Day 2: I Just Met a Gorge Named Paria

Paria Mile 10 Spring to Bush Head Canyon
(16.5 miles, +0/-600 feet).

In case you are wondering about the title of this blog entry, remember that “Paria” rhymes with “Maria” and think: West Side Story.  🙂

I slept SOOOO well last night.  It was about 20 degrees warmer than the night before and there was no breeze at all in our perch high up on a shelf above the Paria River.

2017-04-07_05-56-06
Cotton candy canyon
2017-04-07_06-32-05
View from our campsite
2017-04-07_06-55-55
MixMaster is ready to go

We got a bit quicker start this morning and were off into the Paria.

2017-04-07_06-58-59
Red and Green

We found the spring and refilled our water bottles.  The water was surprisingly tasty!

2017-04-07_07-24-47
Mile 10 spring

The Paria is much warmer than Buckskin (by maybe 10 or 15 degrees).  It made our constant river crossings much easier to handle than our cave swims from yesterday.  For the first couple of miles the river was wide and flat, filling most of the narrow canyon.

2017-04-07_07-55-13
A gorge named Paria
2017-04-07_08-01-07
Art vs. arch
2017-04-07_08-13-34
Looking back towards the sun

At mile 11 we explored an “abandoned meander” where the Paria no longer flows.

2017-04-07_08-19-58
Trees in the abandoned meander

There were springs in several locations along the way today, which reduced the need to load down our packs with lots of water.

2017-04-07_08-49-00
“Big Spring” at mile 12

By 9am the sun was high enough that it lit the canyon floor in some places.

2017-04-07_09-06-01
Sun!

All along the canyon floor there was evidence of past flash floods.

2017-04-07_09-07-49
Flowing detritus wraps trees on the canyon floor

We continued to encounter quicksand, but got better at avoiding it by walking on sandy shores that showed signs of structure.

2017-04-07_09-14-40
Good (non-quick) sand
2017-04-07_09-31-44
Every bend a photo op
2017-04-07_09-37-05
Continue to mosey

We stopped for a break around 10am at a bench that was wide and grassy.  For the first time we followed what seemed like a semi-permanent trail.  The rest of the day we would follow these between river crossings, cutting through the bends in the Paria.

2017-04-07_10-01-16
Moss-covered path
2017-04-07_10-26-09
Another arch
2017-04-07_10-34-13
Sand-covered path
2017-04-07_10-37-54
Sand flower
2017-04-07_10-40-41
Crossing the Paria

By 11:30 we were at the old Judd Hollow Pump at Mile 17.5 where rusting bits of machinery from the pump were strewn about.

2017-04-07_11-34-52
Rusty

Art was especially interested in finding petroglyphs today, and helped us find some really nice designs.

2017-04-07_12-25-44
Now where are those petroglyphs?
2017-04-07_11-57-56
Unusual kokopelli
2017-04-07_11-58-02
Bear paw
2017-04-07_11-59-00
Snaring the sun
2017-04-07_12-36-26
Another bench crossing
2017-04-07_12-54-43
Art inspects the seeps

By 1pm we passed “The Hole” at mile 19, which was a 200 foot by 50 foot chamber with a spring at the back.

2017-04-07_13-01-44
The Hole
2017-04-07_13-43-21
Pretty!
2017-04-07_15-03-43
Prettier
2017-04-07_15-18-53
Sand butterfly
2017-04-07_15-25-12
Paria keeps on rolling
2017-04-07_15-29-58
Art’s nth crossing
2017-04-07_15-51-06
Deer tracks

We took a much-needed snooze after lunch and waited out the heat of the day a bit (wait, weren’t we just cold not long ago?!?).  When we started back up, the Paria descended into a new part of the canyon, revealing purple terraced layers of stone that lined the river.

2017-04-07_16-11-26
Back down to the Paria
2017-04-07_16-25-55
Terraced stone by the river
2017-04-07_16-40-33
The river becomes more bouldery

Features that came to dominate our view around mile 23 were the massive sand dunes that lay high above the river.

2017-04-07_16-59-51
Elevated sand dunes

Shortly before the “last reliable spring” at mile 25 (yes, that’s what it’s called) MixMaster and I took a break by the river while Art scrambled up the canyon wall to find some more lovely petroglyphs.

2017-04-07_17-12-26
Ancient sheep party
2017-04-07_17-15-55
Take me to your leader
2017-04-07_17-17-16
Mass hysteria
2017-04-07_17-21-38
Guardian of the petroglyphs

The sun started to set as we arrived at the spring.

2017-04-07_17-44-12
Canyon sunset
2017-04-07_17-49-58
Post sunset glow
2017-04-07_18-04-49
Yup, reliable
2017-04-07_18-49-30
Darkness falling
2017-04-07_18-52-10
Pretty puddle
2017-04-07_19-00-48
Same color in the sky!

At mile 26.5 we called it quits.  Bats swooped around us as we set up our tents next to a big pool of water that was dominated by tadpoles and later very, very noisy frogs.  I could hear them through my ear plugs!  But I was so tired it didn’t matter — sleep gradually came to me under the nearly-full moon.

2017-04-07_19-15-01
The frog sings: “Everybody do the Michigan Rag!”
Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s