Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Coyote Gulch

The landscape of my childhood is found in the curving sandstone canyons of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area in southern Utah. Some of my earliest and best memories are of countless backpacking trips down there with my family and assorted friends. I think I first spent the night in the Calf Creek campground at age three, and it's been a long time affair ever since. I've participated in weddings, baptisms, vision quests, reunions, art happenings, jobs, and other assorted events in Death Hollow, Sand Creek, Coyote Gulch, Upper Calf Creek, and numerous other canyons. Needless to say I'm always more than happy to lead a group of campers down there each session, and this time our trip to Coyote was no exception.
We got to the trail head late, so we only hiked about twenty minutes in the dusk till we plopped down in the last open sand patch before we hit sandstone.

Goodmorning sandpatch, Neil, Topher, Matt
The next day we traversed some sandstone moonscape, till we came to a spot where you can lower your packs, and then squeeze through a crack made by a large slab against the cliff.

Boys looking over the cliff, squeezing through the crack, and packs getting lowered.
We spent the remainder of the day playing in the w
ater, skipping stones, catching frogs, and then hiking about 7 miles to our camp in the Jacob Hamblin Arch alcove. Dehydrated beans and fresh spring water never tasted so good. The next morning we got up and hiked out Hurricane wash.

Neil showing how it's done; Steven's Arch; Conner likes lunch; me, my new hat, and jr. counselor Eli (who in a teen game of 'husband, lover, muse & friend' I chose as my husband, and then he chose me as wife! we're only 9 years apart. . . )

The boys take a much needed desert shower, the weirdest bug the boys found

Morning hikers, Jacob Hamblin Arch (named for my 4th great grampa).

Hippy up, or fight in the war

At the ranch, we fill our afternoons with a variety of excellent activities co-ordinated by my dear friend Neil, or by my soul sister Kelly. An example of the disparity which can exist in the interests of teen boys is the combo we had one day of either making tie dyed t-shirts , or marshmallow guns and bunkers for a full fledged war. Being the once founder, owner, and sole employee of Zi-Dyes (yes, yes, I was a high school hippy and thought it cooler than cool to wear at least three different tie-dyes at a time layered with old jeans and a chunky brown sweater)- I opted for the more peaceful of the two activities. I'll admit I took some pleasure in instructing the boys in the making of shirts that undoubtably would cause some of their parents to squirm when they welcomed their camper home clad in the rainbow of hippy peace with his neck still encrusted in dirt. One boy told us how last year he'd made a tie-dye shirt and his mother hid it from him the whole year saying it was lost, only to pull it out in time for camp- the only place she saw fit for him to wear such a thing. The boys did a remarkable job, and the shirts turned out super.

As you can see though, the war faring group didn't do half bad either. The following pics illustrate the construction, love, and result of a good mallow gun.

Clark and Max B. designing their guns, Graham with "The Death Taker", and Pancho post war.

Back on the Ranch

Dear faithful readers, (of whom I'm assuming there are about two). Let me apologize for my lapse in bloggingness, my life as a teen boy has been exceptionaly busy these last few weeks, and whilst every day contained many blog worthy events, pics, and anecdotes. . . alas my proximity to the internet, and time sufficient to blog have both been severely impared. Since I last posted the first session of boys ended, I ran the first ever girl's session, and now the second boy's session is underway. . . so there is a lot to report on for all you hungry for the latest BCSR gossip. Hopefully over today and tomorrow I'll be able to post about the end of the boy's first session, and the girl's session- baring this afternoon thunderstorm doesn't knock the power out for a few hours as it is wont to do.

The horned flaming bus, one of our many fine vehicles
used for toting teens around the valley.