Thursday 29th September. By Jodie.
I’m wading through chest deep water, balancing a pack on my head. The pack is caribeenered onto a guide rope that Paul is pulling taut as I ferry our gear across a deep pool of water in Stevens Canyon. We get everything across dry, except ourselves, but we’ll soon dry out in the heat.
When we get to the second deep pool we try the same method, but halfway across we sink into the mud and can no longer stand. How to cross? We look up and see that we have to climb around. Scary for me, but with Paul finding the safest route, I’m confident enough to follow. There’s one more climb around to get past Stevens Grotto, then we are setting up our campsite on a sandy beach near a rare pool of water. The canyon, which downstream had too much water to pass through easily, is now quite dry.
Earlier this morning we hiked out of Coyote Gulch where it meets the Escalante River. We had to travel a short distance up the river, mostly by wading in it, to get here to Stevens Canyon. Stevens has exciting obstacles, involving wading, climbing, crawling, and route finding, but it’s well worth it for the amazing rock formations and scenery inside.
We’ll camp here three nights, so we can day hike further up the canyon without the significant handicap of our packs.