For the past three years, me and some friends get together for what we call Mancation. We have been planning this trip for a year and we were not disappointed.
There was me, Mark, Tim (Zertus 213), Jamey, Steve and Kyle on this trip. I have a tradition of sporting a mohawk and Mark's wife was gracious enough to cut and die it for me and a few others. It rained nearly the entire drive from Clinton until we got to Escalante where snow was coming down. It clear up a little bit as we hit Hole in the Rock road. Be aware this road is washboards nearly 90% of the 30+ mile drive down to Fourty Mile Ridge road. We left one car at the trail head at the end of the road and started with the other car at the water tank.
We decided to come into Hurricane wash at the spring about 1 mile for the confluence with Coyote Gulch. We set up camp at the confluence. The weather was a better on Friday. We hiked at a leisurely pace and stopped whenever we wanted. It seemed that there was a seep about every mile and a couple of us collected water from them whenever we could. The water flow was clear in the stream up to about a mile away from the confluence with the Escalante River.
Zertus213 and I were living the life as there were hundreds of places we could have set our hammocks up. I slept like a baby each night.
It seemed that the further we went on our trip the better it got. On day two we setup camp just past Coyote Natural Bridge then we hiked up to the Indian ruins and found the hidden pool (thanks to the coordinates that someone posted on this site...thanks) The pool appears to be fed by a seep. We did see some very small fish and also leeches in the water. There was a boulder next to the pool that appears that someone has cut in some steps. Mark and I tried to make it up but were unsuccessful.
Day three we saw 75 degree temps, a beautiful day indeed. We found more seeps that we collected water from. The trip only got better with the alcoves and the four successive water falls. We got so caught up in the experience that we got near the end of Coyote Gulch and came up to the large boulders the block the path. I got excited and went across the sketchy path to the trail. My trip mates (for good reason) weren't comfortable crossing there so we continued up the trail to the point where we could take pictures of Stevens Arch.
We decided to head back down and make our final camp. During the entire trip we had been hearing a strange whistle type sound at night. As night fell we found out it was all of the frogs in the area that we camped in. Besides that, the only wildlife we saw were lizards. We did see deer and coyote tracks, but no sight of them.
Day 4 we made the ascent to the end point. It was a tough hike, but we would not have changed the way we took our trip. Mark was the only one who could make it through Crack in the wall. He went up first, followed by me. We hauled all of the bags up first. We had a 30' rope and used a caribiner to bring the bags up. Next time I will bring 40' or 50' of rope as it was close even at the lowest point that we found to haul the bags up.
After we all got up and were blown away by the scenery, we took a bunch of pictures and headed to the cars. You can see the parking lot after a few minutes on the way back and there were a lot of cairns to mark the better direction to head.
Anytime I walk in sand I have the Men at Work song, Land Down under in my head (watch the video if you don't know). When we got to the van we blasted that song as a sign of completing our trip and had a great laugh over it. As we neared the end of the drive on Hole in the Rock road, our van had a flat. We followed Mark to the first gas station in Escalante looking for a tire repair kit which they didn't have. It was Sunday so everything else was closed. We drove with the spare on hoping something in Boulder or Torrey was open. As we left Escalante we found the Sinclair station was open, had a tire repair kit and a compressor. We fixed the tire and headed to Torrey where we hit up Subway and headed back, arriving late last night.
This was an amazing trip and I plan on going down there to explore some more.