Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Buckskin Gulch/Wire Pass Canyon

We needed to get a bit of biking in, so the next day we jumped on our steeds and rode down to the Paria Visitor's Center. John found a few things along the road to pick up, including this sideview mirror:

We did a short hike looking for more mushrooms, but only located a couple. At least I came away with this nice shot:

We ran out of time before we had to be back to the Visitor's Center for "The Wave" lottery, so we literally "ran" back there to get our application in on time. The Wave is a popular spot with people from all over the world wanting to go (in this case, French and Japanese folks). They let only 10 people in via lottery, in addition to some number that sign up in advance. About 30 of us stood around watching them get the lottery balls ready:

Sadly, our number didn't get pulled. Oh well, we were going to delay our trip over to Zion for The Wave, now we wouldn't have to.

We biked back to Howie, with John continually stopping for "found items". This made for a leisurely uphill climb for me!

Displaying his treasures (including the towel they are sitting on, not including Harvey of course), in order of perceived value:

Look what I found!

After lunch we biked south on the dirt road to Buckskin Gulch. Starting our hike into the canyon:

This area has a lot of fun rock formations, different from other places we have been:

Not-exactly-yoga with the rocks:

Since we couldn't see The Wave, I took a picture of something similar :)

Buckskin starts out wide open with nice views of the high rocks:

Examining some conglomerate that seems out of place in the sandstone and sand:

Nice place for a rest:

As the walls got closer, we ran into some muddy spots. The mud was knee-deep at its worst, but you could still lose a shoe:

So we took our shoes off instead:

Not sure how this happened:

Stop playing in the mud, Harvey!

During occasional flash floods, all sorts of things can happen:

A place to hang out?

Near the intersection of Buckskin and Wirepass - a natural bridge in the making:

Someone made a really cool mushroom sandcastle:

Starting up into Wirepass Canyon - those walls sure are high:

A fun perspective:

A boulder stuck way up high between the walls, crazy:

John showing the water level from a previous flood. You do NOT want to be here when that happens:

Admiring some cross-bedded sandstone:

We ran into an obstacle, so John tried to find a way over it, apparently without touching it:

Come on, you can do it! Right... not even! I'm more of a "rock hugger" and less of a "wall stemming" type:

I like this quote - we may need to find an Edward Abbey book:

Here's the actual Wave (photo from a roadside board) - sure looks pretty:

Yay, we made it back!

Testing our sunshade for Desert Winds:

Just for the heck of it, I decided to rappel off the back of Howie, so John set up the rope for me:

I need to work on getting my brake hand where it belongs and NOT above the rappel device:

That's better:

Next stop: Zion!
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