Friday, January 16, 2009

Day Eleven: A Fine Day

Stone Creek

Sunday April 16, 2000 - I woke up in the middle of the night for the first time and watched the moon set over a downstream rim. The sky was clear and shone brilliantly with starlight even with the absence of the torch-like moon. When I woke up a second time, clouds had moved in enshrouding the inner canyon and would stay with us until mid-morning before dissolving away. As a treat for the cook and her assistant, Bronco cooked breakfast this morning to let them sleep in and for a half hour, it was just the two of us. With the heavy clouding, people slept in and after they finally gathered in the kitchen area, we ate a breakfast of French toast served with an apple/raisin sauce and bacon.

After we got packed up and shoved off, I almost immediately saw a coyote scrambling for cover in the rocks overhead. They are definitely a hardy animal to be found way down here at the bottom of the canyon. We pushed through Forster, Fossil, Specter and Bedrock Rapids, all of which had large waves. We did hop out and quickly scout Bedrock but ran it without difficulty. The last rapid of the half-day on the river was Duebendorf Rapid and it was a dandy. We pulled into the eddy below at Stone Creek and after a lunch of pita sandwiches, hiked up the creek.

Although it had obviously been scoured clean in a flash flood several years ago, there were many waterfalls and Anasazi ruins left behind. At one point, there is an old Anasazi ruin with a door still sealed, something that may not exist anywhere else. Whether it is a forgotten grainery or perhaps a burial chamber, our guides didn't know and forbade us from walking up to it. Although it is visible with the naked eye, unless you knew what you were looking at and where, it can only be seen by binoculars. It is that well disguised and I was content to see it through the binoculars and use my imagination as to its contents.

At the very end of Stone Creek was a beautiful slot canyon with a thirty feet tall waterfall. Nick, Lee and I hunkered down in the icebox coolness of the shade and just waited out the heat of the day. We were wonderfully successful and by the time I got back to camp, supper was underway. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, dressing and a salad. Eleven days out with no supplies brought in and we are still eating like kings. I'm glad I've been doing a lot of hiking or I surely would have put on several pounds by now.

I must say that the pre-dinner entertainment before supper was particularly good today. Our campsite was fairly open and little in the way of hiding behind for those who decided to bathe tonight which seemed to be a few of the younger women among the crew. For privacy sake, I kept my eyes averted as much as possible but I wouldn't be a red-blooded man if I didn't sneak a few long peeks now and then. In a land full of sharp rocks, prickly cactus and stinging scorpions, their well toned, tanned and now wet bodies certainly fell softly on the eyes.

Just as dinner was finishing up, the moon rose from behind the upstream rim of Stone Creek. The usual crowd sat around a fire and told stories well into the night while passing around some of the German's apparently bottomless supply of brandy. Why would anyone else want to do anything else with their life but repeat this day over and over?
Stone Creek


The Real Mother Hen said...

What I really want to know is, what went through your mind at the sight of... the naked ladies, oh no, I meant to say the Anasazi ruin, but got distracted :)

The two stone creek pictures above are beautiful.

Ed Abbey said...

Mother Hen - My first thought that the opening was cleverly hidden... on the Anasazi ruins of course. ;)

The Real Mother Hen said...

haha you are funny :) I almost chock on my coffee on this one! Well said actually! Ha :)

TC said...

Wow, this is beginning to really sound like the trip of a lifetime!

sage said...

That was a good post, but your exchange with Mother Hen had me laughing!

Ed Abbey said...

Mother Hen - I try.

TC - It most definitely was a trip of a lifetime and I often dream of when I can go back. Right now, I am waiting for a time when my daughter is old enough to know how to swim but yet my parents are young enough to still do something like this. Then I just want to fully book an entire trip with friends and family and do it. I'm shooting for 2015 or there abouts.

Sage - Sometimes inspiration strikes me and the exchange with Mother Hen was one of those times.

The Real Mother Hen said...

You want to take your family on a trip like this? Wow you're indeed a family man. I would prefer to go alone, taking my time to explore the wilderness and take all the time I want for pictures.

Beau said...

Neat waterfalls... I can see that as the trip of a lifetime. I've had a few of those :) Hmmm... 2015? Sign me up, and maybe the boy to- he'd be 15!

Ed Abbey said...

Mother Hen - My family wouldn't be a problem as they are all like me. They love hiking, exploring and taking pictures. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Beau - Consider yourself signed up.