tee shirts.

Our first ruin was Perfect Kiva, one that is still intact with a roof and latter going down into it. They did a little stabilization work, so one is now able to crawl inside.

Our next ruin was just over at the next alcove; Jailhouse ruin with its barred windows was popular with the group. Mainly for the upper level which required some crawling on your stomach along a narrow ledge between the rock layers. The kids thought this one was the best and that most likely because of the exposure. That's Victor smiling in the front!

Tomorrow we have a full day of exploration and with the temperature now below freezing most want to just crawl in the sleeping bag.

Richard Boyer

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