Saturday, June 25, 2011

Das Boot

Eric and I wanted to do a canyon in Zion. We hoped to do one that Eric had not yet done and had our sights on Imlay canyon but the Virgin River is still flowing too high this year (the Park won't issue any permits until the river flow is below 140 cfs). So we chose to do a variation of the Subway hike called "Das Boot". It involves dropping into the Left Fork of North Creek a few miles up from the normal entrance to the Subway route. I did this stretch with cousin Zach several years ago in autumn conditions and remembered that it was enjoyable. Eric and I got a bit of a late start but we were soon standing on the side of the road hitchhiking our way up to the trail head after dropping of my truck at the lower Left Fork Trail head (the site of Eric's eagle scout project). The second car to pass picked us up. Sweet! It was already hot and sunny as we scrambled across the slick rock. After a few hours and lots of up and down trying to find our way along the north side of Left Fork we found a way down into the slot. It seemed silly to be carrying our wet suits in our packs on such a hot sunny day but soon we were very glad we had them with us. The slot was flowing with clear and cold water. We had several long swims and continuous wading and hiking in water for the next 90 minutes. The slot was tight, dark and fun. A few short raps were required. We also encountered the scattered remains of an elk including a large rack on the skull throughout the slot of Das Boot. Even with the wet suits on we began to shiver and would stop and bask in the sunlight when we could. Eventually we arrived at the usual start of the Subway section of the Left Fork. This part of the canyon we both know well and we traveled quickly. We passed several parties of other hikers and even helped a group from SLC down the last rap. The canyon was also full of clean water and incredibly beautiful as usual. The final hike out seemed tedious this time but soon we were sitting at Oscars having another dinner at our favorite restaurant in Springdale. All in all another great day in Zion..............................A week later I was participating in SAR training with the rangers over in Zion and the Chief Ranger asked me to hike with him through the Subway with 5 guys from the Helitack crew in Southern Utah (they are the fire fighters that are dropped in by helicopter to fight forest fires and sometimes help with rescues in the national parks). So around noon we took off down the Left Fork. This time through it seemed a little easier for me and it was fun helping out and "guiding" some federal employees through the Subway.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Trek 2011

We just got back from another stake Trek. This time around I was called as the "Trail Boss" with Deb helping me with my duties. Our stake had almost 150 youth and about 50 adults participate. We went out onto the Kaibab south of Fredonia, Arizona up in the ponderosas. Specifically we trekked out to Crazy Jug Point and stood on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I arranged for Clay Bundy to provide me with a horse and I rode up and down the route keeping the Companies spaced out. Eric was on this Trek and was in a fun "family". The weather was generally quite good but cooler by 10 degrees than we had planned on having due to this year's crazy spring weather that won't give way to summer yet. Deb and I were the key speakers for one of the morning sides and it went well. I had a lot of fun riding the horse and I wasn't too saddle sore. I had gone down to Bundy's place once weekly for the past month to ride the horse and get used to the saddle again. It sure brought back memories from when I would ride in my teenage years and the trail rides that my Grandpa Chugg took me on.