All I can say is.... this idea that DannyS had a few years back, to meet-up at some Utah destination and make it our own, is an event I now look forward to every year. It's the best! Getting together with this group of Utah DE maniacs and exploring, hiking and doing dinners together, well.... once again another epic adventure.
I'm not going to give a blow by blow of every day. Way too much for my poor little fingers to type. So... the condensed version.
Wed: A beautiful 7-1/2 hr+ drive from Steamboat Spgs CO over Boulder Mt to the Escalante house. We shared this with the Hick's, Jersey's and Wings. A very colorful fall ride thru all the alpine areas. An excellent BBQ dinner at the house with old friends, and now some new ones.
Thu: The plan was to hike Spooky/Peekaboo slot canyons in the Dry Fork of Coyote Gulch. (26 miles out Hole in the Rock rd). Some car problems on the way out, added some glitches to the days event. We finally got most of the crew together just before lunch time. We decided to try doing the loop from Spooky and back to Peekaboo. I've done it the other way and still suggest this route as easier. This fall's flash floods, changed the dynamics of the canyons, making this a lot more of a challenge than we expected. In the end, only 5 of us completed the full circle. Still, a beautiful challenging hike. Fajita nite at the house. Another epic meal!
Fri: Canyoneering day with Excursions of Escalante. 8 of us aboard, to rappel and squeeze our way thru one of the Grand Staircase's amazing slot canyons. Was it good. OH BABY!! We were scratched, muddy, exhilarated by the rope drops, and colors of this twisty convoluted canyon. This is a highly worthy adventure for those wanting to see the crazy side of canyon exploring. Dinner at Slot Canyon Inn was excellent.
Sat: Exploring Big Horn Canyon with most of the crew. This can be accessed off of Harris Wash or Old Sheffield road. We used the latter. We didn't get off to a blazing start that morning. And.. with our group dinner at Hell's Backbone in Boulder at 5:30, we really couldn't give this one the necessary time to see all the highlights of this very colorful canyon. Next time, for sure. An excellent dinner at the Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder. Highly recommended!!
Sun: A hike I've been really looking forward to. The Cosmic Ashtray on the eastern side of Red Breaks was our destination. This is a crater type formation with a cone in the middle. Other names for this: Escavolcano, Islomania Dome, and Red Breaks Crater. I had planned on getting to this formation this past spring. It just loomed much too far for our approach from the west side of Red Breaks this time. So.. I marked it as a destination for this trip, to come in from the East side. It was a superior quality slickrock hike, with a fair amount of map and GPS aid to find this hidden gem. Great job by the whole crew!
OK! So much food left over from the BBQ and Fajitas, that we decided to have leftovers for dinner. Apologies to Escalante Outfitters for not following thru with our Pizza Nite on Sunday. We just had way too much food to waste. It turned out to be a pretty great meal.
Mon: A breakfast with more leftovers (Mexican theme) and then hugs goodbye to all my house mates. Driving back home to reality. Another fantastic meet-up with my TA friends. Can't wait for the next one.
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