Thursday, June 4, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Trip Day #1: Anasazi Museum and Lower Calf Creek Falls

 So the weather forecast for Memorial Day weekend basically stunk. Rain for three days, it said. I said we're going anyway. We had gotten an invite to a canyoneering get-together in Boulder, Utah, a place I had never been and wanted to see. We took off Friday night after work and after driving a few hours it got dark and rainy and we decided that instead of pushing through and setting up our tent in the rain, we would stay in a motel for the night.

The next morning we got up early and headed towards Torrey, Utah. I had driven through once years before but really didn't remember any of it. Then we headed south over Boulder Mountain, a road that was paved only in 1985. As we ascended towards the pass (at about 9,000 feet!) the rain turned into snow, and at times we crept along at only 15 miles per hour. At one point we stopped and Desert Girl and I had a little snowball fight.

When we rolled into Boulder, we decided we would check out the Anasazi State Park Museum, where we found interesting displays. Outside we found a pit house.

Desert Girl liked going into one of the buildings.

Then we headed to our meeting point, set up our tent, met old and new friends, had lunch, and decided to head out for a rainy hike with friends to Lower Calf Creek Falls, part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. To get there we took the spectacular Highway 12, which follows the hogsback (top of the ridge for a number of miles), with dramatic dropoffs on both sides (and very few guard rails).

We turned into the popular campground eponymous with the falls, grabbed rain jackets and umbrellas, and started off on the 6-mile round trip hike.

We stopped for a family photo in this neat (and dry) alcove.

Along the hike were numbered stakes, and we followed along with the brochure. One visitor told us the pictographs were hard to find because they were so small. When we got to the viewing point, I was amazed at how large they were--nearly life size, just far away.

The rain let up a bit, but the skies stayed cloudy. I had fun looking at flowers and birds on the way.

Primrose with raindrops

We could hear the waterfall before we could see it. Then suddenly, through the trees, there it was.

As we got close, a cold wind pushed us back. But Desert Girl braved the wind and walked to the edge of the pool. The falls were huge, swollen from all the recent rains. It was a beautiful sight and kind of made up for the fact that we couldn't go into canyons that day.

 I spotted this blooming cactus on the hike back.

Desert Girl was really tired, but she perked up when we reached this little cave.

Desert Boy tried to get in too, with a little help from Dad.

It ended in lots of laughs.

It was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. We made it back to camp just in time for a delicious dinner and then it was off to bed to get ready for the next day's activities.

1 comment:

Joshua Tolley said...

That wind at the falls is my clearest memory of our one visit to Calf Creek, 20 years ago -- well, that and how beautiful the falls were. My sister and I still clearly remember the butterfly trying to fly to the falls, but in fact flying backward because of the wind.

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