Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ain't that swell?

A couple weeks ago, a few of my friends and I went down to the San Rafael Swell. We had a great time.

The trip started off a bit slowly as we had to wait for one of our boys to get off of work. And then we still had a couple errands to run, including getting some late lunch. But eventually we waved our belated goodbyes and headed out. We got down to our campsite just early enough to get set up before it got dark. We enjoyed a tasty meal complete with a peach cobbler and then hit the sack.

It was cold that night. I woke up over and over because my head was cold. Eventually I realized that I needed to close a tent flap! My tent-mate was quite startled when I was fumbling with the tent zipper right above his head!

In the morning we got up and it was still cold. We built a fire and I wandered around. There was a cool bridge there that I looked at. Eventually we were all up and we discussed which hike we could go on. I being an austere, stubborn man, demanded that we go on no hike which required getting wet. So eventually it was decided that we would go to Mexican Mountain (a supposedly non-wet hike to appease me).

We drove on a trail down to the start of the hike. The first part was really easy, relatively flat. There were interesting neo-cubist rocks all over the place. We followed a very clear trail for quite a ways. Then our resident wilderness expert told us that it was time we needed to cross the river.


River! What happened to not getting wet? I was not pleased. But we climbed down the bank to the river and I managed to jump across without getting terribly wet (although my boots did get caked with mud). My displeasure increased severely though when we found that we had to cross again! This time I got more wet, but my boots are pretty water-proof, so I wasn't soaked or anything. But I soon discovered (while two of them were taking an extremely long time...) that we didn't need to make those two crossings at all! We had not only gotten wet, but we had wasted a good chunk of time too!!! (Okay... truthfully it was not that bad, it was kinda fun.) It turned out that the river looped back on itself, and we could have just gone around the bend!

Eventually we got to the place where we did have to cross the river. While they waded through the deepest part yet, I was intrepid and found a way around. There were a bunch of big rocks down the river a ways, and I was able to cross on them without the invasive moisture. But I told them (at first) that it was a bridge that I had crossed.

By this time we were at the base of the mountain, and there was nowhere to go but up. We climbed up the boulders and rock slides and made our way up. We never quite made it to the top... took a wrong turn somewhere or something. But we did get pretty high, and we figured that we needed to be heading back anyway since it had gotten quite late. We had lunch on the side of the mountain. While up there a strange thing happened. A cell phone rang! My friends' phone was getting reception, so he talked to a couple people including his brother. Way to go T-mobile!

So we headed back down. The journey was perilous, which is to say that we could have gotten ourselves killed by falling off multiple parts of the mountain. But we made it safely down. My legs were quite upset, but we were at the flat part, so they managed. We crossed at my awesome rock crossing and headed back to the main trail.

By this time it was getting dark, but at least we had found the trail. This trail was, however, much longer than I had remembered. I got quite thirsty as we headed back, as I had drank all my water! It was very dark by the time we finally stumbled all the way back to the car. We drove back down the trail to our campsite, ignoring the desert wind dust ghosts on the way. When we got back everyone was so tired that we decided to forgo dinner and just go to bed.

It was cold again, but I slept much better the second night.

We got up in the morning and fixed a delicious dutch oven breakfast of cheesy potatoes and hamburger. Eventually we packed everything back up and headed back home. Good times were had by all.