Winter Desert Weekend, Part 1

Right after Christmas, Josh contacted me to see if I would be interested in joining Ofa, Prajit, and himself in for some slot canyon adventuring. I decided since it was such a long drive that it might be fun to invite a friend along for the ride especially since I had a long weekend and Josh and his crew had to get back to SLC on Sunday. Fortunately, Kelly decided that she and her pup Petey would join Sprocket and I on our adventure.

We pulled out of Ridgway right after school on Friday and headed out over Lizard Head Pass. Sprocket insisted we stop at the top of the pass for a quick stretch break and photo opportunity. (He actually whined all the way from the Telluride round-about to Lizard Head and just wanted to frolic in the snow.) We pushed through a long dark drive across the Navajo Reservation, experienced some desert fog, and talked about skinwalkers and eventually made camp at Whitehouse Campground between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah. We were both exhaused and I hardly registered it when Josh, Prajit and Ofa drove in and were setting up their tents.

The next morning, we made a quick run to Kanab to try for obtain day-of permits for The Wave, however, during the winter all the permits for the weekend are given away on Friday so we settled for breakfast in town before heading out to hike Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch.

It was a gorgeous winter day for hiking:

After a short ramble through the wash, we dropped into Wire Pass.

I tried to help Sprocket over the following chockstone and he basically decided to jump over my shoulder. This is my Class 3+ doggy:

Eventually we emerged at the junction of Buckskin Gulch and Wire Pass:

Unfortunately, there was a lot of water going both directions. Sprocket was the only one who thought continuing was a good idea. Instead, we enjoyed the views and enjoyed the majestic canyon junction before heading back out of the canyon.

Some of Ofa and Prajit’s friends were headed to the Horseshoe of the Colorado River just south of Paige to watch sunset so Kelly and I hopped in Prajit’s car and joined them. The Horseshoe is majestic but it was so crowded (although it did inspire our trip to the Goosenecks of the San Juan on the way home).

The sunset colors were pretty sweet though:

Back at camp, we had a beer and then headed for our warm sleeping bags. (Well, Prajit and Josh decided to make some awesome art first.) Sprocket had spent a good chunk of Friday night shivering so I decided to cozy him up in my Turbodown. At first, he wasn’t really sure how he felt about it:

I pulled the hood up and he suddenly understood and immediately fell asleep in his cozy coat.

4 Replies to “Winter Desert Weekend, Part 1”

  1. I am DYING. I can’t believe Sprocket let you put the coat on him!! That is awesome 🙂 And this gets me so excited– Page is where my 55k is next month and we run through/by a lot of these sights!

  2. Sprocket in the hoody made me laugh! That is so dog-ish! I would guess there was a great big exhale right after the chin hit the floor and sleep over-took – at least that’s the way our doggie falls into chilly sleep.

    Love the Buckskin Gulch area, and the Stateline CG is a quite cozy spot. I have a photo of that same zig-zag of white in the red sand stone!

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