Thursday, September 24, 2015

Backpacking up to The Table--Day 2

 Following our first day of backpacking up to the Table and a night of astrophotography, we all slept in a bit, not waking until it was light outside. We eventually scrambled out of the tent and enjoyed the beautiful light on the bristlecones.

My husband wandered to the east and when he came back said he wished he had had a camera because he saw a bull elk silhouetted against the sunrise. Alas, it ran off so no one else got to see it.
We prepared breakfast and I couldn't help but wander around a little more and take photos. Such gorgeous light!

These tree roots reminded me of a ram.

I was feeling restless, so I climbed a hill and got a wider view of the Table. Our goal that morning was to explore it. It looked big, stretching to the north and east, a big grass-covered plateau.

So after breakfast we set off, deciding to look at  what appeared to be a hut on the northern horizon.

It turned out to be a rock structure taller than the kids. Not sure who built it or why.

A deep canyon intersected the plateau, and I couldn't resist getting closer. Some tall quartzite cliffs lined the northwest side of the canyon.

I could see it connected up with Smith Creek.

Looking north.

There are some neat bristlecones on the far edges of the Table.

As I turned and headed southeast, I found more broad expanses of the Table. Everything was so dry, and we were a little worried about predicted afternoon thunderstorms. One spark could easily start a conflagration.

And then I came across a trail. Can you see it in the photo below? Obviously trails don't get used much up here.

Here's the trail sign. Hope you have a map, because this sign just tells you the names and numbers of the trails, but nothing more (you can download free USGS topo maps here; search for "Mount Moriah" under 'USGS Map Name'--change it from 'Address and Place'). Looks like the colors in Hendry's Creek are changing.

It was 4.5 miles to travel along the perimeter of the Table. Have I said it's big?

We ate lunch and packed up to head back to the vehicle.

Once again, hiking downhill was no problem.

We took a little break before heading uphill.

 While the kids were concerned with the grade, my husband and I were wondering about the tires on the truck. We had gotten a flat on the way up and fixed it with a can of Fix-a-Flat (that stuff is amazing, I'm buying more!). We were wondering if it would hold. Fortunately it did, because we got another flat on the way down. That road is rocky!

In the end, it was definitely a trip worth smiling about.

1 comment:

Joshua Tolley said...

We hiked some of the Escalante river, years ago, and determined on the way home that whatever cheap brand of tires my uncle had bought weren't worth buying again. We got three flats between the trailhead and the first town of any substance; fortunately one spare and two applications of Fix-a-Flat did the trick. Thanks for reminding me to follow my uncle's example and get some for my own vehicles.

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