April 24, 2012 – The word for today was ADVENTURE……We drove east on Hwy 12, just past Escalante, to Hole In The Rock Road – a 57 mile gravel road to ….you guessed it….. the Hole In The Rock. But as exciting as this sounds, the Hole In The Rock was NOT our destination. We were only going about half-way, to Dry Fork Coyote Gulch and what was described to be several very interesting slot canyons……Peekaboo, Spooky, and Dry Fork.
We got an early start to the day, to beat the heat and crowds, knowing that we had at least an hour’s drive to get to the canyons. ‘Adventure’ was definitely the word…..Hole In The Rock Road is a washboard road through the middle of nowhere. Driving between 20-35 mph, we just managed to not shake everything loose on the truck. The scenery was amazing…… when you could look around!
After about 1 hr. and 15 min of rattling down the road, we arrived at Dry Fork Trailhead. Several groups of people must have ignored the ‘no camping’ signs and had spent the night in tents. It would be an awesome campsite……We all seemed to be heading out at just about the same time…..and trying to follow the trail description “Descend about 200-300 feet on cairn marked trail.” Oooooh Kaaaaay…..What trail? Not so obvious…..
We took a wild guess and started down….not hiking, exactly, at first. More just scrambling/sliding down the first drop-off, before picking up on what had to be the marked ‘trail’. As it turned out, we were the ones giving directions to several other groups…..Hey, we brought the map…..
I think that you have to be part desert Bedouin and part mountain goat to enjoy this trek…….rock inclines (fortunately it was rough rock and not slippery). And where there was not rock….sand (think walking on the deep sand on a beach and you’ll get the idea). Fortunately, we did not have a long hike to the opening in the canyon wall that was Peekaboo Canyon.
Yes, we read the description that said…”The opening is located about 12 feet up the wall…..Small hand and foot holds carved in the wall will help you climb up into the opening”. Still, somehow, I had hoped that there might be a ladder…..But, no, it was ‘heave ho, up we go’.
I will say, right up front, that there are some things that I would NEVER be able to do on my own. Fred is such a good help….giving me a hand/leg up. With a push from the bottom…..and a pull from the top….we both made it up. And….
OH WOW! Was it worth it!
Smooth, pink stone…….sculpted in the most intricate ways…
With the most amazing light!
We climbed up and over and through….For me, this meant pulling myself up, using arms, legs and just about everything. : ) (The sticks resting on the right lower side, were put there to aid one’s climb up about a 5 foot high ledge)
And followed this narrow slot canyon……snapping pictures……and marveling……
Now, I have to say, because I don’t like anyone to be left ‘hanging’ (especially me) that when we felt like we had gone as far as we were comfortable we turned around and headed back out. Peekaboo is a short .25mile canyon, but it was climbing up all the way. And what goes up…..
Going down was mostly a matter of sliding on my behind (Not Fred, who, as always, handles this with much more finesse than I do). I took this photo of another fellow coming down that 12 foot drop……
I think he handled it a bit better than I did, but, I managed to side down without hurting anything or anyone. On to Spooky……