Slot Canyons in Utah

Trip Start Jan 05, 2012
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Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, June 9, 2012

We left Bryce Canyon and headed towards Escalante in search of slot canyons. Travelling along the bumpy 'Hole in the Rock' road, a dirt road, to get there I felt strangely tired. In fact, most people in the van fell slowly into a deep slumber. Turns out if a road is bumpy it act somewhat like a parent rocking a cradle and puts you straight to sleep.

I decided to give the hike a go even thought I wasn't feeling well; about halfway down the first section my stomach started hurting again. As we began travelling down the chiselled stone I said to Joy "This is gonna be a bitch to get back up". She just nodded and laughed, her way of agreeing with me. Chris and Tanya went down a steep rocky area which Joy and I decided against doing. Instead we went the trail way. I don’t know which way Dillon went.

By the time Joy and I got down there the others had all vanished. Chris and Dillon came walking towards us within a couple of minutes but Tanya still hadn’t come. We started looking for her and Joy started stressing. I wasn’t gonna stress until  a couple of hours had passed by. Luckily she was found within half an hour. No worries. Although Joy was still pretty pissed off that Tanya had wandered off on her own.

Tanya led us to the first slot canyon called ‘Peek-a-Boo’. It was difficult to get into at first and I needed assistance. As Christopher helped me up he pulled me too fast and my arm grazed against the rocks. My skin is now at the entrance of Peek-a-boo serving as a warning sign to others. After the initial part it was pretty easy and cool. The rocks on either side, the strange shaped carved out of the rocks and the holes we eventually climbed through were all results of water being more powerful than stone; a true David vs. Goliath story in nature. After we climbed out of the canyon we walked in what seemed like an aimless direction likely to get one lost. We eventually came upon a dry river bed and walked along it. The sandy riverbed was difficult to walk in and made painful due to the win blowing sand at us. The sand stung s it hit our legs, arms and faces. I felt like I was in one of those movies where someone is lost in the desert during a sandstorm and all hope seems lost. Then just up ahead they see salvation, ours was in the form of a person we had seen as we entered Peek-a-boo.

He told us we were at the slot canyon known as ‘Spooky’, which was where we had wanted to go. Naturally, we were quite pleased with ourselves. Entering spooky it wasn’t long before it was clear how it got its name; there are places here that are literally a tight squeeze. This is one of those places obese people shouldn’t attempt because they WILL get stuck. It begins with small places and then you canyonneer down a section and it becomes extremely tight. For obese people they wouldn’t be able to proceed and they probably couldn’t get back up the way they’d come. I personally found most of it really easy to get through because of my flexibility. I don’t know how people who aren’t flexible do it. My favourite aspect of spooky was canyonneering. I want to do more of that.

After spooky we walked with effort along the riverbed towards the trail out of the canyon. The heat of the sun  beating us down, the wind blowing sand and dust into our throats and eyes, and our legs feeling heavier and heavier (partly due to the fact that our shoes were filling up with sand) we continued. As we started heading up I fell behind. My stomach was making me feel like I was going to throw up every 10 steps or so. I sat down frequently. At one point I just laid down. I saw a little lizard and I said “how do you survive?” Then I made it to the top. I was successful. Had I not been sick I would have found it all so much easier. But, alas, I had to struggle to achieve success. The bumpy drive out made for a deep sleep which was what we all needed.

To shower for the day Tanya had decided to stop at a waterfall at Upper Left Creek. To get there it was a mile hike down and a mile hike straight up return. I decided not to do that hike as I needed to chill out and let my stomach settle. I had a poor man's bath which is basically wetting a dirty shirt and cleaning yourself with that (Oh, and I used very little water to do this).

We found a really nice camping spot in the middle of nowhere and I had a great sleep. Unfortunately, Tanya, Joy and Dillon didn't.
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