So there I am, driving down the 89, heading back to northern Arizona. I’m tired, bored and honestly completely having tunnel vision. I had taken a new route through some of Utah beautiful farm lands east of the Highway 15…these roads were long and took some mapping to navigate but had great views! Unfortunately, most things were closed in all the little towns I passed through. In there defense it was Sunday but I was really ready to get out of my car.
The wanting to “just get to my destination” was starting to take effect and my tunnel vision was getting worse the longer I drove. As I was nearing the beautiful canyon areas near Kanab, Utah I started to see some unique rock formations that I hadn’t noticed on past trips through his area. Then I saw it!
About 3/4 of the way up the canyon wall I spotted a cave. I pulled over, got out and studied it with my binoculars. I attempted to drive closer too it to see any possible entrances. It almost had the appearance of being large enough to be a dwelling. The magnificence of the geology in the wall was incredible. As I enjoyed the mastery of the canyon wall and looked deeply at the grooves and notches formed through time, I began to noticed other caves. The excitement was starting to build. I knew right then I was going to be late getting to where I needed to be!
Only one problem…time. Not only did I need to get where I was going but I was also losing sunlight. It was still pretty hot outside. My car was packed pretty good and the lazy part of me was saying “another day” as I got back in the car. That wimpy voice analytics got beat down pretty hard by my adventure voice that said “just do it” as I drove around the next bend.
…and there right before me was a huge open mouth cave. This one looked climbable without my gear…”cough, cough kids don’t do this at home”… The cave appeared to be about 3/4 the way up the wall. The stone and debris appeared to create a 70 degree angle that was definitely climbable with a little effort. The nice thing was this section of the canyon wall was on the shady side so I’d primarily be out of the sun!
I took a sip of water and breaking every survivalist rule I set out on foot toward the canyon wall with nothing but my phone and a pocket knife. The was in the sand and rock was a little taxing but eventually I got to the base and began working mother natures stair case. I’ve always referred to the natural erosion spots as mother nature’s stair case. It is what they can’t duplicate in parks and rock gyms. It is what makes “bouldering” so fun and exciting. Each foot step has its own uniqueness much like the grooves of a fingerprint are unique.
I got to the top and it was worth the view! Looking out over the canyon and onto the opposite wall! It was breath taking. It was hard not to imagine being a bird and just grinding to the other side.
Inside the cave was pretty unique. I obviously wasn’t the first person to be in this one or have my bright idea in climbing this thing! There were names carved into the soft sand stone. At the far end of the caver were drilled out little mini caves. I got the nice surprise of having to dive to the ground to avoid about five birds jetting out of the holes and escaping the cave. They didn’t sound too happy with my intrusion.
Looking off to the north, on the side of the cave was a flat rock sitting a top of another rock…looking like a table in the sky. This pick doesn’t do it justice but I tried:
Losing light but wanting to push the limits (sorry mom) I skirted the front the mouth of the cave. Edging my way around I had the goal of seeing what was around the south bend to the canyon wall. I had been curious if that side would lead back to the dwelling looking caves I had seen earlier. What I did find was a little cave where someone had been lighting fires. Judging from how clean the area was it must have been someone who loved nature because there was no trash or signs of disfiguring the landscape. I really wanted to see the sand stone lit up with a fire but I was out of time and getting down this wall in the dark was probably not the best idea. Plus packing up wood to start a fire sounded like some serious work!
I honestly don’t have a point in this blog other than sharing an adventure. Maybe, the lesson is just listen to the inner voice who wants to make the most out of ever moment. Guess what getting to my location a little late didn’t affect my time line that bad but what it did give me was a taste to research this area and get back there to do more exploring.
Last pic. Looking up from the base of the wall. Work them glutes!