Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tuesday 27 April 2010

I slept in until 0630. I started the stove and went back to my pack for my breakfast food. When I returned to the kitchen, Bob was making coffee. I added raisins and walnuts to my oatmeal this morning, and had a cup of tea afterward. Bob thought it was colder this morning than the previous morning, but last night was the first time I didn’t zip my sleeping bag up during the night.

We began hiking at 0930. Bob showed me more ruins and we saw more wildflowers. We hiked to a location where we can hike out of the canyon and not far from where I left my Honda Civic hybrid. We ate lunch of tuna wraps at 1300, and Bob filtered more water with his gravity powered filter. We are using plastic bladders to hold our water. Mine still gives my water a bit of plastic flavor so I began adding lemonade flavoring to my water this morning. The water here is quite alkaline and leaves white and blue stains on the red sandstone. There are a few thin blue layers of rock (limestone?) in the red sandstone. I ground some into a paste this morning and rubbed the blue paste into a piece of red sandstone. When it dried it seemed to be fairly difficult to remove, and may be one of the colors used in creating the snake pictograph we saw earlier.

After our lunch of tuna wraps we cached our backpacks and hiked downstream with our day packs. The canyon widens here with wide terraces first on one side of the creek, then on the other. The Anasazi farmed these terraces. We found a large habitation site at the foot of the cliff on the left side of the creek, and a bit farther downstream a habitation and food storage site near the top of an isolated portion of the mesa. We hiked to the top and investigated the site.

It is quite windy, and getting cloudy. It looks like it might rain. We returned to our backpacks about 1600 and after a short rest, began the climb out of the canyon. The trail is well marked until we approach the top of the mesa. There the trail becomes hard to follow and we lost it several times, but Bob’s local knowledge took us right to my car.

We drove to Mexican Hat for a 6 pack of Polygamy Porter before driving to Bob’s Toyota pickup. Lots of people were camped at the trailhead, so we drove to another trailhead where we made camp. Bob cooked supper while I put up my tent for the first time this trip. The wind has been blowing since about noon and the sky is now thick with dust obscuring the views of distant mountains.

You can see more photos of this trip at Picasa.

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