Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Our night at Sheiks Gulch was a lot warmer, maybe because the clouds rolled in sometime in the middle of the night, any ways I wasn’t about to complain. It was a joy to wake up to something other than freezing.

We had a short four mile hike planned for today. Two miles to the confluence of Bullet and Grand Gulch; from there we would start our ascent back up Bullet for two and a half miles to camp number three. At the junction of the two we decided to have lunch and look at a few ruins, there we also found running water and fill up all our water bottles just to be on the safe side.

With time on our side we pulled into our evening camp around four in the afternoon. Across the wash we had the most impressive ruin of “Jail House”. It got the name from the bars of twigs across the small window. It also has a killer second story, which is a challenge to get to. Nate and I decided to give it a try. I was up there last year. But Nate, who claims to be afraid of heights, wanted to give it a try at all costs. The only condition was that I should go first and turn around so he could see me once I made it through the hole.

In order to start one has to go around the corner, climb up some rocks to the next level of sandstone and work your way back along a ramp to the corner. There you will fine a small hole to squeeze through on your stomach around the corner. Once you contort yourself through the rabbit hole, you’ll find yourself on a very narrow exposed ledge that slants at an uncomfortable pitch to almost certain death. It would be nice if you could crawl, but with the over hanging cliff above one is reduced to shimming along on your stomach. The feeling of rolling over the edge is always with you. Once you make it to the rock wall of the ruin, there you have a chance to sit up and look through the holes they had in the wall for defense. This was their only chance to shoot arrows at the enemies when their society began to collapse.

Nate and I both made it back in on piece. That night dinner was “Italian” with three courses. The only thing missing was the red wine. The cold night air became to move in and we were all eager to crawl into some warm sleeping bags.

Richard Boyer

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