Friday, April 3, 2009

Day Thirty-two, 090401 - Kanab, UT

Day Thirty-two, Date Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Time in Saddle: n/a
Distance for the Day: n/a
Accumulated Trip Distance: n/a (Still in Kanab, UT)
Altitudes: Starting/Ending n/a, Highest: n/a, Accumulated: n/a
Speeds: Avg: n/a, Max: n/a
Weather: Clear, cool, light breeze
Expenditures: $12

We woke up around sunrise, secured our camping gear into the car, and had a bit of breakfast. I was able to check the distance from the intersection out to the ends of each access road segment, and they were roughly 2.5 miles. The three of us began walking the east fork of the Y-intersection when it occurred to me that leaving the car there full of expensive and irreplaceable gear wasn’t such a good idea. There was nobody and nothing out there, and if someone drove up and found an abandoned vehicle, the temptation might be to great for those with weak moral centers, so I decided to stay back to guard the car, while C&E hiked out. When they returned, I would then go take a look, myself. So, while they were away, I amused myself by catching stink bugs and gathering them together to see if they’d interact (they didn’t), and played the penny whistle I brought along for the first time (going to need LOTS of practice). They left around 10:20 am, and returned about noon. They said the views were pretty spectacular, and showed me some of the pictures and videos they’d taken. Cool! Cati wanted to try the east fork of the Y, but Eusebio didn’t want to over-strain his ankle, so he stayed with the car, and Cati and I went. It was a nice walk, with lots of beautiful views, interesting plants and cacti, and we even found an area of “vernal pools” – places where solid rock formed pools in the ground that would fill with rainwater, and then eventually dry up. I’d seen some of these, before, east of the Bay Area last Spring on an outing with my friend Dave G and his family, so was expecting to see some interesting things in them, and was not disappointed. There wasn’t much plant life, but there were: Sea Monkeys! Yes, lots of large, reddish brine shrimp, swimming around. I told Cati about how they can lay eggs which survive dry spells, and hatch the next time the rains re-fill the basins. Very cool, indeed! We got to the end of the road, and there was a pretty new looking bathroom facility there, which I investigated with great interest, but found it was not open. I hate that – my body was already geared-up to, ah, *do* something, but yet couldn’t. Well, when the body wants to do something, it’s hard to get it to change its mind, so I, ah, *improvised*. Meanwhile, Cati had found the rim and the views, and said it was the first time in her life she’d ever felt vertigo. The views from this access road were much more dramatic than the other one, and when I went to take a look, it was indeed so “good,” it was scary. With a good run and a jump, I think someone could make it all the way to the bottom, a good 2,500’ below – about a half-mile of free-fall. We walked around, took pictures and video (I took a bunch of 3-D pictures), and then headed back. We took about 2 hours to get there, look around, and get back. We then piled back into the car, and headed back to Fredonia. It takes about 2 hours to traverse the 61 miles of dirt road, and by the time we got back, we were hungry, so went to the C&K Karoke Bar and Grill, and got food. We were the only patrons at the time, so the owner/operator chatted with us, and showed us his karaoke setup, which was pretty nice, considering the size of Fredonia. He was a uranium miner for a long time, before getting this restaurant. Times were lean, but he hoped to be able to survive long enough for the good times to return. He had free wi-fi there, so we hung out and did email and internet stuff. Eusebio and I took the car across the street to a car wash and cleaned off 99.9% of the fine red dust that covered the back of the car, and also rinsed and wiped out the doorways. Cati had made a birthday video for her father, but wasn’t able to email it to them, because the filesize was too big for their Yahoo and Gmail accounts (phooey!) We got in the car, and headed southeast for our next destination: Jacob Lake. When we got there, less than an hour later, I noticed how long and steep the road was up to it, and was happy to not be cycling at the moment. It got high enough that we started to see patches of snow on the ground, but when we got to the road leading from Jacob Lake to the North Rim, it was closed with a gate, but totally free of snow. Hmmm. We went into the gift shop and store, there, and asked the locals, and they confirmed it: the road was snowed in further in. In fact, someone else had recently taken our idea and bypassed the gate with their car, and got the car stuck in the snow. We shrugged our shoulders, got back in the car, and continued southeast towards our next target: Antelope Canyon, in Arizona. It was getting dark, and we wouldn’t make it to the canyon, so we floundered a bit, looking for a place to camp. We found a National Park campsite, but it had no showers, and cost $12 a night. We really didn’t want to pay $12 to lay our sleeping bags out for 9 hours, so we continued on, looking for a place to stealth camp. This is difficult with a car, because no matter where you go, you can always be seen. After a few inspections of possible sites, we picked one in the Marble Canyon area that was probably on private property, but hoped we could sneak in and out before anyone noticed. The night was clear, but slightly breezy. We set up our camp, and went to sleep.

(To view the 3D pictures, above, you have to cross your eyes to bring the two images together into a third, central image, and then refocus your eyes. Not everyone can do this, but with practice, you can see these pictures in glorious 3D - how nice!)

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