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Storm Interrupted

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Mary "Fireweed" Kwart
City: Ashland
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 19, 2015
Direction: Westbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, May 14th, 2015
Start: Tarantula Mesa
End: Muley Creek
Daily Distance: 7.7
Trip Distance: 229.4

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 9
Journal Visits: 1,546
Guestbook Views: 70
Guestbook Entrys: 2

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Storm moves in

Purple cactus and yellow mariposa lillies--the bottom of Muley Creek. But the day started much less idyllic. You could see the angry band of dark clouds on the horizon as we took off in the morning. I am not a fan of getting soaked early in the day. So I pitched my tent at Tarantula Mesa #1 tank (which is full of water, as is Tarantula Mesa #2). Not soon enough--the inside of the tent got soaked with the tremendous wind and torrential downpour. I sopped up what I could with my bandanna. At this point I didn't know if we would be staying here the rest of the day or going on. I had to put on extra clothes and make plans for having to deploy my down sleeping bag in this wet environment, putting off getting the sleeping bag out. After a few hours, the sun came out. This was the pattern for bad weather--rain hard but clear up after a couple hours. The snow level on the Henry's was much lower. We hunkered down at the top of the climb down into Muley Canyon to wait out the next episode of thunderstorms. After it cleared--Epic climb down into Muley Canyon--very beautiful. The descriptions from other trail journals are really a bit disingenuous making it seem like it's no big deal. We are not the tallest of hikers, so reaching down on your back hanging from one hand hold and jumping to a rock perched up on another about 4 feet from the ground and at least 4 ft from the rock wall you are clinging to is not our idea of an easy way to get down through the canyon wall. We had to lower our packs with our parachute cord and carabiner. Then we found an easier way down for ourselves to the right of the cairned move. You could wedge in between a slab and the rock wall--much easier than the flip around and jump to the boulder on the cairned route. The wet sandy dirt made the steep descent slow going--it was harder than the rock move. We had to take our packs off 3 times to negotiate down climbing loose rock bands. Once down--you realize how remote this is. Beautiful wildflowers and cactus blooming. At 8:30 PM a huge thundercloud is booming above the canyon rim. But Im camped in a great spot under a juniper.

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Hayduke--Moab To Escalante



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