Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zion National Park needs no introduction. It is a must-do destination in the Southwest for hikers and canyoneering buffs. We visited with the specific intention of hiking the "Subway"(Left Fork of North Creek). It does require a permit even for a day hike. So, we showed up at the backcountry ranger station the day before we wanted to do our hike and requested a day permit with no troubles. Apparently, the permit limit of 50 persons per day was instituted back in the late 90's due to hundreds of boyscouts invading the "Subway" in one day or weekend and "trashing" the place. Thanks for making it difficult for the rest of us!
Lightning in a crack in the Sandstone!
You'll find this cool feature more than halfway up the 5 mile hike to the Subway.
There are several beautiful cascades like this one on the way to the Subway.
In the lower left of this photo is the first of  many "potholes" to discover along the hike to the Subway.
Natalie poses for a picture in the Subway! It's a long arduous hike (rock-hopping) through the creek for about 5 miles to get to this point, and it is totally worth it!
One of the many larger hot-tub sized "potholes" in the Subway proper.
This picture is from the upper part of the canyon that requires a rope or very good scrambling skills to gain access to it from the bottom. We were lucky enough to run into a guy named Jeremy who kindly allowed us to use his ropes to ascend to the upper reaches of the Subway.
In the background of this photo is the famous "North Pole" coined by the Pro Landscape Photographer Michael Fatali.
The "North Pole" in all its splendor.
Just past the log in the background of this picture is another waterfall that requires ropes to ascend. So, this was the end of the line for Natty & Trey. It was a long 5 mile hike back to our camper. Luckily, we were able to "dry-camp" in the trailhead parking lot before heading on to our next adventure.

Trey & Natty

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lower Calf Creek Falls (~120ft) was a 5 mile roundtrip hike that was a perfect opportunity to cool-off in the shade and spray of the falls. However, the water was surprisingly cold and intolerable for more than a few minutes. We would highly recommend this hike if you are in the area of Southern Utah near Escalante. 

We did an internet search to try to find the source of the water coming over Calf Creek Falls with no luck. If anyone out there knows the answer to that mystery, please send us a comment. Thanks. 

Above is Trey admiring the "Tiger Stripes" in the Willis Creek Narrows outside of Henrieville, Utah. This "Slot Canyon" is well worth a visit!  It's an easy hike with no major obstacles to overcome. There are several sections with beautiful "fluted" sandstone walls to explore.
Last year we made a trip to Goblin Valley State park in Utah. It was an amazingly unique place. However, Trey was still recovering from surgery to repair his fractured tibia. Using crutches to explore Goblin Valley was a frustrating experience to say the least. So, we really wanted to go back (healthy) and give it a proper exploration.
We didn't see anyone else off on the backside of Goblin Valley. There's nothing else like it that we've ever seen! Unfortunately, there was no "hookup" for our truck camper at this State Park. Apparently, we were competing with hoards of Europeans who flock to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona this time of year. Ever since a motion picture was made in this area back in the 90's by a German film maker, Europeans have come in droves to explore "Color Country" in their own rental rv's. Luckily, our batteries were charged and water tank was full, so we were able to "boondock" off of the BLM road that leads to Little Wild Horse Canyon(our next "must-do" hike). 
The picture above was taken just after the sun set below the horizon. Even light with no shadows. 
In this picture above, Natalie is down in the canyon setting up a shot with her camera on a tripod. 
Natalie poses in front of a huge sandstone wall streaked with "desert varnish" at the head of Little Wild Horse Canyon which is a must see place just a short drive from Goblin Valley State Park. 
Little Wild Horse is one of the longest "Slot Canyons" that is easily accessible by mere humans without the need for ropes and harnesses. 
Inside the "rib cage" of Little Wild Horse canyon. So Cool!   There really is no excuse to not visit this canyon     Especially if your are in the area. 
Let me just say, I swear this in not photoshop'd! I turned the corner and there it was! I thought I was hallucinating. A terrible flashback from my teenage years? Nope, it's real, and you could find it in Little Wild Horse Canyon for yourself. I saw a documentary on Discovery Channel the other day that explained why we  humans see "faces" in clouds, tree bark, rocks, etc...Look it up. It's very interesting. 
Variety is the key word to describe this canyon!
In my opinion, you can never have enough visual reference to cool places to visit. So many of the places I've wanted to go to, I've found  by searching photos on It is a great resource for those that are visually oriented like me! 
Trey & Natty

Saturday, October 6, 2012