Journey to Moab 2013

CHAPTER 3:

We woke up the next day, ate breakfast, and went outside…it was drizzling lightly, but the clouds overhead told a different story…it seemed like it was going to POUR….regardless, off we went. Todays trail plan was chicken corners through hurrah pass. Now hurrah pass isn’t difficult or anything but it is dangerous in the wet, as is chicken corners. If the rain is bad, you can get trapped at chicken corners since there is a creek which turns into a serious raging river…the creek divides hurrah pass and chicken corners.

 

As we descended hurrah pass, we came across the creek in question….it was beginning to build up strength, and had already swallowed a pickup….I was fairly confident that I can make it, but the 5′ sand bank coming back would be a difficult hurdle…assuming the creek wouldn’t pick up steam….not only that, there were no solid trees for me to use as an anchor point for my winch…

However, just from watching this pickup get yanked out, the creek rose by over 5″…making a safety call, I scrapped the Chicken corners plan, and we decided to hit a trail that was higher up in elevation and away from water-runoff.

As you can see, the terrain began getting worse and worse, muddier and muddier. I wanted to get some nice sunset pics, so we decided to hit up Spring Canyon…while were driving to spring canyon, I noticed we were climbing higher and higher. This was of concern as I knew that spring canyon was a serious shelf road, which is hard enough in the dry.  Getting to the summit of spring canyon, I then realized that the trail is actually DOWN into the canyon….dammit…there goes my hope of no more creeks, but to hell with it, we are already here, so here we go again.

A fall here would be quite unpleasant.

Making it down into the canyon, we ate a few sandwiches, relaxed by the colorado river, and headed back up and out.  It was already getting late, so we decided to hit the town for dinner and then back to our cabin and call it a night.

 

The next day I really wanted to see picture frame arch, so we went on the trail looking for it. It was not an easy one to find, and we actually got lost.  It rained again, so the mud was epic. I didn’t even know Moab had mud.

This is the Jeep in the middle of nowhere. Had no real clue where we were.

Finally after more getting lost, looking, and checking coordinates, we realized it was right in front of our noses the whole time, we just didn’t notice it because unless you are looking at it at the correct angle, it just looks like more rock. Doh.

Hungry, we wanted to go to town to grab some lunch….but I just couldn’t take the Jeep’s dirt condition any longer, and didn’t want the mud to solidify, so off to the powerwashers. The buildup was biblical.

Took almost an hour of power-washing to blast it all off. Normally I wouldn’t care but we were getting our clothes dirty every time we entered and exited the rig.

After the arch, we were starving, so we needed to get some food, but we were so far from town, I didn’t want to drive all the way back to eat, so I broke out the emergency steaks and settled in for a picnic on the side of the colorado river.

After lunch, we decided to head to Arches National Park. Since my friend had never been to Moab, I figured offroad or not, it’s something he needs to see.  Entering the park, we stopped to check out “the courthouse.”

After that, we decided to make a stop at the balanced rock…pretty cool to see in person.

It’s now about 7:30, and the sun sets at 8:18…and we still haven’t even gotten to the delicate arch. We arrive in the parking lot at about 7:45, pack up whatever we need, and begin the 1.5 mile strenuous hike. We are the only idiots walking in that direction, and everyone else is walking down. It is one hell of a hike, with ankle snapping “steps” everywhere. No biggie….or so we thought. We kept on climbing. We managed to get up there after the sun has already set (but still some light remained) and shot a few pics….

DelicateGalaxy

 

*note the mountains in the background for a later story…*

After shooting and shootin’ the breeze with a bunch of other photographers up there, it was already dark…and I mean dark…I mean pitch black, and we now need to hike 1.5 miles back to the Jeep. We said our goodbye’s with the photographers and began the long walk. I used my iphone flash as a flashlight, and my friend used his Surefire pocket torchlight to light up the distance (20 feet).

Things were going ok for about half a mile then we got “stuck.” The direction we were walking towards took us towards a sheer cliff, so we knew that was wrong, so we went another way. After 10 minutes of looking we found the path and continued for another half a mile. At 1 mile or so, we got really lost. I was trying to retrace our steps, but it was too damn dark. The situation has gone from haha funny (Joe Pesci reference) to pretty serious. After not panicking and thinking, we eventually found our way back. I urge everyone to take this seriously…this is NOT a place you want to be lost in, do not attempt this hike near sunset and if you must, bring proper lighting with you. My stupid mistake could have ended pretty badly. Also make sure you carry a lot of water. It’s very dry and the hike is seriously strenuous. If you are stuck there for the night, you are going to need it.

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