Root Family

Root Family

Mar 16, 2014

San Rafael Swell - Brother's Trip - March 2014

So, a week after heading down to the Swell with my family, I was able to get away the following weekend with my brother's and one of my brother's friends on a fun little trip. We camped in the South Temple wash behind the reef and a fun time hiking and exploring.

We set up camp and quickly ran down to hike up Little Wild Horse Canyon just beyond the pools of water.

Hiking in LWHC

Dexter was such a trooper on this trip

The next morning we headed out toward Goblin Valley where we split into two groups to do the Goblins Lair (aka Chamber of Basilisk).

After Goblin Valley we booked it down for a full loop hike of Ding and Dang Canyon. This was my first time going down Dang and it was much funner than Ding because of the few technical down-climb challenges it presented (especially with dogs)

In Ding Canyon

Coming down the dry fall in Dang. It looks much more intimidating from the top

After Ding/Dang, we drove down the Wild Horse road to do some exploring in an area I had never been to before. I had seen on a map where there was a crossing of this road at the Muddy River and I really wanted to find it. We drove over some amazing looking bentonite hills along the way (it looked like we were on mars) and made a side visit at the Hunt Ranch

The cool bentonite hills with the Muddy Creek Gorge in the background. Some of the most technical canyons on the Colorado Plateau lie back in that area

Hunt Ranch

We left the Hunt ranch and headed further down the road, looking for the crossing. Most of the bank of the Muddy River was about 8' high so I thought we would not find a crossing. The road ended at a sandy area and I found a small track heading along the river, which ended about 100 yards at a low spot where it appeared cattle ranchers drover their cattle over the river. I inspected it and thought for sure this was the right spot. We drove the truck down further and made the crossing over the shallow river but as soon as I hit the other side my right rear tire began to sink and it started spinning.

I didn't panic, although it wasn't too far behind me. We were a good hours drive from any form of civilization and help. Towing from this area was VERY expensive, but we immediately went to action. My brother in-law Nate cut down a few branches from some local scrub trees and I began digging out around the soft ground near the tire. We placed the branches in front of the tire and as I put the truck in 4-wheel drive, they pushed from behind. I got out with ease and immediately flipped the truck around and high-tailed it back across the river where I knew I would be safer. After looking the area up on an arial map I found that I was pretty close to the actual crossing, but I had actually gone too far. Even at the point I was at I could have found my way to the connecting road on the other side, but I don't think I care to try it again. That area is un-forgiving.

The lower spot along the river where we tried to cross. I got stuck on the other side

Tire tracks from where I was stuck (see the branches in the ground where we my right rear tire was stuck)

Saturday night we treated ourselves to a huge spaghetti dinner and crashed. The next morning we packed up and headed out, but before leaving I brought them to see Black Dragon wash and to hike up to the hidden cave high up on the rockfall above. I discovered this arch in the canyon

OK, so it's only 12" high

Mar 9, 2014

San Rafael Swell - March 2014

It had been a couple of years since we had taken the whole family to the Swell and with the warmer winter we were having we decided to head on down to join April and Bill.

We didn't have anything major planned. We just wanted to let the kids get out and have some fun. We arrived around noon on a Saturday morning and set up camp out beyond Goblin Valley, but before the Little Wild Horse Canyon trailhead. The weather was not too cold and thankfully the kids all slept great.

Waylon is stoked to be in a tent

The kids playing on the rocks around camp

We spent Saturday afternoon hiking at Goblin Valley. Alene and April wanted to rappel into the Goblins Lair, so we hiked up with the kids as far as it was safe for them to go while Bill went on to help set up the rappel for them. After Goblin, we headed back to camp to let the kids run around while we made a fire and had some dinner.

At Goblin Valley

Caiden let his cousin Lanik get some target practice in with his BB gun

Sunday morning April and Bill took off while we stuck around and took the kids into Little Wild Horse Canyon. After LWHC we headed over into Temple wash to set up a rappel and allow Caiden to get some experience on some bigger rappels. We set one up at about 80' and also spent some time practicing using our ascending equipment.

Sunday morning button repair

Cousin love

Hiking Little Wild Horse Canyon - This pothole had never been exposed before. It was always filled in with dirt; in fact I never knew a pothole existed here

Selfie in the canyon

We did a couple of photo re-enactments from a few years back when Bailey was so little. We found the exact same spots

Caiden practicing his big rappel

Taking a breather after practicing some ascending

Caiden helped Waylon shoot his BB gun and this is the expression on Waylon's face when he hit the soda can

A little video of our dog (Dexter) and April/Bill's dog (Moki) playing around at camp

I love hiking the little slot canyons with kids because they keep going and love to see what is ahead and around the next corner.