Monday, September 14, 2015

Tour of the West: Is there Anything Here????

At one point when we were in Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, a passenger car came roaring towards us down the dirt road.  Getting closer, it pulled to a rapid stop.  "Is there anything back here?" asked the driver in an exasperated voice.

I couldn't figure out how to answer this question -- it made no sense.  We had just spent the better part of three days camping, exploring, playing in slot canyons, and chasing dinosaur tracks, and were regretful that it was almost time to move on before we had had a chance to do everything.  Is there anything back here?  Bah.

Fortunately, Chad had more presence of mind and asked "What are you looking for?"  "Devil's Playground." the driver groused.  We pointed out that it was a mile up the road on the right next to a sign and went on our merry way.  He tore off at high  speed.

I hope he liked it.  It's a neat site and doesn't even require much of a walk.  Totally accessible and scenic, even to those who are so colossally clueless that they don't think there is anything to see in the monument.  We poked around it a bit the next morning on our way out, before it got too hot.


Hoodoo + Ma silhouette.

Happy kid.

Nimue finds a niche.

Nimue finds another niche.

Hoodoos with Fiftymile Cliff in the background.

Yucca fruits.

Reptile and small mammal tracks.

At one point, we heard a strange scratching noise in the rock and looked around to find this:

Someone had left an empty tictac container wedged in a crevice in the rocks in an orientation such that a couple of curious beetles had crawled in but couldn't crawl back up the slippery plastic to get back out.  The clicky scratching sounds we heard were the beetles desperately trying to climb up toward the opening.  Chad gently turned the container around so the beetles could escape.

Of course I found things to climb on.

More views.

Shadows on swirly rock.

Arches to climb on.

Many photogenic rocks.

 We all agreed that there were plenty of things to see back here!

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